This is significantly below the 1 cent per point/mile valuation offered by most general-use rewards cards. It also means you’ll need roughly 50,000 Hilton Honors points to book a rewards night at the average Hilton hotel, according to WalletHub research. However, Hilton’s credit cards provide up to 12 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties, which tilts the value proposition in a cardholder’s favor if they regularly patron the chain.
Best Hilton Credit Cards Comparison
|Credit Card||Best For||Annual Fee|
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||No Annual Fee||$0|
|The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||Business||$95|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||Bonus Points||$0 intro 1st yr, $95 after|
|Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card||Diamond Status||$450|
|United Explorer Credit Card||Hilton Rewards Partner||$0 intro 1st yr, $95 after|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Any Hotel||$95|
Hilton Honors Rewards Program Summary
Unlike Hilton’s credit cards, the overall Hilton Honors loyalty program is beneficial only to those who regularly stay at Hilton properties. In other words, while the right Hilton Honors credit card could provide significant initial value, allowing you to stay at a Hilton property without ever stepping foot in one before, there are no sign-up bonuses for joining the program absent of a credit card and most of its perks are provided proportionally to your stay frequency.
With that being said, opening a Hilton Honors credit card is an excellent way for a newly brand-loyal guest to expedite worthwhile perks. That’s because it’s far more cost effective to garner Hilton status by opening one of the company’s co-branded cards – even if it has an annual fee – than by qualifying based on how often you stay at Hilton properties each year.
Methodology for Selecting the Best Hilton Credit Card
There are seven factors to consider when comparing Hilton credit cards in search of the best offer for your particular needs:
- Minimum credit score required
- Annual fee
- Initial bonus
- Earning rate on Hilton purchases
- Earning rates on other purchases (if you plan to use the card for non-Hilton spending)
- Starting Honors status level
- Foreign transaction fee (if you plan to travel abroad)
How much you plan to spend also plays a big role in terms of both your ability to pay the monthly bills in full and how rewarding a given credit card will be. On that note, when evaluating cards with initial rewards bonuses, we include the bonus if a cardholder would earn it by spending an average of $700 per month for up to four months. And for our heavy-spender category (10X the average person's hotel spending), we double the expected spending. Any other bonuses past the four-month mark that require spending to earn are included in calculations if the spending requirement can be met based on the standard spending assumptions we used. Those spending assumptions are derived from Bureau of Labor Statistics data.