Comparing Hilton’s Credit Card Options
There are seven factors to consider when comparing Hilton’s hotel rewards credit cards:
- 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)
As you can see, interest rates and balance transfer fees aren’t on the list. That’s because rewards cards should only be used for expenses that you can pay off in full by your monthly due date. Rewards cards tend to charge high interest rates, which means carrying a balance would significantly diminish the value of your earnings.
For your convenience, we’ve also summarized how the three Hilton credit cards available to new applicants compare in the areas that matter most.
Here are WalletHub's Best Hilton Credit Cards:
Hilton Amex cards require at least good credit for approval. If you don’t know how good your credit is, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub
You also have to recognize the possibility that the best credit card for saving money on hotel stays might not bear the Hilton brand name. In other words, you need to need to see what other rewards cards have to offer.
Below, you can see how the available Hilton credit cards stack up against some of their most notable competition.
How Much are Hilton Honors Points Worth?
One Hilton Honors point is worth a bit more than half of one cent, on average, when redeemed for free nights. And Honors points are worth even less when redeemed for merchandise and gift cards.
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.
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.