Earn 75,000 Points (Shh! NO Annual Fee) With the Hilton Honors Card From American Express
Alex: Hilton brand hotels include more than 5,200 locations all over the world, ranging from affordable family destinations to 5-star luxury resorts. Hilton’s reward program, Hilton Honors, is a valuable way to earn free nights regardless of where your travels take you.
Thanks to a limited-time welcome offer on the Hilton Honors Card from American Express, folks can now earn 75,000 Hilton points with this no-annual-fee credit card through June 27, 2018.
If you like Hilton hotels, the Hilton Honors Card is a great way earn lots of Hilton points. You’ll earn bonus points when you use your card at Hilton hotels, and also on common spending categories like restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations within the US.
I’ll show you how you can redeem the welcome bonus for stays on the strip in Las Vegas for up to 3 nights, or even staying at Times Square during New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop.
If you know someone who stays at Hilton hotels often, be sure to share this card review with them so they can start earning Hilton points at a faster rate and enjoy some free hotel stays.
Hilton Honors Card From American Express Review
Folks who apply for the Hilton Honors Card from American Express by June 27, 2018, will earn 75,000 Hilton points after spending $1,000 in purchases on the new card within 3 months of account opening.
This 75,000 Hilton bonus points welcome offer is worth at least ~$400 in travel at most Hilton hotels. But because you can find award nights for as little as 10,000 Hilton points per night, this could be worth as much as 7 free nights at some hotels. Or you could splurge on a night at a pricey luxury hotel worth $1,000+!
The Hilton Honors Card also comes with:
- 7X Hilton bonus points per $1 spent at any Hilton portfolio hotel or resort
- 5X Hilton bonus points per $1 at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations
- 3X Hilton bonus points per $1 spent on everything else
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status just for having the card
- Hilton Honors Gold status if you spend $20,000 on eligible purchases with your card in a calendar year (valid through the end of the next calendar year after it’s earned)
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership which gives free 2-day shipping and free returns at a growing network of 140+ online stores
- NO foreign transaction fee
- NO annual fee
- Access to AMEX Offers
- Terms and limitations apply
The 5X Hilton Bonus points per $1 on US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations, which are categories that many often use already, can help you get your next vacation sooner by racking up large amounts of points. It’s a no-brainer way to work towards your next trip!
The complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status gets you a 20% bonus on top of the base points you’ll earn at Hilton hotels. This is on top of the 10 Hilton points per $1 you get as a Hilton Honors member by booking your room directly with the hotel, and 7X points per $1 you earn by using this card for the reservation. So altogether, you can expect to earn 19 Hilton points per $1 at Hilton hotels.
Cardholders also get a complimentary ShopRunner membership. ShopRunner is a 3rd-party service that gives you free 2-day shipping and free returns at more than 140 (and growing) online stores. ShopRunner is normally a $79 per year membership, but is yours complimentary with this card. This is especially surprising, considering that this card itself has no annual fee!
Emily used her complimentary ShopRunner membership to find the perfect swimsuit and get it delivered days before an upcoming trip. Don’t forget to enroll for ShopRunner after you apply for and receive your card.
Plus, you can add AMEX Offers to the card, that can save you money at local or online shops that you might already be using. Team member Jasmin saved nearly $200 with one of her AMEX cards last year!
What Are Hilton Honors Points Worth?
So how far is your 75,000 Hilton point welcome bonus going to get you on your next vacation? Hilton award prices can vary quite a bit depending on the location, and the Hilton brand you are redeeming them through because they no longer publish an award chart. Award nights start at 10,000 Hilton points but most locations cost more. On average, points are worth ~0.5 cents each, but if you are willing to search around, there are deals where they are worth more than 2 cents each!
You can use Hilton points across all 13 of their hotel brands. These include:
- Embassy Suites
- Hampton Inn
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Homewood Suites
- Waldorf Astoria
This is a large selection of hotel brands to give you a range of options no matter where you go or what you are looking for. I like to stop at Hampton Inn or DoubleTree during road trips when I need a comfortable bed to crash on for the night, and I really love the Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations during the 8 to 10 weeks a year I spend in Las Vegas.
Hilton also offers a cool program to allow you to pool your Hilton points together with up to 10 friends or family each year. You can transfer up to 500,000 points every year to them for free, to vacation for longer or stay at a more upscale hotel. Another option is to use your points to pay for part of your award stay and pay for the rest with money to lower the cost of a luxury hotel stay.
Where Can You Use Your 75,000 Bonus Points?
Because Hilton doesn’t publish an award chart like other hotel chains do, you will need to search for your travel dates and destination to find the best deals. Luckily, their site makes it really easy to find places to stay with points, because you can search across all of their brands in one place, and you can toggle dollar amounts and point amounts back and forth quickly on the side. This lets you compare the savings you are earning with your welcome bonus!
To find award pricing, visit Hilton’s website and search for a hotel room like you normally would. By default, you will be shown cash pricing (remember to log in to see Hilton Honors member pricing). To change prices to award points pricing, flip the toggle on the top right of the page. This makes it easy to switch between cash and points prices to compare value.
If you want to experience Las Vegas, I found rooms at Hilton Grand Vacations on Las Vegas Strip for only 26,000 Hilton points per night in the middle of summer! So you can stay for 3 nights at the center of the Las Vegas strip for only 78,000 points. You will have earned this with your welcome bonus if you take into account the $1,000 spending you have to do at the base 3X bonus points multiple.
Those who are looking for a bit more culture and style can enjoy a room in downtown Paris at the artsy Niepce Paris Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. This is a romantic boutique hotel in the heart of the city for 77,000 Hilton points on a weekend, or for only 62,000 Hilton points during the week. Or consider the Hilton Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport for only 36,000 Hilton points per night, while flying in or out of the city.
You could instead choose to stay at Hilton Times Square over New Year’s Eve and watch the ball drop for 80,000 Hilton points! This is an incredible deal considering that you’d pay $1,893 for that night (over $2,000 without the Hilton rewards members discount)! That’s pretty amazing value (almost 2.5 cents each) when you consider that a card with no annual fee can earn you free stay worth almost $2,000!
Lastly, because this card earns you complimentary Hilton Silver status, you are eligible for your 5th night FREE when you book 5 consecutive nights together using Hilton points. This is effectively a 20% discount in point cost for longer stays that you are planning.
Folks who are willing to search around can find amazing deals that are hard to match elsewhere. If you are looking for more inspiration or ideas on how to use your Hilton points, check out these posts:
- 5 Hilton Hotels for Friends Traveling Together
- 5 Great Hilton Hotels for Family Travel
- 5 Fantastic Hilton Hotels in Europe
- 5 Excellent Hilton Hotels in the US
- 5 Outstanding Hilton Hotels in the Caribbean & Mexico
- Best Hilton Hotels to Book with Points
Is This the Best Hilton Honors Credit Card for You?
Fans of Hilton’s rewards program are likely intrigued by this offer. However, I wanted to make sure you knew that Hilton offers a total of 4 American Express cards (including this one). While this is the only Hilton card with no annual fee, there are other card options that offer larger welcome bonuses and more bonus points on spending.
There are 3 other Hilton cards:
- Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card ($95 annual fee card with higher point earning bonuses, 100,000 Hilton points welcome bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements, complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status, and a 1 weekend night at a Hilton hotel after 1 year through June 27, 2018. Read our review of this card)
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (Premium travel card with even higher point earning bonuses, a 100,000 Hilton points welcome bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements, complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, 1 weekend night at a Hilton hotel each year, up to $600 in various travel statement credits, and unlimited Priority Pass lounge access passes, for a $450 annual fee)
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (here’s our review of this card)
For example, while the AMEX Hilton Honors offers complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status, it requires you to spend $20,000 in a calendar year to earn Gold status. This spending amount might be better spent on other cards or towards other welcome bonuses.
If you stay with Hilton a lot, consider the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express with complimentary Gold status, higher bonus point earning rates, airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select, and a weekend night after your first anniversary of card membership . You can get these benefits for only a $95 annual fee which is probably a better deal for most people.
The Gold elite status will earn you 80% bonus points during hotel stays, complimentary breakfast for you and a guest (at most Hilton brands), and space-available room upgrades.
The Hilton Honors Card from American Express earns you 75,000 Hilton points after spending $1,000 in purchases on the new card within 3 months of account opening, for a limited time until June 27, 2018.
The Hilton Honors card will also earn you complimentary Silver Elite Status and 7X Hilton points per $1 spent at Hilton hotels. You can also earn additional Hilton points from everyday purchases like 5X Hilton points per $1 at US restaurants, US grocery stores, and US gas stations, plus 3X Hilton points per $1 on everything else.
This is a terrific card to consider if you prefer no annual fee and don’t stay at Hilton hotels often. But if you frequently stay with Hilton, you might instead consider a card like the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend card. Because it includes complimentary Gold Elite Status (which comes with its own perks like 80% bonus spending during hotel stays, free breakfast, space-available room upgrades, and more), 1 free weekend night stay after 1 year card anniversary, and 10 complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge stays. These additional benefits will make it worth the $95 annual fee for that card.
What is your favorite card for Hilton stays? Let us know in the comments below.