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Best Hilton Credit Cards of 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

All credit cards that award Hilton Honors points recently received a makeover, which might leave both new and longtime customers of the hotel chain confused. We analyzed every card offered by Hilton in order to determine what's the best Hilton credit card. The best card for most people will be the Hilton Honors American Express Card, but a different card may be a better fit for you if you're looking for something more specific, like Hilton status or a card for your business.

Hilton Honors American Express CardHilton Honors American Express Surpass® CardHilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Best ForNo Annual FeeFree Hotel NightsHilton Status
Annual Fee$0$95$450
Rates & Fees(See Rates & Fees)(See Rates & Fees)(See Rates & Fees)
Bonus Offer75,000125,000150,000
Bonus Requirement$2,000 spent in first 3 months$2,000 spent in first 3 months$4,000 spent in first 3 months
APR17.49%-26.49% Variable17.49%-26.49% Variable17.74% - 26.74% Variable
Read MoreRead MoreRead More

We analyze each of the Hilton cards in detail below, and we even list a few of the cards' downsides. We've also created a unique credit card comparison tool that will give you an estimate of how much rewards each card will earn you based on your own spending habits.

Best Hilton Credit Card with No Annual Fee

On American Express' Secure Website

Hilton Honors American Express Card

On American Express' Secure Website
  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
17.49%-26.49% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Our Thoughts

We consider the Hilton Honors American Express Card to be the best Hilton credit card for most people because it combines a solid rewards program with a $0 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). The lack of an annual fee means cardholders can start racking up Hilton Honors points without having to spend a certain amount for the card to make financial sense. The Hilton Honors American Express Card awards cardholders Hilton Honors bonus points on unusual spending categories, like at U.S. supermarkets and at U.S. restaurants. Very few no annual fee hotel cards will reward cardholders for such varied spending.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn points on unusual categories for a hotel card, like U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.
  • A low spending requirement on the card's welcome bonus

Cons:

  • There are better welcome bonuses available.
  • Rewards on non-bonus categories are weak.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.

Best Hilton Credit Card for Free Nights

On American Express' Secure Website

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

On American Express' Secure Website
  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
17.49%-26.49% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Our Thoughts

The top card for earning free nights at Hilton hotels is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card due to its highly valuable welcome bonus. The welcome incentive of 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points (once you spend $2,000 within the first three months) can be worth a few free nights on its own. The card also includes a free weekend reward night when you meet the spending requirements for the welcome bonus. Even better, Hilton has one of the most robust lists of hotel brands from which you can choose to redeem your points, including the Conrad, Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree.

Pros:

  • The welcome bonus can be worth a few free hotel nights.
  • Earn points on all spending, regardless of category
  • Robust list of hotels to choose from when redeeming your points

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
  • High spending requirement of $40,000 per year to get Diamond status

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click here.

Best Hilton Credit Card for Status

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.
Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months.
  • 14X Hilton Honors Points at Hilton hotels and resorts
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Points on all other purchases
  • 14X Hilton Honors Points at Hilton hotels and resorts
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Points on all other purchases
Annual Fee
$450
Regular APR
17.74% - 26.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
N/A
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Our Thoughts

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card automatically earns cardholders Hilton Honors Diamond status, making it the top card choice for applicants who want access to premium perks at Hilton hotels. Diamond status members get benefits on every stay with the hotel brand, including room upgrades and complimentary breakfast. Having Diamond status minimizes minor inconveniences of constantly staying at hotels. You'll be able to have a guest stay for free and have access to executive lounges, which serve as an excellent place to get some work done on the road.

Pros:

  • Get automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • Users get a $250 Hilton resort statement credit.
  • A free weekend night reward each year of card membership

Cons:

  • A hefty $450 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
  • The card has a high bonus, but we expect more given the card's annual fee.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, please click here.

The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Compare the Best Hilton Credit Cards

If you're still not sure which Hilton credit card to apply for, use our card comparison tool below. The tool lets you enter your own monthly expenses and it then calculates an estimate of the rewards each card will earn you over a two-year period.

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{"cardCategory":"rewards","cardIds":"169,1188,1187","initialResultsLimit":10,"endpoint":"https:\/\/creditcards.valuepenguin.com\/api\/creditcards\/models\/rewards","onCurrent":"true"}

What About Citi Hilton Credit Cards?

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, American Express became the sole issuer of Hilton credit cards. Prior to that, Hilton and Citi issued several Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards. Today, the CitiHilton credit cards are no longer available to new applicants, which is why they aren't mentioned on our best list. If you're still interested in reading more about these inactive cards, you can read our past reviews, below.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

Comments and Questions

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).