If you’re a small-business owner who’s loyal to the Hilton brand, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offers some solid benefits — and potentially some ways to earn stays for your next trip.
The card doesn’t offer an introductory APR period, and it comes with a $95 annual fee. But some strategic spending in the first few months of account opening can help defray that cost.
Here are five things to know about The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.
1. Earn elevated rewards on everything
This card earns Hilton Honors points at the following rates:
- 12 points per $1 spent at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
- 6 points on select business and travel purchases.
- 3 points on other eligible purchases.
- Terms apply.
It’s worth breaking down that 6X category because it’s pretty broad for small-business owners. It includes:
- U.S. restaurants.
- Flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel.
- Select major car rental companies.
- U.S. gas stations.
- Eligible shipping services purchased in the U.S.
- Wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers.
- Terms apply.
2. Points have a low value — but you can earn a lot of them
Hilton Honors points are worth an average of 0.4 cent each, according to NerdWallet valuations. In other words, less than half a penny per point.
That’s below the industry standard for general rewards cards — an average of about a penny per point — and it’s also on the low end of the range for co-branded hotel cards.
However, keep this in mind when it comes to spending at Hilton portfolios: The 12X rate is in addition to the 10 base points you already earn (through the Hilton Honors rewards program) for every U.S. dollar spent on eligible Hilton rooms and expenses.
It’s also on top of the 80% bonus on base points that you get via the automatic Gold Status that comes with The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. Terms apply.
That can add up to a lot of points.
3. The hefty welcome bonus could score you some stays …
Speaking of a lot of points, the card features the following welcome offer: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
At a value of 0.4 cent apiece, that could be worth around $500 in rewards, easily outstripping the card’s annual fee. Those points can be used for Hilton hotel rooms, other kinds of travel experiences, shopping and more.
The number of points you’ll need to afford a complimentary stay will vary based on location/property, but the Hilton Honors website notes that it can start as low as 5,000 points. And with Hilton, eligible properties span the globe.
4. … But you won’t get automatic award nights
Several other co-branded hotel cards offer an annual free night award, a perk that can pay for those cards’ annual fees indefinitely.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card doesn’t offer that perk automatically, though it can be earned.
Cardholders who spend $15,000 per calendar year can earn one Weekend Night Award at any property in the Hilton portfolio, with some exclusions. Cardholders who spend an additional $45,000 in purchases in the same calendar year (a total of $60,000) can earn a second Weekend Night Reward. Terms apply.
These spending amounts may not be out of reach for certain small-business owners.
5. You’ll get complimentary airport lounge visits
Cardholders get 10 airport lounge visits each year when they enroll in a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. The membership offers access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide in more than 140 countries. These lounges can offer perks such as free food, drinks and Wi-Fi.
This card also charges no foreign transaction fee, which makes it a solid option for purchases abroad.
If the perks of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card pique your interest but you aren’t a business owner, the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card may be a viable option for you. It offers many of the same benefits. Terms apply.