There are multiple cobranded credit credit cards from Hilton Honors, and we often hear people ask which one is best for their situation. After comparing the available Hilton credit cards, you may be ready to pull out one of these cards to pay for your next stay at a Hilton hotel.
Let’s take a look at some popular cards you might use to pay for your next stay at hotels in the Hilton Honors program and what these cards can offer you in terms of return on spending and perks during your stay.
Comparing credit cards for a Hilton hotel stay
Aside from using a Hilton cobranded credit card, you might also consider using a good travel rewards card that earns transferable points on travel purchases, such as a hotel stay. Let’s look at some common options and what you could get when using these cards.
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|Card name||Earning rate at Hilton hotels||Value of the rewards earned*||Hilton-related benefits from the card||Annual fee|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||14 points per dollar.||8.4 cents.||
||$450 (see rates and fees).|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||12 points per dollar.||7.2 cents.||
||$0 introductory annual fee, then $95 (see rates and fees).|
|The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||12 points per dollar.||7.2 cents.||
||$95 (see rates and fees).|
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||7 points per dollar.||4.2 cents.||
||$0 (see rates and fees).|
|American Express® Green Card||3 points per dollar.||6 cents.||None.||$150 (see rates and fees).|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||3 points per dollar (or 10 points per dollar if booked via the Chase travel portal).||6 cents (or 20 cents).||None.||$550.|
|Citi Premier® Card||3 points per dollar.||5.4 cents.||None.||$95.|
* Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.
The information for the Hilton Aspire and Amex Green cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Which card should you use?
Consider two parts of this conversation when choosing a credit card for your next stay at a Hilton property: the benefits you enjoy during your stay and the points you earn on the card when paying for your stay.
The first part is relatively simple. Your elite status perks will apply regardless of whether you use a specific card for your stay. As an example, you don’t actually need to pay with the Amex Hilton Aspire card in order to enjoy your Diamond status benefits during your next Hilton stay.
(The one exception is booking a paid stay at a Hilton hotel using the Sapphire Reserve through the Chase travel portal. This will generally count as a third-party booking, so while you’ll earn 10 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on the purchase, you’ll likely forgo any perks of Hilton elite status.)
When it comes to earning points from spending money at hotels that participate in Hilton Honors, using your Hilton credit card is actually a good option. These provide a better rate of return than using a Marriott credit card at a Marriott hotel, for example. However, the value to be had here is subjective in some ways. Do you prefer to earn the maximum value according to our monthly points valuations? Are you OK with that even if it means earning points that are stuck in a single program and can only be used with Hilton (or transferred to airlines in such a way that you lose a lot of value)?
Or do you prefer to earn transferable points because you know how to maximize these for first- and business-class flight awards, obtaining outsized value for your points? In this case, using a card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points may be your best bet, since you could access the full range of transfer partners and still have the option to transfer to Hilton Honors if you’re a few points shy of your next redemption.
Deciding which credit card to use on any given purchase can sometimes require tradeoffs. Maybe you earn more points but sacrifice some benefits. Or perhaps you’re willing to earn fewer points but access a valuable insurance benefit by using a particular card.
Luckily, the choice of which credit card to use when staying at a Hilton hotel is pretty simple. Due to high earning rates from Hilton credit cards, you should be able to earn a high value in rewards while also enjoying their benefits — without the tradeoffs required by making this decision at some other hotel chains.
Editor’s note: “Points of View” is a series evaluating decisions on which credit card to use. If you’re facing a dilemma about which card is best for an upcoming payment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also in this series:
For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton Aspire card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton Surpass card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton Business card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, click here.