Guide to Managing Hilton Honors Points

The Hilton brand is one of the most recognized and well-respected in the world, offering a host of great vacation and business travel options. American Express, meanwhile, provides both robust card services and great bonus offers to cardmembers. Together, Hilton and American Express have teamed up to deliver the Hilton Honors line of credit cards. Through this partnership, Hilton Honors cards make it easy to earn more points, more quickly and redeem them on your terms.

But with multiple Hilton Honors rewards cards to choose from, what’s your best fit? Let’s dive in and take a look at the options.

Best cards to use for Hilton Honors points

The Hilton Honors card

  • APR: 17.24%-26.24% variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rates: Earn 7x Hilton Honors bonus points for purchases at Hilton properties, 5x points at U.S restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets and 3x points for all other purchases.
  • Intro offer: Get 75,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in your first three months after account opening.

This card offers solid earnings with no annual fee, making it a good choice for occasional travelers who prefer Hilton properties. Combined with a solid bonus offer and 5x points across frequent spending categories, this card is a great entry-level option for Hilton Honors rewards.

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card

  • APR: 17.24%-26.24% variable
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Rewards rates: Cardholders enjoy 12x Hilton Honors points for every Hilton stay along with 6x points at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants. Just like the Hilton Honors card, you also get 3x points per dollar for all other purchases.
  • Intro offer: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points when you spend $2,000 in your first three months of card membership.

Designed for more frequent travelers who don’t mind paying an annual fee, this card offers bigger rewards for staying at Hilton properties. In addition, get a 1x point increase on all grocery, gas and restaurant earnings. If you’re forever planning your next trip, the potential benefits of this card can easily offset the annual fee.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card

  • APR: 17.24%-26.24% variable
  • Annual fee: $450
  • Rewards rates: Enjoy 14x Hilton Honors bonus points for eligible Hilton purchases and stays, along with 7x points for flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, select car rentals and U.S. restaurants.
  • Intro offer: Grab 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first three months after account opening.

This is the big one: Bigger annual fee, bigger reward rates and the biggest introductory offer of all Hilton Honors American Express cards. It’s also the most travel-focused, with its 7x tier of bonus point earnings dedicated to travel purchases and car rentals rather than grocery or gas station spending. If travel is your priority and booking your next trip is always top-of-mind, this card is a great fit.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business card

  • APR: 17.24%-26.24% variable
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Rewards rates: Earn 12 points per dollar on all Hilton portfolio purchases along with 6x points on U.S. gas station spending, wireless telephone services, U.S. purchase shipping costs and flights booked with amextravel.com. Business owners also get 3x point on all other purchases.
  • Introductory offer: Enjoy a 125,000 point bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.

If you own a business that does a lot of traveling, the Hilton Honors American Express Business card could be just what you need to maximize your bonus earnings. The 12x points on all Hilton purchases can easily help offset the annual fee, while employee cards mean you can earn rewards on all of your company’s spending.

How to redeem your Hilton Honors points

When it comes to redeeming Hilton Honors points, you’ve got options. Start by heading to the Hilton Honors website and logging into your account, or use the Hilton Honors mobile app. You can also contact 1-800-446-6677 to book Hilton reservations over the phone using your reward points.

Some of the most popular points redemption options include Hilton Hotel and Resort stays, travel experiences, travel credits and Amazon.com credit.

Hilton Hotel and Resort stays

Use points for free nights in standard or premium rooms. You can also earn free weekend nights through card spending — for example, you earn one free weekend night stay when you spend more than $15,000 in a calendar year on your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card. Worth noting? You also earn extra bonus points for stays at Hilton. The Hilton Honors card comes with automatic Silver tier membership, meaning you get 20% extra points for all Hilton spending — or 12 points for every dollar — in addition to your 7x bonus points.

Travel experiences

Redeem your points for unique travel experiences with Hilton Honors. For example, you can grab one-day VIP tickets to an Australia vs. New Zealand rugby match for 35,000 points or Jay Chou Carnival World Tour tickets for 100,000 points.

Travel credits

Convert your points to Lyft ride credits, or exchange them for points with other travel partners such as Amtrak (10,000 Hilton Honors points for 5,000 Amtrak points) or Virgin Atlantic Airways (10,000 Flying Club Miles gets you 15,000 Hilton Honors points).

Amazon.com

Link your Hilton Honors account to your Amazon.com account and start shopping. The conversion rate is 500 points to $1 at Amazon.

In a nutshell

Hilton Honors rewards cards offer multiple paths to points earning. If you prefer Hilton properties but don’t travel often, consider the no-fee Hilton Honors card. If you’re a regular Hilton guest, the Hilton Honors Surpass card can help shorten the time until your next vacation. For those with a true passion for traveling, the bigger benefits of the Hilton Honors Aspire card can help offset the larger annual fee and let you maximize points earnings. Finally, the Hilton Honors Business card offers solid bonus point earnings for owners and employees that are frequently on the road.

Doug Bonderud

An award-winning finance, technology and security writer, Doug has a knack for distilling complex concepts down into actionable, readable copy that generates interest and drives engagement