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For the average person, it’s hard enough sorting through all the credit cards out there on the market to figure out which one offers the right mix of costs and perks to enjoy. One easy way for card issuers to help their offerings stand out from the pack is by promising outsized welcome bonuses, with something like an offer of 100,000 welcome points helping a particular card easily grab your attention. Those kinds of awards certainly get my attention — something that’s probably true for most of us, if we’re honest. We like big rewards and hefty incentives that make us feel like we’re getting a great deal. And a handful of Hilton’s hotel credit cards co-branded with American Express are certainly offering some big rewards right now for a limited time — indeed, some of the biggest we’ve seen.
The American Express Hilton card lineup had already been updated back in 2018 to include a range of new features and earnings rates. And while the welcome bonuses that come with these cards have tended to range from 50,000 all the way up to 150,000 points, Amex has since rolled out some more changes to three of its Hilton co-branded cards that are pretty impressive — higher bonuses, in fact, on all three of them. For a limited time, of course.
Here’s a closer look at what’s on offer.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
We’ll start with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, which is getting a limited-time higher welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points, as well as a Free Weekend Night award once you spend $5,000 in the first four months of card ownership. It’s also got a pretty reasonable $95 annual fee, and not only is this an overall solid card for small business owners, but you can also qualify for the card even if your “business” is a side gig or some sort of freelance arrangement. Act fast, though, because that welcome bonus offer ends August 28.
The Hilton Honors American Express Card
For a limited time, the welcome bonus on this basic Amex card has also been elevated. New Hilton Honors Card from American Express cardholders can earn 90,000 Hilton Honors points once they’ve spent $2,000 in the first three months of card ownership. Again, that’s one of the highest offers that have been attached to this card and certainly outdoes the most recent welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus points.
As we noted, this card is really Hilton’s intro product, and it includes benefits like automatic Hilton Honors Silver elite status (with a pathway to Gold) as well as no annual fee to worry about. If you stay at Hilton properties every now and then, we can definitely see a reason for you this card to earn a place in your wallet. And to sweeten the positive aspects we’ve already noted, cardholders also earn 7x points on Hilton purchases, plus 5x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations.
Updates to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
We’ve looked at Amex’s Hilton business credit card and its intro card, which brings us now to the mid-tier card in the lineup, the Hilton Honors Amex Surpass, that has just been given a new name. In tandem with the rebranding (which was previously named the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card) the card’s welcome offer likewise got a temporary bump up, in addition to a new benefit.
There’s a $95 annual fee, but that gets essentially wiped out thanks to the 130,000 Hilton Honors Points you can earn after spending $4,000 in the first four months of card ownership. The extra benefit we mentioned is the Free Weekend Night award this card is also throwing in as an extra welcome perk.
As far as the earnings rate goes, you can rack up 12x points at participating Hilton properties, plus 6x points at US supermarkets, US restaurants, and US gas stations, and 3x points on all other purchases. As if all that wasn’t enough, additional perks include 10 Priority Pass lounge access passes and complimentary Hilton Gold elite status with a pathway to earning Diamond status.
The final word
These elevated welcome bonus points and free night stays certainly come at a great time for anyone traveling soon. Hilton is in the process of expanding its lineup of luxury hotel properties, with four such new hotels recently opened and seven more still to come before year’s end. Indeed, Hilton is increasingly shifting toward a higher-end hotel product, a category that makes up almost 70% of its 1,000-strong portfolio today — and now travelers have a shot at these limited time offers that allow more opportunity to take advantage of those properties. Yes, these welcome bonuses we’ve walked through are only being offered for a limited time, but they’re definitely on the easily attainable side compared to other offers we’ve reviewed — with the added perk that the offers also get you free nights at most of Hilton’s hotels around the world.