Hilton Honors used to offer a plethora of co-branded credit cards in partnership with both American Express and Citi. Eventually, the options dwindled when American Express became the one and only Hilton card issuer.

Still, American Express offers a card for every type of traveler from a casual to a habitual Hilton guest. Let’s take a look at the cards’ similarities, differences and which card might be right for you.

American Express Hilton Honors Credit Cards’ Perks and Benefits

A hotel card wouldn’t be a hotel card without offering a number of perks and benefits. Below is a table to help you easily locate the Hilton cards’ similarities and differences.

  Hilton Honors Amex Card Hilton Honors Amex Surpass Card Hilton Honors Amex Aspire Card Hilton Honors Amex Business Card
Welcome Offer 80,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 in 3 months 130,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 in 3 months 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 in 3 months 130,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $3,000 in 3 months
Earning Rates 7X Hilton Honors points per $1 spent on Hilton stays 5X Hilton Honors points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets 3X Hilton Honors points per $1 on all other purchases 12X Hilton Honors points per $1 spent on Hilton stays 6X Hilton Honors points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets 3X Hilton Honors points per $1 on all other purchases 14X Hilton Honors points per $1 spent on Hilton stays 7X Hilton Honors points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets 3X Hilton Honors points per $1 on all other purchases 7X Hilton Honors points per $1 spent on Hilton stays 5X Hilton Honors points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets 3X Hilton Honors points per $1 on all other purchases
Automatic Elite Status Silver Gold Diamond Gold
Elite Status with Annual Spend Gold after $20,000 Diamond after $40,000 Diamond after $40,000
Priority Pass Select Access 10 visits per year Unlimited with up to two guests 10 visits per year
Annual Free Weekend Night Yes
Free Weekend Night with Annual Spend One after $15,000 One after $60,000 Two: one after $15,000 and one after $60,000
Foreign Transaction Fees
Annual Fee $0 $95 $450 $95

Hilton Honors American Express Card

The no-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card is as basic as they come. You get Silver status (the lowest elite status) with the option to spend at least $20,000 on the card within a calendar year to reach Hilton Gold. That’s it. No other notable perks are included.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months.

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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card is a mid-range card option for a casual traveler. Gold elite status that comes with the card is good enough to receive complimentary breakfast and perhaps even an upgrade at select properties. The option to reach Diamond elite status is there for cardholders who spend $40,000 per year.

The card also comes with 10 Priority Pass visits per year and a free night certificate after you spend at least $15,000 per calendar year. This perk got tweaked when COVID hit—it’s no longer a free weekend night but rather a free night valid for a free stay on any night of the week. The change applies to all cards in the Hilton portfolio.

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card’s annual fee is $95.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months.

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Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is considered one of the best co-branded hotel cards, period.

The card’s automatic Diamond status gets you to the highest elite status tier without much effort, and the unlimited Priority Pass Select membership will get you and up to two guests to any of the 1,300+ airport lounges globally. The free night certificate is just another bonus of holding the card.

On top of all the benefits listed in the table, Hilton Honors Amex Aspire cardholders receive the following perks:

  • $250 airline fee credit (to reimburse incidentals, such as baggage fees and seat selection fees)
  • $250 Hilton resort credit for charges made at a participating Hilton Resort
  • $100 property credit valid on a two-night paid stay at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts or Conrad Hotels & Resorts toward on-site purchases, such as dining and spa treatments

With all this and the generous bonus categories, this card is a keeper for travelers who frequent Hilton properties on business or for personal reasons. The card comes with a $450 annual fee, but its perks and travel credits are enough to offset it.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

The business version of a Hilton card is similar to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card for consumers. It’s got the same automatic Gold elite status for card members, the same 10 Priority Pass visits and the same annual fee of $95.

The only difference is that the card offers two opportunities to earn a free night certificate: once after spending $15,000 on the card per calendar year and another after spending a total of $60,000 on the card per calendar year.

Overall, it’s not a bad option for small-business owners looking to pad their Hilton points balance.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months.

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Which Hilton Credit Card Is Best for You?

For those looking to pay no fees and still have the opportunity to earn Hilton Honors points on seldom stays and everyday spend, the Hilton Honors American Express Card might be the answer.

Casual Hilton enthusiasts will find more value in holding the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card. It’s also a great card for those who want lounge access but don’t want to pay a premium price for the privilege.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is the best option for those committed to the Hilton brand. You just can’t beat the automatic Diamond status and up to $600 in credits.