Today and tomorrow, May 30 and 31, are the last days to take advantage of the limited time elevated sign up bonuses–the highest we’ve ever seen–on the Hilton Honors Card and the Hilton Surpass Card, both issued by American Express.

We recommend using Hilton points on lower tier Hiltons, as you tend to get a better value for your points. Aim for what used to be Category 1 – 3 Hiltons (priced at 5k to 20k points a night). For aspirational stays, you’re better offer using Free Weekend Night Certificates from Citi’s Hilton Reserve card.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

Breakdown of Offers

Hilton Honors Amex 

  • Sign up bonus: 80,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • Sign Up Bonus: 80,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $2,000 on the card within three months of opening the account
  • Category Bonuses:
    • 7 HHonors Points for every $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Portfolio
    • 5 HHonors Points for every $1 spent on restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
    • 3 HHonors Points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Elite Status: cardholder gets automatic Hilton Silver status (biggest benefit is the fifth night free on award stays
  • Online Booking Bonus: Earn 500 bonus Hilton points when you book stays with your card online
  • Annual fee: no annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%, so don’t use while traveling!

Hilton Honors Surpass Amex

  • Sign up bonus: 100,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • Category Bonuses:
    • 12 HHonors Points for every $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Portfolio
    • 6 HHonors Points for every $1 spent on restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
    • 3 HHonors Points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Elite Status: cardholder gets automatic Hilton Gold status (biggest benefit is the fifth night free on award stays, but you also get lounge access at select hotels, room upgrades, free breakfast at select hotels, and more)
  • Customer Loyalty (Retention) Bonus: a Free Weekend Night Certificate upon your first card approval anniversary, that can be used at almost any Hilton in the world within a year of issuance (except these)
  • Online Booking Bonus: Earn 500 bonus Hilton points when you book stays with your card online
  • Annual fee: $75 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%, so don’t use while traveling!

The Waldorf Astoria in Park City, Utah would be a great property to redeem a free weekend night certificate.
The Waldorf Astoria in Park City, Utah would be a great property to redeem a free weekend night certificate. Read the  Top 5 Hiltons Within the US For Redeeming Free Weekend Night Certificates for inspiration of where you could redeem your certificate.

How to Turn all Those Points Into Lots of Free Nights

If you signed up for both cards and spent $5,000 on them collectively, you’d have at least 195,000 Hilton points without considering any category bonuses.

Hilton elites get the fifth night free on award stays, which start at 5,000 points per night. That means by maximizing the fifth night free elite benefit, 195,000 Hilton points are enough for…

  • 48 free nights at [prior] Category 1 Hiltons (5,000 points per night if you maximize the fifth night free benefit)
  • 23 free nights at [prior] Category 2 Hiltons (10,000 points per night if you maximize the fifth night free benefit)
  • 11 free nights at [prior] Category 3 Hiltons (20,000 points per night if you maximize the fifth night free benefit)

Eligibility

You are limited to getting the bonus once per lifetime on American Express personal cards. If you’ve gotten either of these exact cards before, you can’t get it again (publicly) with the bonus. If you are targeted for the offer, then you might be able to get it again.

You are also limited to holding four to five American Express credit cards. Both personal and business count toward this limit. (AMEX Everyday, Delta, and SPG are credit cards.) Separately, you are limited to holding four to five American Express charge cards. Both personal and business count toward this limit. (AMEX Platinum is a charge card.) If you’re on the verge and contemplating a fifth credit or charge card, read this post–you can apply basically risk-free.

Bottom Line

The Hilton Amex cards have record high sign up bonuses that are over as of June 1. The fact that the sign up bonuses are record high is significant because you can only collect the sign up bonus on an American Express card (that you apply for through a public link) once per lifetime.

If you’re planning a vacation in the near future, I’d check out Hilton properties in your destination(s) to see if Hilton points can help you save big. You’ve got two days including today to jump on these offers.

What’s the last Hilton you stayed in?

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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