A view from the Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island.
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With vaccines rolling out around the world, many travelers are starting to plan out their next vacation, and some people are already on the road again. If you’re looking to use points and miles to help offset the cost of your getaway, you should take a look at the record-high welcome offers now available on several Hilton credit cards.
Hilton offers three different personal American Express credit cards, so you can pick the card that works best for your needs, with options ranging from a no-annual-fee card to a high-end luxury travel card.
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is currently offering up to 180,000 bonus points to new card members. The bonus points are split into two tiers: You’ll earn 130,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months after opening the account, and then another 50,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 in total purchases in the first six months.
That’s the highest bonus offer we’ve ever seen publicly available on this card, and you can easily redeem those points for multiple nights at thousands of Hilton properties around the world. There’s a $95 annual fee on the Hilton Surpass card (see rates and fees).
Or, if you prefer a card with fewer benefits but no annual fee (see rates and fees), the Hilton Honors American Express Card is offering 130,000 bonus points. Again, this bonus is split into two tiers: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months after opening the account, and another 50,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 in the first six months.
Finally, if you’re looking for a high-end luxury travel credit card, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is the way to go, with 150,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within your first three months of card membership.
All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by CNN. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is not currently available through CNN.
Although 180,000 points might sound astronomically high compared to many other travel credit cards, not all points are created equal. Frequent flyer website The Points Guy values Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cents apiece, which makes the 180,000-point offer on the Hilton Surpass card worth $1,080 toward Hilton hotel stays. That’s a very solid haul for just one credit card bonus.
The Hilton Surpass Amex card comes with solid perks, a $95 annual fee and a welcome bonus worth up to $1,080 in value.
And the 130,000 bonus points that currently come with the no-annual-fee Hilton Amex Card are worth $780 toward travel based on The Points Guy’s valuations. That’s impressive for a card with no annual fee, even when compared to other travel credit cards.
With multiple Hilton credit cards to choose from, you might be asking yourself which one is the best. Truly, it depends on your personal travel needs.
If you stay at a Hilton property just once or twice a year, then the no-annual-fee Hilton Amex Card may offer everything you need. However, thanks to its significantly higher welcome bonus, the Hilton Amex Surpass card will be much more valuable in your first year as a card member. Even though you’ll have to pay a $95 annual fee on the Hilton Surpass card, you’ll still end up ahead in the first 12 months.
Bonus points aside, you’ll also receive Gold status with the Hilton Amex Surpass, and significantly more points on your Hilton purchases. And although Gold status is only Hilton’s midtier elite status level, it still provides late checkout, complimentary breakfast and space-available upgraded rooms.
Get added perks with the Hilton Amex Surpass card at properties like the Hilton Québec on Parliament Hill.
If travel is high on your radar this year — including staying at multiple Hilton properties — then the Hilton Amex Aspire card might be worth considering, even with a less competitive welcome bonus and higher $450 annual fee (see rates and fees).
The card comes with complimentary Diamond elite status, up to $250 in annual airline fee credits for incidental charges at one airline of your choice, up to $250 in credits for incidentals charged to your card at participating Hilton resorts and an unlimited Priority Pass airport lounge membership.
Also, starting when you open your account and at each account anniversary thereafter (meaning each year on the date you first opened the card), you’ll earn a weekend night reward certificate with the Hilton Amex Aspire card that can be used at almost any Hilton property.
Ultimately, though, the average person will more likely be drawn to one of the lower-cost Hilton cards, and these bonus offers are basically as good as they get. So if you’ve been eyeing a particular Hilton hotel or resort, now’s the time to consider one of these credit cards to help you plan your next vacation.
Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards of 2021.