Frequent readers may have noticed that Hilton is my first hotel chain of choice. While their program is not perfect, I love the opportunities on offer to earn a ton of Hilton points on everyday spend. Moreover, you have four co-branded cards which also offer you some great ways to quickly rack up Hilton Honors points and free nights. In addition, if you simply sign up for one of the Hilton co-branded cards with an annual fee, you can immediately get valuable Gold or Diamond status, in addition to the valuable credit card welcome bonuses.

Elevated co-branded Hilton card bonuses

American Express offers four co-branded Hilton cards. However, which card is the best for you?

Apply Here –> $0 AF Hilton Card Hilton Surpass Hilton Aspire Business Hilton Card
Welcome Bonus 100,000 points 150,000 points 150,000 points + 1 free night 130,000 points
Min. Spend Reqd. in 3 months $1,000 $3,000 $4,000 $3,000
Elite Status Silver Gold Diamond Gold
Annual Free Night None After $15k spend On Renewal & 60k spend After $15k & $60k spend
Points spent at Hilton 7x 12x 14x 12x
Points spent on other travel 3x 3x 7x 3x
Grocery/Dining points earning 5x 6x 7x^^ 3x
Points on Gas 5x 6x 3x 6x**
Airline Credits None None $250 None
Resort Credits None None $250 None
Priority Pass Benefits N/A 10 visits per year Unlimited visits 10 visits per year


Additional Notes

^^ Firstly, the Hilton Aspire card earns 7x on dining, but not on groceries

** Secondly, the Hilton Business card earns 6x at gas stations. In addition, you’ll also earn 6x points on US purchases with telephone service providers and shipping services


I frequently stay at Hilton properties for my corporate and leisure stays. Therefore, the Hilton Aspire card is a no brainer for me. Firstly, it offers a welcome bonus of one free night and 150,000 Hilton Honors points. Secondly, I get almost $600 in annual credits. Thirdly, I get valuable top tier Diamond status and amazing bonus categories to earn a ton of Hilton Honors points. In addition, I receive a free night each year when I simply pay the annual fee and renew the card.

However, many folks are not actively planning travel given the current economic and public health conditions. In addition, free night certificates also expire. Therefore, many people won’t find an immediate use for them. If you prefer earning points for a future trip, then the no annual fee or the Hilton Surpass could be your best bet in order to earn points.

The Pundit’s Mantra

If you plan to book a hotel stay soon, then these elevated bonuses on co-branded Hilton cards can go a long way in helping you attain your travel goals. Moreover, with these cards, you can use your 5th night free benefit to get an additional night free while booking with points. However, please note that Amex does enforce their once in a lifetime rule all of their cards. In other words, Amex will not give you the welcome bonus if you’ve attained the bonus on the same card product in the past.

Which card do you plan to get before your next Hilton stay? Tell us in the comments section.


Never miss out on the deals, analysis, news and travel industry trends. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter  and get the latest content!


Disclosure: The Points Pundit receives NO compensation from credit card affiliate partnerships. Support the blog by applying for a card through my personal referral links. This article is meant for information purposes only and doesn’t constitute personal finance, health or investment advice. Please consult a licensed professional for advice pertaining to your situation.