Credit Cards

What Does Hilton Silver Status Get You

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 5 minute read

There is no annual charge for the Hilton Honors American Express Card, making it a great choice for frequent travelers. Spending at any of the more than 4,000 Hilton and partner hotels around the world will earn you bonus points with the Honors card.

Among the many travel rewards credit cards available, the Hilton Honors card from American Express is competitive. The Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card from American Express are its main rivals.

Important Characteristics

What you just read about the Hilton Honors American Express Card’s main benefits is exactly what you can expect.

Welcome Bonus

Spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of card enrollment and receive 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points. In addition, throughout the first year of membership, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on purchases made at any hotel in the Hilton family using your Card.

Hotel Reward Program

If you’re a member of Hilton’s reward program, Hilton Honors, you may get seven points for every dollar you spend at any Hilton property or a partner property. Every dollar you spend at grocery shops, convenience stores, and restaurants will add five points to your account. You earn three points for every dollar you spend on anything else. That is, assuming you qualify.

You may earn 500 bonus points when you use your Hilton Honors card to reserve a room and then use the same card to pay for the accommodation upon arrival. This is contingent upon your acceptance of the terms and conditions.

Redeeming Rewards

Starting at just 5,000 points for Category 1 hotels, or 2,000 points plus $30 when redeeming a Category 1 hotel night with a mix of points and cash, you may use your points to stay the night at no cost (known as Points & Money Rewards).

Nightly discount rates are dynamic based on factors such as supply and demand. Starting at a low of 70,000 points for Category 1 hotels, the minimum number of points needed to redeem for a stay at a Category 10 hotel can rise as high as 95,000 points, depending on the hotel, the season, and other factors.

Points can be redeemed for anywhere from $0.005 to $0.01, with the exact value depending on a number of criteria. The same basic point-to-dollar conversion rate applies to hotel upgrades, if they are offered.

Status in Silver and Gold

Your Hilton Honors level will stay at Silver as long as your account is in good standing with the card issuer. With Silver level, you’ll earn 15% more points at Hilton and partner hotels, and you’ll get the fifth night of any stay of five nights or more for free. That’s if you meet the requirements.

To get Gold rank, annual spending must reach $20,000. If you have Gold status with Hilton Honors, you may earn bonus points equal to 25% of the cost of your stay when you stay with Hilton or one of their partners. That’s if you meet the requirements.

Important Charges

Neither the yearly fee nor any fees associated with overseas transactions are charged.

Required Credit

Excellent credit is required for this card. Negative marks on your credit report might be enough to disqualify you.

Pros

  1. There is not an ongoing or yearly cost. The American Express Hilton Honors Card is a hotel rewards card with no annual charge.
  2. Offerings that are within reach of the customer. The initial bonus for this card is simple and accessible even for low-spending customers.
  3. A Wide Variety of Generous Rewards. Categories where you may earn 5x points with the Hilton Honors Card are rather extensive, including petrol stations, restaurants, and supermarkets. These are all things that people often buy, and the first two are very helpful for regular fliers. While the Citi Hilton Honors Preferred Card rewards you with 5x points on all travel and dining, the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card limits you to just airline and car rentals.
  4. Reduced Redemption Period. The Hilton Honors Card’s increased point-earning potential, combined with the Hilton Honors program’s low minimum redemption criteria for free nights, makes free hotel stays attainable more quickly. In order to earn the 5,000 points necessary for a free night in a Category 1 hotel, you must spend less than $750 at a Hilton hotel or partner property, or exactly $1,000 in the 5x categories. Using a combination of points and cash, you may pay for this with just 2,000 points, which is less than $300 in the 7x category. In contrast, in order to redeem for points-only free nights with the IHG Rewards Club, you will need to spend $2,000 at IHG hotels (which earn 5x points) before you reach the minimum redemption barrier of 10,000 points.
  5. Benefits for reserving a room in advance. You will get 500 additional points when you use your Hilton Honors Card to reserve a hotel and then use that card to pay for the whole stay. There aren’t many other hotel rewards credit cards that provide free nights with a reservation. And as a Silver member, you’ll receive a 15% points bonus on all Hilton stays just for being a member. If you make it to Gold, you’ll earn a 25% raise.
  6. Points Remain valid indefinitely. As long as there is activity on your Hilton Honors account, such as making purchases with your Hilton Honors credit card or redeeming your points for hotel stays, your points will not expire at the end of the 12-month term.

Cons

  1. Options for Redemption that are not Flexible. Honors points may only be used for complimentary hotel stays. Even while Hilton offers more than 4,000 hotels to pick from, this is still a lot less flexible than other hotel and travel rewards cards. Capital One Venture Rewards, for instance, may be redeemed for any trip purchase, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card allows you to redeem for any travel purchase and cash equivalents.
  2. There will be no freebies given out on the anniversary. You will not receive a free night’s stay or extra points on your card’s anniversary if you choose to use this particular card. That’s a negative when compared to the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card from Chase and other similarly successful hotel cards.
  3. Gold Elite Status Is Difficult to Achieve for Moderate Spenders. Silver status is included with this card at no additional cost for as long as your account is in good standing, but the perks that come with Gold status (such as a 25% points bonus on all Hilton stays and free room upgrades, when available) are far more appealing. However, to get Gold status, you must spend at least $20,000 on the card within a calendar year, which is out of reach for a lot of users. Alternatively, Platinum Elite status, IHG’s second-highest level, comes included with the IHG Rewards Club card.

Bottom Line

The Hilton hotel chain is one of the world’s largest and best known. In most major cities across the world including the United States, you may find a Hilton hotel within a short car trip, cab journey, or public transportation ride from your final destination.

It would take someone with a strong dislike for Hilton hotels to say that the Hilton Honors American Express Card is not handy and convenient. The same could be said for the other big hotel credit cards, of course. Perhaps you have room in your wallet for more than one credit card that offers points for stays at specific hotels, so long as you use them wisely and don’t apply for too many at once, which might negatively affect your credit.

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