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“What credit card should I get?” Lots of people wonder which card to sign up for when starting the pursuit of points and miles. Because Hilton is a fairly major hotel chain, one of the most common types of points that people look to get are Hilton Honors points. While Hilton Honors points are the most valuable points around, they can be useful, especially with the welcome offers that these two cards offer. So let’s take a look and compare the Amex Hilton vs. Amex Hilton Business to see which one is better.  Let’s review the details.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card vs. Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Annual fee

  • The Hilton Honors American Express card has no annual fee
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card has a $195 annual fee.

Winner: The Hilton American Express card (obviously)

Comparing the welcome offers

The Hilton Honors American Express Card has a welcome offer where you can earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.

The welcome offer on the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card allows you to earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $6,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of card membership.

Winner: Hilton Business. Obviously the welcome offers on the cards change over time, so you can argue a slight edge to one card vs. the other depending on where the welcome offers currently sit. Though given the fact that these two cards are quite similar, the welcome offer on the Hilton Business is almost certainly going to be higher than the offer on the base Hilton card. This is likely to be true even when accounting for the difference in the annual fees on the two cards.

Winner: The Hilton American Express Business card

Rewards With the Hilton Business and Hilton Cards

The two cards have a very similar earning structure. With the Hilton Business, you’ll earn

  • 12X Hilton Honors points for eligible spending at Hilton Hotels
  • 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases made using the Hilton Honors Business Card on the first $100,000 in purchases each calendar year, 3X points thereafter.
  • 3X Hilton Honors points on all other eligible purchases

Compare that to the base Hilton card, which earns at the following rates:

  • 7X Hilton Honors points for eligible spending at Hilton Hotels
  • 5x Hilton Honors points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations
  • 3x Hilton Honors points on all other eligible purchases

Winner: Hilton Business.  It has higher earning categories at Hilton hotels. Though if you have more spending at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations in the United States, you might be better off with the regular Amex Hilton card.

a blue credit card with a chip

Redemptions and transfers

Both the base Hilton card and the Hilton Business card earn Hilton Honors points, which means that you can use them to book stays at Hilton hotels. Hilton does have a few transfer partners, but they are generally poor value and not recommended.

Winner: Tie.

Other benefits of the cards

The Amex Hilton and Amex Hilton Business do not have a ton of benefits, but there are a few. Each gives complimentary Hilton elite status (Silver for the basic Hilton card and Gold for the Hilton Business).

Additionally, the Hilton Business card gives you a path to top-tier Diamond status when you spend $40,000 in a calendar year. You can also get up to $240 back each year on eligible Hilton purchases after you use your Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ($60 each quarterly). So if you find yourself with regular paid stays at Hilton, that $240 annual credit will likely take some of the sting out of the annual fee.

Winner: Hilton Business. While neither card has some of the amazing benefits found on other top hotel credit cards, the Business definitely has a leg up.

And the winner is…

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card! Although it comes with a $195 annual fee, it also has a higher welcome offer and significantly better benefits.

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I think that for most people, these added benefits (including potentially being able to get $240 off at Hilton stays each year) along with the higher welcome offer are enough to offset the difference in the annual fees. You can always apply for the Business and if you find the annual fee is not worth it for you, look at getting the no-fee Hilton card in year two.

Which card would you pick between the Amex Hilton and the Hilton Business? Is there another card that is better than both of these? Leave a comment below and let us know why!


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