Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
For a limited time, there are 2 new fantastic offers for the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express and Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express cards. And they’re the highest public sign-up bonuses I’ve ever seen!
I’ll share the details of the offers and give you some ideas on how to use your Hilton points!
What’s the Deal?
American Express has been coming on strong with their improved hotel sign-up bonuses recently! We’ve just seen the highest bonus ever on the AMEX Starwood cards.
Hilton hotels include Conrad, Canopy, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Home2Suites, Homewood Suites, Tru, and Waldorf Astoria brand hotels.
You could use these bonuses to splurge on a luxury stay. Or stretch your points for more nights at lower category Hilton hotels.
Keep in mind, American Express only allows folks to earn the bonus once, per person, per lifetime, on all its cards. So if you’ve had either card in the past, you can NOT earn the bonus from that specific card again.
However, these are considered different card products. So you can earn the sign-up bonus from both!
1. American Express Hilton Honors Surpass
That’s more than enough for a night at a top-tier luxury Hilton like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island where Emily and I stayed. Or 10 nights at category 2 Hilton hotels like the DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing.
You’ll also get:
- Free Hilton Gold Elite status (free breakfast at certain hotels, upgrades when available)
- Free Hilton Diamond Elite status when you spend more than $40,000 in a calendar year (better upgrades)
- 12 points for every $1 you spend at Hilton hotels
- 6 points per $1 you spend at US restaurants, supermarkets & gas stations
- 3 points per $1 you spend on everything else
- Terms and limitations apply
The annual fee of $75 is NOT waived for the 1st year. However, if you’re in the military, you can get it waived.
Keep in mind, this card adds a ~3% foreign transaction fee. So it’s not a good card to use when you’re abroad.
The Most Hilton Points for Paid Stays and Free Breakfast
And the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card gets you Hilton Gold elite status, which can save you lots of money (free breakfast!). So for many folks, paying the $75 annual fee is worth it.
This card is a good pick for folks who stay at Hilton frequently and value Gold Elite status. And the sign-up bonus has never been this high!
So if you’ve never had this card before, it’s a terrific opportunity to earn lots of Hilton points!
2. American Express Hilton Honors
If you prefer a card with no annual fee, the American Express Hilton Honors card also has an all-time-high sign-up bonus of 75,000 Hilton points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)
You could use 75,000 Hilton points for a 3-night stay (and have points left over) at a category 4 Hilton hotel, like the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando.
With this card, you’ll also get:
- 7 Hilton points per $1 spent at most Hilton hotels
- 5 Hilton points per $1 spent at US gas stations, US restaurants, and US supermarkets
- 3 Hilton points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Free Hilton Silver elite status (late check-out, 2 free bottles of water, and 15% points bonus on Hilton points earned)
- Free Hilton Gold elite status (free breakfast and better upgrades) after spending $20,000 in a calendar year
- Terms & limitations apply
This card has NO annual fee. So it won’t cost anything to keep it to increase the average age of your credit accounts and potentially help boost your credit score.
But, it also has a ~3% foreign transaction fee, so it’s NOT a good card to use overseas.
Consider the AMEX Hilton Honors card if you don’t want to pay an annual fee, stay at Hilton hotels occasionally, or are looking for a way to quickly boost your Hilton point balance.
Spend to Earn Gold Status for Free Breakfasts…or Skip That and Use This Tip Instead
And if you spend $20,000 on purchases in a calendar year, you’ll get bumped up to Hilton Gold elite status, which gets you free breakfast at certain Hilton hotels, and upgrades when they’re available.
But here’s a tip. For those of y’all who care more about the location than the fanciness of the hotel, try Hilton’s midrange brand, Hampton by Hilton. You get free breakfast and Wi-Fi even with NO status.
For example, a buddy of mine had a very good experience at Hampton by Hilton Warsaw City Centre.
What Can You Do With Hilton Points?
Link: Hilton Award Chart
Link: How to Use AwardMapper
Link: How to Use Hotel Hustle
If you complete the minimum spending ~5 to ~7 days before your account closes for the month, you’ll receive the sign-up bonus at the end of the billing cycle.
Depending on how you like to travel, you could spend your sign-up bonus on 1 or 2 nights in a fancy hotel. Or book lower category hotels to get more award nights!
Remember, with either card, you’ll get Hilton elite status, which qualifies you for the 5th night free when you book an award stay of 5+ consecutive nights. That’s another terrific way to make your points last!
For example, you could use 100,000 Hilton points for:
- 20 nights in category 1 hotels (5,000 points per night)
- 10 nights in category 2 hotels (10,000 points per night)
- 5 nights in category 3 hotels (20,000 points per night)
- 2 or 3 nights in category 6 hotels (30,000 to 50,000 points per night)
- 1 night in a category 10 (top-tier) hotel (80,000 to 95,000 points per night)
To quickly see which Hilton hotels you can book with points (and how many) in a certain city and month, try Hilton’s points search tool.
Emily and I always check TripAdvisor before we book a hotel. And to see where we can use Hilton points for hotel stays, we search Hotel Hustle (which even shows if award rooms are available) and AwardMapper.
For more ideas, check out my top 10 hotels to book with Hilton points. And consider these excellent Hilton hotels in Europe, the US, Australia & the South Pacific, Asia, the Caribbean, and on US beaches.
These are the highest sign-up bonuses ever offered for either card. You’ll earn 75,000 Hilton points with the American Express Hilton Honors and 100,000 Hilton points with the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass after meeting minimum spending requirements.
But you must apply by May 31, 2017, to get the better offer for the Hilton Surpass.
If you haven’t received the bonus before on these cards, these are great deals to consider! Because the bonuses have never been this high. So this is a good opportunity to earn a lot of Hilton points!
Would you use the sign-up bonus in 1 shot at a fancy hotel? Or make the most of it by booking award stays at more budget-friendly locations?