Know the rules before you apply for your next Hilton card
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Even though the value of Hilton points is lower than some other hotel points, it’s incredibly easy to earn Hilton points. There are four Hilton cobranded American Express cards and a handful of travel credit cards that earn points you can transfer to Hilton, so you’ve got options.
Navigating the Amex application rules is fairly straightforward now that Amex shows you during the application if you’re eligible to earn the welcome bonus. But you need to know a few qualifiers before you apply for a Hilton credit card.
Amex Hilton application rules
If you like Hilton points, you can do well with any of the Hilton hotel credit cards:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card comes with 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months (read our Hilton credit card review)
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening. (read our Hilton Surpass review)
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card comes with 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening. (read our Hilton Business credit card review)
- The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with 150,000 Hilton points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening (read our Hilton Aspire review)
The information for the Hilton Aspire card and Hilton Surpass card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Here are tips on how to complete the minimum spending requirements. Before you submit an application, consider these factors.
Each card is considered a different product
You can only earn the welcome bonus on any given Amex card once per lifetime. But there are four Amex Hilton cards, and they’re all separate products as far as Amex is concerned. That means you are eligible to earn the bonus once for each card.
Amex limits you to five credit cards
All the Amex Hilton cards are credit cards, as opposed to charge cards. That means they offer revolving credit lines and you aren’t required to pay the full balance every month (although you should). Amex will typically only issue each person four or, at most, five of its credit card products. Amex has lots of excellent credit cards, so keep in mind opening these cards will count as a credit card slot and pick and choose wisely. (enrollment required)
You can only open two cards per 90 days
Amex typically only approves two new card applications per 90-day period. However, most of the reports of people being approved for two cards within 90 days involve a combination of charge cards and credit cards. So you’ll mostly likely only be approved for a single Hilton card within that time period as they are all credit cards. (enrollment required)
The Amex Surpass card has history
Before you fire up your application for the Hilton Surpass card, think carefully about other Amex Hilton cards you’ve had.
This card used to be called the Amex Hilton Ascend card and before that it was the Surpass. If you ever opened any Amex version of it, you aren’t eligible to earn the welcome bonus on the current Hilton Surpass card. That’s because Amex kept this card mostly the same, but updated the name. In Amex’s eyes it’s still the same product.
Beware of the Chase 5/24 rule
Amex personal cards count against your Chase 5/24 status. Luckily, the Hilton Business credit card doesn’t count against you. So if that’s a concern, be sure to stick to these business credit cards from any major bank except Capital One and Discover.
With 5,000+ locations under 15 Hilton brands, it’s not hard to make good use of your Hilton points. And thankfully, Hilton points are easy to earn with any of the four cobranded Hilton rewards credit cards.
But before you apply, keep in mind:
- Each card is considered a different product
- You can only have four (or five) Amex credit cards at once
- Amex will only approve, at most, two cards per 90 days
- The Hilton Surpass card use to be called the Hilton Ascend card and if you had it, you can’t get the Surpass product
- All Amex personal cards count against your Chase 5/24 status, but Amex small business cards don’t
Hopefully this clarifies exactly which Amex Hilton cards you’re eligible to open.
Will you earn bonus Hilton points with these offers while they’re still around?
|For more travel and credit card news, deals and analysis sign-up for our newsletter here.|
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)