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Hilton business credit card review: 125,000 Hilton points, airport lounge visits and elite status

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Hilton business credit card review: 125,000 Hilton points, airport lounge visits and elite status

Jason StaufferHilton business credit card review: 125,000 Hilton points, airport lounge visits and elite statusMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

INSIDER SECRET: Amex small-business credit cards don’t appear on your personal credit report and won’t add to your Chase 5/24 count.

If you’re a Hilton Honors fan with a small business, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card can turn your company expenses into free award nights and earn you a whopping 125,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

This is a terrific welcome bonus and the card comes with lots of other perks. In this Hilton business credit card review, I’ll share ideas on how to qualify and ways to use the Hilton business card’s bonus.

Opening a Hilton business credit card is a great way to earn the points you need for a stay at the Hilton Tangier Al Houara Resort & Spa. (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Hilton business credit card bonus

When you open the Amex Hilton Business Card, you’ll earn 125,000 Hilton points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership. You can learn more about how to meet the credit card minimum spend here.

The $95 annual fee is not waived for the first year (see rates & fees), but with the big welcome offer and Gold Hilton elite status, it’s easily worth it.

For example, you’ll get free breakfast at Hilton hotels because of the Gold elite status that comes with this card. For longer stays, you’ll always get the fifth night free on award stays. I found rooms at the Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront for 29,000 Hilton points per night. Four nights would cost 116,000 Hilton points, but you could get the fifth night for no added points and free breakfast each morning of your stay.

If you paid cash for this same stay it would set you back $650+ and that’s not including the free breakfast.

Benefits and perks of the Hilton business credit card

The Amex Hilton business card comes with perks you won’t find on other cards.

Free weekend nights

If you’re a big spender, this card is worth keeping long term. You’ll earn free weekend nights (to use on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) — one after spending $15,000 and a second with an additional $45,000 ($60,000 in total) in purchases in a calendar year.

You can use these weekend nights at almost any Hilton hotel, including the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, which can easily cost $1,500+ per night.

Spend your way to elite status

You’ll earn Diamond Hilton status, the highest elite status, after spending $40,000 on purchases in a calendar year. That comes with benefits like a 100% bonus on base points, room upgrades, and guaranteed access to hotel lounges. So by spending $60,000 on the card, you’ll earn two weekend nights and Hilton Diamond elite status.

Ten Priority Pass lounge visits

Folks who don’t have lounge access with another card will appreciate the 10 Priority Pass lounge visits per year. Considering day passes can be ~$50 if the lounge even sells them, this perk alone can cover the annual fee if you can use it.

Free ShopRunner membership

You’ll get a free ShopRunner membership with the card, which gets you free 2-day shipping at 100+ stores.

Access to Amex Offers

Amex Offers are an easy way to save on purchases you might make anyway.

I’m always adding and redeeming these offers for bonus points, promotion codes, and statement credits. All you have to do is add them to your card and spend like normal.

Rental car insurance

You can get primary rental car insurance with the card when you enroll in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program for up to 42 days. You must decline the rental agency’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental to your Amex Hilton small business card to use the benefit. Keep in mind, you will pay for the premium car rental insurance.

If you rent vehicles for business often, this can be a tremendous money-saver and give you peace of mind. But you must opt in to get coverage. If you don’t, coverage is secondary and covers up to a maximum of $50,000 per rental agreement. The secondary coverage is complimentary.

Extended warranty

When you purchase an item with your card, Amex will extend the original manufacturer’s warranty up to two additional years, on U.S. warranties of five years or less.

Purchase protection

Your purchases are protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 120 days (90 days for New York residents), up to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year and the coverage is secondary.

Complimentary employee cards

You can add employee cards to your Amex Hilton small-business account for free (see rates & fees). You’ll be able to set individual employee spending limits, plus you’ll earn rewards from their purchases.

Is the Hilton business credit card worth it?

If you make the most of just one of the perks, like free breakfast with Gold elite status, or use a few of the Priority Pass lounge passes, it’s easy to get more value from the benefits than the cost of the annual fee.

Plus, all the other benefits, including Amex Offers, a free ShopRunner membership, and free weekend nights for big spending, only add to the value.

Some aren’t as meaningful if you get the same perks with other American Express cards you might already have. But if you spend a lot in the bonus categories, it might be worth it to earn extra Hilton points for award stays throughout the year.

How to earn points with the Hilton business credit card

With this card, you’ll earn Hilton points as follows:

  • 12x Hilton points at Hilton hotels and resorts
  • 6x Hilton points on select business and travel purchases (including wireless phone services from U.S. providers, U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, car rentals, and more)
  • 3x Hilton points everywhere else
  • Complimentary Hilton Gold status (late checkout, free breakfast at Hilton hotels, complimentary upgrades, 80% bonus on all the Hilton base points you earn)
  • Hilton Diamond status after you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year (you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year)
  • A free weekend night after spending $15,000 on your card in a calendar year
  • A second free weekend night after spending an additional $45,000 ($60,000 total) on your card in the same calendar year
  • Priority Pass™ Select membership with 10 free visits each year (enrollment required). Each guest you bring costs an additional free visit
  • Terms & limitations apply

How to redeem Hilton Honors points earned with the Hilton business credit card

All of the Hilton brands are tailored to different kinds of travelers. Hilton is one of the biggest hotel chains, so there’s likely a Hilton hotel that can meet your  needs, no matter where you’re traveling.

Hilton hotels include:

You can earn Hilton Honors points faster than many other hotel chains and it’s free to pool your Hilton points with up to 10 friends and family each year. So booking expensive awards should be easier.

Hilton also gives you the option to pay for part of your award stay with points using the Points & Money feature.  This is a great way to stretch your points even further.

Top-tier Hilton hotels can cost 95,000 Hilton points per night. So after you meet the Amex Hilton small-business card’s spending requirements, you could use your 125,000 points to book a night at the best Hilton locations, like the Conrad Maldives, which can cost $1,400+ per night.

Or use the points to book a cheaper hotel, like the Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman North, for more than two weeks. It can cost 10,000 Hilton points per night or less. Because you’ll get automatic Gold status when you have the Amex Hilton small-business card and therefore the fifth night free, you can stay 15 nights with 120,000 Hilton points (10,000 points per night X 15 nights = 150,000 points – 30,000 points for the 5th, 10th, and 15th night free).

Does the Hilton business credit card have a foreign transaction fee?

No. (see rates & fees)

Hilton business credit card customer service

Amex makes it easy to reach them via 24/7 phone support, secure messaging, or chat through their website.

I’ve called a few times recently and gotten great customer support agents. If you have a detailed question, be aware that each agent might not have the same knowledge of individual card products. So you may have to hang up and call back to get an answer.

But for most questions, I’ve found Amex phone representatives to be competent.

Credit cards similar to the Hilton business credit card

There are four Amex Hilton credit cards.  They all earn Hilton points, but they’re all different as far as annual fees, benefits and which categories earn bonus Hilton points.

The Amex Hilton small-business card is the only card aimed at small businesses, but if you’re looking to have access to even more lucrative perks you should consider the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express. It not only has the largest intro offer of any of the Hilton cards (150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening) it also comes with automatic Hilton Diamond status, up to $250 in airline-fee credits and up to $250 in Hilton credits. All of those benefits make it well worth paying the card’s $450 annual fee (see rates and fees). To learn more about the card, read our full Hilton Aspire card review.

Or if you’re just dipping your toes in the world of miles and points, you could apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Card, which has no annual fee (see rates and fees) and an intro bonus of 75,000 Hilton points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Do you qualify for the Hilton Business credit card?

Qualifying for a small-business credit card isn’t as complicated as you might think. You don’t need to be a huge corporation to open a small-business card. You can often use your own name as the legal business name and your Social Security number as your business tax ID.

There are lots of side gigs you might want a business card for.  Here are just a few activities that could qualify you for a small-business card:

  • Uber or Lyft driver
  • Delivery driver with Postmates, GrubHub, or UberEATS
  • Freelance graphic designer, photographer, writer, illustrator or artist
  • Selling on eBay or Amazon for a profit
  • Coaching
  • Renting a spare room on Airbnb
  • Dog walker
  • Landlord
  • Landscaper
  • Handyman

As a general rule, if you aren’t getting a W-2 form at the end of the year, you aren’t an employee and should qualify for a business credit card. But I am not a tax advisor, so always consult a professional.

Even though Amex business cards won’t appear on your personal credit report (so they won’t count toward your Chase 5/24 limit), the bank will check your personal credit score. So I only recommend applying if your credit score is ~700 or higher and you can afford to pay off your credit card balance in full each month.

If you think you’ll qualify for the card and you’re ready to apply, check out our step-by-step guide on how to complete an Amex business card application. Keep in mind, you can only earn the welcome bonus on an Amex card once per lifetime.

Bottom Line

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card has a great welcome bonus and terrific perks like free Gold elite status and 10 Priority Pass airport lounge visits every year.

You can earn 125,000 Hilton points after spending $3,000 in purchases on your card in the first three months of card membership. With this bonus, you could book a long vacation at one of Hilton’s more inexpensive hotels or you could stay a night at a top-tier hotel, like the Conrad Koh Samui.

Qualifying for a small-business credit card is easier than you might think. You can apply as a sole proprietor, and use your own name and Social Security number on your Amex business-card application. And lots of activities, like selling on eBay, renting your room on Airbnb, and driving with Uber or Lyft could make you eligible for a small-business card.

You can apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card here.

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Business Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire Card, please click here.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
  • Enjoy complimentary Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
  • Relax with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

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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! :)

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Tried applying just now and got the box stating that I wasn’t eligible for the sign up bonus and if I’d like to continue. I had the Surpass now Aspire and it’s still open. Obviously haven’t had this business card. Any idea on the issue? Are they boxing me out because I’ve closed 2 AMEX cards years ago (SPG pers and business). Currently have the Aspire open.

Make it easier

Do they watch your spend in that you should do all/most msr at office supply stores? Or can you pay regular bills as well as do regular shopping with this card?

Not a bad card but don’t plan on the Lounge Visits, more and more lounges won’t allow or significantly restrict access to Priority Lounge members. Happened to me and many others at JFK last month.

Sorry to hear that happened to you! I used to think that I needed only access to one type of lounge, but given how frequent of a problem over crowding seems to be, having access to multiple lounges seems to be the way to go, especially for frequent travelers.

I just started using the Amex Hilton Honors Business Card and LOVE IT! If you run your business on Quick Books Online, you will love this card. Also, if you have employees who need a business card, this is the card for you. The Spend Manager App allows them to upload a photo of their receipt and attach it to their transaction. As the owner, I then see the receipt. I can add notes, too. Then, when I update my QBO everything transfers into the program. No more receipts! My employees can also see their spending limits which helps them to manage their budgets. They have more ownership of their portion of the business. I would recommend this card with employees who have purchasing and spending power within the business. No other card I have for my business offers this type of app to help keep my business organized.

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