Sign Up Bonuses For The New American Express Hilton Credit Cards Announced


Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission which helps contribute to the running of the site – I’m very grateful to anyone who uses these links but their use is entirely optional. The compensation does not impact how and where products appear on this site and does not impact reviews that are published.


 Note: There are no credit card affiliate links in this post

Historically Hilton has had its co-branded credit cards issued by both Citi and American Express but, towards the end of 2017, we found out that Hilton was ending its relationship with Citi and moving all of its credit card business over to Amex.

Alongside that announcement came news that Amex would be overhauling the Hilton credit cards it offers and issuing a new, premium, Hilton American Express card – the Aspire card.

We’ve known for a while what the new Amex Hilton credit card line up will look like and what the benefits of each card will be but, until now, we haven’t had any insight into what the sign up bonuses would be like (and let’s face it…that’s what people care about most!) – now we know.

The new American Express Hilton co-branded cards are being released today (18 January) and Doctor of Credit has noted that the sign up bonuses have now being revealed.

Here’s a rundown of what we know so far.

Hilton Honors American Express Card – Annual Fee $0

Sign up Bonus:

  • 50,000 Hilton Honors Points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership

Link to Application page

Card Benefits:

  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. grocery stores, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status; Earn Gold status after spending $20,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees

The fact that this card comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees is a huge positive in my book (I’ve written about this here) and is a nice upgrade from the card it replaces.

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card – Annual Fee $95

Hilton Honors Ascend Credit Card

Sign up Bonus:

  • 75,000 Hilton Honors Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of card membership
  • An additional 25,000 Hilton Honors Points after spending a further $1,000 within the first 6 months of card membership.

Link to Application Page

Card Benefits:

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. grocery stores, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status; Earn Diamond status after spending $40,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • 10 free Priority Pass™ Lounge passes
  • No foreign transaction fees

This is the credit card that is taking the place of the Surpass credit card so holders of that card should be receiving this in the mail any day now (if it hasn’t already arrived).

Note: Amex has confirmed that this is not considered to be a new product so, if you’ve had the Surpass card in the past, you’re probably not eligible to receive a sign up bonus again.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Annual Fee $450

Sign up Bonus:

  • 100,000 Hilton Honors Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership

Link to Application page

Card Benefits:

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio with your new Card and each year of Card Membership
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass™Lounge passes to ease the airport experience
  • $250 Airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • Access to 24/7 American Express concierge
  • No foreign transaction fees

This is Amex’s first foray into the realm of premium hotel cards and, considering it comes with Hilton Diamond status and a host of other tempting benefits, I expect it to be the card that generates the most interest.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – Annual Fee $95

Sign up Bonus:

  • 75,000 Hilton Honors Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of card membership
  • An additional 25,000 Hilton Honors Points after spending a further $1,000 within the first 6 months of card membership.

Link to Application Page

Card Benefits:

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, and car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status; Earn Diamond status after spending $40,000  in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • 10 free Priority Pass™Lounge passes to ease the airport experience and get work done more easily and comfortably while waiting for a flight
  • No foreign transaction fees

Considering this card has the same annual fee as the new Amex Hilton Ascend card this may be the better option (if basing your decision purely on the headline benefits)….but I’ll look into this further in a future post.

Bottom Line

The surprise here appears to be how uninspiring the sign up bonus is for the new high-end Aspire credit card.

When Chase launched the Sapphire Reserve credit card (which costs the same as the Aspire card) it blew everyone away with its sign up bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points while the offer of 100,000 Hilton Honors points (worth a lot less than Ultimate Rewards points) just feels bland.

I get that the Aspire Card should “sell itself” thanks to all the benefits it offers but I was still expecting more from Amex if just to make a big splash.

As for the other cards….I’m not sure I’m convinced of the value the two mid-level cards offer for the $95 annual fee they charge but, if you spend a lot of time at Hilton properties, I can see they may have some attraction. The 100,000 point sign up bonuses on these cards looks easy enough to hit so at least you know you’ll get at least one free night at an aspirational Hilton property somewhere in the world.

As a non-regular at Hilton properties I still think the basic card is my favorite.

What do you guys think of what we’ve seen so far?