Hilton Credit Card Comparison

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With the announcement of yet another Hilton credit card last week, it is hard to keep track of them all. Which credit card offers what? Which credit card is best for you? Too many choices, right?! Well, I have done the dirty work for you and compiled all the benefits of each card so you can compare.

Application links:

Card / CategoryCiti Hilton HHonorsTM Visa Signature CardCiti Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve CardHilton HHonors Surpass Card from American ExpressHilton HHonors Card from American Express
Annual FeeNone$95$75None
Hilton Hotel spend6x points10x points12x points7x points
Supermarkets3x pointsNo bonus (see all other spend)6x points5x points
Gas stations3x pointsNo bonus (see all other spend)6x points5x points
Drug stores3x pointsNo bonus (see all other spend)No bonus (see all other spend)No bonus (see all other spend)
RestaurantsNo bonus (see all other spend)No bonus (see all other spend)6x points5x points
Phone, Cable, TV, Internet spendNo bonus (see all other spend)No bonus (see all other spend)No bonus (see all other spend)No bonus (see all other spend)
Airline, Car Rental spendNo bonus (see all other spend)5x pointsNo bonus (see all other spend)No bonus (see all other spend)
All other spend2x points3x points3x points3x points
StatusSilverGold (Earn Diamond status after spending $40,000 each calendar year)Gold statu (Earn Diamond status after spending $40,000 each calendar year)Silver (Earn Gold status after spending $20,000 each calendar year)
Foreign Transaction FeesYesNoYesYes
OtherAccess to 5th night free awardsEarn a free weekend night annually if you spend $10,000 on the card in your cardmembership year (Free weekend nights are not valid at Hilton Grand Vacation Clubs, All-inclusive resorts, and Waldorf-Astoria hotels with no standard rooms offered); Access to 5th night free awards Access to AXON awards and 5th night free awardsAccess to AXON awards and 5th night free awards

So hopefully the chart above will help you decide which one works best for your personal situation.

  • If you put a lot of spend on Hilton hotels, you’ll want to make sure to go for the card that gives you 12 points per dollar (Amex Surpass) or 10 points per dollar (Citi Hilton Reserve)
  • If you stay at Hilton hotels often, but not enough to earn status, then you’ll want to get one that gives you automatic gold status – this will give you free breakfast, internet, and a potential upgrade (Citi Hilton Reserve or Amex Surpass)
  • If you won’t be putting much spend on your card and just looking for the bonus points, then go for one with no annual fee that gives you access to both AXON awards and 5th night free awards (Hilton Amex – no fee)
  • If you are planning to stay two weekend nights at an expensive, high-end hotels in the next 12 months (i.e., Paris, London, Tahiti), go for the one with two free nights at any hotel (Citi Hilton Reserve)

The options are endless, but these scenarios might provide you with some guidance.

Related Posts from the Hilton program series:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for some of the credit cards. All of these are the best offers available. As always, thanks for your support and happy traveling on a deal!


  1. […] However, if you know of a potential upcoming stay where an AXON award would save you points, make sure to book TODAY as the new award chart will go into place tomorrow. You can check out how many points an award stay will be by using this points search tool provided by Hilton. Also remember, Silver, Gold, and Diamond elite status members can get a free night when booking a Standard Room Reward stay of five or more consecutive nights. Getting status is super easy due to the various status challenges Hilton offers and with their credit cards. […]


  1. The Hilton Honors Surpass card also features the ability for the holder to achieve Diamond Status for spending $40,000 annually.

  2. It worth mention that Amex cards give you access to AXON discounted redemption rate.
    Another reason to keep the free one just on hand.

  3. Great summary, just couple of points: AMEX Surpass gives you Diamond with $40,000 spending annually. Also both AMEX cards provide AXON6 and AXON7 awards are great way to save points on your redemptions.



  4. I’ve already got the regular Hilton AMEX and Citi plan to convert the Citi to the new reserve card. It doesn’t take much to get a lot more than $95 value out of Gold Status. Keeping the AMEX card gives me access to AXON awards and the nice 6 point per dollar bonus categories and why not since there’s no fee…

  5. Thanks for the post! I used your link for the HH AMEX Card on Saturday and received my card in the mail today (Monday)! My brother applied for a 40K HH AMEX the day before your post and tried to get AMEX to match the 50K offer and they said no since this was a targeted offer. Any advice on what to do? Thanks!

  6. So here is my question. Can you apply for the no fee Amex and the no fee Visa on the same day, receive 90K and just get one check into your credit record?

    • @David – Unfortunately not. However, many have had luck by applying for the two different Citi Visa cards (using two different browsers) and just getting on hit on their credit report. This doesn’t work with Amex, just Citi (similar to the American Airlines citi cards – business and personal).

  7. Got it, but I still can apply for two free credit cards and get 100 HHonors points (latest offer I have seen) :-). Thanks for your lightning speed response

    • @David – You can absolutely apply for both, but suggest you apply on the same day at the same time so both are approved. Anytime 🙂

  8. $125 is the tipping point on Hilton reservation spending on the 10 points per dollar Citi Reserve card and the 6 points per dollar no annual fee Amex (not taking redemption into account). $125 on the Citi nets 1,250 points. $125 on the Amex also nets 1,250 points (750 + the 500 point Amex booking bonus). If your stay is one night and less than $125 the no fee Amex makes more sense. If your stay is $125 or more the Citi Reserve makes more sense.

    With the Amex Surpass $500 is the tipping point before Citi spend makes more sense. Same math with 9 points per dollar plus the 500 booking bonus versus 10 points on the Citi Reserve.

  9. I got My Hilton American Express, fulfilled my minimum spend, but now I am wondering whether I should use it to maximize the 6 point categories: gas, supermarket, drugstore, cable and mobile phone bills, or should i use my Chase Freedom instead? What are “stand alone” drugstores, supermarket, and gas stations? Does it mean that Shell, Wholefoods, and CVS do not count? Thank you!

    • @David – “stand alone” with the silly marketing wording that I was required to include. But let me get clarification do you.

  10. Confirmed. I applied on the same day and at the same time (two browsers, but not sure if that mattered) for the HHonors Amex and the Citi Signature cards, both with $0 annual fee. I was approved and both cards gave me the signup bonus (90,000 points). The Citi Signature will stay at home, I will test the Amex now for special categories (those providing 6 bonus points per $)

  11. @dealswelike “If you put a lot of spend on Hilton hotels, you’ll want to make sure to go for the card that gives you 10 points per dollar (Citi Hilton Reserve)”

    Why wouldn’t I choose the “Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express” and get 12 points per $?

    Great info here,thanks!

  12. It looks like the AMEX hilton card does not give you the 6 points anymore on supermarkets, gas and pharmacy. On the application link, it does not mention it. The 6 points is only for Hotel. I wonder if they took away the supermarket bonus for existing card holders also? Can you confirm as it is mentioned on a couple spots on your website. Thanks

    • @Mark – there has been some conversation this week over the bonuses on the two hilton cards and it looks like the bonuses will still be in affect until May 1, 2013.

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