The Hilton Honors Business Card is Hilton and American Express’ mid-tier business card. This co-branded card is an affordable way for businesses to earn Hilton Honors (HH) points and have some nice benefits too.
This card is the business counterpart of the three personal Hilton cards. But it’s the closest in nature to the Hilton Ascend. Both cards have similar rewards, perks, and a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year).
Is this card a good one for you?
The Hilton Honors Business Card earns 12x HH points on Hilton hotel purchases. It also earns 6x HH points on a long list of business and travel expenses. The business expenses include Gas Stations, Shipping, and Cell Phone Services (purchased directly from a provider). The travel expenses include US Restaurants, Airfare (booked directly from airlines), and Car Rentals (booked directly with agencies).
All other purchases earn 3x HH points. Each point is worth about 0.5 cents, making this card an OK earner for business expenditures.
The Hilton Honors Business card has a sign-up bonus of 125,000 HH points. The points can be earned after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is close to that of the Hilton Ascend. The difference is that the minimum spend threshold is $1,000 higher for the same amount of points.
Hotel redemptions are the only way to redeem HH points. Nights start at 5,000 points, but most locations will cost a lot more points per night. Unlike Marriott, Hilton does not have a rewards chart publicly posted. How many points a night costs depends on your location and date. Your mileage may vary.
Hilton HH points are transferrable to 43 airline partners and three car rental agencies (Enterprise, Alamo, and National). Because of the low value of HH points, transferring them is not recommended. This is also the reason why transfer partners are not often marketed by Hilton or American Express. You’re only receiving a value of 0.1 cents per point (CPP).
Complimentary Gold Status
Having Hilton Gold Status is a step up from having no status or Silver Status. You receive an 80% points bonus for Hilton purchases including room rates and gift shop purchases. This is a major increase from the 20% that Silver Status offers.
Hilton’s top-tier Diamond Status can be obtained by spending $40,000 per year on the card. You need to consider how often you (or your staff, if applicable) travels to Hilton hotels. If your business spends at least that sum at Hilton, then you can go for the status upgrade.
You also receive a fifth night for free when you use points to pay. The free fifth night could save you some money if you stay at Hiltons often for at least five nights. This perk is a huge incentive to make this card a keeper.
You can earn a free night by spending $15,000 per year on the card. This night can be earned just once per year. You can also receive a second weekend night reward after spending $60,000 per year on the card.
In sum, you can earn up to 3 free nights per year with enough spend.
Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
This benefit gives card-members access to Priority Pass airport lounges. While normally reserved for more premium cards like the Citi Prestige, some Tier III cards have this nice perk. This card is one of the lucky ones.
Most business owners know that programs like QuickBooks are very helpful for your business’ financial organization. Like many of Amex’s other premium business cards, you can connect your Hilton card to your business’ QuickBooks account.
Secondary Car Rental Insurance
This benefit covers the entire loss, damage, or theft of your car rental after your regular insurance’s policy kicks in. American Express cards only provide secondary coverage. Secondary coverage means that you must go through your own car insurance company first before calling Amex to activate this benefit.
No Foreign Exchange Fees
You will save 3% on all purchases made outside the United States with the card.
Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance
If you must cancel your trip because of an unexpected event, this benefit gives you up to $10,000 per trip for non-refundable expenses. Plane tickets, hotel rooms, and tours are included.
If you’re unhappy with a purchase, this benefit enables you to get your money back with the backing of Amex. American Express is the best in the credit card industry in helping cardholders with returns. This card comes standard with all American Express cards.
This card is the Hilton Honors Business card’s personal counterpart. Both cards have $95 annual fees (NOT waived the first year) and similar perks.
The two cards have nearly identical earning structures. Both cards earn 12x HH points at Hilton hotels and 3x points on non-bonus category purchases. But the differences in the 6x bonus categories are what truly separates them. The personal version earns 6x points on Gas, Dining, and at Grocery Stores. Whereas the business version earns on Gas, Dining, and four other business and travel categories.
All else being equal, individual consumers are better off with the Hilton Ascend while business owners would like the business card more.
This card is the bigger “sibling” to the Hilton Honors Business Card and its personal counterpart, the Hilton Ascend. The Hilton Aspire offers complimentary Diamond Status and multiple free nights.
This card earns 14x Hilton Honors (HH) points on Hilton purchases. It also earns 7x HH points for US Restaurants, Flights (booked directly with airlines or via amextravel.com), and Car Rentals (booked directly with car rental agencies). All other purchases earn 3x HH points.
This card is a better option for Amex Business Platinum card-members as it offers Diamond Status (instead of the Platinum and Hilton Business Card’s Gold Status).
Rules & Regulations
Like all American Express cards, this card is subject to Amex’s Once Per Lifetime Rule. This rule states that you can only receive a sign-up bonus on any card once. The key is to apply for this card when a balance is struck between maximum points and minimum spend. If you cannot afford the spend to hit the bonus, apply when the threshold is lower.
The Hilton Honors Business Card is a great mid-tier business card for Hilton visitors. It can also be a great substitute for Hilton Ascend card-members. Gold Status and the potential for multiple free nights are the highlights of this $95 annual fee card.
Unlike the personal cards, there are currently no downgrade options for this card. I hope to see a no annual fee version of this business card in the future.
The Hilton Honors Business Card is a nice earner within its bonus categories and can possibly be a keeper card. Its possible to earn enough points to cover the modest annual fee without taking perks into account.