There are a large (and growing – see the new Citi Hilton Reserve Card below) number of credit cards that can help you earn significant bonuses in the Hilton Hhonors program. Yes, I know Hilton is a bit controversial among the frequent flyer set because of the changes they made last year making it ridiculously expensive to use points at many upper tier hotels. Fine, I’ll give you that.
But it’s very, very easy to earn Hilton points through credit card signups and for many people those points will come in handy (I know, it’s no Starwood, but that doesn’t mean the program is 100% awful. It’s not.)
Plus, free Hilton Hhonors Gold Status is STILL readily available (go to that link; type in 411945 as the first 6 numbers requested then enter the last digits of any Visa card you have…you may have to change your address in your Hhonors account to be in Australia – you can then change it back after you have Gold. No guarantees, but it appears to be working still — thanks to View from the Wing). Gold isn’t a huge deal, but it will get you free breakfast, concierge floor access, Internet and a bit of an upgrade in the US.
Here are the credit cards that get you Hilton Hhonors points. Funny to note that the best transfer rate of any of these comes from Starwood points (through Virgin Atlantic).
Credit Cards That Give You Hilton Hhonors Points
|Credit Card||Bonus Points||Minimum Spend||Annual Fee||Other Perks|
|Citibank Hilton Visa||50,000||$1500 in 6 months||None||Silver status; Gold status after 6 stays in 90 days; 6 points per dollar at Hilton, 3 points at supermarkets/drug stores/gas stations, 2 points everywhere else|
|Hilton Hhonors Surpass Amex||40,000 after first purchase, 20,000 after minimum spend||$3,000 in 3 months||$75||Gold Status for first year; 9 points per dollar at Hilton, 6 points per dollar at drugstores & gas stations, 3 points everywhere else. Spend $40,000 and earn Diamond Status. Spend $20,000 and keep Gold Status.|
|Hilton Hhonors from American Express||40,000||$750 in 90 days||None||Gold status after $20,000 spend; 6 points per dollar at Hilton, 6 points at supermarkets/drug stores/gas stations/phone/Internet, 3 points everywhere else|
|Citi Hilton Hhonors Reserve Card||2 Weekend Nights||$2500 in 4 months||$95||Gold status; 1 free weekend night when you spend $10,000; no foreign transaction fees; Spend $40,000 and earn Diamond Status; 10 points per dollar at Hilton, 5 points on airlines and car rental, 3 points on everything else.|
|Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines Card||70,000 Hhonors Points (35,000 Hawaiian miles, transfer to Hilton at a 1:2 ratio)||$1,000 in 4 months||$79||Can also get the Bank of Hawaii card. Points can be transferred to another Hawaiian account if both people have credit cards.|
|Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines card||70,000 Hhonors Points (35,000 Hawaiian miles, transfer to Hilton at a 1:2 ratio)||$1,000 in 4 months||$79||Can also get the Bank of America card. Points can be transferred to another Hawaiian account if both people have credit cards.|
|Virgin Atlantic American Express||Up to 90,000 Hhonors points (20,000 Virgin miles for first purchase, additional 25,000 miles for minimum spend - then transfer to Hilton at 1:2 basis)||$2,500 in 4 months||$90|
|Amtrak Guest Rewards Card||Up to 60,000 Hhonors points. (32,000 Amtrak points for first purchase. Then transfer in blocks of 5,000 to Hilton at a 1:2 basis...if you put $200/year on the card you can transfer up to 25,000 points in a year)||None||None|
|Amex Starwood Card||10,000 Starwood points after first purchase, 15,000 additional after minimum spend. (Transfer to Virgin Atlantic, then transfer to Hilton at 1:2.). Considering you get a 5,000 mile bonus for transferring to Virgin Atlantic, this is actually the best exchange rate to Hilton points (though it may not be the best use of Starwood points)||$5,000 in 6 months||$65||5 points at Starwood, 1 point everywhere else|
|Amex Cards with Membership Rewards||Varies -- but the Membership Rewards transfer rate is terrible at 1500 Hhonors points for 1000 Membership Rewards points||Varies||Varies|