How to Get 80,000 Bonus Points With the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express

hilton-hhonors-amex-cardA few years ago, I had the pleasure of spending two nights in New York City for an affiliate conference. The conference was being held at the Waldorf Astoria and, against my better judgment, I spent hundreds of dollars a night to book my room.  Well, the room and the experience was fantastic, but I still hate myself for spending that kind of money when I’m usually the guy comparing TV channels on the hotel websites to see if $49 with HBO is better than $47 without.

Hopefully, I’m provided the opportunity to stay at the Waldorf Astoria again, though because I own the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express. The card comes in great use for me when booking a hotel during a family vacation or conference stay.

Hilton HHonors™ Card Bonus

For a limited time only (expires 5/31/17) the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express offers 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card ownership.  Hilton HHonors™ rewards points are earn in the following three tiers:

  • Get 7X Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Get 5X Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Get 3X Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. Terms and limitations apply.

One of the lesser known perks on the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express is that new cardmembers are automatically provided Silver status AND after spending $20,000 annually, Gold status is obtained.  There are four levels of rewards program membership in the Hilton HHonors™ platform: Blue, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. Gold status provides amenities like free breakfast, free bottles of water, room upgrades, and a 25% bonus on all points earned.

  • Get more details on this card and links to apply online at

Hilton HHonors™ Diamond Status

The highest level of rewards a cardmember can earn annually is becoming a diamond status member.  In order to qualify for diamond status every year, a cardmember must do one of the following:

  1. Have stayed at a Hilton location at least 30 times in one calendar year
  2. Have spent 60 nights in a Hilton location in one calendar year
  3. Heave earned at least 120,000 base Hilton HHonors™ points in one calendar year (the best chance for people who aren’t always on the road).

Diamond Status Hilton HHonors

Important to note that the 120,000 point requirement is in addition to the 80,000 bonus point intro offer (Diamond status stresses the word BASE points).  So is spending $40,000+ a year on this card worth it for Diamond status?  Value is in the eye of the beholder here and to be quite honest, some of the diamond perks are a little lite for that kind of spend hurdler.  Unless you can spend enough time to take advantage of 50 in-room movies and premium wifi internet, the three largest benefits to becoming a Diamond member are:

50% ELITE STATUS BONUS – All diamond status members will receive a 50% increase in their elite points.  As 120,000 base Hilton points are needed in one calendar year, this means that the true number to maintain diamond status is only 80,000 points.  This 50% increase does not change the actual amount of Hilton HHonors™ rewards points a cardmember has (always a 7x/5x/3x scale) but it does bring the annual spending requirement down from ~$40,000 to only ~$27,000 in order to keep Diamond status.

5TH NIGHT FREE – This perk is not specific to the Diamond platform however it is specific to being a Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express member.  All silver, gold and diamond members will receive a 5th night’s stay on the house when using points to book a five night stay or longer.  This also means that for a ten night stay a member would receive two free nights, 15 night stay, three free nights and 20 night stay, four free nights.  That said, for anyone who has enough points to book a 20 night stay at a Hilton property, can I live with you?

DIAMOND STATUS EXTENSION – As a one time bonus, all Diamond members can extend their status by one full calendar year.  This means that if diamond status is earned for the full year 2017, and not met before 2018, a simple call to an account representative can reserve diamond status for 2018 as well.  This feature can only be used once and essentially means the first time Diamond status is met, it’s good for a full two years.

Just how many hotels are under the Hilton umbrella?  Well, their core brand, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, has just over 570 current locations. Cardmembers can also use and accrue 7x points at the following brands:

  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Conrad Hotels
  • Curio Collections
  • DoubleTree
  • Embassy Suites
  • Hampton by Hilton
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hilton Grand Vacations
  • Home2 Suites
  • Homewood Suites
  • True by Hilton
  • Waldorf Astoria

There is no annual fee to own the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express and there is no annual fee for additional cardholders.  The ongoing purchase and balance transfer APR is 15.99% – 19.99% variable.  The cash advance APR is 25.99%, and the penalty APR becomes 29.99% (and will be applied for a minimum of six months) if cardholders become delinquent on their accounts.  There is a balance transfer fee of 3% and late payment/returned payment fees of $38 per transactions.

Love to Travel? Learn All About Travel Hacking

For anyone who routinely travels and is in need of hotel stays frequently, the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express is a terrific fee-free credit card.  Make sure, however, to keep your purchases in the United States, as there is a standard foreign transaction fee charge of 2.7%.

  • Get more details on this card and links to apply online at


Topics: Credit Cards

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3 Responses to “How to Get 80,000 Bonus Points With the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express”

  1. Stephonee

    Do the points expire? I’m looking for ways to build up my portfolio of travel points for the future, but I just had a baby, so I won’t be using the points for several years, in all likelihood. Wondering if it would make sense to her this card now, or wait.

    • Stephanie Colestock
      Stephanie Colestock

      As long as you don’t go more than 12 months without earning (or buying) points, they will not expire. They’ll almost always send out a “points expiring” letter before they go to waste, too, if you ever have a period of prolonged inactivity on the card.
      [email protected]

      • Stephonee

        Hey fellow Stephanie! Hmmm, that makes it sound like I should wait, since I don’t know how many point-earning opportunities I’ll really have within 12 months, thanks to the baby. Thanks for the info!

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