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Apply online for Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American ExpressSponsored card
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Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express Review

Pros & Cons

  • The weekend night stay reward after spending $15,000 on the card in a year should more than offset this card's annual fee.
  • There's a mega welcome offer opportunity with this card of up to 100,000 points. Spend $2,000 in the first three months to earn 75,000 points and earn another 25,000 points after spending another $1,000 in the first six months.
  • This branded card offers you bonus rewards opportunities outside of just your Hilton purchases. For instance, you'll earn six times the points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.
  • There is an annual fee to think about. If you're a casual credit card user who won't spend enough for the annual weekend night reward, you might want to consider a more general rewards card without an annual fee.
Terms and Limitations Apply

Top Features

Rewards
Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
Bonus Rewards
75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases with your new Card within your first 6 months.
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95

Full Review

Brooklyn Lowery Site Editor

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express Essentials

For frequent travelers, there is a new credit card on the scene that definitely warrants your attention. Actually, "new" may not be the most accurate description of the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express. "Next generation" is more apt. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express is technically a new version of the old Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express. And, as with every evolutionary process, there are significant improvements.

For starters, the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express is offering an easily attainable welcome offer of up to 100,000 bonus points. Spend just $2,000 in the first three months after activation to earn 75,000 points and earn another 25,000 points after spending another $1,000 in the first six months.

Beyond the bonuses, your points can add up quickly. You get 12 points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio. You get six points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and you earn three points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases, so this turns out to be a solid credit card option for your everyday purchases.

The card carries a $95 annual fee. That's slightly higher that the $75 fee for the old Surpass card; however, a few new perks – the opportunity to earn a weekend night stay each calendar year, as well as 10 complimentary Priority Pass™ Select airport lounge passes each calendar year – make that higher fee worth it.

What Our Editors Like Best About the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express

Bonus, perks, upgrades, complimentary.

These are some of our favorite terms when it comes to credit cards and the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express is loaded with them. And their value is significant.

The bonus opportunity of up to 100,000 points, which can be achieved with just $2,000 in purchases in the first three months and another $1,000 spent in the first six months, is worth several hundred dollars in rewards.

Cardholders also enjoy Gold status in the Hilton Honors program, and Hilton Honors Diamond status is within reach. Spend $40,000 in purchases in a calendar year to receive your Diamond Status upgrade.

Speaking of complimentary and upgrades, the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express also provides 10 airport lounge visits each calendar year after a one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select, a lounge network with more than 1,000 locations worldwide.

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express also provides piece of mind for travelers. One way is through car rental loss and damage insurance. When you rent a car, you can decline the collision damage waiver (a significant savings) and still be covered in case the vehicle is damaged or stolen.

Additionally, purchases made with your Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express are eligible for complimentary extended warranty, matching the existing warranty up to one additional year, if the item has a manufacturer's warranty of five years or less.

Purchased items that are damaged or broken within 90 days of purchase are also covered by purchase protection, up to $1,000 per occurrence, $50,000 per calendar year. Even if you just want to return an item for ANY reason – you're covered. If the store refuses to take the return, return protection may provide a refund of up to $300 per item with a total limit of $1,000 per calendar year.

Potential Downsides of the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express isn't for everyone. If you don't travel very often, then many of the perks and bonuses could be out of reach. In that case, you might want to look for a card that doesn't have an annual fee or that offers cash-back rewards instead.

Remember, too, that the rewards for non-Hilton purchases are decent, but you'll really maximize the potential with this card if you stay regularly at Hilton properties.

How the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express Compares to Other Cards

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express vs. Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express offers 75,000 points after $2,000 spent in the first three months, plus another 25,000 points for another $1,000 spent in the first six months for a 100,000-point total.

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers five points for each $1 spent at participating Marriott and SPG hotels, while the Hilton card offers 12 points per $1 spent at Hilton's family of properties. Since Marriott and SPG are now partnered, you do have some brand options with this card that you don't with the Hilton card.

But the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express also offers six points per $1 spent on a number of everyday purchases, while the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers just two points per $1 for airline tickets and at car rental agencies and restaurants along with one point for everything else.

The annual fees of the two cards are similar – $95 a year for the Hilton card. For the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, it's $0 Intro for the first year. Then $85.

Remember, though, that the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express offers 10 complimentary airport lounge visits each year so if air travel is in your plans, that card could be a better option based on that access alone.

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a general travel rewards card, so it certainly offers more flexibility. What it doesn't offer are the perks and bonus points that come along with brand-loyalty.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months after enrollment – those miles are worth $500 in travel and "travel" is broadly defined as hotels, flights, car rentals and much more.

While the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers just two miles per $1 spent on all eligible purchases, the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express offers anywhere from three to 12 points on eligible purchases. That said, right now Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card members earn 10 miles per $1 spent on stays booked and paid for through Hotels.com/Venture. Your Capital One miles certainly have more redemption options than the Hilton Honors points offer, and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card touts the fact that it has no blackout dates for redeeming miles and your rewards won't expire for the life of the account.

Lastly, there's no complimentary airport lounge access with the Capital One card, but you have more flexibility overall. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express vs. IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

The IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers an attractive annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $49 a year after that, compared to $95 a year for the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express. But, the perks and rewards offered are significantly less.

The IHG® Rewards Club Select offers a signup bonus of 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months, compared to the up to 100,000-point opportunity for the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express. Both cards offer incentives for staying at their own hotels but the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card only offers five points per $1 spent, while the Hilton card offers 12 points per $1 spent. The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express also trumps the IHG card when it comes to rewards points for purchases on everyday items.

The IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card does offer one free night stay after each anniversary of enrollment, with no spending requirement to earn the reward. You'll have to spend $15,000 in a calendar year with the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express in order to earn a weekend night stay reward.

Who Should Get This Card?

Clearly, the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express is a strong consideration for the wallet of any traveler who often, if not always, stays at Hilton properties when on the road. If you are a frequent traveler, whether it be for business or pleasure, you are also well-suited for this card. It won't take long to achieve the thresholds needed for some very attractive perks.

This page was last updated on April 12, 2018

This card compared to other travel rewards cards

Rewards
Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
2X points on travel and dining
Bonus Rewards
75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases with your new Card within your first 6 months.
50,000 Miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable) 
17.49% - 24.49% Variable 
Annual Fee
$95
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
$0 Intro for the First Year. Then $95
Rates and Fees
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express details

Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Period
N/A
Purchase Intro
APR:
N/A
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95

What American Express says about this card

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases with your new Card within your first 6 months.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Terms Apply.

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Featured offers
Currently available on the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express
75,000 Bonus Points
After you spend $2,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases with your new Card within your first 6 months.

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Apply online for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • New! Earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/venture; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good
Apply online for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Credit Needed:
Excellent/Good