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The Casa Marina Key West can cost $1,000+ per night — but you can stay there for free by opening the no-annual-fee Amex Hilton credit card.
The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers perhaps the best welcome bonus we’ve ever seen on a no-annual-fee credit card Hilton Honors American Express Card – Rates and Fees.
You’ll earn Hilton Honors American Express Card.
You can open this card at no cost and potentially receive $1,000+ in value with no hoops to jump through.
Read Insider’s guide to the best hotel credit cards.
We’re currently seeing one of the single most valuable intro bonuses ever offered on a no-annual-fee credit card.
The previously unassuming Hilton Honors American Express Card now offers a welcome bonus potentially more lucrative than premium travel credit cards that charge $400+ in annual fees.
Here’s what you’ll get: Hilton Honors American Express Card. That bounty can translate into thousands of dollars in savings, depending on the way you redeem your rewards.
If you’re unsure about the hassle and value of airline miles, hotel points, or credit card rewards in general, this card is a way to prove the hobby for yourself with zero risk involved. If you decide the card doesn’t fit your lifestyle, you can simply stop using it. There’s no harm in keeping it active, since you’ll never pay the annual fee — it can even improve your credit score as it can add to your credit history.
In other words, American Express and Hilton are offering you potentially thousands of dollars in travel just to open a free card and meet a reasonable spending requirement. Here are four reasons it’s worth a try if you want to see what it’s like to travel for pennies on the dollar.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
The Hilton Honors American Express is offering the best bonus for a no-annual-fee card
1. Easy minimum spending requirement
To unlock the Hilton Honors American Express Card bonus, you’ll need to spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. That amounts to $334 per month.
If you simply remember to use the blue card for big expenses like groceries each month, you’ll almost certainly meet the spending requirement with no extra effort.
Read more: Hilton Honors American Express Card review
It’s worth underscoring how painless this $1,000 spending requirement is. Other travel cards, like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, guard their welcome bonuses behind a $15,000 requirement which must be completed within three months of account opening.
2. Enough bonus points for multiple free hotel nights
From this bonus, you’ll receive 70,000 Hilton points. Insider estimates Hilton points value to be 0.5 cents each, making this bonus worth $350 in travel, on average.
Hilton hotels cost between 10,000 points (for inexpensive roadside hotels) and 95,000 points (for luxury resorts) per night (though a very select few cost 120,000+ per night). If you want to stretch your points, it’s not difficult to find a modest Hilton hotel for 20,000 points per night. With 70,000 points, you could easily reserve three absolutely free nights with Hilton.
The Hilton Honors American Express Card also comes with Hilton Silver elite status, which means you’ll get one night free when you book five consecutive award nights. For example, if you booked five nights at a hotel that costs 20,000 points per night, you’d pay just 80,000 points total — an average of just 16,000 points per night.
Read more: Credit cards that offer hotel elite status
3. Free Night Reward
Now for the meat and potatoes of the Hilton Honors American Express Card welcome bonus: In addition to 70,000 points, you’ll receive one Free Night Reward which can be used at (almost) any Hilton hotel in the world.
You can use it for a night at the Hampton Inn along the highway during a road trip. You can use it for a night at the Conrad Maldives, which regularly costs $1,500+ per night. The value you’ll receive depends entirely on where you use it. As long as there are standard award rates for your desired night, this Free Night Reward will cover you.
You may also use this in conjunction with your Free Night Reward to have a tropical two-night stay at a hotel like the Harbor Club St. Lucia, Curio Collection by Hilton. This hotel costs as little as 46,000 to 65,000 points per night, and can retail for $300+ per night.
Or, you could wait to accrue 95,000 points and use your points and Free Night Reward to stay at the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, which costs $1,000+ per night.
Insider considers these Free Night Awards to be one of the best deals in travel. Just note that they expire one year after the issue date, so be sure you won’t let this perk go to waste.
Two other Hilton credit cards are offering record-high bonuses that include a Free Night Reward, as well:
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card — The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card annual fee The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – Rates and Fees.Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card — Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card – Rates & Fees.
These card bonuses come with more valuable bonuses and better ongoing benefits (more prestigious elite status, higher earning rates, etc.) than the Hilton Honors American Express Card.
4. Practical bonus categories
The Hilton Honors American Express Card has some of the most useful bonus categories for everyday spending. You’ll receive:
7 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels5 points per dollar spent at eligible US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
As you can see, it’s easy to rack up points with this card. If you achieve your $1,000 minimum spending requirement with restaurants, groceries, and gas stations exclusively, you’ll have added another 5,000 points to your 70,000-point bounty. Routinely swiping this card for these purchases could easily net you 60,000+ points per year.
If you’ve been wanting to try out the world of (nearly) free travel through credit card rewards, the Hilton Honors American Express Card is a perfect gateway travel credit card. There’s absolutely zero risk in opening the card, as it’s got no annual fee. It’s sporting quite possibly the best welcome bonus we’ve ever seen from a no-annual-fee credit card. You can receive potentially thousands in value, depending on how you use it.
One big caution about opening this card: Once you book your first free hotel stay, it’s easy to get hooked on award travel. I’ve personally got 22 open credit cards (seven of which are hotel credit cards), and I can’t remember the last time I paid for a hotel room — or airfare, for that matter.
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