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Compare the Features and Benefits of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card and
United℠ Explorer Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Airport Lounge Access
Trip Protections
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Grants Hotel Status
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
No Fees for Authorized Users
Amex Offers
Free Checked Bags
Priority Boarding
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Concierge Services
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
Free Access to Credit Score
Annual Fee
$95 (Rates and fees)
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
20.99%-29.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
-
Best Multiplier
12x Hotels

Applies only at Hilton Honors hotels booked directly with Hilton; else earn 3X points per dollar.

6x Airfare
6x Car Rentals
6x Gas Stations
6x Cellular Phone Service
6x Dining Out / Food Delivery
6x Shipping
3x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.005
Bonus Offer

Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card within the first three months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.83) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

With a relatively low $95 annual fee, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card comes with some valuable benefits, including Gold Elite status, which gets you free breakfast (or a daily food and beverage credit) on all stays at full-service Hilton hotels and resorts and is the only business credit card that earns Hilton Honors points.

You can redeem Hilton Honors points and Free Night Rewards for a room like this with room with a private plunge pool in Mexico

With Hilton Honors points having an approximate value of 0.5 cents per point, you are earning roughly 6% back on Hilton stays and 3% back on select business and travel categories in the US: gas stations, wireless telephone service, shipping, restaurants, flights booked directly, and car rentals booked direct. Remember you’ll earn 3X Hilton Honors points on other eligible purchases, so that would be worth about a 1.5% return on spend.

Hilton Business Credit Card

Hilton Business Credit Card

The Hilton portfolio also has some breathtaking hotels and resorts at which you can spend your Hilton Honors points and Free Night Reward certificates. Many sell for over $1,000 a night and include the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi and the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal in Los Cabos. You could easily make a case that simply being able to earn the lucrative Free Night Reward certificates is reason enough to hold this card.

View from an infinity pool at the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal in Los Cabos, Mexico - Bookable with Hilton Honors points and Free Night Rewards.

While we don’t recommend the Hilton Honors Business card as your only business credit card, it certainly is worth more than its annual fee if you frequently stay at Hilton portfolio hotels and resorts.

Rates and fees for the The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Amex Offers
yes
Free Checked Bags
no
Priority Boarding
no
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
no
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Concierge Services
no
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
no
Free Access to Credit Score
no
Annual Fee
$0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $95
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.99%-28.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
2x Airfare

On United flights only; otherwise earn 1X

2x Dining Out / Food Delivery
2x Hotels
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.012
Bonus Offer

Earn 60,000 United MileagePlus Miles after spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account, plus Annual Fee waived for the first year. Offer ends January 24, 2024.  

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.05) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The United Explorer is one of the best credit cards out there for occasional United flyers. That’s because you’ll get useful perks, such as free first checked bags, priority boarding privileges, a 25% food and beverage discount on board United operated flights, and even get a taste of airport lounge access with two anniversary United Club passes. Plus. the annual fee is waived the first year, then just $95 thereafter.

Consider this scenario: Even if you only fly United a couple of times per year, the Explorer Card is worth it for the free checked bag benefit alone. Keep in mind, this applies to the primary card holder and one companion on the same reservation, as long as you use the card to pay for your ticket. At $35 for one checked bag, and $140 for a round-trip flight for two people, it’s easy to get value that exceeds the card’s annual fee.

In addition to the sign-up bonus earned after account opening, the United Explorer card earns a decent 2X miles on United Airlines purchases, 2X miles on dining, including eligible delivery services, 2X miles on hotel stays when booked with the hotel and 1x miles on all other purchases. Also, the card helps to fast track your United elite status goals with 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $12,000 you spend on purchases (up to 1,000 PQPs in a calendar year). These PQPs can be applied toward your Premier status qualification — up to the Premier 1K level.

And don’t forget the ability to earn PQPs towards elite status from spend. You’ll earn 25 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $500 you spend on purchases – up to 1,000 PQPs per year.

If you’re in need of extra miles besides flying on United flights, keep in mind that Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to the United Mileage Plus program at a 1:1 ratio to help you top up your miles balance.

While the United Explorer card is a fantastic option for the occasional United flyer, those that travel more often with the airline might want to consider other options, including United’s other, more premium, credit cards.

In more simple terms, the Explorer card fits the “occasional United flyer” once or twice per year mold, while the $250-per-year United Quest fits the “semi-frequent United flyer.” Then, there’s the United Club Infinite Card for the “frequent United flyer.” If you’re looking for a United Club membership and need more than just two one-time passes, you’ll probably be better off with the United Club Infinite Card, which comes with a full United Club membership but also charges the highest annual fee of the United cards at $525.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Grants Hotel Status
no
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
Amex Offers
no
Free Checked Bags
yes
Priority Boarding
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes

Learn more about these cards today

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