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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card: Hefty Fee, Heftier Perks

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card review
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • What we think: If you choose Hilton time and time again as your preferred hotel chain, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card is chock-full of benefits that could easily make the $150 annual fee (see rates and fees) worthwhile. We don’t love the lack of a free anniversary night but its other perks may be enough to outweigh that.
  • New cardholders can earn a welcome bonus of 130,000 points and a Free Night Reward if they spend $3,000 within six months of opening their account.
  • Benefits include Hilton Gold status, up to $200 in Hilton statement credits per year, purchase protection, extended warranties, supplementary car rental insurance and lost baggage reimbursement*.

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/?benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Summary

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card is practically gift-wrapped and personally addressed to frequent travelers loyal to all things Hilton.

A chance to accumulate 12x points for every dollar spent on Hilton property bookings can translate into a mountain of free nights, hotel and car rental upgrades, and even complimentary ride-share trips. But if you don’t have any preference towards the Hilton brand or if you don’t travel often, this co-branded American Express card may not be the card for you.

Let our experts help you decide whether this card would make a good addition to your wallet in this detailed Hilton Honors Surpass Card review.

PROS & CONS

Pros

  • Automatic Hilton Gold status
  • Ability to earn a free night with enough spending
  • Up to $200 in Hilton statement credits (up to $50 in statement credits each quarter)

Cons

  • Has an annual fee
  • High spending requirement for Free Night Award
  • Limited redemption options
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card
LEARN MORE
Key Information
Earn 12X points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton hotels and resorts, 6X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets, 4X points on U.S. online retail purchases, and 3X points on all other eligible purchases. $150 annual fee.

Is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card worth it?

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card may be worth it if you’re a frequent traveler who favors Hilton properties and values the perks of Hilton Gold status.

Perks like no foreign transaction fee and robust travel protections make this hotel credit card an attractive option for regular jet setters, but it’s an even better choice if you frequently stay at Hilton properties, which run the gamut from the more affordable Hampton Inns to the?incredibly luxurious Waldorf Astoria hotels.?

It’s definitely a card meant for travelers, and using the card for hotel stays, car rentals and other travel must-haves is the only way you’ll balance out the $150 annual fee and make the most of the card’s point scheme.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card: Rewards

As a hotel rewards card, Hilton Honors Surpass card is all about getting maximum bang for your buck. As you spend, you’re on deck to earn points that you can redeem for a wide range of goodies, making everyday life — and life on the road — a whole lot sweeter.

Welcome bonus

Newly approved Hilton Honors Surpass cardholders are eligible for a competitive welcome bonus. Put $3,000 in purchases on your Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express within six months of opening the account and you could earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward.

Earn rewards

Here’s a look at how the Hilton Honors Surpass card rewards members:

Free Night Award: Although it doesn’t come with an automatic free night, you can earn one if you charge $15,000 in eligible purchases to your card in one calendar year.

$200 statement credit: Save even more money by cashing in a $50 statement credit per quarter awarded for eligible Hilton purchases (there’s a $200 annual maximum).

Redeem rewards

Once you’ve built up a pile of points courtesy of your Hilton Honors card, it’s time to redeem them. This can get a little tricky because Hilton has dynamic redemption rates that fluctuate based on variables like seasonality and overall demand. It’s safe to assume that you’ll need more points for free rooms during peak season, while off-season redemption rates are more favorable.

Historically, Hilton has offered rooms for anywhere from 5,000 to 95,000 rewards points per night. The lower-point rooms are quite limited. On the positive side, there are no blackout dates, and you can redeem your points for premium rooms and suites if they’re available.

You can also redeem points for:

A few other things you should know before you start redeeming include:

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card: Benefits

Travel benefits

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/?benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Gold Status

The Hilton Honors Surpass card comes with complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status upon approval. This status entitles you to perks like free breakfasts at non-U.S. Hilton hotels, daily food and beverage credits at U.S. hotels, gratis room upgrades (as space allows) and 80% bonus points on your Hilton stays. Finally, Gold members get their fifth night free when booking a rewards stay, which stretches your point redemption even further.

If you aimed for Gold status without applying for the Hilton Honors Surpass card, you’d have to earn it by hitting 40 nights, 20 stays or 75,000 base points.

Shopping benefits and protections

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/?benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Other benefits

*This benefit is being phased out, with currently enrolled Priority Pass Select members scheduled to have their membership terminated between January 31, 2024, and November 1, 2024.

Fees, rates & limit

Fees

Interest rates

Credit limit

Credit limits for the Hilton Honors Surpass card start at $1,000 and can exceed $20,000. Your initial credit limit will be determined when your application is reviewed and approved and will be based on financial factors like your annual income, credit history and debt-to-income ratio.

How the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card compares

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card vs. Hilton Honors American Express Card

In exchange for fewer perks, the Hilton Honors American Express Card comes with fewer perks than the Hilton Honors Surpass card.?

Instead of earning 12X points on eligible Hilton stays, you’ll get 7 points per dollar with the Hilton Honors card. It offers 5X points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, compared to the Surpass card’s 6X points. Both cards earn 3X points on other eligible purchases.

If you want a no-annual-fee rewards card, the Hilton Honors Amex is a great option (see rates and fees). If you aim to maximize rewards, the Surpass card is better.

??? Read more: Hilton Honors American Express Card review

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

When evaluating the Hilton Honors Surpass card vs. the Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card, it’s a case of which travel credit card reigns supreme.

The $150 annual fee you’ll pay with the Hilton Honors Surpass card is more than 50% higher than the $95 annual fee you’ll pay with Chase Sapphire Preferred card. The rewards structure is different too. With Hilton, you can get up to 12x points for every dollar spent, but the max rewards are only attached to money spent on purchases made at or through a Hilton business.?

With Chase Sapphire, you can earn the following:

Hilton Honors Surpass has a more favorable welcome offer (130,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in six months vs. Chase’s 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after cardholders spend $4,000 in just three months). Then there’s the biggest difference of all: Hilton hotels are the primary focus of the Hilton Honors Surpass card, but Chase Sapphire Preferred is partnered with IHG, Hyatt and Marriott. Chase does not partner with Hilton.

??? Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 12X points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton hotels and resorts, 6X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets, 4X points on U.S. online retail purchases, and 3X points on all other eligible purchases. $150 annual fee.
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Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 7X Hilton Honors Points on eligible Hilton purchases, 5X points on eligible U.S. restaurant, U.S. supermarket, and U.S. gas station purchases, and 3X on all other eligible purchases. $0 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card
LEARN MORE on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 5X points on Chase Travel purchases, 3X points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services, and 1X points on other purchases. $95 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

Is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card right for me?

Hilton loyalists are the target audience for the Amex Hilton Honors Surpass card and the group most likely to see the most rewards once they put the card to use. If you travel often and love Hilton properties — and appreciate the perks of Hilton Gold status in particular — this card could pay significant dividends over time.

If you don’t travel often or simply prefer another hotel chain or lodging option, you may be better off with a general rewards credit card that offers perks less concentrated on travel upgrades and complimentary breakfasts.

How do I apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card?

You can learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card and apply online.

You’ll need to have your personal information on hand to add to the application, including your:

You’ll be subject to a credit check and then receive either an approval message or a letter detailing the reason you’re rejected. Your chances for approval improve with a good to excellent credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio.

Top American Express credit cards of 2024 Compare cards side-by-side Credit Cards with Mouse Cursor COMPARE CARDS

FAQ: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card

What credit score do you need for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card?

The Hilton Honors Surpass card is recommended for applicants who have a good credit score of at least 670. The higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to be approved for the card and to receive a generous card limit.

What is the credit limit for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card?

The American Express Hilton Surpass Card offers an initial credit limit of $1,000. Candidates with a good to excellent credit score, solid credit history and higher annual income may receive a higher credit limit of $20,000 or more. American Express may increase your credit limit over time as a reward for on-time payments and positive changes in your credit score.

Does the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card give you lounge access?

Hilton Honors Surpass card membership entitles you to 10 free entries into any of the 1,500 Priority Pass Select lounges around the globe.

What can you get with Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card rewards?

You can redeem your Hilton Honors Surpass points for tons of rewards, including free hotel stays, flights on 20+ airline partners, products sold through the Hilton Honors online mall, Lyft rides and some car rentals. You can also transfer points to friends and family or pool your points with other cardholders to get larger rewards.

Is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card worth it?

As a no-foreign transaction fee card, the Hilton Honors Surpass is worthwhile for frequent travelers who are loyal to the Hilton brand. Hilton-focused rewards can be lucrative if you use your card to buy hotel stays almost weekly and stick to Hilton portfolio properties. Otherwise, you may be better off with a general rewards credit card that makes it easier to amass points closer to home.

American Express is more than just a credit card issuer

The first step in growing and maintaining consistent savings is to understand your personal finances through checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and more.

If you want to save and grow your money, consider the following Amex products:

About the Author

Alana Luna (Musselman)
Alana Luna (Musselman) Writer & Content Strategist

Alana Luna (Musselman) is a versatile storyteller with over a decade of writing experience. She is passionate about helping people build their business through unique and engaging content.

Some examples of her current freelance projects include building content strategies for small businesses, completing industry research to build case studies, crafting buyer guides and more.

She has a passion and keen ability to simplify complex ideas through storytelling to make it easier for readers to understand hard-to-digest information. To accomplish this, Alana’s writing holds strong three principles – content that educates, engages and entertains.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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