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The Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express is one of the best hotel co-branded cards on the market because it costs just $95/year and offers all cardholders the most valuable mid-tier hotel status around. Add in a good 125,000 point welcome offer and strong earning rates at Hilton properties worldwide, and this becomes a card that can pay for itself multiple times over when in the right hands.
Hilton Honors Surpass Card From American Express
- Receive 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months after opening your account (find out more)
Note: Per the offer terms, the welcome offer is not available to applicants who have or have had the Hilton Honors Surpass Card or the Hilton Honors Amex Ascend Card.
- 12 points/dollar at Hilton properties worldwide
- 6 points/dollar at US supermarkets (12 points/dollar through 31 July 2020)
- 6 points/dollar at US restaurants
- 6 points/dollar at US gas stations
- 3 points/dollar on all other spending
- Receive Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as you hold the card
- Earn Hilton Honors Diamond status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year
- Earn a Free Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
- Get 10 free lounge visits to Priority Pass lounges each membership year
- No foreign transaction fees
Why I Like The Hilton Honors Surpass Card
The Welcome Offer
For a card with a $95 annual fee, the welcome offer is pretty generous. I value Hilton Honors points at 0.4 cents each (based on how I use them and how easy I find them to use) and that values the welcome offer at an impressive $500. The relatively simple target for the welcome offer ($2,000 of spending in 3 months) and the fact that this card currently offers 12 points/dollar at US supermarkets (until 31 July), means that this is a bonus that should be very easy to earn.
Hilton Gold Status
The Hilton Gold status that comes with the Hilton Honors Surpass Card gives cardholders the following key benefits on all Hilton stays:
- Complimentary breakfast for the status holder + 1 guest sharing the same room
- Space available room upgrades
- Late check-out (subject to availability)
With hotel breakfasts at regular Hilton properties often costing $15 or more and breakfasts as the more upscale properties and resorts consing a lot more than that, the complimentary breakfast benefit that comes with Hilton Gold status can easily pay for the card’s annual fee in just a few stays.
Room upgrades are not guaranteed (I get them approximately 50% of the time) but a guest with Hilton Gold status is highly unlikely to be assigned any of the less desirable rooms in a property and, in my experience, is almost always given a good amount of leeway when it comes to what time they have to check-out.
Access To Hilton’s 5th Night Free Benefit
Travelers with elite status with the Hilton Honors program (e.g the Gold status that comes with the Surpass card) are given the 5th night of all award stays for free (see how the 5th night free is calculated). A single 5-night award stay at even some of the cheaper Hilton properties would see a cardholder save more than the cost of the card’s annual fee.
Good Earning Rates
The 12 points/dollar that The Hilton Honors Surpass Card earns at Hilton properties worldwide equates to a 4.8% rebate on all Hilton stays (based on my valuation of 0.4 cents/point) and, when you factor in the bonus points that cardholders earn thanks to the Gold elite status the card comes with, the total effective rebate this card offers is an impressive 8%.
In addition to the bonus points available for spending with Hilton, The Hilton Honors Surpass Card earns cardholders 6 points/dollar at U.S. supermarkets (12 points/dollar through 31 July), U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations and those are spending categories that most people use in their everyday lives. Based on my earlier valuation of Hilton Honors points (0.4 cents each) this card offers a 2.4 cent/$ (or 2.4%) rebate in all three of those categories (not including the extra points earned at US supermarkets through July).
Access To Amex Offers
The Hilton Honors Surpass Card is issued by Amerian Express and all American Express cards give cardholders access to Amex Offers which can easily save them hundreds of dollars a year.
Why I This May Be A Good Time To Apply
This may not appear to be the best time to be applying for a miles and points credit card (for some it isn’t) but with the Hilton Honors Surpass Card currently offering a very generous 12 points/dollar for spending at US supermarkets (through 31 July 2020), and with most supermarkets offering an incredible variety of goods for sale (not just groceries), it has never been easier to earn the card’s welcome bonus than it is right now.
Right now there’s a good 125,000 point welcome offer available on the Hilton Honors Surpass Card and applicants still have the bonus of being able to earn 12 points/dollar at US supermarkets (for well over a month) as they aim to hit the $2,000 spending target that the welcome offer requires.
If you’re a very regular visitor to Hilton properties, the top-tier Hilton Honors Aspire credit card may be a better fit for your needs but, if you only stay with Hilton from time to time, this is almost certainly a card that you should consider adding to your wallet. Considering the ease with which the welcome offer can be earned (despite the current circumstances), now may be one of the best times to apply.
Featured image courtesy of American Express