8 Reasons To Apply For The Best Ever Hilton Surpass Card Offer

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Update: The below links for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express are expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.

The Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express has the best ever sign-up bonus at the moment. It’s not often I get excited about Hilton credit card offers, but this one is especially lucrative. Ford applied for the card a bit ago, and I’d apply for it if I weren’t maxed out on Amex credit cards at the moment.

Here are eight reasons to consider applying for the Hilton Surpass Card, which has a $75 annual fee:

100,000 points

The most basic reason to get this card is that it offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months. This is a limited time sign-up bonus, and is only available through May 31, 2017. 100,000 points is among the biggest bonuses we’ve seen on the card, so that in and of itself would make a great sign-up bonus for this product.

A free weekend night

But wait… there’s more! The card is also offering an additional bonus of a free weekend night on your card’s first account anniversary. The card only has a $75 annual fee, so that’s totally worth paying for the free night you get after your first year. This certificate can be used at a vast majority of Hilton family properties, including their most aspirational ones.

Use your free weekend night at the Conrad London

Gold status for as long as you have the card

This is the lowest annual fee credit card that offers Hilton Gold status without any spend requirement. You receive Hilton Gold status for as long as you have the Hilton Surpass Card. This is one of the most useful mid-tier status levels out there, as it offers free breakfast, bonus points, room upgrades, and typically even even executive lounge access. For someone who makes occasional stays at Hiltons, this is a great status to have.

Get free breakfast at Conrad hotels as a Gold member

Diamond status if you spend $40,000

If you want to earn top tier status with Hilton, spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year will do the trick. Obviously that’s a sizable amount of credit card spend, though at the same time that’s not too bad when you consider that you’re earning top tier status with a hotel chain. There’s no other hotel chain that gives you top tier status for such little spend.

Hilton Diamond members are guaranteed executive lounge access

Easy & risk free approval

Anecdotally I find that this card is extremely easy to be approved for, so assuming you have decent credit, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting approved for this card. If you’re an existing cardmember and are denied for the card (which seems unlikely), it typically won’t count against your credit score.

25K additional bonus points per approval

This is a really popular sign-up bonus, and the best part is that existing cardmembers can refer others to the Hilton Surpass Card. If you do, you’ll receive 25,000 Honors points per successful approval, up to a maximum of 80,000 bonus points per calendar year. If you don’t yet have the card, no worries. Once approved, you should be able to refer others to the card within days.

The best return on Hilton hotel spend

The Hilton Surpass Card offers 12x points per dollar spent at Hilton family properties, which is the most points offered by any card for Hilton hotel spend. However, the card does have foreign transaction fees, so you’ll only want to use the card for US stays.

500 bonus points per Hilton stay

On top of offering 12x points per dollar spent with Hilton, you also get 500 bonus points for every Hilton booking you make through one of the Hilton family websites and pay for with your Hilton Surpass Card. That’s a nice way for frequent Hilton guests to earn lots of extra points, given that there’s no cap to how many bonus points you can earn, and it’s combinable with other offers.

Bottom line

The sign-up bonus on the Hilton Surpass Card is the best we’ve ever seen, so I’d highly recommend applying under the current offer. I can’t imagine we’ll see a better offer anytime soon, and this is a card that I know many people don’t have. The card has a big sign-up bonus, great perks, and is fairly easy to get approved for.

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  1. Does the free weekend night require any spending requirement? Or is it no-strings attached like the Hyatt card annual free night?

  2. It sounds great, but with Hilton offering so many points on so many levels these days, I smell a redemption devaluation coming. Call me cynical. But you heard it here first.

  3. 8 reasons:

    1)affiliate income
    2)affiliate income
    3)affiliate income
    4)affiliate income
    5)affiliate income
    6)affiliate income
    7)affiliate income
    8)affiliate income
    9)blah blah blah…bigly offer….blah blah blah

  4. I think it’s unfair to say Lucky wrote this article purely for the sake of income. Come on, this is part of his livelihood, but he also gives all his readers ideas, insights and tips on making the most of your miles & points and reasons for these offers. I think it’s fair he gets compensation for his time, efforts and work. If you disagree with his reasons, you don’t have to sign up, but then again, why would you keep coming back for a free meal.

  5. I had to laugh at the referral bonus, 25K per referral but with an 80K max, I get that math is hard for some people but come on either make it 75K or 100K

  6. @ d — It would be valid through the end of next year, or in reality, through early 2019. So it’s always valid for the entire following year.

  7. @ Ashley — It all depends on what you’re looking for. Hotels range from 5K points per night to 95K points per night, and you get a fifth night free as an elite member. So depending on the category of hotel you’re redeeming at, it’ll get you anywhere from one to 25+ nights.

  8. @Ric Carrido sez: “…they devalued points last month with changes to Points & Money rewards.”

    Well, it is not quite that simple if you did the modeling, which I did so that no one else would have to. I have the goods here:


    At worst, it’s a wash. In my view, it’s a net positive rather than a ‘d’.

    In this medium, folks just loves to claim the ‘d’ word even when there is no basis for it. The math is trivial if one has the data, which I had the presence of mind to collect in order to be able to do a (semi)quantitative pre vs. post comparison. Take a look 😉


  9. @DCS, not true for me…I did a last min C+P book at Hilton Garden on Kauai before the change. Then check back the day after, guess what, I’ll need to pay more for the same date.

  10. @Keen — All you can say is that for that particular booking the ‘old’ C+P award system gave you better value. Follow the link provided above where such things are discussed.

    Everything considered, one is not worse off with the new system because the ‘old’ C+P awards did not universally yield good value, and they were rather tough to find. What the ‘new’ awards lack in value, they’ve made up for in availability because they are now practically UNLIMITED.

  11. Also, it would be a mistake to focus too much on C+P awards because people have been reporting some points-only award rates that have been the lowest they’ve ever been seasonally. Find a time of the year when room rates in cash are lowest at usually expensive properties, and you may get some incredibly cheap award rates since they now change synchronously with room rates in cash.

  12. Was about to apply then noticed the card has foreign transaction fees. Since I travel a lot intenationally, this is a deal breaker…

  13. I carry this card and have for years because it’s bonused at grocery stores (6ppd). I MS $40k per year for diamond, but I’ve been underwhelmed by Diamond recognition. Lounge access at Conrads has been the best benefit, and I’m happy to pay $79 a year just for that.

    But 100,000 Hilton points just isn’t a compelling offer at current redemption values. Not a terrible offer, mind you, but not compelling.

  14. If I already have the no annual fee Hilton Amex and “upgrade” to the Surpass, am I still eligible for the 100k points and free night?

  15. @Matt, you should be able to get a points offer or an upgrade offer if you apply for the AMEX Surpass card as an upgrade and meet the minimum spending requirements. I would log into your Hilton AMEX account online and see what offer might be available or call the AMEX Hilton customer service number on the back of your no fee AMEX Hilton card and ask what offer might be available.

  16. Two questions on this card for anyone that knows the answers:

    1) Can the free weekend night be redeemed at the Conrad Maldives?
    2) Does free breakfast apply to the card holder only or applied as free breakfast for room booked (e.g. extends to spouse if traveling with spouse in one book room)?


  17. @ Jess — Yep, it can be used at the Conrad Maldives. Breakfast applies for two adults in the room.

  18. @Andyandy,

    How do you go about MS for Diamond? That is something I would definitely be interested in doing.


  19. Thanks again for this news Lucky !
    I and my spouse applied for the Surpass and received the card by FED-X two days later.
    I immediately used the card to purchase two of the discounted AA ATL-DFW-HON R/T First class tickets for Feb.2018. $1130 per ticket -777 out, 767 back in.

    The Surpass points will be part of our other Hilton Honors bonuses for the same Hawaii trip and the two certificates will be used later.
    We are using the AMEX Surpass card in New Orleans this week for 12x points.
    This card and flight info was very timely and appreciated by us.

  20. Thanks Lucky.

    I agree with those above who like using Points+Cash option for booking. Although C+P is not always available, for those properties that do offer it, there can be some great point-stretching options.

  21. Anyone knows if both spouses apply for the Amex Surpass card, can both combine their free weekend night together at booking? And could this be used at the Conrad Maldives for a Water Villa (I know based on one above comment, it can be used at that property for standard rooms assuming). Thanks!

  22. If I want to get to Diamond with 40K spend, do I need to try to meet that 40K spend early in the calendar year. If I am at 20K spend, do I spend up to 39K by 12/31/17 and then meet the 40K spend on 1/2/18? Will that even count towards 40K spend? Trying to get some clarification.
    Thanks for all that you do. It is appreceiated.

  23. @bocephus: Variable load debit cards purchased at grocery stores and converted to money orders. $40K spend costs $530 all in and generates 240K points. Very location specific as some grocery stores won’t accept credit for gift card purchases. Check out the manufactured spending forum on Flyertalk for more info.

  24. @lucky – I’m really in a bind here. I am travelling about twice per month for work, typically only 2 nights or so, and have not been taking advantage of a single chain to rack up points. Not particularly fond of any of the chains in particular… makes no difference to me.

    So, QUESTION: I already have (and love) Gold status at Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood through Amex Plat and Citi Prestige. Is it worth is for me to pick a horse and go with it? Is Hilton the right horse to pick right now? 12x points on Hilton bookings using their card might make sense…

  25. @ Adam — That’s a toughie. If you’re staying with all the major groups and have some status with each of them, that might not be a bad way to go. I don’t personally find there to be that much difference between Hilton Gold and Diamond, though even so, I think there’s lots of value in picking up this card. You’d get a lot of points that you could use towards a trip, and you’d also earn lots of bonus points for your Hilton stays.

  26. @lucky – Ok, appreciate that.

    Are top tier Hilton branded hotels around 30k-40k per night ,in your experience? Headed to Thailand in winter and maybe Conrad Koh Samui might make sense with the 100k

    IHG has the free night every anniversary (unless I’m wrong or it’s been discontinued)… that’s really the only one that really intrigues me.

  27. @ Adam — Their absolute top properties go for 95K per night, which is steep. But there’s a lot of value to be had somewhere in the middle. I can see value in having both the IHG and Hilton card. The IHG card is an absolute no brainer for just about everyone, while the Hilton card is at least worth trying out for the 100K points plus the free night certificate on the first anniversary, which could be used at properties like the Conrad Koh Samui.

  28. Is the anniversary free night just on the first anniversary or every year? Thanks, love the website!

  29. @ SlamEx — I don’t think so, but keep in mind the Priority Pass membership didn’t even come with free visits. You had to pay $27 per visit.

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