10 Reasons To Apply For The Hilton Surpass Card

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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 once again has its best ever sign-up bonus at the moment. We’ve never seen a better publicly available offer on the card. During the last promotion (earlier this year) I applied for the card, as did several family members, and we all got instantly approved.

If you haven’t yet applied for the card, here are 10 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 October 4, 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

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 many of their most aspirational ones.

Use your free weekend night at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai

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 executive lounge access on a space available basis. For someone who makes occasional stays at Hiltons, this is a great status to have.

I recently received a suite upgrade 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 & (mostly) risk free approval

Anecdotally I find that this card is extremely easy to be approved for, so assuming you have excellent credit, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting approved for this card. Three of my family members applied during the last promotion, and we all got instantly approved. 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.

The ability to combine points for free

Hilton Honors has made lots of improvements to their program this year, and one of those is the ability to pool points among members. You can pool points among up to 11 members, and can transfer a maximum of 500,000 points in a calendar year. It’s incredibly valuable to be able to do this, especially in the context of this increased sign-up bonus. That’s because this allows you to combine the sign-up bonuses from multiple members so that you can use them towards a single redemption, take advantage of the fifth night free benefit, etc.

Access to Amex Offers

In addition to the benefits directly associated with the card, there are other benefits to having Amex cards in general. There’s the Amex Offers program, which offers special savings and bonus opportunities for cardmembers. The more Amex cards you have, the more offers you’ll have access to. I save hundreds of dollars per year using the Amex Offers program, and it’s a great reason to have as many Amex cards as possible.

Bottom line

We’ve never seen a bigger sign-up bonus on the Hilton Surpass Card, so if you haven’t yet applied, I’d seriously consider doing so. This is a card with a huge sign-up bonus and great ongoing perks that make it worth holding onto long term.

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  1. This is a great card to replace the Citi Hilton Reserve card which is going away. Hilton Gold is worthwhile especially for lounge access overseas. But, foreign transaction fees? Boo.

  2. I picked it up a few days ago, then signed my fiancée up too. Stupid mistake though- I didn’t use the refer-a-friend option for her sign-up, costing us 25K Hilton points.

  3. be careful for those applying, the last same promo they were running , still owe me 100k points in which they’d admitted they have some wide system glitches affecting customers that suppose to earn the 100k , and not just hilton but also spg…I have a case open, and they’re aware of situation yet still heard back from them…this was dated back in july 8 weeks after qualify purchase from May

  4. @Colin, echoed by others, sez: “It seems crazy for a card like this to have foreign transaction fees.”

    The math is simple: the foreign transaction fee on the HH AMEX Surpass card pays for itself because the card, which should be used ONLY to pay for Hilton stays, awards 12/$. That is like earning 4 Hyatt points/$ or 2 starpoints/$. Do the math!

    Moreover, claims like this one by self-anointed “ravel gurus:

    “a Marriott point is worth nearly double a Hilton point so even the free night after the first year doesn’t swing the value proposition over”

    are utterly clueless and stupid because it continues to betray a complete lack of understanding of the ‘value’ of loyalty points.

    For instance, the estimated REDEMPTION value for a starpoint is ~2.4cents and that of a Hilton Honors point’s is ~0.5 cent. HOWEVER, on average, one earns 6 more HH points a pop than one earns starpoints FOR THE SAME SPEND, therefore, after adjusting for the relative EARN rates in order to be able to compare apples and apples, rather than apples and oranges, a starpoints is worth 2.4cents/6 ~= 0.4 cent (vs. ~0.5 cent) IN TERMS OF HH points, or a HH point is worth 0.5 cent * 6 = 3 cents (vs. 2.4 cents) IN TERMS OF starpoints. Comparing MR and HH points or any other pair of loyalty currencies after doing the same type of loyalty “currency conversion” would show, considering the uncertaintiy in the estimates, that there is NO DIFFERENCE whatsoever among the various hotel loyalty points currencies. Anyone who claims otherwise is clueless. Period.

    Bottom line: This AMEX Surpass offer is one of the very best out there at the moment. With 100K HH points, one can get outside redemption values (https://goo.gl/oD3d6a) if one is smart about how one redeems the points. Add an extra night on top of that and the redemption value of this offer is in stratosphere.


  5. I signed up for this card as I have a few Hilton trips planned and figured it made sense given the sign-up bonus and status. I was also planning on referring a friend to get more points. However, once I logged into my account, I saw the offer for the referral bonus. I click that and am taken to a page saying that this offer isn’t valid for my account.

    Any other new account holders having this issue? I figured I’d wait a few days before trying again or contacting Amex but wanted to check if anyone knew if new cards weren’t eligible for this offer.

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