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Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card


Intro offer

130,000 points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership


Rewards

Earn 12x Points on hotels & resorts at eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6x Points on dining at restaurants worldwide, and for takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 6x Points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 6x Points on gas at U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Points on all other purchases


$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22)

Annual Fee

American Express Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card


Intro offer

130,000 points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership


Rewards

Earn 12x Points on hotels & resorts at eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6x Points on dining at restaurants worldwide, and for takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 6x Points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 6x Points on gas at U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Points on all other purchases


$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22)

Annual Fee


$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22)

Annual Fee

On American Express’s website

This card is a terrific choice if you stay with Hilton, even occasionally. It balances excellent benefits, including Gold elite status and 10 airport lounge visits per year, with a modest annual fee. And while it doesn’t come with an automatic free night certificate on your account anniversary, you can earn one by spending $15,000 on the card in a year.


Rewards

Earn 12x Points on hotels & resorts at eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6x Points on dining at restaurants worldwide, and for takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 6x Points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 6x Points on gas at U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Points on all other purchases


Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22)


Intro offer

130,000 points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent


Regular APR

18.74% – 27.74% Variable

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If you’re looking for ways to save on your next Hilton hotel stay and don’t mind paying an annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
is worth considering. The card offers a terrific welcome bonus, great earning rates, and strong perks like Hilton Gold elite status. Plus, you’ll get a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22). 

Review: Is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card the best credit card for you?

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card earns terrific rewards rates on multiple categories like Hilton hotel bookings, restaurants, gas stations, and more. Plus, it has excellent benefits like Hilton Gold status, 10 annual free Priority Pass airport lounge visits, and milestone bonuses. Currently, new cardholders get a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22). 

You can earn a welcome bonus of 130,000 points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership. This is enough points to cover a splurge at luxurious Hilton brands like Waldorf Astoria and Conrad — or you can stretch your points for longer stays at budget-friendly favorites like Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn. 

The card doesn’t offer a 0% intro APR on balance transfers or purchases, but that’s not really what the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is designed for. It has a regular 18.74% – 27.74% Variable APR). 

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is best suited for Hilton loyalists and frequent travelers who spend big on travel bookings and on-the-road expenses like gas and dining. With that, if you’re looking to boost your Hilton balance quickly, using this card on everyday expenses is a great way to earn a ton of points.

But if you don’t want to be restricted to only earning points at Hilton hotels, you should look for a different hotel credit card that earns points at other hotel and properties locations without being tied to a specific hotel chain. The Hotels.com®️ Rewards Visa®️ Credit Card lets you stay at almost any hotel (even apartments and home rentals) around the world for no annual fee. However, the earning rates are limited as you can only collect stamps (1 stamp per $500 earned) at eligible hotel stays. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for even more perks and don’t mind a higher annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
can be an even better choice for frequent travelers, because it comes with top-tier Diamond status, airline fee and Hilton resort credits, and unlimited Priority Pass visits**. Or, for flexibility, consider a card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points like The Platinum Card® from American Express
(which also offers Hilton Gold status**) or the American Express® Gold Card
. You can transfer Amex points from these cards to Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio, and occasionally there are transfer bonuses.

Insider’s Featured Rewards Credit Cards

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Earn unlimited 3x points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Earn 1x points on other purchases.

30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Earn 3x ThankYou® points at restaurants and supermarkets. Earn 3x ThankYou® points at gas stations, air travel, and hotels. Earn 1x ThankYou® points on all other purchases

80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Earn 5x points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Earn 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out. Earn 3x points on select streaming services. Earn 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs). Earn 2x points on other travel. Earn 1x point per dollar on everything else.

60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

How to earn points with the Amex Hilton Surpass card

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card earns the most points at Hilton hotels, but it’s also good for earning bonus points in useful everyday spending categories.

Cardholders earn:

  • 12x points on eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio
  • 6x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery)
  • 6x points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets
  • 6x points on gas at U.S. gas stations
  • 3x points on all other eligible purchases

How to use Hilton points

Based on Insider’s points and miles valuations, Hilton points are worth, on average, 0.5 cents apiece — so if you’re receiving that rate or better when you redeem your points, you’re getting a good deal. Of course, it’s possible to get even more value from your points, especially when you use them for stays at expensive luxury hotels.

Redeem on Hilton Hotel stays

The Hilton Honors program includes over 7,000 hotels in 122 countries, so it’s easy to redeem your points just about anywhere you go.

Typically, the most valuable way to redeem your Hilton points is on award nights, either for a completely free stay or by combining points and cash. It’s important to note, Hilton doesn’t have a standard award chart; instead, the price of an award night at a particular hotel fluctuates based on demand, cash price, and season. 

Standard award nights start at 5,000 Hilton points up to 95,000 points (with a couple of exceptions that go up to 150,000 points), but premium awards  — for better rooms, suites, or high-demand dates — can cost much more. Keep in mind the lowest-priced Hilton hotels are usually budget-friendly brands (like Tru by Hilton or Hampton Inn) located off the beaten path; upscale hotels in big cities or luxury resorts will cost more points.

For example, you can book an overwater villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island for 120,000 points a night instead of paying over $1,300 with cash. Or, you can stretch your points at hotels like the Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/N Loop/Michigan Avenue, where low-season rates are as little as 20,000 points per night. Always be sure to compare the cash price to the award rate, because sometimes the paid rate is so low it’s better to save your points for a higher-value redemption.

The Gold elite status you automatically receive with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card qualifies you for the fifth night free on award stays of five nights or more. This is another great way to stretch your points if you want to make them last.

Transfer Hilton points to airlines

Hilton Honors partners with over 25 airlines, and you can transfer points at varying ratios depending on the program. This typically won’t result in the best value, but if you won’t be using points for stays it’s an option for other types of travel.

Redeem Hilton points for experiences, events, merchandise, and more

Other options for redeeming Hilton points also won’t get you the highest value, but they could be helpful in certain circumstances:

  • Hilton experiences — Use points for exclusive events, dining, and tours
  • Use Hilton points for event credits — Starting at 25,000 points for up to $50 credit
  • Redeem Hilton points at Amazon — A poor value; you’ll get just 0.2 cents per point
  • Donate Hilton points to charity — For every 10,000 points you donate, Hilton will send $25 to a charity of your choice
  • Use Hilton points toward Lyft rides — Again, not the best value; you’ll typically get around 0.2 cents per point
  • Pool or transfer Hilton points to a friend — Send up to 2 million points per year to friends or family with no fee, or pool your points with up to 11 people to save for a redemption

Hilton points expire if there’s no activity in your account for 24 months, but due to the pandemic, the chain has paused points expiration until December 31, 2022. Spending on a Hilton credit card like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is an easy way to keep your points from expiring until you’re ready to travel.

Amex Hilton Honors Express Surpass benefits and features

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with a lot of useful perks that can improve your travel experience and save you money.

Free night award certificate

When you spend $15,000 or more on eligible purchases in a calendar year with your card, you can receive a free night certificate. Previously, these certificates were only valid for weekend nights (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday), but you can now redeem them any day of the week.

Automatic Hilton Gold elite status

Cardholders receive Hilton Gold status as long as their card is open and in good standing. 

Keep in mind that if you spend $40,000 or more on eligible purchases in a calendar year with your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you’ll get upgraded to Hilton Diamond elite status through the end of the following calendar year. Hilton Diamond status is even more valuable as it comes with all the benefits of Gold status, plus a 100% points bonus on paid stays, better upgrades, executive lounge access, and premium Wi-Fi.

Priority Pass airport lounge access

When you have the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you can enroll in a complimentary Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership**, with 10 free visits included per year. While other, more premium cards offer a membership with unlimited visits, you’ll usually have to pay a much higher annual fee — so this is a good option if you only travel a few times a year.

Car rental loss and damage insurance

When you pay for your car rental with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental counter, you can get secondary coverage for damage to or theft of the vehicle. Some countries and vehicle types are excluded, so be sure to read the terms and conditions before you rent and note that liability insurance isn’t included.

Baggage insurance plan

If you pay for a covered trip with Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you can be covered for baggage loss or damage, up to $500 per person for checked bags, and $1,250 per person for carry-on luggage.

There are exclusions for high-risk items and some states have different limits, so check the terms and conditions for specific details.

Purchase protection

When you pay for an eligible item with Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, purchase protection can cover theft or damage that occurs within 90 days of purchase, up to a maximum of $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per account per calendar year.

Extended warranty

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with up to one additional year of extended warranty coverage for eligible new purchases in the US or its territories, on manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less. 

Global Assist Hotline

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card members can access Amex’s Global Assist Hotline when they’re traveling 100 or more miles from home.

This service can provide help with issues like translation services, missing luggage, emergency legal and medical referrals, and lost passports, but you’ll be responsible for any third-party costs.

American Express Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card


Intro offer

130,000 points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership


Rewards

Earn 12x Points on hotels & resorts at eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6x Points on dining at restaurants worldwide, and for takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 6x Points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 6x Points on gas at U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Points on all other purchases


$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22)

Annual Fee

American Express Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card


Intro offer

130,000 points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership


Rewards

Earn 12x Points on hotels & resorts at eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6x Points on dining at restaurants worldwide, and for takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 6x Points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 6x Points on gas at U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Points on all other purchases


$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22)

Annual Fee


$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22)

Annual Fee

On American Express’s website

This card is a terrific choice if you stay with Hilton, even occasionally. It balances excellent benefits, including Gold elite status and 10 airport lounge visits per year, with a modest annual fee. And while it doesn’t come with an automatic free night certificate on your account anniversary, you can earn one by spending $15,000 on the card in a year.


Rewards

Earn 12x Points on hotels & resorts at eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6x Points on dining at restaurants worldwide, and for takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 6x Points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 6x Points on gas at U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Points on all other purchases


Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22)


Intro offer

130,000 points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent


Regular APR

18.74% – 27.74% Variable

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Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

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Fees and costs

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has a 18.74% – 27.74% Variable APR. There’s a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22). It charges a cash advance fee, a late payment fee, and a returned payment fee (both up to $40).

But Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, so it’s a good choice for international purchases. 

Hilton Surpass card vs other Hilton credit cards

Hilton Honors Surpass vs other hotel credit cards

Hilton Surpass card frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Even if you only stay with Hilton occasionally, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is worth it for the perks it offers, and you’ll get a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (offer ends 10/26/22). In the first year, the welcome bonus offer alone is worth many times more than the fee, and benefits like Hilton Gold status and Priority Pass airport lounge access can save you money and make your travels more comfortable.

That said, if you’re completely opposed to paying an annual fee, you still have options. The no-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card also offers a great welcome bonus offer, and although it doesn’t come with as many benefits, it’s still a good choice for infrequent Hilton travelers.

It’s free to add authorized users to your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, as long as they’re at least 13 years old. Any points earned from their spending will be credited to the primary cardholder’s Hilton account and count toward meeting spending thresholds for higher elite status and free night certificates.

Keep in mind you’ll be responsible for any purchases made by your authorized users. Authorized users do not receive additional benefits like Hilton Gold status or Priority Pass Select membership.

If you already have a Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card open, you won’t be able to open another one. Amex also has a one bonus, per person, per lifetime rule, so if you’ve already received the bonus on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in the past (even when it was previously called the Hilton Honors Amex Ascend Card), you aren’t eligible to receive it again.

However, it is possible to have more than one type of Hilton card open at a time. So, for example, if you already have The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, Hilton Honors American Express Card, or Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you could still qualify for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.



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