Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Note: American Express is a Frequent Miler advertiser. Please see our Advertiser Disclosure.

Card Details and Application Link
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Up to 180K points
Up to 180K points: 130K after $2K Spend in the first 3 months + 50K after $10K total spend in first 6 months. Terms apply.
Click Here to Apply

$95 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Easy way to secure Hilton Gold status (which offers free breakfast among other perks). Those who want Diamond status may be better off with the Aspire card.


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 12X Hilton spend ⚬ 6X U.S. restaurants, US Supermarkets, and US gas stations ⚬ 3X on all other eligible purchases

Big spend bonus:
⚬ Free weekend night after $15K spend in calendar year ⚬ Diamond elite status with $40K calendar year spend ⚬ Terms apply

Noteworthy perks: Free Gold status. Diamond status w/ $40K spend. ⚬ 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits per calendar year ⚬ Terms Apply.

See also: Hilton Amex Cards. Everything you need to know.

Overview

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card offers the following benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Hilton Gold status; Diamond status after $40K calendar year spend
  • Earning rate:
    • 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
    • 6X at U.S. grocery stores, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
    • 3X on all other eligible purchases
  • Weekend Night Rewards:
    • $15K calendar year spend = weekend night reward
    • You will receive the reward email within 8-12 weeks after you have met each purchase requirement.
    • Weekend = Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night
    • Weekend Night Rewards cannot be used at Hilton hotels listed here: HiltonHonors.com/weekendreward.

  • 10 free Priority Pass Lounge passes per calendar year

Overall this is a great option for those who want an easy way to get and keep Hilton Gold status (which offers free breakfast, among other perks). Due to the relatively low value of Hilton points compared to many other types of rewards (see: Reasonable Redemption Values), this isn't the best card to use for spend at 3X, but it's not bad for it's 6X and 12X categories.

Application Tips


Amex Application Tips



  • Safe to Apply: Amex is the safest bank for trying your luck at earning a new welcome bonus offer. They don’t usually issue a hard pull when denying your application, and if you already have an Amex card, they won't usually issue a hard pull when approved for another one. Plus, they’ll now warn you during the application process if you’re not eligible for the bonus.

  • Lifetime Rule: If you've ever had the same card before, you are most likely prohibited from earning a welcome bonus offer for the card if you apply now. Fortunately you'll be warned during the application process if this is the case. Amex is known to "forget" that you've had a card after about 7 years.

  • 90 Day Rule: You can get at most two credit cards within 90 days. This rule does not apply to Pay Over Time (charge) cards.

  • 5 credit card max: Amex usually won't approve applications for new credit cards if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards or 10 or more charge cards.

  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.

  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day


Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration: 877-399-3083 (new accountholders); 866-314-0237 (current accountholders)


How to Meet Spend Requirements

In order to meet minimum spend requirements, people often look for options to increase spend in ways that result in getting their money back. These techniques are referred to as "manufacturing spend". American Express has terms in their welcome offers that exclude some manufactured spend techniques from counting towards the minimum spend requirements for the welcome bonus offer. For example, most new cardmember bonuses have terms like this:
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount do NOT include fees or interest charges, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of other cash equivalents.
That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):

Related Cards (Hilton)

Card Offer
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Up to 180K points
Up to 180K points: 130K after $2K spend in 3 months + 50K after $10K total spend in first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$95 Annual Fee

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OR97

Just got an offer in the mail for the surpass — 175k points after 4K spend. Trying to work the math on this vs the Aspire with 150k Sign up. Surpass is just $95 but I would be paying that fee for essentially nothing in return since we can’t travel and use the one good feature, gold status. Aspire has $450 fee but comes with a free night (valid for 2 years) and the other well described benefits, useful this year, that could wipe out that $450 fee (even without using diamond status, to keep things consistent). Next scenarios are 1) do the Surpass now with bigger bonus, then upgrade later (and hope for a bonus in doing so?), 2) do both sequentially and product change the surpass to a no fee card in 1 year. ….topic for discussion by the great Minds at FM?

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