Another Hilton Gem



Update: This post includes offers that were valid at the time of publication, but have since expired. Please click here to see the best offers currently available.

This morning I wrote about how the Hilton HHonors Surpass card from American Express surpassed my expectations for its point-earning ability.  A few helpful readers pointed out that American Express has another Hilton HHonors card without the “Surpass” title and without the Surpass card’s $75 annual fee.  I took a look at this card and indeed it appears to be almost as good as the Surpass for point-earnings.  The main differences appear to be that for spending at Hilton hotels, the Surpass earns 9 points per dollar whereas the regular card earns 6; and while both cards will get you Gold status with $20K spend per year, only the Surpass will get you Diamond status for $40K spend per year.  Check out the comments of the previous post to see one way (if you are a big spender) that you could actually cycle back and forth between these cards to keep Diamond status without paying $75 every year for the annual fee.

In order to estimate the point earning power of credit cards, I’ve setup a simple spreadsheet to automate the calculations.  When I plugged the Hilton HHonors specs into the spreadsheet, it came out with a 4.43 points per dollar average.  Compared to the 4.5 points per dollar average of the Surpass, this card is a close contender!

With the non-Surpass card, you will receive 6 Hilton HHonors bonus points at Hilton hotels, supermarkets; drug stores; stand-alone gas stations; and home telephone, wireless, cable, satellite TV and internet service providers. You will receive 3 Hilton HHonors bonus points per dollar for all other eligible spending.

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[…] Hilton HHonors and Hilton HHonors Surpass […]


Magic Man: the Hilton cards have stopped giving bonus points at drug stores anyway. Yes, I agree that 1 Ultimate Rewards point is worth more than 3 Hilton points.

Magic Man

I am buying vanilla reloads at my local CVS. They code it as a perscription rather than a normal purchase; consequently I get 3 points per $ from Hilton (not 6) and 1 point from Sapphire. I think I get more bang for the buck for travel use of my points. If that is true, which is a better value – 3 Hilton or 1 Sapphire? Thanks


Thanks for the update. I was curious to see what the average was between the two cards. I will stick with my regular HHonors card for now.


The best advantage of Diamond status is to force a sold out property on a reward redemption at Diamond Axon reward redemption schedule. If the property is close to sold out just have a “friend” book up all of the available rooms then force a discounted reward redemption then cancell the unwanted reservations.


The Surpass AMEX actually gives gold status without the $20k spend (for the first year). Of course, HHonors did a good job negating this advantage recently, which means those of us who had the Surpass for that reason lost out. Where was that darn crystal ball a few months ago….