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Update: There is a new widely available targeted offer out that matches the one outlined below. Click here for details. Update #2: This offer is expired
Yesterday, Amex announced a new set of Hilton cards for 2018. This morning, Greg wrote about the benefits of the newly-announced Hilton Aspire card (See: A new ultra-premium card, in-depth review: Amex Hilton Aspire). In addition to that new card, the Hilton Honors Surpass card is re-branding to become the Hilton Honors Ascend card. Many people are wondering whether or not the Ascend will be a new product and therefore open a new opportunity for a signup bonus. We don’t yet know the answer to that. Further, the announcement of a couple of new cards brought anticipation for what the new offers may be, but hello instant gratification: As reported by TPG, there is a new offer out on the Hilton Honors Surpass card good for up to 125,000 total Hilton Honors bonus points! That’s more points than the previous high of 100K, though the best bonus ever was arguably 100K points + a free weekend night on account anniversary (no longer available). Details on the new offer follow.
- 100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 3 months
- 25,000 additional bonus points after you spend an additional $1,000 or more on purchases within the first 6 months
- 12X Hilton Honors points at hotels in the Hilton portfolio of brands
- 6X Hilton Honors points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
- 3X Hilton Honors points everywhere else
- Automatic Hilton Gold status; Earn Diamond status with $40,000 calendar year spend
- New benefit starting 1/18/18: Free weekend night after $15K spend in calendar year
- $75 annual fee if your application is received by January 18, 2018
- Offer expires 1/17/18
This is the highest point-total we’ve ever seen offered on one of the Hilton cards. While Hilton’s points can have variable value, and you have to be careful about how the system prices out awards (See: Hilton stinks at math: book award nights separately), this is still a pretty strong offer to pick up a bunch of Hilton points. After you meet the spend, you’ll have at least 137,000 Hilton Honors points (that’s based on the lowest 3x everywhere on $4K spend). That should be enough for one night in a standard room anywhere and two or more free nights in many hotels.
Hilton takes a beating sometimes from points & miles fans, but I find points incredibly valuable for special events when many other hotels don’t make rooms available. For instance, I just now looked up New Year’s Eve in New York City. The Doubletree Times Square is literally right in Times Sqaure. The rate for a standard room that night is $3,491 with the Honors Discount. But it’s a standard room, so it’s bookable on 95,000 points. (Keep in mind that you can not cancel that room — the cancellation window is 90 days or you pay a 1-night penalty, so don’t go and book that unless you know you can go).
On average, you certainly won’t do quite that well — but I enjoy using Hilton points in situations like those (other Hilton hotels around Times Square are going for $1K+ or 70-80K points that night).
Note that if you open the Hilton Honors Surpass before January 18, 2018, you’ll pay the $75 fee for the first year (then it will increase to $95 next year). The advantage here is that you’ll be able to enjoy the add-on benefits of the new Ascend card and save twenty bucks. The Ascend card won’t have foreign transaction fees and you will be able to earn a free weekend night award with $15K spend in a calendar year starting on 1/18/18. Of course, the million dollar question is whether there will be an even better offer for the Ascend card when it comes out. Your guess is as good as mine on that, but I’m not sure how much better it will get.
I’m a current Surpass cardholder, so I won’t be applying for this one — though I will likely jump on the Aspire as soon as it comes out.
As always, you can find a link to this card on our Best Offers page.