Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card review

Bankrate Staff Avatar
Bankrate Staff  in  Hotel How we rate our cards  | 

Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which Bankrate.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and the likelihood of applicants' credit approval also impact how and where products appear on this site. Bankrate.com does not include the entire universe of available financial or credit offers.
Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover.

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict editorial integrity, this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for how we make money.

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Annual Fee:
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Purchase Intro APR:
Regular APR:
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our excellent credit category page.


Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Overview

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card* is one of the best cards for Hilton fans who do moderate travel. With a hefty rewards system and some enticing bonuses, you can acquire quite a few free stays with your new Hilton card.

Want more details? Jump to the following sections:

What are the advantages and disadvantages?


  • Earn Hilton Honors Gold status for up to 80 percent more rewards on stays
  • Start to redeem rewards from 5,000 points
  • Variety of perks and experiences make travel more comfortable


  • Reward redemptions limited to hotel stays, experiences and gift certificates
  • Single nights at hotels can cost significant points

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 12X points per dollar of eligible purchases on Hilton hotels and resorts; 6X points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; 3X points per dollar on other eligible purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 15.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable

Current welcome offer

Currently, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card is offering 130,000 points if you spend at least $2,000 in eligible purchases in their first three months of card membership.

Though Hilton Honors points have a fairly low redemption rate compared to similar hotel rewards programs, according to The Points Guy, you can commonly find award night availabilities for as low as 5,000 points, so you can squeeze a good bit of value out of this welcome offer. If you’re planning on traveling or staying at a Hilton property with any frequency, this is a welcome offer you don’t want to pass up.


The rewards program with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card acts as an extension of the free Hilton Honors program. You’ll earn more points than a free member of the program just for being a cardmember.

Earning rewards

When you make purchases through your Hilton Honors Surpass Card American Express, you’ll earn 12X the points on for eligible purchases at Hilton portfolio stays around the world. When you use your card on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, you’ll earn 6X the points per dollar. All other eligible purchases will accrue points at a rate of 3X per dollar. In addition, being a Surpass cardholder will grant you Gold elite status, which will give you perks like every fifth night free on rewards stays when you stay for five consecutive nights or more.

If you’re a restaurant regular on the road or close to home, you could also have the chance to stack another 8X points on top of your base 6X rate for U.S. restaurants with the Hilton Honors Dining program. Just linking your card to Hilton’s dining program will earn you an extra 2X points at select restaurants, but you can easily step up to 5X points by signing up for Hilton Honors Dining’s email communications list. Making 11 qualified transactions with the program in one calendar year will earn you VIP status, along with a boosted 8X points at participating locations, an expanded pool of potential restaurants and access to the VIP Member Services line.

There are several other ways to earn Hilton Honors points, including linking your Hilton Honors account with Lyft and select car rental partners or reaching Hilton stay milestones. These methods won’t rake in the rewards at the same rate as your card’s bonus categories, but they could make a difference toward your next getaway.

Redeeming rewards

You can redeem rewards by logging in to your Hilton Honors account online, via the app or by calling 1-800-4HONORS. The minimum required redemption is 5,000 points if you’re paying with both points and money, but a night’s stay often costs a considerable amount more in points. You can use your points not only for free hotel stays and on-property perks (like free Wi-Fi) but also for:

  • Exclusive experiences in dining, concerts, sports and more
  • Lyft rides
  • Shopping on Amazon.com or with Hilton’s merchandise portal
  • Rental cars with Alamo, National and Enterprise
  • Transfers to 30+ partner travel loyalty programs

How much are points worth?

Hilton Honors points are among the most inflated in hotel rewards programs, only worth around 0.6 cents per point. However, we’ve found that number is a relative baseline since Hilton’s redemption structure means your points’ value can fluctuate based on your booking since some properties and travel options would typically cost more. For example,  While the high earning rate of rewards can be tempting, it can often cost around 25,000 points or more for a single night’s stay.

If you use your card enough, you’ll likely get a good number of hotel stays under your belt. But don’t expect rewards to stretch too far.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass: Benefits

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card boasts some impressive travel perks, which are nice for getting a worldwide Hilton experience.

Hilton Night Reward

The Hilton Surpass card also comes with its own yearly award night benefit. By spending at least $15,000 on eligible purchases in one calendar year, you earn a “Free Weekend Night Reward.”

You’ll receive your complimentary night in the form of a redeemable code via email about 8 to 12 weeks after meeting the eligibility requirement. Your weekend night can cover one weekend night standard accommodation for two guests and covers all applicable resort fees and taxes on the cost of the room for the night. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover incidentals and must be redeemed on or before its expiration date.

Travel benefits

When you travel with Hilton, expect to travel in style. You’ll have premium airport lounge access with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership featuring 10 free airport lounge visits each Priority Pass Membership year once enrolled. You’ll also be able to avoid pesky foreign transaction fees while you travel, as well as have access to the Global Assist Hotline.

American Express experiences

As a cardmember, you’ll also get exclusive Amex benefits. You’ll be privy to special members-only experiences like sporting events, Broadway shows and more.

Money management tools

Enjoy $0 fraud liability, a year-end summary of your spending and payment assistance plans to help you budget your spending and stay on track.

Rates and Fees

For the Hilton Honors Surpass Card, you can expect an annual fee of $95 ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year). Other Hilton cards range from $0 to $450, so this is a nice middle ground. With the power of your welcome offer alone, you likely won’t feel the impact of the fee.

Unfortunately, there is no intro APR to temper the annual fee. You’re looking at an interest rate between 15.74 percent and 24.74 percent (variable).

A bright spot for international travelers, though: You won’t incur any foreign transaction fees.

How the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass compares to other hotel cards

Want to rack up hotel rewards, but aren’t a die-hard Hilton fan? Consider how the Hilton Honors Surpass Card fares against other hotel credit cards, like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. The annual fee is also $95, and you’ll earn comparable rewards you can use at Marriott hotels around the world.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, on the other hand, has a comparable annual fee of $95 but offers more flexible rewards. You’ll earn 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel. As well as 2X the miles per dollar on all purchases. You can then redeem those miles for any travel purchase with any brand made on your card, including for hotel nights, airfare and more.

Card Name Rewards rate Annual fee Welcome bonus
Hilton Honors American Express Card
  • 7X points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio
  • 5X points at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and eligible U.S. restaurants
  • 3X points on other purchases
$0 • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership. Offer expires 8/25/2021. Plus, earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family of hotels in the first 12 months of card membership. Offer expires 8/25/2021.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
  • Up to 17X points per dollar on Marriott Bonvoy hotel purchases
  • 2X on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • 2X miles per dollar on all purchases
  • 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel

Best cards to pair with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card is almost exclusively geared toward hotel stays, so you could create a powerful combination with a branded airline credit card. That way, you’ve got travel and lodging covered.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass worth it?

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card is, overall, a fairly high-quality hotel card for the casual traveler. For those with more money and more trips on the books, you may want to consider a different Hilton credit card. If you’re looking for something with more flexibility, check out our guide for choosing a hotel credit card.

*The information about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.