Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card review

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Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

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Best for loyal Hilton customers

Annual Fee:
$95
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Bankrate Rating

Best for the international Hilton traveler

  • Rewards rate: 12X points per dollar 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: 130,000 bonus Hilton Honors points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 15.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable

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.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass current welcome offer

Currently, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card is offering an extra 130,000 points to card members who spend at least $2,000 in their first three months. Though points have a fairly low redemption rate, you’re looking at a variety of perks available from the welcome offer alone. And if you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you can earn a bonus free weekend night reward.

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.

Rewards

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 card member.

Earning rewards

When you make purchases through your Hilton Honors Surpass Card American Express, you’ll earn 12X the points on 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 when you stay for five consecutive nights or more.

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, but a night’s stay often costs a considerable amount more in points. You can use your points not only for hotel stays, but culinary experiences around the world or smaller perks like free Wi-Fi.

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 according to estimates by The Points Guy. 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.

Travel benefits

When you travel with Hilton, expect to travel in style. You’ll be awarded a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with 10 free airport lounge visits. 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 card member, 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. Other Hilton cards range from $0 to $400, 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 a moderate bonus offer, 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 Annual fee Rewards rate Welcome bonus
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

 

$95 6X points per dollar on Marriott hotel purchases, 2X on all other eligible purchases 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

 

$95 2X miles per dollar spent 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 card that offers airline rewards. 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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

The information about the 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.