Hilton Honors American Express Surpass vs. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
A close competitor to the Hilton Honors Surpass card is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless. The ongoing annual fee is also $95, and you’ll earn comparable rewards you can use at Marriott hotels around the world.
Like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless offers a high rewards rate (up to 17X points) on hotels participating in the issuer’s rewards program. Over 7,000 hotels participate in Marriott Bonvoy, and cardholders who regularly stay at (or prefer) Marriott hotels and their partner branches would certainly want this card on their radar.
The Hilton Surpass earns a boosted 12X points at Hilton locations, which is a bit lower than Bonvoy Boundless card’s offer. Additionally, Bonvoy points are worth about 0.7 cents per point compared to Hilton Honors points, which are valued at an average 0.6 cents per point according to Bankrate’s latest valuations.
If you plan to use your hotel card specifically for hotel stays, then the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is your best option from a strictly rewards-oriented perspective. Meanwhile, the Hilton card is likely a better standalone rewards option since it earns more in everyday spending categories, including at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. restaurants.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass vs. Capital One Venture Rewards credit card
The Capital One Venture offers a more flexible rewards program than the Hilton Honors Surpass card, albeit one that may be less rewarding if you’re planning to focus your spending on hotel stays.
Depending on how you redeem, the Venture card’s welcome bonus may be a bit less valuable than the Hilton Honors Surpass card’s, offering just 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening (equal to $750 in travel). Conveniently, you can redeem miles for any travel purchase with any brand, including for hotel nights, airfare and more. You may also enjoy more than 1-cent-per-mile in redemption value if you transfer Capital One miles to a high-value airline or hotel partner.
While Capital One miles are worth about 1 cent per mile through the issuer, which is a bit more than Hilton Honors points, the Hilton Honors Surpass offers higher earning bonus categories that can earn points much faster.
For example, if you shop regularly at grocery stores in the U.S. and frequently stay at Hilton Hotels, the Surpass card’s 6X points at U.S. supermarkets and 12X points per dollar at Hilton Hotels and resorts may net you more value than the Venture card’s 5X miles on hotels booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on general purchases. For instance, if you spent $5,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets and $2,000 per year at Hilton hotels with both cards, you’d earn 20,000 Capital One miles and 54,000 Hilton points, respectively. Your Capital One miles would be worth $200 in travel redemptions while the Hilton points would be worth roughly $324 when redeemed through the Hilton Honors portal.
That said, if you’re the kind of cardholder who makes everyday purchases more often than you stay at hotels, a flat-rate rewards card may be in your best interest. This idea is especially the case if you want to redeem points for air travel or other travel expenses through the issuer’s portal.
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 general travel card, like the Capital One Venture or its no-annual-fee sibling the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. You may also consider a co-branded airline credit card. That way, you’ve got both travel and lodging covered.