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Amex Hilton Surpass Review: Bonus Points, Complimentary Gold Status, and Much More

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Offer Status

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been collected independently by The Ascent. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Travelers looking for a quality hotel credit card at a reasonable price will find the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card tough to beat. In our Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card review, we'll cover why this card surpasses our expectations.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
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Credit Score:
Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Intro APR

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR

17.99%-26.99% Variable

Rewards Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. 12x points on Hilton purchases, 6x points on U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. dining, 3x points on other eligible purchases

3X - 12x points

Annual Fee Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. $0 introductory annual fee, $95 thereafter

$0 introductory

Welcome Offer Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. 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

130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points

  • Automatic Hilton Gold status is one of the many lucrative perks, including sky-high points for Hilton stays and for restaurants, groceries, and gas.

    • Big welcome bonus
    • Automatic Gold elite status
    • Airport lounge access
    • Earn a free weekend night
    • Bonus rewards in several spending categories
    • U.S.-centric bonus categories
    • 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.
    • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
    • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
    • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
    • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
    • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
    • $0 introductory annual fee, $95 thereafter
    • Terms Apply.

Full Amex Hilton Surpass review

This credit card is a good fit for: Travel rewards enthusiasts who want to save money on Hilton Hotels stays or get airport lounge access from a card that doesn't break the bank.

Top perks

130,000 points welcome bonus

You'll earn this sizable welcome offer after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months. Hilton Honors points are worth about $0.005 per point on average, although it's possible to redeem them for more. Based on that value, 130,000 bonus points are worth at least $650, making this one of the bigger welcome bonuses on the market. Terms apply.

Earn up to 12 points per $1

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card earns:

  • 12 points per $1 on purchases at Hilton hotels and resorts
  • 6 points per $1 at U.S. restaurants
  • 6 points per $1 U.S. supermarkets
  • 6 points per $1 U.S. gas stations
  • 3 points on other purchases
  • Terms apply

As we mentioned, Hilton Honors points aren't the most valuable credit card rewards. But even after taking that into account, this card can still earn you a lot of points very quickly. And its bonus categories are a match for the best rewards credit cards.

Earn a free weekend night reward

If you use your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card for $15,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year, you'll receive one free weekend night reward. This gets you a free night of standard accommodation at any Hilton property that has this type of room available. You can easily redeem this for a value of $100 to $200, and at higher-end properties, it could be worth over $500. Terms apply.

Read more: Best Hotel Credit Cards

Complimentary Gold status

As a cardholder, you'll automatically get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. Benefits include free breakfast, space-available room upgrades, and an 80% bonus on base points earned on every stay.

There's also the opportunity to get Hilton Honors Diamond status by making at least $40,000 in eligible purchases with your card in a calendar year. That's the highest elite status in the Hilton Honors program, and benefits include executive lounge access and a room guarantee if you book at least 48 hours in advance (some restrictions apply). Terms apply.

Airport lounge access

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card includes a complimentary Priority Pass membership with up to 10 free lounge visits per membership year when you enroll (terms apply). This type of Priority Pass membership is worth hundreds of dollars. Priority Pass lounges are widespread, as there are currently over 1,300 worldwide.

If you fly often, airport lounge access is an excellent benefit, especially from a credit card with a modest annual fee. Most credit cards offering a complimentary Priority Pass membership cost $400 or more.

No foreign transaction fees

Foreign transaction fees are charged on any purchase made in a foreign currency, which is anything except U.S. dollars (see rates and fees). Since the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card doesn't have any foreign transaction fees, you can use your credit card without worrying about paying extra fees on purchases in another currency while shopping at home or abroad. This can save you 2% to 3% on purchases versus cards with foreign transaction fees.

Related: Best American Express Credit Cards

Alternatives to consider

If you want the Hilton credit card with the most perks: The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was made for Hilton loyalists. It includes lucrative annual statement credits and a big welcome bonus. Terms apply.

If you want more flexible travel points: You'll have plenty of redemption options with the American Express® Gold Card. This card earns American Express Membership Rewards points, which you can transfer to a huge roster of airlines and hotels (including Hilton). Terms apply.

As of Sep. 30, 2022
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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

American Express® Gold Card
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Apply Now for American Express® Gold Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Rates & Fees Rates & Fees Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Welcome Offer: Welcome Offer info 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

130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Welcome Offer: Welcome Offer info 150,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $4,000 in the first three months of card opening

150,000 Hilton Honors points

Welcome Offer: Welcome Offer info Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

60,000

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. 12x points on Hilton purchases, 6x points on U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. dining, 3x points on other eligible purchases

3X - 12x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. 14 points per $1 at Hilton properties, 7 points per $1 on flights booked directly with the airline, rental cars booked through certain agencies, and dining in eligible U.S. restaurants, 3 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

3X - 14x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Earn 1X Membership Rewards® Points on other eligible purchases.

1X - 4X points

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: n/a

Balance Transfers: n/a

Regular APR:

17.99%-26.99% Variable

Regular APR:

17.99% - 26.99%, variable

Regular APR:

18.99%-25.99% Variable

Annual Fee: Annual Fee Tooltip $0 introductory annual fee, $95 thereafter

$0 introductory

Annual Fee:

$450

Annual Fee:

$250

Highlights:

  • 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.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $0 introductory annual fee, $95 thereafter
  • Terms Apply.

Highlights:

  • Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $4,000 in the first three months of card opening.
  • Earn 14 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties.
  • Earn 7 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with the airline, rental cars booked through certain agencies, and dining in eligible U.S. restaurants.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.
  • Earn up to $600 in statement credits.
  • Complimentary airport lounge access
  • Complimentary Diamond status

Highlights:

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now for American Express® Gold Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

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The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been collected independently by The Ascent. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Ascent. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

What could be improved

Free night reward

It's nice that you can earn a free weekend night certificate using the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, but there are two ways this benefit could be improved:

  • By removing the $15,000 spending minimum so you'd receive a free night every year just for being a cardholder, which is something many other hotel credit cards offer.
  • By allowing you to always use your free night any day of the week and not just on weekends. Terms apply.

Bonus points on international purchases

This card has several great bonus categories, including U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. The problem is that you only earn bonus points if those purchases are with U.S. businesses. If, for example, you're traveling internationally and use your card at a restaurant, you won't earn bonus points like you would at a restaurant in the States.

With travel credit cards, including hotel cards, we like to see benefits you can use all over the world. That's especially true with a Hilton credit card, considering that Hilton has a huge international footprint and it's likely that many cardholders will take international vacations. Terms apply.

For more options, take a look at our picks for the best credit cards for international travel.

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

We suggest having a FICO® Score of at least 670 when applying for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. You stand a much better chance of approval if you have good or excellent credit. Just like with any credit card application, your credit score isn't the only factor that matters, so that alone won't guarantee an approval or a denial. Amex will consider your entire credit profile, as well as your income, when evaluating your application.

Is the annual fee worth it?

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year that is $95 thereafter (see rates and fees). This is a great deal if you can make use of the card's benefits. And the welcome bonus gets you off to a good start.

The free weekend night reward alone should more than pay for the annual fee, and it could be worth over $500. If you're going to spend at least $15,000 using your Hilton credit card, then you'll easily come out ahead from the free weekend night reward and all the points you earn.

Complimentary Gold status in the Hilton Honors program and airport lounge access are useful perks, especially for frequent travelers. The more that you stay at Hilton properties and use airport lounges, the more value you'll get.

The Amex Hilton Surpass card is right for you if:

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is perfect if you want a Hilton credit card that doesn't break the bank. With a modest annual fee after the first year and being packed with benefits, it's well-suited to those who stay at Hilton properties at least a few times per year but don't visit often enough to justify a credit card with a high annual fee.

This card is also a good fit for consumers who want affordable airport lounge access. Most airport lounge program memberships and credit cards with this benefit cost several hundred dollars. You can get the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card for much less, making it the rare hotel credit card that also packs some serious air travel value.

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