Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Review
Great credit card with benefits like Hilton Gold status and everyday spending multipliers.
By Sebastian F.|Updated on 10/19/2023Back
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers a great intro bonus, spend multipliers, and valuable Hilton Elite status for cardholders (as long as the card remains open).
Terms apply to Amex offers and benefits. Rates & Fees
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has a handful of everyday categories to earn points on, including:
- 12x points when you make eligible purchases at Hilton hotels and resorts
- 6x points for dining at U.S. restaurants, including delivery and takeout
- 6x points at U.S. supermarkets
- 6x points at U.S. gas stations
- 4x points on U.S. online retail purchases
- 3x points for every dollar you spend on other eligible purchases
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Earn a Weekend Free Night Award after spending $15K
Welcome Offer and Eligibility
American Express has a once-in-a-lifetime rule for welcome offer eligibility. You might not get a welcome offer if you already had the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card.
Other factors like your history with credit card balance transfers, your past as an American Express Card Member, and how many credit cards you've opened and closed can also affect your eligibility for a welcome offer.
If you're not eligible, American Express will tell you before we process your application, and you can choose to cancel the application it if you want. In that case, you will receive a pop-up notification that you do not qualify.
Review: Is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Worth It?
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is worth considering if you visit Hilton properties a few times a year. It gives you a handful of useful Elite benefits as long as you are a cardholder (you lose the perks if you close the card).
Be aware that some of these benefits do require online enrollment.
Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status
Receive Hilton Honors Gold status as a complimentary benefit when you have the Hilton Honors Surpass® Card.
Enrollment is required. All you need to do is log in to your Amex account, go to benefits, and it should be an option to add your Hilton number for status.
One of the key benefits of having Hilton Honors Gold status is getting a Daily Food & Beverage Credit at select brands in the U.S., and Motto by Hilton globally, and complimentary Continental Breakfast at select brands outside the U.S. (excluding Motto by Hilton). The benefit varies by brand and region.
Free Night Reward
You can earn a Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Terms apply.
This night is uncapped. You can use it at properties like the Waldorf Astoria Maldives that might run 150k Hilton per night. Note that these only work for "standard room" - if those are all taken, then you won't be able to use the certificate.
Value of Hilton Honors Points
The value of Hilton Honors points varies based on how you plan to redeem them. Most people redeem Hilton Honors points for stays at Hilton properties. Generally, you want to aim to get at least 0.6 cents per point in value for each Hilton redemption.
The formula to calculate the cents per point value is:
Cash price (including taxes and fees) / Number of points needed for hotel stay = Points value for that specific reservation
For example, you want to redeem 100,000 Hilton Honors points at a hotel that might retail for at least $600.
You'll generally get more value at aspirational properties like the Conrad Bora Bora or the Waldorf Astoria Maldives compared to budget properties like a Hampton Inn.
You have the option to utilize your Hilton Honors points for booking flights with various partner airlines and can accumulate additional points by flying with these airlines and transferring your miles to Hilton. It's important to ensure that you've connected your chosen travel partner to your Hilton Honors account, and all transactions need to be completed online.
Note that transferring Hilton Honors points to transfer partners is usually a bad redemption value. The reason is that the transfer rate of points is very low, and you would need a ton for any base-level redemption.
Unsurprisingly, Hilton points are best for Hilton brand stays.
Hilton transfer partners include:
- ANA - All Nippon Airways
- Asiana Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Delta Air Lines
- Etihad Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic Airways
- Virgin Australia
We wouldn't use the airline partner route unless you were in a serious pinch to "top off" (need a small amount of additional points for a booking) for a flight redemption, given the low value.
If you stay at Hilton properties a few times a year, the Hilton Honors Surpass is a great way to enhance your stay with complimentary Gold elite status. The card has good point multipliers on everyday categories like U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.
If you're a high-spender, the free night certificate for $15,000 in a calendar year can be an interesting opportunity.
Ultimately, your travel patterns and preferences play a big part in choosing the right hotel credit card for you.