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If you were to ask me to make a choice, I’d take hotel credit cards over airline credit cards any day. In comparison to airline credit cards, you can earn elite status a lot quicker and enjoy a lot of fantastic perks. While many give Hilton a bad rap for astronomical points pricing in certain cases, you can still derive a great deal of value from the program if you use it strategically. Currently, American Express is offering elevated welcome bonuses on all of their co-branded Hilton credit cards. If you’re looking to slowly dip your toes, then the Hilton Surpass card and its welcome bonus might be worth taking a look at.



hilton surpass

Enjoying Hawaii

American Express is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points on the Hilton Surpass card. In addition, you’ll also earn one free night certificate.

You’ll earn the welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months of card membership. For most people, this minimum spend should be pretty easy to meet as you only need to spend $500 per month.

CLICK HERE FOR THE 130,000 points + 1 free night offer


hilton surpass

Upgraded to an overwater villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

If you’re not willing to spend $550 for a premium card like the Hilton Aspire Card, then the Hilton Surpass card is a very viable option for a card that charges an annual fee of $150. Also, with the Hilton Surpass card, you’ll automatically get Gold elite status, which I think is arguably the most valuable mid tier status level if you compare the major hotel chains.

You get some of these amazing benefits simply by carrying the Hilton Surpass card in your wallet:

  • Complimentary WiFi
  • 80% Bonus points earning on stays
  • 5th night free on award stays using points
  • Free breakfast at all properties in the Hilton portfolio outside the US (breakfast credits in the US)
  • Space available room upgrades

Over the last decade, I’ve stayed at Hilton brands all over the world. Some of my favorite elite status benefits have been the 5th night free feature and complimentary breakfast (outside the US).

hilton surpass

View from the rooftop pool at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, Thailand

In addition to the welcome bonus, you can earn a free night certificate after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year.


For a card that charges an annual fee of $150, the points earning potential is pretty solid.

  • 12x Hilton Honors points on eligible purchases in the Hilton portfolio
  • 6x points on dining (including takeout and delivery), gas and groceries (only in the US)
  • 4x points on online retail purchases (US only)
  • 3x points on all other purchases


hilton surpass

A villa in the forest – Hilton Sillim, India

This is a brand new benefit that Amex has recently added. You will earn $50 in statement credits each quarter on purchases made with hotels in the Hilton portfolio. Unlike the resort credit on the Hilton Aspire Card, this benefit is a lot easier to use. You simply need to make a qualifying purchase each quarter with a hotel in the Hilton portfolio.

For anyone who stays at Hilton properties every now and then, maxing out the $200 each year should be pretty straightforward.


In additional to a stellar points earning potential, the Hilton Surpass card also offer some valuable additional benefits and protections:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Add authorized users for no fee

Moreover, Amex has recently added complimentary car rental elite status. For simply carrying the card in your wallet, you’ll earn Emerald Club Executive status with National car rental.


For a card offer that only requires $3,000 in spend, 130,000 points and a free night certificate is a fantastic welcome bonus indeed. You’ll only need to spend $500 per month in order to meet the minimum spend requirement.

In addition, American Express is running limited time offers on their other co-branded Hilton credit cards as well.

Credit Card Welcome Bonus Offer Application Link Complimentary Elite Status
Hilton Honors Card 70,000 points + 1 free night Apply Now Silver
Hilton Surpass Card 130,000 points + 1 free night Apply Now Gold
Hilton Aspire Card 175,000 points + 1 free night certificate Apply Now Diamond
Hilton Business Card 175,000 points Apply Now Gold



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