Frequent readers of this blog may have noticed that I book a majority of my hotel stays with Hilton. Even though Hilton gets quite a bad rap for its devaluation over the years, I still like the fact that Hilton points are really easy to earn. Moreover, Hilton’s global footprint is just perfect for my style of travel, since most of it is international in nature. A few weeks back, Amex refreshed the Hilton Aspire Card and the Hilton Surpass card, adding new benefits and credits. While Amex increased the annual fees on these cards, they’re also offering elevated welcome bonuses.
HILTON SURPASS CARD WELCOME BONUS
American Express is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 170,000 Hilton Honors points on the Hilton Surpass card. You’ll earn a welcome bonus of 170,000 points after you spend just $3,000 in the first 6 months. For most people, this minimum spend should be pretty easy to meet as you only need to spend $500 per month.
HILTON SURPASS CARD: A $150 ANNUAL FEE CARD THAT OFFERS GOLD ELITE STATUS
If you’re not willing to spend $550 for a premium card like the Hilton Aspire, 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.
FREE NIGHT CERTIFICATE
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)
- 3x points on all other purchases
$200 in credits
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.
THE PUNDIT’S MANTRA
For a card offer that only requires $3,000 in spend, a 170,000 points bonus is pretty easy to get. You’ll only need to spend $500 per month in order to meet the minimum spend requirement. If the Hilton Surpass card isn’t what you’re looking for, then you can go for the no annual fee Hilton Honors card. That card is also offering an elevated bonus currently, of 100,000 Hilton Honors points.
Which is your favorite co-branded Hilton Honors card? Tell us in the comments section.