Is the Hilton Surpass Amex card worth it?

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is a credit card that is well worth its $150 annual fee for Hilton loyalists. This card offers valuable earnings rates and automatic Hilton Gold elite status, which includes complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, and boosted earnings when staying at Hilton brands. These perks make it one of the most valuable automatic status perks on any card.

One of the most attractive features of the Hilton Surpass card is its lucrative welcome offer. Currently, the card is offering 170,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership. While this offer falls just short of the best offer we’ve seen on this card, it still meets our criteria for a great time to apply. According to our valuations, these points are worth $1,020, making it a valuable bonus.

In terms of points earning, the Hilton Surpass card offers 12 points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels and resorts, 6 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, 4 points per dollar spent on U.S. online retail purchases, and 3 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. While the non-Hilton spending returns aren’t amazing, Hilton loyalists will still earn considerable value with just their Hilton spending.

When it comes to redemption options, the simplest way to maximize Hilton Honors points is to redeem them for free nights. Hilton’s dynamic pricing system means that the number of points required for redemptions can fluctuate based on the time of year and other factors. However, Hilton’s Points Explorer page can help you determine how many points you’ll need for a free night across properties within the Hilton portfolio. It’s important to note that most non-hotel redemption options provide relatively low value for your points, so it’s best to steer clear of these options.

One of the standout features of the Hilton Surpass card is its complimentary Hilton Gold status. This status is valued at $1,220 per year and includes perks such as complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, and increased earnings when staying at Hilton brands. Additionally, if you spend more than $40,000 on the card in a calendar year, you’ll earn Diamond status, Hilton’s top-tier offering, through the end of the next calendar year. Cardholders also receive complimentary National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status, which comes with benefits such as increased access to cars, guaranteed upgrades, and no second-driver fees.

To help offset the annual fee, the Hilton Surpass card offers a statement credit toward eligible Hilton purchases. Cardholders receive up to $50 in statement credits (up to $200 annually) each quarter when using the card for Hilton purchases. This credit can be maximized by purchasing a Hilton gift card online or visiting a Hilton property to have a meal or purchase something from the gift store.

Another valuable benefit of the Hilton Surpass card is the free night reward. When you spend $15,000 on purchases on the card in a calendar year, you’ll earn a free night reward that can be used at almost any Hilton property worldwide. This can provide a 2% return on the $15,000 in spending if you value the free night at $300.

In addition to these perks, the Hilton Surpass card includes other benefits such as no foreign transaction fees when traveling outside the U.S., free two-day shipping with ShopRunner, Amex’s “Send & Split” feature for dividing bills, and Amex’s “Plan It” perk for paying large purchases over time. The card also offers secondary rental car insurance of up to $50,000 for theft or damage.

Overall, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card is a great option for Hilton loyalists who want to maximize their earnings and enjoy valuable perks. While it may not have the flexibility or over-the-top perks of some other cards, its automatic Gold status, high points-earning opportunities, and $200 in annual Hilton credits make it a worthwhile investment for Hilton enthusiasts.

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