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Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page.

Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page.

Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express: Fair for Hilton Stays

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Image of Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card

This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

82
"A decent hotel rewards credit card for those who spend big when it comes to dining out, supermarkets, and gas"

Contents

The information on this page has expired. The Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card is no longer available and will instead be replaced by the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express. You can check out the updated review here.

The Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card is a decent choice for consumers who spend at least $15,000 annually at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. It makes sense to get this card only if you stay at Hilton Hotels. The Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card allows consumers to earn rewards that can be redeemed with the Hilton brand - making it it useless for those who don't do any business with the hotel chain. If you're a loyal Hilton fan, the Citi Reserve Card or the no-fee version of the Amex Hilton card may be better (depending on your annual spending).

Good For… Bad For…
  • Big supermarket, gas station, and restaurant sependers
  • People who frequently stay at Hilton properties

Review: Is the Hilton Honors Surpass® Card from American Express Worth It?

The Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card is a middle-of-the-road hotel rewards card, that pales in comparison to other Hilton cards such as the Citi Reserve card. The card has a fantastic rewards rate across spending at its affiliated hotels (6%), though it lacks the any substantial long-term bonuses that we see with other cards of this type. This card does offer some decent rewards when used to shop at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets.

The welcome bonus on the Amex Surpass card is 75,000 points, reached after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. This may be enough to pay for a 1 night stay at certain Hilton locations. Prices for standard rooms tend to vary between 50k to 80k. We value this bonus at around $375, which is above average bonus, as far as hotel ones go. If your credit score is good enough, and you want to optimize your short-term gains, we recommend applying for one of the cards with a better welcome bonus.

If you are not concerned with staying loyal to the Hilton brand, and simply want a good hotel rewards credit card, we recommend the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. Unlike the Hilton Surpass Card, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has a highly valuable and versatile rewards program. The card's bonus is also typically significantly more lucrative, making the card much better in the short-term.

Bottom Line: Unless you are a high restaurant, supermarket, and gas station spender, there is very little to be gained out of the Hilton Surpass card that isn't handled better by other credit cards – both in terms of short-term and long-term value.

Hilton Honors Surpass® Card from American Express Benefits & Features

With every swipe of the Hilton Honors Surpass® card, users earn points which can be redeemed for stays at the affiliated hotel chain. You can get 12 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points for each $1 spent at a participating hotel or resort, within the Hilton portfolio. When using this card to pay at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations (all within the United States), you will earn 6 points per $1. Every other purchase gets you 3 points per $1.

Whenever you use the Hilton Honors Surpass® card at Hilton properties, you will also earn Hilton HHonors points from the hotel chain if you're part of the loyalty program. The points earned through the card are added on-top. The points you earn with Hilton regardless of payment method are known as "base points".

Image of Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card

This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

Annual Fee $75
Purchase APR 16.24% - 20.24% Variable
Card Details
  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Offer ends 05/31/17.
  • 12 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 spent with a participating hotel or resort
  • 6 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 spent spent at US restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. Terms and limitations apply.
  • As a Hilton Honors(TM) Surpass(R) Card Member you'
  • ll receive Hilton Honors Gold status.
  • 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.
  • Terms Apply.

When consumers first sign up for the Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, they are presented the opportunity to earn bonus points. If you spend at least $3,000 in purchases on your Hilton Surpass card, within 3 months of account opening, you will earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors™ bonus points, which we value at $375 (more below).

What Are Hilton HHonors Points Worth?

We consider a single HHonors point to be worth approximately $0.006. You may have noticed that this card tends to be a lot more generous with the number of points it awards than most other credit cards– this is because these points, individually, tend to be a lot less valuable than a typical rewards point. The end rewards rate still ends up being favorable for this card, though not quite as impressive as the inflated points make it out to be.

To obtain the average value of a Hilton point, we sampled over 15 different itineraries, including stays in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City – all across different dates. We divided the cost of a 1-night stay in USD by the cost in HHonors points, to arrive at a value per point. For example, staying at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel in New York City on the night of October 15th, 2015, costs $481 – or 80,000 HHonors points. The value you’d be getting there is $481 / 80,000 = $0.006.

Priority Pass Membership (Lounge Access)

Hilton Honors Surpass® cardholders are automatically granted membership to Priority Pass – a value of $99 per year. This membership grants people access to over 700 participating airport lounges worldwide. These lounges provide amenities to people passing through an airport – a feature which may make your next long layover slightly more enjoyable. Amenities include free WiFi, snacks, beverages, and in some cases showers. If you're frequently traveling through airports, you might find a lot of value in this kind of benefit.

Note that this benefit grants access to standard membership. This means each time you enter a lounge, your Hilton Surpass Card will still be charged a $27 visit fee (and $27 per guest).

Hilton Gold/Diamond Status

The Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card comes with complimentary Gold status. The benefits of gold status include:

  • A 25% boost to HHonors base points earned
  • Every standard rate 5th night free, on stays of 5 nights or more
  • Late check-out
  • Digital check-in
  • Plus all the benefits of blue & silver status which can be found here

If you spend at least $40,000 on purchases on your Hilton Honors Surpass® Card inside of one calendar year, you will be awarded Diamond status – the highest loyalty status with the hotel. Normally, to get this benefit you would need to have 30 stays, 60 qualifying miles, or earn 120,000 base points. The benefits of diamond status include a 50% point bonus on Hilton stays, room upgrades, and access to executive floor lounges at select properties (when available). Diamond status holders also receive all the benefits of gold, silver, and blue membership.

Online Booking Bonus

Whenever you use your Honors Surpass® Card from American Express to book a room within the Hilton portfolio online, you will be given an additional 500 bonus points. While nothing huge, it’s a nice little perk. This bonus comes out to a value of roughly $2.50, per booking.

How Does the Hilton Surpass Card Compare Against Other Credit Cards?

To determine the value of the Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, you should compare it against the backdrop of other available options. Below are some of this card's top competitors, and our thoughts on how this card performs when matched up against them.

Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card vs Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve card is one of our favorite hotel credit cards. This card does not earn you as many points as the Amex Surpass, from spending at Hilton properties, but it more than makes up for this deficit in other ways. Every year you spend at least $10,000 in purchases using the Citi Hilton Reserve card, you will earn one free weekend night certificate. This is an extra $200-$400 (or more) each year - easily making up for the $20 difference in annual fees, between the two cards. If your spending is such that you can qualify for this benefit, we recommend this card over the Amex Surpass.

Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card vs Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

The ‘no-annual-feeHilton Honors™ Card from American Express is a fantastic option for low spenders. The card offers significantly lower rewards on certain shopping categories. If your annual spending on restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets (combined) is higher than $15k, go for the Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card - the extra rewards justify paying the annual fee. Otherwise, the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express will still net you rewards with the hotel chain.

Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card vs Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

If you’re looking for both a solid hotel rewards credit card and a travel rewards card, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is a great choice. The card earns users Starpoints which, unlike HHonors points, carry a lot of value by themselves. The average value of a Starpoint is $0.024. The reason behind this greater value is, in part, the fact that the points have greater utility. Starpoints can be transferred to a number of different airlines and hotels. If you have no brand preference, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is a better deal than the Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card.

Comparison Tool

To arrive at a more comprehensive credit card suggestion, it may be worthwhile to play around with our tool below. It will customize the net rewards you can expect out of each credit card, by taking into account the spending you enter.

Assumptions Based On Monthly Spend of: $1,430 Edit
General:
U.S. Gas Stations:
U.S. Supermarkets:
Airlines:
Hotel:
U.S. Restaurants:
Office:
Utilities:
Computing:
Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s welcome bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any welcome bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card and on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. 3.87%
$600
Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
$1,329
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Terms and Limitations Apply

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Point Value Rewards Value
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.024 = $824
Bonuses
25,000 x $0.024 = $600
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,329

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
APR 16.49%-20.49% Variable
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Planning a road trip? Rent your car, fill up your tank, book your hotel, and pay for it with your American Express® Card.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
No Annual Fee 3.20%
$400
Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors™ after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. Offer ends 05/31/2017
$1,097
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Terms and Limitations Apply

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Point Value Rewards Value
Spending Rewards 139,440 x $0.005 = $697
Bonuses
80,000 x $0.005 = $400
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,097

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 15.99% - 19.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors™ after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. Offer ends 05/31/2017.
  • 7 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 spent with a participating hotel or resort
  • 5 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 spent spent at US restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
  • 3 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Redeem Hilton HHonors points towards free hotel nights without blackout days
  • Complimentary Silver status with credit card
  • Account upgraded to HHonors Gold status after spending more than $20,000 on the Card during the year (benefits: 25% bonus on HHonors Base Points, room upgrades when available, and free high-speed Internet and health club access)
  • +500 HHonors Bonus Points when booking Hilton hotel reservations online with HH credit card
  • 10% discount and +500 HHonors points when booking private car and driver at EmpireCLS Worldwide with this card
  • Access to Global Assistance hotline, roadside assistance, travel accident protection, and car rental loss and damage protection
  • Exclusive access to ticket presales and American Express cardmember-only events in your city
  • Extended warranty and protection for purchases made on the card
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card
$95 2.40%
$500
Earn 2 weekend nights after spending $2,500 in the first four months
$825
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 102,960 x $0.005 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $0.005 = $500
Less Annual Fees -$190
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 825

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $95
APR 15.99%

Card Details

  • Earn 2 weekend nights after spending $2,500 in the first four months
  • 10 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 spent with a participating hotel or resort
  • 5 HHonors Bonus points for every $1 spent on airfare or car rentals
  • 3 points for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Get Hilton Honors Gold Status as a cardmember
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No caps and expiration on points if you use your card at least once a year
  • Earn an anniversary bonus for one weekend night at select hotels
  • No points cap

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.