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Is the Hilton Surpass Amex card worth it?

In our opinion, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is well worth its $150 annual fee (see rates and fees) if you’re a Hilton loyalist, as it offers valuable earnings rates and automatic Hilton Gold elite status.

Hilton Gold status includes complimentary breakfast, room upgrades and boosted earnings when staying at Hilton brands, making it one of the most valuable automatic status perks on any card.

Keep reading to discover why this card is worth the annual price tag.

Hilton Surpass welcome offer

The Hilton Surpass offers 130,000 bonus points and a free night reward after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership. This offer ends July 31. The highest offer we have seen on this card is 180,000 bonus points, but it came with a substantial spending requirement.

The card’s current offer meets our criteria for a great time to apply, as those points are worth $780 according to our June 2024 valuations. With the current offer, you can also get several hundreds of dollars in extra value with the free night reward.


American Express lists the following terms for the welcome offer:

You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the Hilton Honors Amex Ascend Card or previous versions of these Cards. You also may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer based on various factors, such as your history with credit card balance transfers, your history as an American Express Card Member, the number of credit cards that you have opened and closed and other factors.

Before you submit your application, Amex will let you know whether you’re eligible for the bonus.

Related: A complete guide to Amex’s one-bonus-per-lifetime restrictions

Earn bonus points with Hilton

The Hilton Surpass card earns 12 points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels and resorts, 6 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery), 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.

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The non-Hilton spending returns aren’t amazing, but you’ll still earn considerable value with just your Hilton spending — another reason to consider if you’re a Hilton loyalist. It’s worth mentioning here that the Hilton Gold status that comes complimentary with the Hilton Surpass grants additional bonus points for every dollar spent with Hilton. By using your Hilton Surpass on eligible Hilton purchases, you’ll net 20 points per dollar.

Related: Booking direct: How much value does Hilton status provide?

Redemption options

The simplest way to maximize your Hilton Honors points is to redeem them for free nights. However, you should note Hilton’s dynamic pricing system, which can fluctuate based on the time of year and other factors.

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. You can always leverage your redemption with Hilton’s fifth-night free perk to maximize your use of points.


Hilton Honors also allows members to earn and redeem Hilton points with partners. However, most non-hotel redemption options provide relatively low value for your points, so you’ll likely want to steer clear of these options.

Related: The 19 best Hilton hotels in the world

Elite status

The Hilton Surpass offers complimentary Hilton Gold status, which includes the following perks:

  • 80% points bonus on paid stays
  • Space-available room upgrades up to executive-level rooms
  • Elite rollover nights
  • Fifth night free when you book a stay completely with points
  • Daily breakfast or a food and beverage credit

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.

Cardmembers also receive complimentary National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status after enrollment in the Emerald Club program. Terms apply. Benefits include increased access to cars, guaranteed upgrades and no second-driver fees.

If you don’t use National you can leverage the elite status to complete a status match to other car rental companies.

Related: Comparing the best hotel elite status tiers and how to earn them

Hilton statement credit

A valuable perk of the Hilton Surpass that helps to offset the annual fee (see rates and fees) is a statement credit toward eligible Hilton purchases. Cardmembers receive up to $50 in statement credits (up to $200 every cardmember year) each quarter when using the card for Hilton purchases.

Hilton San Diego Bayfront. HILTON

Eligible purchases for the statement credit are those charged directly with a Hilton portfolio property, including room rates and incidental charges such as room service, minibar consumption and laundry services.

Even if you don’t stay at a Hilton property every quarter, you may be able to maximize this credit by purchasing a Hilton gift card online, or visiting a Hilton property to have a meal or purchase something from the gift store.

Related: Battle of the mid-tier hotel cards

Free night reward

The Hilton Surpass offers a free night reward when you spend $15,000 on purchases on the card in a calendar year. It can be used at almost any Hilton property worldwide. Plus, with the limited-time welcome bonus, you get a free night reward when you meet the spending requirement.

If you value that free night at, say, $300, that still makes for a 2% return on the $15,000 in spending.

Related: How to get maximum value from Hilton free night certificates

Other benefits

Finally, the Hilton Surpass includes no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) when traveling outside the U.S., free two-day shipping on eligible items with ShopRunner and Amex’s “Send & Split” feature, which lets you divide bills like a group dinner with friends. Enrollment is required for select benefits.


Additionally, the card comes with Amex’s “Plan It” perk, which makes it possible to pay large purchases over time, plus secondary rental car insurance of up to $50,000 for theft or damage.*

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

Related: 5 reasons to get the Hilton Honors Amex Surpass card

Bottom line

The Hilton Surpass doesn’t have the flexibility or over-the-top perks of some other cards, but it could be just what you’re looking for if you’re a semi-frequent traveler who’s partial to Hilton. Automatic Gold status, high points-earning opportunities and up to $200 in annual Hilton credits make this card a great option for Hilton loyalists.

To learn more about the card, read our full review of the Hilton Surpass.

Apply here: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Related: World of Hyatt card vs. Hilton Surpass card

For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass Card, click here.

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