How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Advertising Disclosure
LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).
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American Express Disclosure
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

American Express Disclosure

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Review

LendingTree's Review

How LendingTree Rates Credit Cards?

Our experts rate credit cards based on several factors including card benefits, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers do not influence or have a say in our card ratings. Read our credit card methodology here.
3.9
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Welcome Offer
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Rewards Rate
Up to 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases
Extra Perks
Earn Hilton Honors Diamond status
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It was not reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

The information related to the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Our take: This is a solid choice for Hilton Honors members despite having an annual fee. You’ll get the most value by using its rewards program and extra perks like room upgrades and lounge passes. However, benefits beyond Hilton properties are few, so it’s not a good card if you are loyal to another hotel brand or want more diverse rewards.

Is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card worth it?

For Hilton Honors members who frequently stay in Hilton properties, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is well worth the $150 annual fee. It includes a generous welcome offer, ample points on a wide variety of spending categories and other valuable perks, including automatic Hilton Gold status (enrollment required). Points can be earned in a number of ways, and at various rates, but you’ll get the best bang for your buck by redeeming them for a hotel stay.

That said, if you want the flexibility to redeem your points outside of the Hilton brand without losing too much value, we suggest looking at other rewards credit cards that have a broader appeal.

*To see rates & fees for Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click here.

Quick facts

    • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Get up to $200 back each year on eligible Hilton purchases after you use your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.
    • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
    • Earn 6X Points for each dollar of purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
    • Earn 4X Points for each dollar on U.S. Online Retail Purchases.
    • Earn 3X Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
    • Earn a Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
    • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors ™ Gold Status with your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.
    • 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.
    • Enjoy complimentary National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive® status. Enrollment in the complimentary Emerald Club® program is required. Terms apply.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
    • $150 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit scores ranges may vary. Your individual chance at approval may vary due to factors such as creditors using a particular variation at their discretion
  • 660 720 850
    Good/Excellent
  • Opportunity to earn free night reward
  • Complimentary Gold status (enrollment required)
  • Foreign transaction fee: none
  • Priority Pass™ Select passes (enrollment required)
  • Extended warranty
  • Car rental coverage

Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Regular Purchase APR

20.99%-29.99% Variable

Intro BT APR

N/A

Regular BT APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$150

Cash Advance Fee

Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fee

None

Balance Transfer Fee

N/A

Pros and cons

  • Generous welcome offer
  • Solid reward redemption options
  • Earn a free night award
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required)
  • Priority Pass lounge access (enrollment required)
  • Purchase benefits
  • Annual fee
  • $15,000 required to earn free night award
  • Low point value
  • Benefits are limited to Hilton
  • Travel insurance isn’t great

What we like about it

  • Generous welcome offer

    With the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    This is a larger-than-average offer that can score you a couple nights at a higher end Hilton hotel or several nights at a lower end Hilton hotel. You can also use Hilton’s fifth night free benefit to stretch your points further for a five-night stay. Also, the spending requirement is relatively low, making it a good choice if you’re on a lower budget.

  • Higher rewards in top categories

    The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is more rewarding than your average rewards card, even considering that its points are inflated (more on this below). It offers a high earning rate thanks to a wide variety of bonus categories, with an especially high bonus on Hilton purchases.

    You can earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Earn 4X Points for each dollar on U.S. Online Retail Purchases. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

  • Redeem points with a wide hotel network

    From staying at a family-friendly Hampton Inn on a road trip stateside to indulging in a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico, you have no shortage of point redemption options thanks to more than 7,000 Hilton properties across 122 countries and territories globally.

    The Points Explorer tool is easy to use and allows you to see prices and point values on the interactive calendar. There are no blackout dates or limitations but pricing is dynamic, meaning it changes based on the demand for the rooms. You can specify the range of points you’re willing to use, a specific location or type of property. You can maximize your points by choosing stays that need fewer points compared to their cash price.

    As an example, a weeknight stay at a Hampton Inn in Chicago requires 36,000 points per night (or $183 per night) whereas a weekend night (a few days later) at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago will set you back 297,000 points (or $779) per night. Some quick math will help you find the value of your particular stay. In this case you’d get more value from your points by staying at the Hampton Inn.

    Weekdays tend to be cheaper in either currency (points or cash) and you can get more value by using points with longer hotel stays to take advantage of the fifth night free benefit.

  • Free night award

    You can earn a free night at any Hilton property (with few exclusions) which helps to offset the annual fee. To earn this award you need to spend $15,000 on your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card within a calendar year — that’s the equivalent of spending $1,250 per month on your card. If you redeem your reward at a high end property like the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam it can be worth more than $1,000.

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status

    Once you enroll in the Hilton Honors program, you’ll get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.

    Some of the benefits Hilton Honors Gold status holders receive include:

    • 80% points-earning bonus on Hilton stays
    • Fifth night free on reward stays
    • Room upgrades, if space permits
    • Late checkout
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Elite rollover nights
    • Milestone bonuses

    Typically you need 40 stays per calendar year to qualify for Gold status, so this is a valuable benefit that you get just for being a cardmember.

  • Priority Pass lounge access

    The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is an affordable option for airport lounge access, giving you 10 free passes for Priority Pass lounges each year. Once you enroll in the program with your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card card, you can access more than 1,300 participating airport lounges worldwide.

    Amenities include:

    • Complimentary Wi-Fi
    • Beverages
    • Snacks
    • Showers (not available in all locations)

  • Travel and purchase perks

    When travel plans go awry, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers travel insurance that covers a variety of situations. Cardmembers have access to travel accident insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, the Global Assist hotline.

    For purchases made with your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card you get an extended warranty, return and purchase protection. Your card also allows you access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee

    The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with an annual fee of $150. However, with the benefits included in card membership, this fee is easily offset.

  • Free night award has limitations

    To earn a free night stay, you must spend $15,000. While some hotel branded credit cards like Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card or World of Hyatt Credit Card, give you a free night every year, this one does not.

    You can use it at any time, and it includes applicable taxes and fees for that night, but it’s only valid for a standard room with double occupancy. This is a nice perk and it should be fairly easy to earn if you prioritize spending on this card. Note that it takes up to 16 weeks for the reward to post to your account, so take that into consideration if you have a specific use in mind.

  • Low point value

    Hilton Honors points are only worth $0.005 which means that redemptions require a huge number of points. For example, 130,000 points equals $650 in value. Many reward nights can cost upwards of 100,000 points per night or more. You can transfer points to airline and rail partners but that often comes at a loss of value, as the transfer ratios are usually terrible (for example, 10,000 points for 1,000 miles).

    That said, the earning rate with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is good since you effectively earn 3 cents on the dollar for purchases made at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. On all other purchases you’ll earn around 1.5 cents per point which is a decent rewards rate. For a better rewards rate of up to 5% cash back, you’d do better with a general card or travel credit card like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

  • Benefits are limited to Hilton

    The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is best for those who want to stick to the Hilton ecosystem to get the most value. You’ll need to stay at Hilton hotels to take advantage of benefits like elite status, and your redemption options are limited outside of Hilton stays.

    If you prefer to stay at a variety of hotels, check out Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for rewards that can be earned and used in a variety of ways.

  • Travel insurance isn’t great

    The travel insurance is subpar compared to what other cards offer. Many cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offer robust travel protections, including trip delay or cancellation insurance, which can give you peace of mind and possibly spare you the expense of purchasing a policy. Since most people don’t need to make travel insurance claims often, you may feel comfortable without it or if you opt for a travel insurance policy.

Alternate travel rewards cards

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card vs. Hilton Honors American Express Card

| Disclosures
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Hilton Honors American Express Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & Fees
| Terms Apply
N/A
20.99%-29.99% Variable
$0
Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases
  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Points per dollar on purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
660 720 850
Good/Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers Hilton loyalists a card that earns Hilton Honors points but with a $0 annual fee. It’s a good card if you don’t travel much but enjoy Hilton properties or if you want to try out a Hilton credit card without committing to an annual fee.

It includes a lower, but still valuable, welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. This may get you a stay of at least a couple of nights if you choose a property with low point redemption options.

The card isn’t as rewarding as the higher-tier Hilton cards, but you still earn a fair number of points on everyday purchases. You’ll earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations AND 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

It even gives you automatic Silver status (enrollment required) which gets you a 20% tier bonus points per hotel stay, no resort fees on reward stays, late checkout, a member discount, free breakfast and fifth standard reward night free.

*To see rates & fees for Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

| Disclosures
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
N/A
21.49%–28.49% variable
$95
Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
720 850
Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a more flexible travel card that doesn’t tie you to one hotel loyalty program. It has a generous welcome bonus that lets you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

At face value, it may seem less rewarding than the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more. However, the points that you earn are much more valuable. You get a 25% bonus on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel redemption, for a value of 1.25 cents per point. You can also transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to more than 10 airline and hotel loyalty programs. And, since you can redeem points for travel with any hotel brand, you aren’t limited to staying with Hilton.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers better travel and purchase protections, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty and purchase and return protection. On the downside, it doesn’t offer any hotel perks or airport lounge access.

Is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card right for you?

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is best for people who already stay at Hilton properties or would make use of the card well enough to benefit from the perks. The welcome offer, Gold status (enrollment required) and elevated point earning opportunities are good for those who travel frequently for business or pleasure.

However if you want more flexibility on how you can spend your points, other rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are more useful. You can redeem these types of points with a variety of airlines and hotels. You may even get a boost in value when you redeem points through the issuer’s travel portal, such as with Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

apply-now-icon Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & Fees
|Terms Apply
*To see rates & fees for Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click here.