Update: This offer has now expired. All links revert to the original 60,000-point offer.
[Application link: 80,000 points with $3,000 spend in 3 months]
The Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass credit card is on again with a 80,000 point sign-up bonus through May 5, 2015. This rates as a mid-tier hotel card with significant upside for non-luxury travelers. Here are the full details:
- 80,000 HHonors points after spending $3,000 in 3 months
- $75 annual fee (not waived)
- 12 HHonors points per $1 spent at Hilton properties
- 6 HHonors points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets & gas stations
- 3 HHonors points per $1 spent on everything else
- Hilton Gold status automatically (upgrades, free breakfast, free WiFi)
- Hilton Diamond status with $40,000 spend in a calendar year
- Approval difficulty: Moderate (~675+ credit score with decent income)
- Churn status: Awful (once per lifetime of applicant, unconfirmed)
The good news of this deal is two-fold: (1) 80,000 points could be worth as many as ten nights at a low category hotel, and (2) automatic Gold status means free WiFi, free breakfast and access to upgrades when available. In my experience, Hilton Gold is worth $75 alone if you travel to Hilton properties a handful of nights a year.
The other big positive is this card can be held with the Citibank Hilton Reserve and Platinum cards, meaning a combined 120,000 points and two free weekend nights could be yours within a few months of spending. Also of note is the 12 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties is the highest current offer out there, making the Surpass card extra valuable for big Hilton spenders.
The bad news is 80,000 points means a lot less for Hilton, as compared with the Hyatt or Starwood’s of the world. A top category hotel requires 95,000 points per $1 spent, meaning the 89,000 points (bonus plus spend) isn’t even enough for one night. Luxury travelers should prefer the Reserve’s two free weekend nights.
The other negative is the non-waived annual fee of $75. While I mentioned that Hilton Gold status is probably worth that fee alone for Hilton enthusiasts, less frequent travelers may have a harder time justifying the cost. $40,000 for Hilton Diamond is also too much for my taste – that spend could be used far more efficiently.
“A tale of two cities:
(2) Conrad Koh Samui requiring 95,000 points per night. Good luck on the fifth night free.”
The Final Word
The Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass card is a good, not great offer for everyday travelers. For those that travel frequently to Hilton properties – including Conrad and Waldorf Astoria – then the offer is a no-brainer, especially if you do not hold Gold status already.
I also recommend the card for those with concrete travel plans in the near future that include a Hilton property. Application links and other useful information is below:
Click to apply: 80,000 points with $3,000 spend in 3 months ($75 fee).
Phone support: 1-877-399-3083.
Click here for the American Express contact page.
Disclaimer: Photos credit to American Express & Hilton.