Hilton Honors American Express card against. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Credit Card


If you are a member of the Hilton Honors program, American Express offers several co-branded cards that can help you earn more rewards for qualifying Hilton purchases. The Hilton Honors American Express Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card are travel credit cards that could help you earn more bonus points and more rewards for Hilton stays.

Basically, the Amex Hilton Honors is an entry-level rewards card with no annual fee, but not as many perks and perks. If you don’t travel as much but still want to enjoy reward nights on a budget, this card would be your choice.

The Amex Surpass caters to a similar type of cardholder, but has a nominal annual fee of $ 95 (compared to the $ 495 annual fee for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire credit card.) If you don’t. Don’t mind paying a little more for a co-branded hotel card, you can always get a little more in terms of the welcome bonus, as well as the ability to earn more rewards for qualifying Hilton purchases.

If you’re not sure which card is best for you, here’s everything you need to know about which card is best for you and why.

Main details

Reward rate Earn 7X points on qualifying Hilton purchases

Earn 5X Points at American Supermarkets, American Gas Stations, and American Restaurants

Earn 3X points on all other purchases

12X points on Hilton hotels and resorts

6X points at American restaurants, American supermarkets and American gas stations

3X points on other qualifying purchases

Welcome bonus Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $ 1,000 on purchases with the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of card membership

Earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending a total of $ 5,000 on purchases with the card in the first 6 months

Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $ 2,000 on purchases with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card during the first 3 months of card membership.

Earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending a total of $ 10,000 on purchases with the Card in the first 6 months.

Annual subscription $ 0 $ 95

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

When you compare these cards, it is best to look at the features that are most important to you. For some people, a welcome bonus may be larger while others will be more interested in what rewards they could earn based on their spending. Either way, take a look at the difference between the cards below to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Welcome Bonus Winner: Amex Surpass Card

Earning 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $ 4,000 in your first three months is a generous welcome bonus. Additionally, you can earn an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $ 10,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months, which brings you up to a potential 180,000 bonus points.

However, Hilton Honors Points are only worth around 0.6 cents each, so this bonus would be worth around $ 1,080. But under certain circumstances, you can get great value for your points with rewards bookings, even more than the average of 0.6 cents.

Even with the annual fee of $ 95, you still get a head start by earning the maximum welcome bonus alone with the Amex Surpass. When you add some of the other features and benefits of the card, you will reap even more value from it.

Reward Rate Winner: Amex Surpass Card

This card offers an excellent rate of rewards on qualifying Hilton purchases, American restaurants, supermarkets, and gas station purchases. The rate on all other purchases is also quite high:

  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Points on qualifying Hilton purchases
  • Earn 6X at American restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations
  • Earn 3X on all other purchases

The Surpass Card tops the list here due to the high reward rate on common categories used by many families like restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. Using this card for all of these expense categories can help you earn award nights at Hilton properties fairly quickly.

The Hilton Honors Amex also offers bonus points at American restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, but at a slightly lower rate of 5 points per dollar. And when it comes to earning on Hilton purchases, the Hilton Honors Amex earns much smaller 7X points.

Annual Fee Winner: Hilton Honors Amex

This entry-level travel credit card has no annual fee.

Even as a no-annual fee travel card, the Hilton Honors Amex still offers significant reward rates for many categories of everyday spending:

  • 7X Hilton Honors Points on qualifying Hilton purchases
  • 5X points at American supermarkets, American gas stations and American restaurants
  • 3X points on all other purchases

With no annual fee, you’re poised to earn a lot of value with the welcome bonus and the ongoing rewards, especially since it has the potential to be a daily spending card with common bonus categories.

Which card pays the most?

Example of higher spending than Hilton Honors American Express vs. Hilton Honors American Express

If you travel a lot and put a lot of your travel and personal expenses on a credit card, this is what your monthly expenses might look like on either card:

  • $ 700 per month for supermarket expenses
  • $ 300 from gas stations
  • Restaurant at $ 200
  • $ 300 on stays at the Hilton hotel
  • $ 400 on the plane ticket (booked directly or via Amextravel.com)
  • $ 500 on other expenses

With the Hilton Honors Card, you would earn 129,600 bonus points per year, while you would earn 154,800 bonus points with the Hilton Honors Surpass Card each year. If you factor in the welcome bonus for these cards, you could earn 209,600 and 292,000 respectively with the Hilton Honors Card and the Hilton Surpass Card.

If you use the value of 0.6 cents for the Hilton Honors bonus points, the value of the welcome bonus is roughly equivalent to $ 1,250 and $ 1,750 for Hilton stays, respectively. While you get up to $ 1,750 with the Hilton Surpass card, the annual fee of $ 95 gets you back to $ 1,655 in value the first year based on points alone. So with this spending example Surpass card will definitely help you earn more rewards.

Why should you get the Hilton Honors American Express card?

Additional benefits

The Hilton Honors American Express card doesn’t have a lot of extras, but it does offer additional perks like the Hilton Honors Silver automatic elite status. Silver Elite status includes perks such as digital check-in, free internet access, a free fifth night on award stays, two free bottles of water per stay and more.

If you spend $ 20,000 on your card in a calendar year, you can upgrade to Gold status until the end of the following calendar year without ever staying at a Hilton property.

Cardholders also benefit from secondary car rental insurance as well as access to a Global Assist hotline that can help them with lost passports, medical references, legal references and more while you are. away from home. This card also does not charge foreign transaction fees.

Redemption options

When it comes to redeeming points earned through the Hilton Honors program, the most popular redemption option is Award Nights at Hilton properties. Plus, if you’re a Silver Elite member or better, your fifth night is free when you book at least five consecutive nights with points.

Recommended credit score

You will need to have good to excellent (670-850) credit for this card.

Why should you get the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass credit card?

Additional benefits

Since this card is paid annually, you should expect a few additional perks and perks:

  • Access to Priority Pass Select, which gives cardholders 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled
  • Access to the Premium Global Assist hotline
  • Access to member-only Amex experiences like sporting events, Broadway shows and more
  • Annual Reward Nights Benefit (By spending at least $ 15,000 on qualifying purchases in a calendar year, you earn a “Free Weekend Night Reward”)
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees

Redemption options

Here’s how your Hilton Honors bonus points can be redeemed with this card:

  • Award nights at Hilton properties: Hilton properties range from 5,000 to 95,000 points per night, depending on the property.
  • Transfers to over 30 partner travel loyalty programs
  • Rental cars with Alamo, National and Enterprise
  • Exclusive experiences in dining, concerts, sports and more
  • Lyft rides
  • Shopping on Amazon.com or with the Hilton Merchandise Portal

Recommended credit score

You will need to have good to excellent (670-850) credit for this card.

The bottom line

If you’re a frequent traveler and love the Hilton brand, either of these cards might be right for you.

Those who don’t travel as much can opt for the Hilton Honors American Express card, while more frequent travelers would get the Surpass card. Either way, earning and redeeming rewards with any of these credit cards could help you meet your discounted travel goals.

About Joan Ferguson

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