Hilton HHonors Surpass Card Bonus Hits 75,000 Points

by on December 16, 2013 · 18 comments

in American Express, Hilton

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With last year’s launch of the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card, American Express – which offers the Hilton Amex and the Hilton Surpass card – was forced to rethink its Hilton co-branded credit card strategy.

First Amex revamped the bonus spending categories so that the card now earns the following:

  • 12 points per $1 at Hilton Worldwide properties
  • 6 points per $1 at U. S. restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets
  • 3 points for all other eligible purchases
Then it added Gold status as a permanent cardholder benefit (like the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card) rather than just the first year with Silver status in subsequent years unless cardholders spent $20,000. That wasn’t a huge game changer since Hilton had also announced a promotion on November 4 offering cardholders of the American Express Platinum card, the Business Platinum card and the Mercedes-Benz Platinum card an instant upgrade to Hilton HHonors Gold status when they call customer service now through December 31, 2013, with that status should be good through 2014, but it was still a very positive step for the card.
The Surpass bonus is at a limited-time high of 75,000 points.

The Surpass bonus is at a limited-time high of 75,000 points.

While the sign-up bonus on the Surpass card is usually just 60,000 points (40,000 with first purchase and 20,000 when you spend $3,000 in 3 months), Amex is offering a limited-time higher sign-up bonus of 75,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months – you can apply now through February 28, 2014. So, if you’ve been thinking about this card, now is the time to get it while the bonus is this high and the benefits have improved dramatically, just keep in mind the $75 annual fee is not waived.

However, if you do not already have a Hilton card and are trying to decide between this one and the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, I’d still go with the Citi one for a few reasons, despite its slightly higher annual fee of $95. Yes, the bonus spending categories aren’t quite as high, with just 10X points per $1 at Hilton and 5X points per $1 on airline and car rentals instead of the Surpass’s 6X on restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card comes with a potentially very valuable sign-up bonus of 2 free weekend night certificates when you spend $2,500 in 4 months. That alone can be worth thousands of dollars – as I found out by redeeming mine for part of my recent stay at the Conrad Maldives (review to come) where a night in a King Deluxe Beach Villa would have cost me $1,400 a night or 95,000 HHonors points- so the Surpass sign-up wouldn’t have even gotten me one free night!

Not only that, but when you spend $10,000 in a membership year on the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, you get an additional free weekend night certificate bringing your total potential in the first year to three free nights. By contrast with the Surpass’s current bonus, you’d only get 1 night in a Category 10 hotel at 70,000 points…in low season…if you’re lucky. While AXON reduced-level awards used to be a selling point on the Hilton Amex products, those were also devalued in June, as well as the fact that Hilton offers elites (which you automatically have with any of the Hilton credit cards) a fifth night free on award stays that’s often a better value.

For bigger spenders, both the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve and Amex Surpass cards offer Diamond status when you spend $40,000 in a calendar year.

That said, if you already have the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card and are looking for another Hilton points payday to top up your account, this could be a decent bonus offer for you to get in on.

For more information on Hilton HHonors and its co-branded credit cards, check out these posts:

Hilton HHonors Surpass Amex Cardholders Receive Automatic Gold Status

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status For American Express Platinum Cardholders

Hilton American Express Cards Bonus Spending Category Changes Go Into Effect

Details on the New Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

Choosing the Right Hilton Credit Card

Hilton HHonors Offers Elites Expedited 2015 Requalification

Another Hilton Devaluation HHonors Discontinues Points And Fixed Miles Earning Options

Reminder: Hilton Axon Award Levels Changing Friday June 15

Major Hilton HHonors Devaluation Announced

Disclaimer: The responses below 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.

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  • Robbie

    I just got the card less than 2 weeks ago. Do you think if I called them they would increase my bonus amount? If so, what number should I call?

  • idahost

    Can you cancel reserve card and get prorated refund after a few months

  • FlaMiler

    I am in similar situation as Robbie. I just applied (on Thursday) for 60K version of this card.

    Is it worth contacting AmEx for the bonus match?

  • Thanh

    i’m in the same boat. Just got the card 1.5 weeks ago through upgrading the no-fee Hilton Amex…

  • David

    With the Reserve card, you don’t get the bonus free night certificate for spending $10,000 until the end of the card year, so after you’ve had the card for 12 months and the next annual fee is due.

    It is not as soon as you hit the 10k mark.

  • joe

    I think even @ 75k the Surpass offer is one of the worst signup bonuses out there. “$75 annual fee is not waived” & $3 k spend & you don’t even get enough points for 1 night at a nice property (unless you go off-peak)?. Are they kidding?

  • irsh

    NOTE – This is not that great. 75000 points sounds like a lot but if you look at the conversion to hotel stays, that converts to $250 – $350 depending on location. Furthermore, you have $75 annual fee. So basically, you are getting $185 – $285 for spending $3000 upfront. Thats less than 10% discount on your spending. Much better alternatives out there… I hate the points guy because he makes so much and lives a far better life than I will ever live…

  • Alex H

    I’d rather stay away from AMEX cards now. Their service representatives are just the worst. All they know is saying sorry or there is nothing they could do. Applied for a card last week and called AMEX FIVE times to request expedited card shipping, but to no avail….

  • joeypore

    AMEX almost never matches sign up offers… but it doesn’t hurt to try!

  • Kacee

    AMEX customer service is the best and an intangible benefit of Surpass. Note also that many Citi card holders have complained about problems with Citi not releasing authorizations for many weeks following expensive Hilton stays, resulting in their credit lines being tied up.

  • Jim Miller

    ‘Hating’ someone because their successful? Start a blog, write 3 interesting posts a day, and Citi will pay you too. Or just stay home and whine about it.

  • MYRflyer

    I disagree, I spend 3k on vanilla reloads at my local gas station and receive 18,000 HH. So, 75,000 + 18,000 = 93,000 HH for 98.70 in fees. Combine that with a BOA Virgin Atlantic card which equals another 90,000 for around 100.00 in fees. So, 200 in fees and (2) cc signups I’ve got almost enough points for (4) Night Cat 7 AXON award or 4+1 (5) night reward stay. Five nights in honolulu would save you about 1800.00 after factoring in the taxes and resort fees that are waived. Explain to me again why you think it’s a bad deal? lol

  • AHM

    I had the non-fee AMEX and Citi cards for almost 10 months now, any one know if I upgraded to Surpass there would be a chance of getting the 75K bonus through upgrading?
    Or maybe If I canceled the non-fee CC and applied in 1-2 weeks for Surpass?
    What are your thoughts?

  • B Weirauch

    I have tried several time to apply for the card, and there is always an error message that pops up, or they say there is something wrong with their system?

  • Haowei Chen

    is there a link to this offer?

  • Hollie

    Hi, I can’t find one hotel within NYC that meets the category 7 requirement for 2 free nights.

  • John W.

    I don’t remember reading any post referencing it, I just signed up for a deal with the AMEX Surpass Card that is going on 11/20/13 – 12/28/14 that offers 6 additional points at Hilton branded hotels. So, with the AMEX card you get 18 points per dollar, that’s awesome!

  • HowieD

    People don’t add ALL the perks up to be fair. For instance, when I book a Hilton on line, I get an additional 500 points. I had 50 stays last year; that’s an additional 25,000 points. Add to that 18 points/$ charged on AMEX through Feb 2014 and AMEX IS the better card.

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