Double down: Why it makes sense to get the Hilton Surpass and Hilton Business credit cards

Oct 26, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

There are two schools of thought in the world of travel rewards — and both hold weight.

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, on one hand, you may want to diversify what’s already in your wallet by getting a card that earns a different type of rewards currency. Whether it’s airline miles, hotel points or transferable credit card points, all are subject to significant and sudden changes — and you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, as they say.

But on the other hand, it also makes sense to double down on a specific program, as TPG’s Eric Rosen explains. Perhaps you’re looking to accumulate points or miles with a particular currency in a hurry or are attracted to complementary earning rates on two cards that fall within the same family.

Whatever the reason, doubling down with two cards that earn the same points or miles can be incredibly valuable. Today, we’ll take a look at two Hilton cards that may be worth applying for in tandem: the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

Here’s a closer look at why these two mid-tier Hilton cards are worth having in your wallet.

Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.

In This Post

 

Generous welcome bonuses

First, let’s point out the obvious: The Hilton Surpass card is a $95-per-year consumer card (see rates and fees) while the $95-per-year Hilton Business card (see rates and fees) is, well, intended for business customers.

But remember, you don’t have to have an office with dozens of employees to apply for a business card. A side hustle or consulting gig may be more than enough to qualify you for a small-business card. And both cards are currently offering a generous welcome bonus.

The Hilton Surpass currently is offering up to a whopping 180,000 Hilton Honors points. This is how it breaks down: First, you’ll earn 130,000 points after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership. Then, you can earn an additional 50,000 points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months. Those welcome offer points equate to $1,080 in value, based on TPG’s most recent valuations.

Meanwhile, the Hilton Business card is offering the same exact bonus: 130,000 points after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first three months and an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $10,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership.

In total, there is the potential to earn up to 360,000 Hilton points with these two welcome bonuses. That’s a lot of spending ($20,000 in six months) but even if you only spend $2,000 on each card within the initial three-month period, that’s 260,000 Hilton points, worth $1,560 according to TPG valuations.

Related: Better together: An ultimate guide to the best credit card pairings

Complementary earning rates

(Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images)

With either the Hilton Honors Amex Business card or the Hilton Surpass card, you’ll earn 12 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, which gives you a solid 7.2% return according to TPG valuations.

The Hilton Business card also earns 6 Hilton points per dollar on a wide array of categories including:

  • U.S. gas stations.
  • Wireless phone services purchased from U.S. providers.
  • U.S. shipping purchases.
  • U.S. restaurants.
  • Flights booked directly with airlines or through the Amex portal.
  • Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies.

Meanwhile, the Hilton Surpass earns 6 Hilton points per dollar at:

You’ll also get 3 points per dollar spent on other eligible purchases with both Hilton cards.

While there is some overlap in terms of bonus categories, the biggest perk is that you’ll earn 6x points on a total of seven unique categories by having both of these cards, including common everyday purchases at gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets.

The Hilton Surpass exclusively offers 6 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, while the Hilton Business card exclusively offers 6 points per dollar on U.S. wireless phone services, U.S. shipping purchases, flights booked directly with airlines and rental cars booked directly with select car rental companies.

Related: Hot take: Why doubling down on one rewards program may be better than diversifying

Double up your Priority Pass visits

The Priority Pass-accessible Air France lounge at New York-JFK. (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Both the Hilton Surpass and Hilton Business cards offer 10 complimentary Priority Pass entrances to airport lounges every year. Since these entrances are tied to your specific credit card, you should be able to double up on this — and get 20 Priority Pass entrances per year. Enrollment is required.

If you’re a semifrequent traveler who goes through an airport with a Priority Pass lounge a handful of times a year, this is a great perk that won’t break the bank like similar benefits on premium travel rewards credit cards.

Other perks

Breakfast is included as a Hilton Gold member. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

With both of these cards, you can enjoy a wide assortment of additional perks.

Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status: With Gold status, you’ll earn an 80% points bonus on Hilton stays, the fifth night free on award redemptions, elite-tier rollover nights, complimentary breakfast at all hotels, room upgrades (when available) and more. When you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year, you receive Hilton Diamond status.

Free weekend night reward: You can earn a free weekend night reward when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year. Hilton typically defines weekend nights as Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights in most parts of the world. However, Hilton will allow you to use unexpired free nights and free nights issued through the end of 2021 on any night of the week.

The Hilton Business card exclusively offers a second weekend night reward if you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year.

Travel protections: Baggage insurancetravel accident insurancecar rental loss and damage insurance, roadside assistance and access to the Global Assist Hotline are all included with both of these cards.

Bottom line

At just $95 per year for both the Hilton Surpass card and Hilton Business card, there are some valuable benefits to having one — or both — of these cards in your wallet. From generous welcome bonuses to complementary earning rates, it pays to consider doubling down with these two cards.

If you’re looking at redeeming Hilton points, remember you can also transfer points from an Amex Membership Rewards account to top off your balance.

Application link: Hilton Honors Amex Business available with up to 180,000 bonus points.
Application link: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card available with up to 180,000 bonus points.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Business card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, click here.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.