Top Benefits of the Hilton Honors AmEx Surpass Card

June Casagrande
By June Casagrande 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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If you’re shopping for a travel rewards credit card and you haven’t heard, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card really wants your business. And AmEx is going to pretty impressive lengths to earn it. From the attractive welcome offer to the ability to earn a free weekend night at valid at any Hilton property worldwide, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is giving the competition a run for its money. Here are the card's top benefits.

Low minimum spend required to earn the welcome bonus

Hilton has this offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Those Hilton points could get you three nights at a Homewood or Hampton property in New Orleans, two nights at a Hilton resort in the Bahamas or a comparable stay in your destination of choice.

Free night if you spend $15,000 in a year

Again, a comparison to Marriott is useful: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card gives you a free night every year on your card anniversary. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve spent on the card, but it only kicks in after you’ve been charged your annual fee ($95). And that free night is good only at lower-end properties costing up to 35,000 points per night. It’s not valid at higher-end Marriott properties, nor can you use the certificate and make up the difference with additional points.

In contrast, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card free night is earned only after you’ve spent $15,000 in qualifying purchases in a calendar year Terms apply. But the range of properties to choose from is extremely broad and includes properties at every star level, including the fanciest hotels in Hilton’s portfolio.

Depending on what your travel plans are and what type of hotel you prefer to stay in, you can choose the card option that works best for you.

12 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties

It’s pretty standard for hotel credit cards to offer you more points when you use their card at one of their properties. But the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card’s 12 points per dollar charged at a Hilton property is unusually good, helping you get to your next free stay even faster. You’ll also get rewarded for spending at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations with 6 points per dollar spent in those categories. All other qualifying spending will earn you 3 Hilton Honors points per dollar. Terms apply.

No foreign transaction fees

This perk is always mentioned far down the list of credit card benefits, but it should be high on the list of anyone who might travel out of the country. Foreign transaction fees, which apply to any purchase you make in a foreign country, often run around 3%. That means everything you buy in another country could automatically cost you 3% more than the purchase price.

But you won’t pay that extra charge with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. Keep in mind that American Express cards are not accepted as widely as Visa and Mastercard abroad, so it’s always a good idea to carry another card as backup.

Big spenders can earn Hilton Diamond status

Not everyone spends $40,000 in one year, much less on one credit card. But if you do, you might as well be rewarded for it. Charge that much every year on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and you’ll get automatic Honors Diamond status through the end of the following calendar year, bestowing more than a dozen perks including a fifth night free on award stays and executive lounge access. Terms apply.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

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