Advertiser Disclosure

News: Hilton American Express Surpass Cardholders Now Get Gold Status for Lifetime of Account

Dec. 5, 2013
Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

» This page is out of date

The terms of American Express’s Hilton credit cards have changed, and Citi no longer offers Hilton credit cards, so this page is out of date. See our details pages for the Hilton Honors American Express Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card for the current offers.


With all the reward program devaluations happening recently, it’s nice to see some companies taking initiative to make their credit cards more consumer-friendly. The Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express just got a pretty rad upgrade. Before the change, cardholders would receive complimentary Hilton HHonors Gold Status for the first year of their account. Every year after that, they would have to charge at least $20,000 to maintain Gold Status. Now, cardholders automatically get free Gold Status without having to worry about spending minimums.

What are the perks of Gold Status?

Okay, so Gold Status sounds like it’s probably pretty cool, but what can it actually do for me? If you enjoy staying at the Hilton and do so fairly often, you’ll want this upgrade. Here is the current list of Gold Status benefits:

  • Earn a 25% bonus on all HHonors Base Points earned. This makes it a lot quicker to earn free stays.
  • Your 5th night is free on every Standard Room Reward stay.
  • Free WiFi.
  • Late checkout.
  • Express checkout.
  • Fast reservations and check-ins based on personal room preferences.
  • Your spouse stays free.
  • Free access to health clubs and fitness centers.
  • 2 free bottles of water, yee-haw!
  • eCheck-in, which allows you to select your room up to 24 hours in advance.
Depending on where you stay, you may be able to get a few extra benefits. At Waldorf Astoria hotels, Gold Status gets you free upgrades (when available) and your choice of 1,000 bonus points or a free movie. Similarly, at Conrad hotels and resorts,  you get free upgrades (when available) and your choice of 1,000 bonus points or free breakfast for you and one other guest. When you stay at an Embassy Suite hotel, you have your choice between 500 points or 2 free snacks per stay. At Hilton Garden Inn hotels, it’s 750 points or free breakfast. At the Hampton, 250 points or a snack and water. At Homewood Suites, 250 points or 2 bottles of water and Pepperidge Farm cookies. At Home2 Suites, 100 points or a snack and water. And at Hilton Grand Vacation destinations, you automatically get 1,000 bonus points.
Without the right credit card or program membership, earning Gold Status is tough. You have to accumulate  20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 HHonors Base Points in a calendar year. That’s a lot of spending before Gold perks kick in. If you’re a frequent Hilton customer, a credit card will be the fastest way to start taking advantage of these exclusive benefits.

But is it a good credit card?

Sure, those are some cool perks, but does the credit card have decent rates? For Hilton lovers, we say yes, definitely.

The Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express earns 12 points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels and 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets. Right now, the signing bonus is as follows: Offer is no longer available through our site. Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. One of the most tantalizing perks is the complimentary Priority Pass membership, which is your key to over 600 airport lounges across the globe. The annual fee is $75.

The other card you may want to consider is the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card. Another card that offers complimentary gold status, this card has a slightly different rewards model, tailored more for travel needs than everyday purchases. You earn 10 points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels, 5 points on airline and car rental purchases and 3 points on everything else. It also has a sign-up bonus:Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening*.. The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card may appeal to international travels for a couple of reasons. It does not charge a foreign transaction fee, saving you 3% on every out-of-country purchase. You can also get the card with an EMV chip implanted in the plastic, making it easier to use in destinations that favor chip technology to magnetic stripes. The annual fee is $95.