Advertiser Disclosure

How Do I Know If the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card Is Right for Me?

July 23, 2019
Travel, Travel Credit Cards
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

In 2018, Hilton changed the name of its Surpass credit card to the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card. Now, they’re rebranding it back to Surpass — the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card — with some nice perks for new cardholders.

If you tick some of the boxes below, this newest iteration might be right for you.

» Learn more: Hilton Amex Surpass review: Decent value, lounge perks

1. Hilton is your hotel chain of choice

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with automatic Gold status in the Hilton Honors program, making it a great card for those who enjoy staying at Hilton properties. This status would typically require 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 Hilton Honors base points. Gold status comes with perks like space-available room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, bonus points and every fifth standard reward night free.

In addition to Gold status with Hilton Honors, you’ll earn a free weekend night for spending $15,000 on your card each calendar year.

If you spend $40,000 a year on the card, you’ll receive Diamond status through the next calendar year for added perks, like executive lounge access.

2. You’re attracted to impressive credit card welcome offers

New cardholders have the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Standard award nights range from 5,000 to 95,000 points per night, meaning that sign-up bonus could earn you a nice vacation. This bonus is impressive, providing a great return on the $95 annual fee.

3. You like to travel

To make life easier for frequent travelers, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with Priority Pass Select membership and 10 complimentary lounge visits each year. Priority Pass is a network of over 1,200 airport lounges, making it easy for the frequent traveler to get away from the hectic hustle and bustle of airline terminals and enjoy some peace, quiet and easy access to electrical outlets and generally better Wi-Fi.

If road trips are your travel style, you’ll earn 6 points per $1 at U.S. gas stations with this card. Don’t forget the host of travel protections, such as car rental loss and damage insurance, a global assist hotline and travel accident insurance.

Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll earn 12 points per $1 for purchases at properties in the Hilton portfolio.

» Learn more: Complete guide to Hilton Honors

4. You’re a foodie

Cardholders earn 6 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants (and also at supermarkets). All other purchases earn 3 points per $1 spent.

5. You need a card with purchase protections

For the frequent shopper, a card with purchase protections can be pretty valuable. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card] has some great purchase protections:

  • Extended purchase warranties of up to two years.
  • Return protection on eligible items within 90 days of purchase, even if the original store won’t accept the return. This perk is good for up to $300 per item, with a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year.
  • Purchase protection for lost, stolen, or damaged phones, up to $1,000 per occurrence.

As always, with all of the above protections, you’ll want to read the fine print for what’s covered.

In addition to the above perks, you’ll get access to ShopRunner, which offers free two-day shipping at over 100 retailers.

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 2019, including those best for:
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
Lyft partnership with Hilton pays Honors points for every ride
Fast-track your way to Hilton status through March 2021

About the author