Hilton HHonorsTM Surpass® Card from American Express Review | NerdWallet
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Hilton HHonorsTM Surpass® Card from American Express

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Hilton HHonorsTM Surpass® Card from American Express

Apply Nowon American Express’s secure website.
Apply Nowon American Express’s secure website.

Card Details

  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on purchases
  • NerdWallet estimates Hilton HHonors Points are worth 0.5 cents based on our analysis of point redemption options at hotels around the world
  • 12 points per $1 at Hilton
  • 6 points per $1 spent on, Gas, Groceries, Drug stores, Cable/internet/wireless bills
  • 3 points elsewhere
  • 25% bonus for points with complimentary Gold Status
  • View Rates and Fees

APR, Variable

Min APR: 15.49%, Variable

Max APR: 19.49%, Variable

Penalty APR: Up to 27.49%, Variable

Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Pros

  • High rewards rate

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit

Rewards rate

1.50%

Annual fee

$75

Intro APR

None

Nerdwallet Review

Author: Mike Anderson

The rewards offered by the Hilton HHonorsTM Surpass® Card from American Express — 12 points per $1 spent at the Hilton and 6 points at stand-alone supermarkets and gas stations — rank it as one of the better everyday-purchases rewards cards. In fact, it ranks well even among gas credit cards for its roughly 3% rewards rate.

That said, there's something you probably don't know about Hilton. The hotel chain's points program isn't quite the same as its competitors'.

NerdWallet estimates that Hilton points are worth 0.5 cents, about half the value of other point programs.

Our methodology:
  • Waldorf Hotel: 50,000-60,000 points per night versus retail of $250 per night. Point value, about .05 cents.
  • Hilton Casino Gaming Chip: 40,000 points versus face value of $100. Point value, about 2.5/10 of a cent.
  • Carnival Cruise Gift Certificate: 480,000 points versus face value of $1000. Point value, about 2.1/10 of a cent.
  • American Airlines Gift Certificate: 25,000 points versus face value of $50. Point value, 2/10 of a cent.
The exchange rate is even less favorable when you exchange Hilton points for airline miles or buy points directly:
  • You can exchange 10,000 Hilton points for 1,500 airline miles, which is about a $15 value. Participating partners include American Airlines, Lufthansa, Hawaiian Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Qantas Airways, South African Airways, and Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • You can purchase points for 1 cent each when you buy more than 10,000 at a time.
If you're confident you can use all of your Hilton points at Hilton/Waldorf hotels, assume more rewards than NerdWallet's estimate. If you never stay at Hilton/Waldorf hotels, assume fewer rewards than our estimate.

How to decide between the Hilton HHonorsTM Surpass® Card from American Express and the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card?
  • The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card offers only a base reward rate of 2 Hilton points per $1 spent, so unless you really need a Visa card, it is a poor choice.
  • The fringe benefits of the Hilton HHonorsTM Surpass® Card from American Express are difficult to value. they include things like higher elite status and more amenities. Excluding these benefits, the main tradeoff is that annual fee is $75. But it earns points slightly faster, so we'd use our Credit Card Finder to calculate which card is a better deal based on your spending habits. Roughly speaking, you have to earn an EXTRA 25,000 points each year to offset the annual fee, which translates to about $80,000 per year in spending.

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