New Best Ever Offer for American Express Hilton Surpass Card

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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

I think that very frequent business travelers do best with Marriott — or even better with Hyatt if they can make the smaller chain’s footprint work. However for folks who get their status with a credit card Hilton is unbeatable.

I wrote a month and a half ago that American Express would be renaming their ‘Honors Ascend Card’ to bring back the old Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card name.

Well, they’ve done so and they’ve done it with the best-ever initial bonus for what’s one of the best American Express rewards cards and certainly among the best value rewards cards they offer.

Right now (and American Express tells me, through August 28, 2019) you can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and a free weekend night reward after you spend $4,000 on the new card within 4 months. Previously the best I’d ever once seen was a targeted offer of 150,000 points but now you can get a free night in addition to points.

There’s incredible value for this $95 annual fee card that comes with Hilton Honors Gold status (See Rates & Fees). Each year you spend $15,000 on the card you’ll earn a weekend night reward, and $40,000 in a calendar year earns Hilton Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year. It also comes with 10 Priority Pass lounge visits per year.

Conrad Koh Samui

Ongoing earn is 12 Hilton points per dollar on purchases directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio; 6 per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3 per dollar for all other eligible purchases.

Surpass was the name of Hilton’s premium co-brand American Express card since it went live in February 2009. With the re-upped Hilton deal that went exclusive with American Express (and ended Hilton’s co-brand relationship with Citi), a new more premium card was introduced and Surpass was renamed with improved benefits. They’ve decided to resurrect the Surpass name.

Conrad New York

There’s also an improved offer for the no annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Card, a 90,000 point initial bonus after $2000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership (See Rates & Fees). The product comes with Hilton Honors Silver status ($20,000 spend on the card in a calendar year earns Gold status through the end of the next calendar year).

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. I got an email today from Amex touting the great new name. Some consultant probably got paid a lot of money for coming up with “Ascend,” then somebody else got paid a lot to change it back to “Surpass.”

  2. If I already have the original surpass now ascend that will be surpass again, am I eligible for the new surpass ?

  3. @Norita, ditto here. I’ve also had the Surpass>>Ascend>>Surpass for a while, good card. Would be great if one could apply for it again, but it’s highly, highly doubtful. Amex would be stupid to let us re-apply (and get the bonus) for a second card, and Amex isn’t stupid.

  4. Good bonus, but don’t see the value in keeping this card. You can get good value if you’re someone who spends 15,000 a year on the card, but that’s a non-starter for people with multiple cards and don’t stay at Hiltons

  5. Well, if you don’t stay at Hiltons then why are you even considering this card? You only get Hilton points with this card. This is a pretty good deal for a $95 card for Hilton customers. I have the Aspire card, but my husband doesn’t, and this would be great for him when he travels alone. 130,000 points plus the extra Hilton points for the $4K spend is around 4 nights in a hotel. Not too shabby.

  6. I just signed up for a targeted upgrade offer from the no-fee Hilton Honors card to the Surpass for 150K points after a $3000 spend in 3 months. What are the chances of getting Amex to go for this offer instead? The free weekend night seems like it could be worth more than 20K points…

  7. @farsighted99, people routinely get hotel cards as keepers. Chase IHG, Hyatt, and Marriott cards are good examples. Even if you rarely ever use the card, you can get a free night (usually between 150 and 300 dollars) for $95. This card doesn’t offer that. It offers an even better uncapped free night, but you’d have to spend $15,000 in a calendar year.

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