I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
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.
Here are the 7 things I especially value about this card:
- Limited-time offer for more points. You can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $4,000 on the new card within 4 months. (American Express tells me this limited time offer will run through August 28, 2019).
- A free night is part of the initial bonus, too. In addition to those points when you meet the minimum spend in the time allotted you will receive a free weekend night reward as well. The points offer is increased, and they’re topping it off with a free night that itself could be worth nearly as many points as the usual offer for this card — making this in my opinion more than double the value they usually offer.
- Complimentary Gold status. To me Gold status is the sweet spot in the Hilton program, it comes with breakfast and Hilton doesn’t exclude brands from honoring that benefit either.
- Get another free night each year. Each year you spend $15,000 on the card you’ll earn a weekend night reward, which makes using the card certainly worthwhile.
- Spend for Diamond. You can get top tier with their more expensive premium card, but this $95 annual fee card (See Rates & Fees) will give you Diamond status, the highest in the Honors program, after just $40,000 in spend in a year. That isn’t credit towards Diamond, it’s actual Diamond with card spend. I’ve spent $40,000 in a year for Diamond on this card in the past.
- Priority Pass airport lounge access. This is the only sub-$100 annual fee card that comes with a Priority Pass membership and includes 10 free visits each year.
- Purchase protections. This card offers extended warranty (up to 2 years additional coverage on top of what product manufacturers offer for qualifying purchases), returning protection (coverage when a merchant won’t accept qualifying items back that you want to return), and purchase protection (coverage for accidental damage or theft of recent purchases). With Citi eliminating these sorts of protections it’s worth noting that this American Express card comes with them.
Conrad Koh Samui
American Express limits you to an initial card bonus once per card type. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card isn’t a ‘new product’ but if you haven’t had it before (or Amex doesn’t show you as having had it when you ask) this is the best offer I have ever seen for the product. You want to apply for American Express cards when they have their best-ever offers, since you get only shot bonus per card type.
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
By the way 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).