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American Express is offering a bonus of 100,000 points (plus, earn a free weekend night award after your first anniversary) on the Amex Surpass Hilton card, and a 75,000 point bonus on the no annual fee Amex Hilton Honors card. These Amex Hilton credit card limited time offers end on 10/04/2017.
You’re eligible for these limited time Amex Hilton bonuses (if you’re approved) as long as you don’t have or have had these products before. Amex limits users to receiving a sign-up bonus once per lifetime on each product. These are considered different products, so you can get the bonus on each card.
Amex Hilton Surpass
The Amex Hilton Surpass comes with a sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. There’s a $75 annual fee, but the Surpass has some benefits that justify paying the annual fee, imho. Plus, earn a free weekend night award after your first anniversary of Card Membership. This is a new perk to the card and helps to easily justify the annual fee.
The Amex Surpass comes with Hilton Gold status, which includes free breakfast as a perk. I’ve kept my Citi Hilton Reserve card open and paid the annual fee just so I could retain my Hilton Gold status (now I have Diamond status). My wife and I have taken advantage of the Hilton Gold status free breakfast (offered at qualifying hotels) perk many times while traveling.
Hilton Gold status also gets you priority check-in, late check out, free in-room internet, and possible room upgrade. If you’re upgraded to an Executive level floor (I have been on all my Hilton stays) you will receive lounge access. I love getting lounge access at a hotel, so I can grab a coffee, water, or snacks before or after exploring a new city.
The Amex Hilton Surpass card earns a whopping 12x points on purchases made directly with Hilton, 6x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. Supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, and 3x on all other purchases. These are great spending perks if you’re looking to acquire Hilton Honors points. I prefer to earn transferable points on my every day purchases.
If you spend $40k in a calendar year on your Surpass card you will earn Hilton Diamond status. That’s nice and all, but Hilton Gold is almost as good as Hilton Diamond, and last year they were giving away Diamond status like candy on Halloween.
Amex Hilton Honors
The Amex Hilton Honors card comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending an easy $1,000 in 3 months of card membership. Plus you will receive an additional 25,000 points after spending another $1,000 in 6 months. That’s a long time to meet a second-tier spending requirement. And there’s no annual fee!
The no annual fee Amex Hilton card doesn’t have the great perks of the Amex Surpass, but you will still earn 5 x points is at purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. Supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, and 3x on all other purchases.
Hilton Honors Points
It’s true that Hilton Honors isn’t the most lucrative loyalty program, but there’s still value to be found. I have had many enjoyable stays at Hilton properties while traveling. One of my favorite Hilton stays was in Auckland, New Zealand.
One good benefit of the Hilton Honors program is that if you have Silver, Gold, or Diamond (you will if you hold one of these cards) you will receive your 5th award night free after booking 4 consecutive award nights.
You can stretch your points by combining them with cash for an award booking, or through Hilton’s new pooling feature.
Reward nights in the Hilton Honors program run from 5,000 points to 95,000 points a night. Quite the range. Obviously, you can make your points go farther by using them for lower level category hotels.
For example, you could get 20+ nights at the category 1 Double Tree Hilton Wuix, China, which is only 5,000 Hilton points a night!
100,000 points could also get you over 10 nights at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Mexico City which costs only 10,000 HH points a night, or almost 3 nights at the Hilton Waikiki which is only 40k points a night at its lowest redemption rate.
Hilton Honors points are some of the easiest points to earn since there are so many cards that can get you HH points. It’s easy to save enough points for an epic trip at top-tier properties, like the Hilton in Bora Bora or the Maldives (category 9), but award availability is hard to find and they are pricey, from 50k – 95k points a night.
You can use the award search tool on Hilton’s website to see how many points you will need for a stay. It’s pretty cool.
Here’s the Hilton Honors award chart, and prices here.
Wrap Up on the Amex Hilton Honors & Surpass Credit Cards
It’s nice to see the Amex Hilton come with a possible 75,000 point bonus, but it was at 80,000 a few months ago. Still, it doesn’t have an annual fee. However, I like the 100,000 offer on the Surpass a tad bit more ($75 annual fee), since it does come with Hilton Gold status and a free annual weekend night every anniversary.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.