How to Get the Most Out of Your New Hilton Surpass Card

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Are you looking for a new hotel credit card not issued by Chase? Are you too mad at Club Carlson to consider their co-branded credit card? Then the Hilton Honors Surpass Card Card from American Express might be the one for you. In my opinion, this is a totally underrated card with some exceptional benefits. Aside from the currently increased sign-up bonus, there are lots of perks that make this card worth getting. Here are 8 ways to get the most out of your Hilton Surpass Card:

  1. Put the Sign-up Bonus to Good Use. The Hilton Surpass Card pays out 100,000 points in exchange for $3,000 spent in 3 months. That’s definitely manageable if you channel everything (including rent/mortgage payments) onto this card. To get the most out of this sign-up bonus, make sure you’re putting the points to good use. Hilton requires 5,000 – 95,000 points for a free night, depending on the category. You can get ~$1,000 in value by redeeming the bonus at a top-tier hotel like the Conrad Maldives. Or maybe you’ve found a low category hotel with outrageously high paid rates due to an important event. In those cases, you actually will get a ton of value redeeming points. In any case, putting thought into how you redeem miles is one way to ensure you’re getting the most value out of your Hilton Surpass card.
  1. Spend $40,000 for Diamond status. Got $40,000 worth of spending coming up? A home renovation? Maybe you’re in charge of paying for event space or conference lunches or travel at work. Or maybe you have really awesome friends and family who are willing to let you pay for stuff with your card. The point is, if you channel $40,000 worth of spending on your card in one calendar year, you get automatic Hilton Diamond status. Sure, the differences between free Gold status and Diamond aren’t huge. But if you want guaranteed club lounge access, more point bonuses, and higher upgrade possibilities, then I say go for it. Plus, you end up with at least 120,000 Hilton points!
  1. Use it at Hilton Hotels for 12x. Got a paid Hilton stay coming up? To make the most of it (and your card), charge it to the Hilton Surpass card. You’ll earn a generous 12 points per $1 spent. So if your stay ends up costing a total of $1,000 you’ll earn 12,000 points. Plus, 17,500 points from Hilton Honors, 500 points for booking through the app, and if there’s a double points promotion going on, you’ll get another 10,000 points. The points really stack up with Hilton – even more so when you pay for your stay with the Hilton Honors Surpass Card.
  1. Use it at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations for 6x. We all love a good category bonus, right? With the Hilton Surpass Card, you’ll earn a very generous 6 points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. Those are huge spending categories for most people, which makes it an awesome card features. But don’t just stop at that. Sign up for a dining rewards program (Hilton has one too!) and you’ll earn even more points.
  1. Redeem the Free Weekend Night at a Top-tier Hotel. Through October 4, 2017 applicants who are approved for this card receive a free weekend night 6-8 weeks after their card anniversary. This is a pretty awesome card benefit, considering a free night at Hilton Costs 5,000 – 95,000 points per night. Hilton has over 5,000 hotels worldwide, so you are sure to get great value out of this benefit. If you really want to milk this benefit, consider redeeming it at one of these fancy Hilton Hotels.
  1. Sign up for Priority Pass Select. Oddly, the Priority Pass Select benefit is not listed on the Hilton Surpass landing page. You have to go to the Terms & Conditions to read anything about it. Nonetheless, signing up for Priority Pass Select is a great way to get the most out of your Surpass card. Membership normally costs $99, though cardholders get it free of charge. It’s worth noting that lounge visits through Priority Pass Select cost $27 per person, per visit. That’s actually not bad, considering some lounges charge $50 or more per visit.
  1. Sign up for ShopRunner. The free benefits keep on coming! Do you shop at popular merchants like eBags, Bloomingdale’s, Express, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Peet’s Coffee, Newegg, Saks 5th Avenue/Off 5th and Staples, to name a few? Then you can get free 2-day shipping through ShopRunner! Normally, ShopRunner membership costs $8.95 per month or $79 for 12 months. As an Amex Surpass cardholder, you can get access to ShopRunner for FREE!

 

  1. Amex Offers. I’ve got my issues with American Express, but Amex Offers isn’t one of them. Every year, I manage to save hundreds of dollars on everything from a Hulu subscription to my cell phone bill thanks to Amex Offers. Not only do I easily recoup any annual fees paid, I often end up with a profit. So if you pick up the Amex Surpass card, remember to take advantage of Amex Offers in order to make the most out of your card. The $75 annual fee doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express is a great card, regardless of the sign-up bonus. The category bonuses and travel perks are incredibly generous, especially for a credit card with a $75 annual fee. Follow the tips outlined above and you’ll not only travel well, you’ll save a ton doing it!

What are you doing to maximize the benefits from the Amex Hilton Honors Surpass Card?

Ariana Arghandewal
Ariana Arghandewal is a travel hacker and travel rewards expert who earns over 1.5 million miles every year. When she’s not contributing to Frugal Travel Guy, she publishes her own points and miles blog, PointChaser.com. You can connect…
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: No
  • Card Type: Bank

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: No
  • Card Type: Bank
FTG Review Reward Breakdown Points Breakdown
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


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