Hotel cobranded credit cards serve a very specific audience — after all, if you aren’t a regular visitor to the hotel chain in question, there probably isn’t much reason to get its credit card. But on the flip side, some cobranded hotel cards are better than others, especially when it comes to extra benefits that come in handy during stays at the chain’s properties.

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, with an annual fee of $150 (see rates and fees), is an excellent example of a cobranded hotel credit card that truly offers value to a regular Hilton guest. It comes with solid earning potential, and provides a level of status that can greatly enhance your stays at Hilton properties.

These are the top five reasons to consider getting the Hilton Honors Amex Surpass card.

Valuable welcome offer

The current offer is 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points plus a free night reward after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership. This offer ends July 31.

Based on TPG’s June 2024 valuations, those bonus points are worth $780.


Since Hilton has more than 6,300 properties worldwide, there are tons of uses for these bonus points, such as a stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Universal Orlando in Florida or the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Queenstown in New Zealand.

Related: 7 great ways to use 100,000 Hilton Honors points and a free night reward

Bonus points for Hilton stays

If you stay at Hilton hotels regularly — or even on a semi-regular basis — there are very few cards with a return as good as the Hilton Honors Surpass. You’ll earn 12 points per dollar spent on all eligible Hilton purchases, and as of June 2024, TPG values Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cents each; you’re effectively getting a 7.2% return on Hilton stays when using this card.


There are three other cards that have the potential to beat the Hilton Surpass when it comes to rewards on Hilton stays:

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The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

With the first two cards, you’ll have to book prepaid stays via American Express Travel to get 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on hotels. The Hilton Aspire card carries a hefty annual fee of $550 (see rates and fees), and your earning rate is just a bit higher (14 points per dollar instead of 12).

Using the Hilton Surpass card, you can book refundable reservations directly with Hilton and get 12 points per dollar without a large annual fee. This gives you a lot more flexibility to move or cancel your stay if your plans change.

On top of getting 12 points per dollar at Hilton (which includes all charges made to your room during your stay), you’ll also get 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, 4 points per dollar at U.S. online retail purchases and 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases with the Hilton Surpass card.

Related: Is the Hilton Surpass Amex card worth the annual fee?

Complimentary elite status

Many hotel chains offer only so-so mid-tier elite status benefits, but Hilton is an exception. Hilton Honors Gold elite status is very valuable and comes with an 80% bonus on points earned for Hilton stays, room upgrades at most brands (excluding suites), a daily food-and-beverage credit (at U.S. hotels only) or continental breakfast (at non-U.S. hotels) and a welcome amenity.

The card also comes with the ability to upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond if you spend $40,000 on it in a calendar year — though if you’re really in the market for Diamond status, you may be better off with the Hilton Aspire.

Additionally, cardmembers get complimentary National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status. Enrollment is required in the Emerald Club Program. This gets you increased access to cars at the same price as a midsize vehicle, guaranteed upgrades and no second-driver fees.

Related: The award traveler’s guide to Hilton Honors

Fifth night free on award stays

When redeeming Hilton Honors points, you can make the ones you’ve earned go a lot further if you have the Hilton Honors Surpass. Since the card gives you complimentary Hilton Gold elite status, you can take advantage of one of the key benefits of status: a fifth night free on award redemptions. That means you’ll effectively save 20% of your points on all award stays of five nights.


Hilton uses a dynamic pricing system, so the value of your fifth night free is calculated by taking the average award rate you pay across your five eligible nights. Hilton also includes clear language in its terms and conditions stating that this benefit only applies to standard rooms. Nevertheless, this can be a great option to save some points on longer stays.

Related: Quick Points: Get your fourth or fifth night free on hotel award stays

Hilton statement credit

The Hilton Surpass comes with a quarterly statement credit of up to $50 (up to $200 annually) when using your card for Hilton purchases.


Eligible purchases include those made directly with a Hilton property, including room rates and incidental charges such as room or spa service, so this can be a great way to indulge in a nice dinner or get a spa service or massage.

If you would normally pay out of pocket for extras, this can be a good way to offset the annual fee (see rates and fees) on the Surpass card.

Related: The best hotel credit cards

Bottom line

The Hilton Surpass card is great for both frequent and occasional Hilton travelers. With healthy earning rates and automatic Hilton Gold elite status, this could be an excellent addition to your wallet. To learn more about this card, read our full review of the Hilton Honors Surpass.

Apply here: Hilton Honors Surpass Card with a limited-time welcome bonus ending July 31.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Aspire card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Surpass card, click here.

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