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2020 Review: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card – Should you pay $95 for it?

Updated Sep 24, 2020 | Published Aug 21, 202016 min read

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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Min Credit Level Good
Annual Fee $95
Regular APR 15.74% - 24.74% Variable
At a glance

The Hilton Honors Surpass is ideal for people who frequently find themselves staying with Hilton. You’ll earn 30X points per dollar at Hilton properties and gain some nice perks like the opportunity to earn an annual free night and complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We gave the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card card 5 out of 5 Stars because it’s pretty easy to offset the annual fee, and you’ll earn points in a variety of bonus reward categories. But this card is only good for people interested in staying at Hilton properties.

Why We Like It

  • You can earn a whole lot of points, some from this card and some by being a Hilton Honors member
  • An annual free night stay after a spending threshold is reached
  • A set of benefits and complimentary services at Hilton properties
  • Welcome offer of 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • A variety of redemption options
  • No foreign transaction fee

Why It Could Be Better

  • There’s an annual fee you’ll need to pay or offset by earning points
  • You’ll need to redeem your points through Hilton to get a good value for them
  • You won’t get your free weekend night reward if you don’t spend enough per year

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Surpass is designed for people who travel at least several times per year, and love to stay in Hilton hotels and resorts.

It provides 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points per dollar, and you’ll also get an additional 18X Base Points for being a Hilton Honors Gold member, for a total of 30X points per dollar.

That’s a whole lot, and it can provide a cash back equivalent of about 12%–30%, assuming you get from 0.4–1 cent per point when redeeming.

With enough spending you’ll be able to earn enough points to offset the $95 annual fee, and you’ll benefit from the many perks that come with this card. Frequent Hilton customers have no reason not to consider adding this card to their routines.

There are two other personal Hilton credit cards from Amex, with different annual fees and reward programs. The Surpass card is the mid-range option. The right card for you will depend on how much you typically spend with Hilton per year. If you only spend a bit each year, and may not even travel, a no-annual-fee card would make more sense. But if you’re going to spend quite a lot, a card with a higher annual fee could be worthwhile.

Here are the four Hilton cards, with annual fees and key benefits.

Card Annual Fee Benefits
Hilton Honors American Express Card (Review) $0
(Rates & Fees)
  • Hilton Honors Silver Status
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (This review) $95
(Rates & Fees)
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • 10 annual airport lounge visits
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card $450
(Rates & Fees)
  • Diamond Hilton Honors Status
  • $100 repeating Hilton credit
  • $250 annual Hilton Resort credit
  • $250 annual airline fee credit
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Review) $95
(Rates & Fees)
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • 10 annual airport lounge visits

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Reap the rewards: Use this card to earn a lot of points at Hilton hotels and resorts. It’s also good for spending at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations.
  • Redeem for award nights: It will probably be easiest to get a good value for your points if you redeem them for free night stays. But you’ll get an even better value if you can redeem them for your 5th night free, on stays of five nights or more.
  • Make sure your lifestyle supports the card: Be sure to use this card enough each year to offset the annual fee. We’ve found deals that could provide about $95 in value by spending just $324, but this assumes you get a very good value for your points, so your mileage may vary.
  • Flaunt your status: Don’t forget about using the benefits you’ll get with this card, especially the Hilton Honors Gold status.
  • Reach the free night: Spend $15,000 in a given year to earn a free weekend night reward stay.
  • Shine bright like a diamond: Spend $40,000 in a given year to gain Hilton Honors Diamond status, which comes with some better benefits.
  • Lounge in style: Enjoy 10 free passes to Priority Pass airport lounges ($32 admission fee after that).
  • Pool your points: Share points with your friends and family to pay for expensive trips and vacations.

The Rewards

The value of your Hilton points will depend on how you redeem them, such as the particular hotel and dates you book. We’ve found that you can get the equivalent of at about 12%–30% cash back when redeeming at a rate of 0.4–1 cents per point, which is around the average range you’ll find.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 30X points per dollar at Hilton properties
    • 12X Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
    • 18X Base points per dollar for Hilton Honors Gold status
  • 6X Bonus points per dollar at:
    • U.S. restaurants
    • U.S. supermarkets
    • U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Bonus points per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months

If it seems like you’ll end up earning a ton of Hilton Honors points with this card, that’s true. However, you’ll find that each point isn’t worth quite as much as the points you can get in other programs, so it pretty much evens out.

Here, we must explain the difference between Bonus Points and Base Points. Bonus Points are what you’ll earn from this credit card, at the rates given above. Base Points are separately awarded to any Hilton Honors member who makes purchases through Hilton, with a normal rate of 10X per dollar spent. Bonus Points and Base Points are counted the same by Hilton when you redeem them.

Cardholders of the Surpass will get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status, which comes with an 80% bonus for all Base Points earned at eligible properties. That comes out to 18X Base Points per dollar spent with Hilton.

This means that cardholders will get 30X points per dollar in total when spending at eligible Hilton properties, and that’s quite the offer (12X points from the card and 18X points from Hilton Honors Gold status) (at an annual fee of $95).

An even higher status level, Diamond, can be reached by spending $40,000 in a given year. That comes with a 100% point bonus instead. So 20X Base Points will be earned per dollar spent at Hilton, for a total of 32X points per dollar spent at Hilton.

Redeeming

You’ll have quite a few options for redeeming your Hilton Honors points. The value you get for your points will vary depending on how, when, and where you redeem them.

The redemption options are:

  • Free hotel stays and 5th night free at hotels and resorts
  • On-property purchases, like vacation packages, spa treatments, golf lessons, and more
  • Redemption Experiences like concerts, travel excursions, and others
  • Online shopping and dining experiences
  • Point transfers to airline/rail miles and credit card programs
  • Pooling and transferring points with family and friends

The best methods involve using them for stays at Hilton properties, because you’ll get the highest value per point.

Generally, you’ll get a better value for your points when you redeem them at less expensive properties. But this isn’t always the case, because the value of your points will vary based on when and where you book your stay, along with other factors like current events.

The other redemption options will usually provide a lesser value, and they will vary quite a bit depending on the particular deal. We recommend avoiding them because you can get a better deal with free night stays, or by getting your 5th night free.

You can also share points with friends and family. This could let you gather a ton of points to use for a special trip or vacation.

Another option is point transfers to a partner travel program. The transfer rate (one point for one mile, one point for two miles, etc.) will vary depending on the particular deal, time of year, and other factors.

There are four travel loyalty program you can transfer to, one rail service and three airline services:

Transfer Partners
Amtrak Virgin Atlantic Hawaiian Airlines Club Premier

We don’t recommend using this method unless you happen to get a great transfer deal. But there’s no guarantee that you will, and in most cases you’ll be better off with one of the following redemption methods.

Free Night Stay Point Redemption Example

Using your points to book stays directly is one of the best ways to redeem them. Stays begin at 5,000 points at the lowest-level properties.

Let’s go over an example redemption to see how much your points would be worth. Say you want to spend a night at the Hilton Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois. You’ll get a standard room on the night of October 20th, a Saturday.

This room would typically cost $587 for a night’s stay, after taxes. Or, you could get that room for 60,000 Hilton Honors points.

That would mean your points are worth about 0.98 cents each for this particular deal.

How much would you need to spend with your Surpass card to get this room? That will depend on the rate at which you earn your points. The higher the rate, the less you’ll need to spend.

If you spend at the rate of 30X points per dollar, for example, you’d need to spend $2,000 to earn 60,000 points. If you only earn at a lesser rate, like 6X points, you’d need to spend $10,000.

When earning at the 30X rate, you’d spend $2,000 to get a room valued at $587 (12X points from the card and 18X points from Hilton Honors Gold status). That means you’d get a cash back equivalent of about 29.35%, which is quite good. If you earn any of those points at a lesser rate you’d get a smaller cash back equivalent.

The Benefits

You’ll probably get the most out of the annual weekend night reward and your Hilton Honors Gold status, which provides a myriad of useful perks. But that’s not where the value ends; you’ll also gain a handful of shopping and travel protections that could end up saving you some money in a pinch.

  • Annual weekend night reward: You’ll get a free weekend night after spending $15,000 on purchases in any calendar year. A redeemable code will be emailed to you after meeting the threshold. The code is redeemable for one weekend standard accommodation, double occupancy. Weekend nights refer to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. It can be combined with other offers, or added to existing stays. Certain properties are excluded.
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status: Cardholders get Hilton Honors Gold status, which is two tiers above the basic Member status. It comes with some nice benefits, like an 80% bonus on all Base Points earned, your 5th night free when booking reward stays, your 2nd guest stays free, a discounted rate on rooms, and more amenities.
  • Fast track to Hilton Honors Diamond status: Cardholders will be awarded with Hilton Honors Diamond status if purchases for a given year reach $40,000. Diamond status comes with better benefits than Gold, including a 100% bonus on Base Points and a 48-hour room guarantee.
  • Priority Pass Select access: Cardholders get access to over 1,300 Priority Pass airport lounges around the world. This does not grant access to non-lounge Priority Pass experiences. 10 free lounge visits are provided per year. After that, the entry fee will be $32 per person. Authorized users, which are free to add, can take advantage of the free visits, but they don’t get a membership. You’ll need to manually enroll in this benefit, and you’ll receive your Priority Pass Select card within 10–14 business days.
  • Amex Offers: You’ll have special earning opportunities at a selection of merchants that change from time to time.
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Free membership with ShopRunner, which provides free two-day shipping and returns from some online retailers.
  • Entertainment Access: This benefit, also called Membership Experiences, provides pre-sale tickets to a variety of sports, music, and cultural events, as well as access to certain exclusive experiences. You’ll be able to search by interest, artist, event, or venue.
  • Global Assist Hotline: Provides help when traveling 100 miles or more from home; cardholders must pay for all third-party costs
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Waiver: Decline the rental company’s offer and charge the full amount to your card and your rental will be covered against damage and theft.
  • Baggage Insurance Plan: When traveling by common carrier, provides coverage for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen bags; up to $1,250 for carry-on bags, and up to $500 for checked bags
  • Purchase Protection: Eligible purchases are covered for accidental damage and theft for 90 days.
  • Extended Warranty: Manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less can be extended for up to one extra year.
Insider tip

If you won’t spend $15,000 with this card per year, consider the basic Hilton Honors American Express Card (Review). It’s a similar offer with no annual fee, but no weekend night reward either.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
15.74% - 24.74% Variable 15.74% - 24.74% Variable 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$95 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
None Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
29.24% Variable Up to $40 Up to $40

The costs and fees of this card are pretty straightforward. You’ll have an annual fee to pay, and if you revolve a balance from month to month you’ll accrue interest at your given APR. But we recommend paying your balance in full to avoid interest and help your credit.

There’s no foreign transaction fee, which is something we like to see on travel cards. It doesn’t make sense to have a travel card that will charge you extra for spending outside the country. American Express doesn’t have very wide acceptance outside the U.S., but presumably any Hilton property you stay in will take Amex.

See our alternative picks below for some other options without foreign transaction fees and with wider acceptance around the world.

The Bottom Line

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is a good card option for anyone who spends at least $1,000 or so at Hilton properties every year. If you find yourself in their hotels more often than not, a card like this could probably go a long way for you.

But the threshold for the free weekend night is $15,000 per year, so if you won’t spend that much you may want to consider the Hilton Honors American Express Card (Review).

The extra benefits are pretty good for a card with a $95 fee. The most important for travelers will probably be the Hilton Honors Gold status and all the perks that come with it. But don’t forget to use your 10 free visits to Priority Pass Select airport lounges, too.

If you tend to stay with Hilton but you don’t quite like this card, there are some others that might suit you better. There are also cards designed for other hotel brands, and cards that are good for travel in general. Take a look at some of those options below to see if one might be a better fit.

How Do I Apply for the Hilton Honors Surpass Card?

You can apply now for this card securely on the American Express website by following the link below. They will check your credit reports with the three major credit bureaus when you apply.

Many applicants will get an instant decision in just a few seconds. But in some cases it may take longer. You can check the status of your application any time after you apply.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Surpass Card?

It’s recommended that you have good credit before applying for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card.

That would mean your credit scores fall within the ranges of 670–739 for FICO and 700–749 for VantageScore.

However, keep in mind credit card companies will look at more than just your credit scores when determining your creditworthiness. Credit card issuers will take other factors into account, like income and source of income when mulling over if you should be approved or not.

So if your credit scores are lower than those ranges, you could still have a shot. But that also means even if you have higher credit scores, there’s a chance you won’t be approved.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • You must be 18 to apply
  • Personal identifying information: Name, date of birth, SSN, home address, email address, phone number
  • Financial information: Total annual income, source of income
  • Hilton Honors membership number, if applicable

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of the Hilton Honors Amex Surpass?

The most valuable benefits are the annual weekend award night after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year, and your automatic Hilton Honors Gold status.

From your Gold status you’ll get some nice perks like an 80% bonus to Base points, your fifth night free when redeeming for five nights or more, a discounted rate on rooms, and more.

Take a look at the full list of benefits that’ll come with your card.

What are my Hilton Honors points worth?

On average we found your points will be worth 0.4–1 cent. That means you’ll be able to get a cash back equivalent of 12%–30% when redeeming for award nights, assuming you’re earning 30X points at Hilton properties.

Interested in all the redemption options you’ll have?

If you don’t have your Hilton Honors membership number when you first fill out your application, you can call Amex customer support at 1-800-528-4800 to link your accounts. Or, you can do so online from your American Express account.

Check out some tips on how to get the most out of your Hilton Honors Amex Surpass card.

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Alternatives to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 15.74% - 24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Hilton Honors American Express Card (Review) is a cheaper option at no annual fee, but it also offers less in its rewards program, as you’d expect.

This card comes with Hilton Honors Silver status, which is a step down from Gold. Silver status provides a 20% bonus on the 10 Base Points you’d normally earn.

The basic Hilton Honors card lacks the other most valuable perks of the Surpass card, like the weekend night reward and Priority Pass Select access. The other benefits, like Amex Offers and the shopping and travel protections, are pretty much the same for both cards.

So you’ll have less earning potential, but you won’t have to worry about using the card enough to offset an annual fee. If you won’t travel enough to make the fee on the Surpass card worth it, this card provides a cheaper option that still lets you earn points and use some benefits.

Spending Rewards
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 5X Bonus points per dollar at:
    • U.S. restaurants
    • U.S. supermarkets
    • U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Bonus points per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

This card provides 7X Bonus Points at Hilton properties, compared to the 12X you get with the Surpass. With the status bonus, you’re looking at 12X points per dollar, for a total of 19X points earned when spending with Hilton.

At that rate, you would earn a cash back equivalent of 7.6%–19%, assuming a value of 0.4–1 cent per point.

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Silver status: You’ll get auto-enrolled into the Hilton Honors Silver status, which provides a 20% bonus to Base points, your fifth night free when redeeming points for five nights or more, elite rollover nights, and two free bottles of water.
  • Fast track to Gold status: If you spend $20,000 with your card in a calendar year, you’ll be granted Hilton Honors Gold status.
  • Lowest Hotel Rates Guarantee: If you book a hotel through Amex Travel and find the same hotel room elsewhere for less, Amex will match that price. Applies to online rates only.
  • ShopRunner membership: You can enroll in the ShopRunner program, which provides free two-day shipping and returns from some online retailers.
  • Amex Offers: Earn more points at a changing selection of merchants.
  • Entertainment Access: Get access to presale tickets and cardmember-only events. These could be anything from plays to concerts.
  • Travel protections: Rental car insurance and Global Assist Hotline
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Purchase APR: 15.74% - 24.74% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee $450
Regular APR 15.74%-24.74% (Variable)

If the Surpass card isn’t enough for you, maybe the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card will do the trick. It’s meant for people who travel frequently, and is more rewarding and more expensive.

It has an annual fee of $450, but there are several benefits that serve to cut this fee down if you make use of them.

These include a reusable $100 Hilton credit for any qualifying stay (two nights or more), a $250 airline fee credit, and a $250 annual Hilton resort credit. All of these, and the annual free award night, work to lessen the blow of the annual fee, effectively dropping it to zero. There’s even Priority Pass Select membership included, providing additional value.

The Aspire card comes with complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, and the main benefit of that compared to Gold is the 100% bonus you’ll get on Base Points earned.

Check to see if you could make use of all the credits this card can provide, especially the $100 Hilton credit. They could definitely make your stays more comfortable, and quite a bit cheaper too.

Spending Rewards
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for:
    • Flights booked on Amex Travel or directly with airlines
    • Car rentals from select companies
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Bonus points per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 150,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening

You’ll be earning 20X points per dollar from your Diamond membership, and 14X points from the card. In total, that comes to 34X points per dollar when spending with Hilton, which is quite impressive.

If you assume a value of 0.4–1 cent per point, when earning at the 34X rate you’d get a cash back equivalent of 13.6%–34%, quite a bit better than the Surpass.

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status: With a 100% bonus on Base points, digital check-in, gym access, and more
  • $250 annual Hilton Resort statement credit: Good for charges from Hilton resorts
  • $100 Hilton on-property credit: Good for incidental charges at participating Hilton properties, for every eligible stay of two nights or more
  • $250 annual airline fee credit: Good for incidental airline fees, not ticket prices
  • Two annual weekend night rewards: One free weekend night per year, and you can earn an additional night by spending $60,000 in a calendar year
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Complimentary airport lounge access for you and up to two guests; excludes non-lounge experiences
  • Personal Concierge: Call for assistance with a variety of tasks, like making reservations at restaurants or for travel.
  • Travel protections: Premium Global Assist Hotline, rental car insurance, baggage insurance plan, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and trip delay insurance
  • Shopping protection: Return protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty
  • Purchase APR: 15.74%-24.74% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $450

The information related to Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $95
Regular APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable

If you prefer Marriott properties over Hilton, you might like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card (Review). It’s one of the most rewarding hotel credit cards available, with great redemption options and benefits.

The annual fee is pretty similar to the Surpass’, but your points will be worth a bit more. We’ve found that your Marriott Bonvoy points can be worth 1–2 cents each in some cases, for a possible cash back equivalent of 17%-34%.

Cardholders get automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. That comes with some complimentary services and discounts at Marriott properties, like free in-room premium WiFi. There’s also a fast track to Gold Elite status, which includes automatic Gold status if $35,000 is spent with the card in a given year.

The Bonvoy Boundless card is great if you tend to stay at Marriott properties, where more use will get you more benefits; but if you don’t, then it won’t be the card for you.

Spending Rewards
  • 17X Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy properties
    • 6X Bonus points per dollar from the card
    • 11X Base points per dollar for Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 100,000 Bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual free night stay: You’ll get one Free Night Award every year, beginning after your first account anniversary.
  • Automatic Silver Elite status: As a cardholder you’ll get complimentary Silver Elite status with Marriott. Normally you’d need to spend 10 qualifying nights at Marriott properties for this status level. This grants you perks like a 10% bonus on Marriott Bonvoy Base points and priority late check-in.
  • Path to Gold Elite status: Cardholders get a fast track to Marriott Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 in an account year. Usually it would take 25 qualifying night stays to reach this level.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits annually: You’ll receive 15 Elite Night Credits every year, on or before March 1. Elite Night Credits count towards your Elite status with Marriott.
  • Visa Signature Concierge Service: Call  1-800-953-7392 at any time to reach your personal assistant, who can help with non-emergency tasks.
  • Complimentary premium in-room WiFi: Cardholders get premium on-property WiFi internet access at participating locations. You must provide your loyalty member account number when checking in.
  • Premier Experience Events: Cardholders will occasionally get invitations to exclusive events through the Premier Experience Events program. There are a variety of events, like high-class dining and cooking lessons, rounds of golf, and meetings with exciting people.
  • Travel protections: Travel and emergency assistance service, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, and rental car insurance
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $95
Regular APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) is a pretty popular general-use travel card, so you won’t be attached to any one hotel brand like the other cards mentioned here.

Where the Chase Sapphire Preferred truly shines is in its point transfer rate and redemption options. It boasts a 1:1 transfer rate to Chase’s hotel and airline partners, where you could potentially see a per-point value of 2 cents or more.

With that value, you’re looking at a cash back equivalent of 10% from the 5X point category and 4% from the 2X categories. While that isn’t nearly as high as the 12%–30% you could potentially earn with the Surpass card, you will have a larger selection of hotels to choose from.

Additionally, there’s a 25% bonus when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which gives you 1.25 cents per point.

There aren’t any membership enrollments here or free night awards, but you can get some added benefits at a wide variety of hotels and resorts around the world from the Luxury Hotel & Resort benefit.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Travel
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • DoorDash membership: You’ll get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year, known as a DashPass. This gives you free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12, which could help you save quite a bit if you tend to order out.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is provided by Chase, and includes benefits at a plethora of locations around the world.
  • Shop through Chase: Cardholders can get more points at select retailers with the Shop through Chase marketplace.
  • Chase Offers: Receive exclusive offers from a variety of different merchants through Chase.
  • Chase Preferred Experiences: As a Sapphire Preferred cardholder you’ll have access to exclusive events and experiences provided by Chase.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: You can call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge, 24/7.
  • Travel protections: Trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, rental car insurance, and roadside dispatch
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R).
  • 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 airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 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 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable
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  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Do you use the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card to earn rewards and free hotel stays? How do you like it? Leave your own review below, we’d love to hear from you!

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

For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, please click here.

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.

Brendan Harkness
Written by

Brendan Harkness

Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.

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