AmEx Hilton Surpass Credit Card Review (Formerly Ascend) (2019.11 Update: 150k+$100 Offer!)

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card Review

2019.11 Update: There is a new 150k+$100 statement credit offer available, which is better than the regular 150k offer as the $100 effectively covers the annual fee for the year. This offer is being reported as exclusive to TPG readers, but it is available to the public.

Application Link

Benefits

  1. 150k+$100 offer: earn $100 statement credit after your first purchase, plus earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months.
  2. We value Hilton Honors Points at 0.4 cents/point (Hotel Points Value), click here to see how many points are required for a free night. The weekend free night is worth about $250. So the 130k+1FN highest welcome offer is worth about $770!
  3. Earn 12 Hilton Honors points per $1 spent on hotel stays within Hilton Portfolio; 6 points on US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations; 3 points on other purchases.
  4. Complimentary Hilton Gold status for cardholder. Upgrade to Hilton Diamond status when you make $40,000 or more in purchases each calendar year.
  5. One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases on the card in a calendar year.
  6. 10 free Priority Pass Lounge passes.
  7. With this credit card, you can get access to Amex Offers, which often offers very good discounts at some stores. In the past we have seen offers like: Spend $15 or more and get $5 back at Walmart; Spend $75 or more and get $25 back on Amazon.com.
  8. Refer a friend: You can earn 20,000 bonus Hilton points for every approved account you refer, up to 80,000 Hilton Points per calendar year.
  9. No foreign transaction fee.

Disadvantages

  1. $95 annual fee, NOT waived for the first year.

Recommended Application Time

  1. Note that AmEx has the following policy: If you currently or have previously held a specific AmEx credit card, you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus offer. So if you want to squeeze out the highest rewards from credit cards, you should apply for the welcome offer first, and then take the upgrade offer, and then possibly go on upgrading/downgrading.
  2. You can only get the welcome bonus once in a lifetime, so be sure to apply when the historical highest offer appears.
  3. AmEx doesn’t care about the number of hard pulls.
  4. You can try to apply for it when you have a credit history of 6 months.
  5. Only 2 AmEx credit cards can be approved within 90 days, but this rule does not apply to charge cards. Multiple cards approved in the same day will only have one Hard Pull.
  6. You can keep at most 5 AmEx credit cards, but this rule does not apply to charge cards.

Summary

This card replaced the previous AmEx Hilton Surpass. The welcome offer is very nice, so it’s worth applying for. If you have a lot of spending, it can be a good choice to spend $15k on this card. You already get 3x Hilton points on every spending, which is worth ~1.2% in return. Plus you will earn a weekend free night, which can be worth about $250, that’s an additional ~1.7% in return. The total return is then ~2.9%.

Related Credit Cards

Recommended Downgrade Options

After Applying

  • Click here to check AmEx application status.
  • AmEx reconsideration backdoor number: 877-399-3083. The “real” backdoor number of Amex is well protected. Different from Chase, the representatives from this AmEx reconsideration backdoor number only have the right to help you submit requests.

Historical Offers Chart

Note: in 2019 there was a 130k+FN welcome offer. The FN part is not shown in the chart.

Application Link


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