Churning the 100k Amex Hilton Upgrade Offer! [2017.5 Update: Third Upgrade Success!]

Update 2017.5.30: I just chatted with an Amex rep and my third upgrade round for 100,000 Hilton points is pending! Hopefully the points will post today so I can try to downgrade and upgrade one more time before the offer expires on May 31. If you haven’t upgraded yet and are eligible via the link below, now is the time!


American Express currently has an opportunity for Amex Hilton Honors cardholders with accounts greater than a year old to upgrade to an Amex Hilton Surpass. The upgrade offer gives you 100,000 Hilton points after spending $3,000 in 90 days and DOES NOT contain language that prohibits previous cardholders from receiving the upgrade bonus. The $75 annual fee is not waived the first year, and no hard credit pull is completed to upgrade.

The Upgrade Link

The expiration date is May 31, as stated in the terms and conditions. This Amex Honors to Surpass upgrade is typically available for 50k or 75k points, and may revert to that after May 31. However, the upgrade links generally have the once-in-a-lifetime language.

One Account, Multiple Upgrades

I upgraded my Hilton Honors card at the beginning of May, received the 100k points after meeting the terms, and immediately downgraded the Surpass back to a Hilton Honors card to see if the upgrade offer would return. It took about 24-hours for Amex to complete the product change. Once the new card appeared in my online profile, I went to the upgrade link above and entered my information. The offer was available again, almost immediately after downgrading! 

I completed the upgrade to a Amex Hilton Surpass account for a second time, met the minimum spend, and days later received a second installment of 100k Hilton points. I immediately downgraded my Surpass back to a Hilton Honors account, went to the upgrade link above and entered my information. The offer was available again, almost immediately after downgrading, for a THIRD time!

I’m currently waiting for charges to post to my account, after which I expect to receive the third installment of 100k points. This 100k upgrade offer is available through May 31, so if you currently have a no-annual fee Amex Hilton account that is around a year old or older, this is the time to check your eligibility. After May 31 the upgrade offer will likely decrease back to 50k or 75k points, and may or may not contain the once-in-a-lifetime language.

Things You Should Know Before Upgrading

  1. No credit pull is completed prior to upgrade.
  2. The annual fee of $75 is not-waived and will be billed approximately 45-days after upgrade.
  3. You receive a refund of the annual fee if an account is downgraded within 30-days of the annual fee posting.
  4. Your original Amex Honors account should be at least 1 year old to receive the upgrade offer. If you downgrade a Surpass account that is greater than one year old, you will eventually and possibly immediately qualify for an opportunity to upgrade back to the Surpass. You don’t have to wait one year since the last upgrade to downgrade and upgrade again.
  5. You are eligible for this upgrade even if you have received a previous signup bonus on the Surpass. HOWEVER, there are mixed data points on whether upgrading will preclude you from receiving an Amex Hilton Surpass new-cardholder promotion in the future. I highly recommend only completing this upgrade offer only if you have already received a signup bonus on the Amex Hilton Surpass due to Amex limiting sign-up bonuses to once per lifetime.
  6. There are other links and methods for upgrading. All of those methods have language in the terms and conditions we are trying to avoid. The upgrade link posted here is the only known link without that language.
  7. The ability to re-upgrade multiple times may not be available immediately. From what I’ve seen, it can be instant or take up to two weeks after downgrading.

Instructions for Upgrading

The upgrade link will bring you to the page below:

After you log in, the following screen will appear. Note that under “Select the Card to Upgrade” it references upgrading an American Express Green CardThis is obviously not correct! Ignore this IT glitch, as the last 5 numbers after “American Express Green Card” will reflect your Honors account, not a Green Card (which you may or may not have).

Next up are the terms of the upgrade. READ THESE CAREFULLY for any language that may prohibit you from getting the upgrade. Don’t take my (or anyone’s) word that the language isn’t there. Also be sure to save a copy of the Terms and Conditions for your own records.

After you hit “Upgrade Now,” the next screen will show your approval. Again, I suggest keeping screen shots of the whole process in case Amex attempts to change things retroactively.

Have you taken advantage of this or any other Amex upgrade offer? Let me know in the comments!


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