Hilton HHonors Surpass: 100,000 HHonors Bonus Points
Through May 4, 2016, the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express is offering its most lucrative signup bonus ever–100,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of cardmembership. There is, however, an annual fee of $75, which is not waived for the first year.
For those unfamiliar with the card, the primary differences between the Hilton Surpass and the no-fee Hilton Amex are:
- Complimentary Gold status (which normally requires either 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 HHonors Base Points in a year). Benefits of Gold status include 25% bonus on HHonors Base Points earned, 5th night free on standard room reward stays at least 5 nights and more
- Earn 12 HHonors points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels
- Earn 6 HHonors points per dollar spent at US restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations (as opposed to 5 points per dollar with the no-fee Hilton Amex)
- HHonors Diamond status once spending reaches $40,000 per year – Once your total purchases on the Surpass reach $40,000, you will be upgraded to Hilton HHonors Diamond status for the remainder of the calendar year in which Diamond status was earned through the end of the next calendar year.
Other benefits include:
- Earn 3 HHonors points per dollar for all other eligible purchases
- Purchase protection – purchases can be protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days
- Priority Pass – Airport Lounge Access: Access to over 700 airport lounges around the world with complimentary Priority Pass™ membership, valued at $99. With this complimentary membership, all lounge visits are subject to a fee of U.S. $27 per person per visit.
One disappointing feature of the card, however, is its foreign transaction fee. Despite being a premium travel rewards card, the Surpass unfortunately still carries a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%, making it a poor choice for use overseas.
HHonors Points Redemption
Points can be redeemed for award stays for between 5,000 points a night up to 95,000 points a night, depending upon the hotel category and season:
|STANDARD ROOM REWARDS|
|HOTEL CATEGORY||HHONORS POINTS REQUIRED FOR ONE FREE NIGHT|
|4||20,000 to 30,000 Points|
|5||30,000 to 40,000 Points|
|6||30,000 to 50,000 Points|
|7||30,000 to 60,000 Points|
|8||40,000 to 70,000 Points|
|9||50,000 to 80,000 Points|
|10||70,000 to 95,000 Points|
See the full redemption schedule here.
In addition, Hilton Amex cardmembers qualify for a separate class of rewards called AXON rewards. AXON rewards are available for 4 night stays at hotels in categories 5 through 10:
|HOTEL CATEGORY||HHONORS POINTS REQUIRED FOR FOUR FREE NIGHTS|
Unlike standard awards, AXON rewards are only redeemable over the phone at 1-800-920-5649.
Note that depending on the season, the AXON rewards may be cheaper or more expensive than a standard night award. Typically AXON rewards are better value during peak season and a worse value during off-peak periods.
You can also use a combination of points and cash to redeem for stays, which sometimes results in the best value.
As you might be able to guess, getting maximum value for your HHonors redemptions can be quite tricky. Fortunately, FT has a nice resource to help here.
The bottom line is that you should be able to get at least 0.4 cents of value per point. Using these numbers means the 100,000 point bonus is worth roughly $400.
For more info on this offer or to apply, see this link.
Note: The no annual fee Hilton Amex also has a limited-time offer currently available. Through May 4, 2016, you can get 75,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus points after you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months of cardmembership. For more information or to apply for that offer, see this link.