The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (review) is the mid-range personal card in the Hilton and American Express credit card portfolio. Some changes have just been made to this card, whereby we’ve seen the annual fee on the card increase, though fortunately the card is also getting some new perks.
Some people will come out ahead with these changes, while others won’t. Let’s go over all the details (there are also changes coming to the Hilton Aspire Card, which I’ll cover in a separate post).
In this post:
Hilton Surpass Card annual fee increasing to $150
The annual fee on the Hilton Surpass Card has been increased to $150 per year, which is a $55 increase over the previous $95 annual fee. This is a pretty significant increase, given that many mid-range cards have annual fees of just under $100.
What’s not changing about the Hilton Surpass Card
What’s not changing about the Hilton Surpass Card? As before:
- The card offers Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as you have the card, with no spending requirement
- The card offers Hilton Honors Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year
- The card offers a free night award when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year
There’s only one benefit being taken away from the card. As of February 1, 2024, the card will no longer offer 10 free Priority Passes per year. That’s a shame, because this was an awesome low annual fee card that offered at least some level of lounge access.
Hilton Surpass Card adds $200 Hilton credit
Here’s an awesome new perk. The Hilton Surpass Card now offers up to $200 in statement credits annually toward spending at any property in the Hilton portfolio. This is awarded quarterly, so you get up to $50 in statement credits each quarter for Hilton purchases with the card.
Simply spend at least $50 at any property in the Hilton portfolio, and you’ll receive a $50 statement credit. Note that this includes all Hilton properties, and not just resorts (unlike on the Hilton Aspire Card). So if you stay at a Hilton at least once a quarter and spend $50 each time, that more than covers the annual fee right there.
Hilton Surpass Card adds new bonus categories
The Hilton Aspire Card now has the following rewards structure:
- Earn 12x Hilton Honors points on Hilton purchases
- Earn 6x Hilton Honors points on U.S. restaurant, supermarket, and gas station purchases
- Earn 4x Hilton Honors points on U.S. online retail purchases
- Earn 3x Hilton Honors points on all other purchases
What has changed here is that the card now offers 4x points on U.S. online retail purchases, which is a cool new bonus category.
Hilton Surpass Card National Emerald Club Executive status
The Hilton Surpass Card now offers complimentary National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status, including perks like Executive Area Access (for full-size reservations and above), in the United States and Canada. Card members must enroll through their online account using their card.
My take on these Hilton Surpass Card changes
The changes to the Hilton Surpass Card are a mixed bag, though I think many people will come out ahead with these changes:
- Of course no one likes the $55 increase in the annual fee
- At the same time, if you stay at a Hilton property at least once per quarter, it’s awesome to be able to maximize the $200 annual statement credit with Hilton, which more than covers the annual fee; this is a massive new perk
- I’m bummed about the 10 annual Priority Pass visits being lost; this was great for those who didn’t otherwise have a Priority Pass membership, but meanwhile many of us have a full membership through multiple cards
- The additional bonus category of 4x points on U.S. online retail purchases is cool in theory, though I value Hilton Honors points at 0.5 cents each, so that’s like a 2% return on that spending, which is hardly anything to get excited about
The Hilton Surpass Card has undergone a refresh. The card’s annual fee has been increased by $55, to $150.
The good news is that the card now offers up to $200 in statement credits for Hilton stays per year (up to $50 per quarter), and also offers up to 4x points on U.S. online retail purchases. The bad news is that the card’s Priority Pass perk has been eliminated.
For someone who stays at Hiltons frequently and who didn’t value the 10 Priority Pass visits per year, I’d say these changes are a net positive. Meanwhile for those who only stay at Hiltons every once in a while, and/or those who value the Priority Pass perk, these changes are negative.
What do you make of these Hilton Surpass Card changes?