I just received an offer for the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card From American Express that provides 75,000 Hilton HHonors Bouns Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of membership.
The sign up bonus on this card is typically 60,000 points, 20k after first spend and 40k after $3k in 3 months. Readers of this blog should have no problems generating $3k spend in 3 months. Apart from the sign up bonus, the key benefits and terms of this card are:
- Earns 12x at Hilton properties
- Earns 6x at US restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations
- Earns 3x elsewhere
- Hilton HHonors Gold status as long as you hold the card (used to be first year only)
- Hilton HHonors Diamond status if you make $40,000 in spend in a year
- Priority Pass membership for lounge access
- Access to Hilton AXON awards
- The usual strong Amex purchase protection and extended warranty benefits
Some key points from the terms & conditions of the offer are:
- Offer expires February 28, 2014
- “This offer is not valid for existing Hilton HHonors Surpass Card Members”
- There is nothing in the terms that would exclude anyone who has any other Hilton card from Amex, or anyone who has closed a prior Hilton HHonors Surpass card
- “If your offer is not approved by 02/28/14 because it is incomplete or in pending status, you may not receive the 75,000 Bonus Points offer, even if your application is subsequently approved”
- $75 annual fee not waived
- Foreign transaction fee of 2.7%
I think that last one is aimed at me personally, I had trouble with a generous Delta sign-up this year when I applied during the promo period, but because I had to go through reconsideration, my card was only eventually approved after the promo ended. After some to’ing and fro’ing I got the offer honored, but maybe this makes it easier for them to say “tough luck” in the future. However the terms appear quite generous in terms of churners in that as long as you do not currently have this same card, you should qualify for the offer.
So how good do I think this card and offer is? Well personally in the post devaluation world it’s not the most exciting offer in the world. I value Hilton points around 1/3rd of a cent a piece, so I see this as a roughly $250 value sign up, or around $50 more valuable than normal. A year ago 75k would get you two nights at the Conrad Maldives if it was part of a longer redemption. This year it will nearly get you one night at the same property again assuming you have the points to make at least a four night stay. That said the Hilton Gold benefit is pretty useful considering it gets you breakfast for two at most properties (though not at Waldorf Astoria properties). The Diamond status for $40k is probably not worthwhile for most, though we have some big Hilton stays coming up at Whistler and Conrad Maldives so personally I manufactured $40k worth of spend on this card to get Diamond through to early 2015 primarily in the hope the higher status edges our upgrade chances. The earning structure itself is not bad, that $40k spend was mostly at grocery stores buying gift cards and reload packs and so generated 240k odd points. With my 1/3rd cent valuation it effectively makes it similar to a 3% at Hilton, 2% at groceries, gas and restaurants and 1% elsewhere card. Not great, not terrible. Ultimately I would say the competing Citibank Hilton Reserve card is a better value with it’s two weekend nights, but still for anyone who wants to get this card this is a welcome boost in the sign-up.
I should also note that if you have an existing “regular” Amex Hilton card (the fee-free version) and you want to get a boost for upgrading to the Surpass version, you may be better off trying to get an upgrade bonus. Check out the Wiki in this FlyerTalk thread for details. It looks like you may be able to get a 50k bonus for upgrading, so if you wanted to avoid getting an additional credit inquiry, this may be an attractive option.
(Note I do not receive any consideration for the links provided in this post. Always be responsible when applying for credit)
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