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Since its inception, the Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been easily my favorite credit card. Between the 14x points it offers at Hilton properties and the top-tier Diamond elite status it bestows, I accrue many Hilton Honors points and perks on every paid stay – not to mention its other perks, such that the $250 annual resort credit I regularly max out each year.

And yet, despite my loyalty to the Hilton Honors Aspire Card, this winter I found myself considering getting another Hilton credit card. Here’s what made me pull the trigger on the Hilton Honors Surpass® Card – and why I expect both cards to have a place in my wallet for years to come.

Hilton Surpass Card Welcome Bonus

Regular APR

15.74%-24.74% variable

Recommended credit score

good to excellent

Regular APR

15.74%-24.74% variable

Recommended credit score

good to excellent

Benefits
  • High welcome bonus
  • Complimentary Hilton Gold Elite status
  • Generous bonus categories to earn points
The inconvenients
  • Weekend night reward requires spending $15,000 on the card in a year
  • Not many additional perks beyond Hilton Gold status

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More information
  • Information for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a free night reward after spending $2,000 on card purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after spending $15,000 on card purchases in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X the Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every $1 in eligible purchases charged to your card directly at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X the Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every $1 in eligible purchases on your card at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations.
  • Earn 3x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other qualifying purchases on your card.
  • Spend $40,000 in qualifying purchases on your card in one calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the following calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Bonuses on Hilton’s line of credit cards from American Express have been impressive lately, and the current offer on the Hilton Honors Surpass® Card is no exception.

For a limited time, the Hilton Honors Surpass® Card offers a hefty bonus of 130,000 points and a free night after spending $2,000 in qualifying purchases on the card within the first 3 months of card membership.

To put that into perspective, the vast majority of Hilton properties max out at 95,000 points per night, with only a few hitting 120,000-150,000 points per night. Because the certificate is good at almost all Hilton properties worldwide, between the points and the certificate, the bonus is enough for a two-night stay at virtually any Hilton hotel, including the ultra-luxury Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, and more.

Read more: 7 Luxurious Ways to Redeem Amex Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificates

While I strongly believe in only opening credit cards that you will keep and continue to use, I would be lying if I said the welcome bonus was not a factor in my decision. At the time, I was planning a group trip to the brand new Hilton Cancun All Inclusive, and even though my bonus offer wasn’t as high as this, it still helped me land a room as well as all food and drink for four people for a weekend, all for the price of the $95 annual card fee (see rates).

Free night potential

I plan to keep the Hilton Honors Surpass® Card – and its ability to earn a free weekend night certificate after spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year is the main reason for that.

Again, Hilton doesn’t cap the value of its free night certificates, giving holders direct access to some of its most ambitious properties. In the past, I have redeemed certificates for stays at resorts such as Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea, and Oceana Santa Monica, part of the LXR Collection. Some of those stays would have cost over $2,000 a night in cash, so I really appreciate those certificates.

Read more: How I Booked a $12,000 Vacation Using Flexible Credit Card Rewards, Hyatt Points, and Hilton Free Night Certificates

My fiancé and I each receive an annual weekend free night certificate from our respective Aspire cards, but flying to the Maldives for a two-night stay isn’t worth it. Access to more free night certificates allows us to extend our stays even when we haven’t accumulated hundreds of thousands of points.

And while the Hilton Honors Aspire Card offers the ability to cruise your way to a second free night every year, it does so with a high requirement of $60,000, which is a) out of my budget and b) not like I would choose to spend so much money, especially since doing so would mean sacrificing opportunities to earn transferable points, such as those earned through the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card or the Platinum Card® from American Express

. The $15,000 overage threshold is achievable and doesn’t redirect spending too much from other cards.

Bonus spend categories

Although I tend to reserve my Hilton Honors Aspire card for Hilton spending, I like to use the card for purchases in its other bonus categories when working on a specific redemption. These categories would be flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly with certain rental car companies, and American restaurants, all of which earn 7x points per dollar.

Read more: The best hotel credit cards of 2022

By adding the Hilton Honors Surpass® card to my rotation, I will get key new categories: The card earns 6 times more points per dollar at US supermarkets and US gas stations (as well as US restaurants), which which will help me get to my goals earning points faster.

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Regular APR

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