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Limited time offer: Get 130k points plus a free night with a new Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Update May 23, 2024: Earlier today, American Express upped the welcome bonus of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. In addition to the standard 135,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first six months of holding the card, you’ll now also get a free night reward.

Hilton free night awards are the probably the most valuable hotel free night certificates because they can be used at almost any Hilton property worldwide where a standard room is available. This includes many aspirational properties that cost north of $1,000/night. This limited-time offer ends 7/31/2024.

Here’s what you need to know about the welcome bonus on the Amex Hilton Surpass card.

Best offer: 130k points + free night award Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card welcome offer

Here are the details on the 130k points plus 1 free night offer on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $150
(See Rates and Fees)

This is an affiliate link.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

The limited time offer adds a Hilton Free Night Award to this card’s usual welcome bonus, with no additional spending requirements.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
Hilton Honors Gold status.
Upgrade to Diamond status after spending $40k in a year on your card.
$200 Hilton credit: Up to $50 in statement credits each quarter for eligible Hilton purchases.
Free night reward after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year.
National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive® status. Enrollment required.

Rewards:
12x on Hilton hotels and resorts.
6x on dining at U.S. restaurants.
6x on groceries at U.S. supermarkets.
6x on gas at U.S. gas stations.
4x on U.S. online retail purchases.
3x on other eligible purchases.
Rewards are earned as Hilton Honors points.

Learn more:
Compare this card to other Hilton cards in our overview of Hilton credit cards.

Are you eligible for a new Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card welcome bonus?

American Express will generally not let you get a welcome offer on a card if you’ve previously had the card. If you’ve ever had the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, the Hilton Honors Amex Ascend Card or previous versions of these cards, you might not be eligible to receive a welcome bonus.

American Express may also exclude you from welcome bonus eligibility based on your history with Amex, the number of cards you’ve opened or closed, or other factors. Fortunately, Amex will notify you prior to processing your application if you are ineligible for a bonus. So, even if you’re unsure whether you qualify, it can make sense to apply—your credit score won’t be affected if Amex tells you that you are ineligible for the welcome bonus and you withdraw your application.

A few notes on applying for American Express credit cards

Here are a few things that you should know about applying for American Express cards.

  • Amex will let you know if you’re ineligible for the welcome bonus when applying. If you don’t qualify for a welcome bonus for any reason, American Express will inform you during the application process and let you withdraw your application before they perform a “hard pull” on your credit report. If you withdraw your application, the withdrawn application will have no impact on your credit score.
  • No hard pull if they deny you. If Amex denies your credit card application, they usually won’t issue a hard pull on your credit report. This means that your credit score won’t decrease because of the denied application.
  • One bonus per card per “lifetime”. Most Amex card terms say that you’re ineligible for a welcome bonus if you’ve ever had the card before. Some targeted offers do not have this lifetime language. Readers and other blogs have reported that Amex may internally define “lifetime” as 7 years—if it’s been 7 years since you’ve had a card, you might be eligible to get a welcome bonus again.
  • Some cards allow one bonus per card “family”. Some American Express cards, like the personal Platinum card or the Charles Schwab Platinum card have language that prohibits you from earning a welcome bonus if you’ve ever had a card from the same card family before.
  • Maximum 5 Amex credit cards and 10 pay-over-time cards. You can have a maximum of 5 American Express credit cards at one time. In addition, you can hold up to 10 American Express pay-over-time cards (like the Platinum, Gold, and Green cards.) These limits are known to occasionally be flexible for some cardmembers, some of the time.
  • You might be able to get a better welcome offer than the public offer. American Express offers some customers targeted offers. See our post on how to get the best welcome offers from American Express and try those methods before applying for an American Express card. You might be able to get an elevated welcome bonus.
  • Check your application status online. You can check the status of your American Express card application online through the Amex website.

How Hilton Free Night Awards work

Screenshot of a room bookable at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. The room is a King Suite, available for 120,000 points or a cash price of $1,344/night.
Use a Hilton Free Night Certificate at an aspirational property like the Conrad Bora Bora Nui for incredible value.

Hilton free night awards have more potential value than any other hotel chain’s free night certificates. While other hotel chains cap the value you can get from your certificates through restrictions on hotel categories or by issuing certificates that can be used for an award stay “up to” a certain number of points, Hilton certificates can be used at almost any hotel within Hilton’s family of brands, worldwide.

As long as a Hilton hotel offers a standard award room with double occupancy, you should be able to book that room using your certificate. You’ll need to call to book—Hilton Free Night Awards cannot be used online—but you can search for award nights for standard rooms online before using your certificate.

Here are a few things to remember about using Hilton free night awards.

  • Hilton free night awards expire. Free night rewards expire 12 months from the date they are issued.
  • You must book and stay by the expiration date. The stay you book with your Hilton Free Night Award must be completed by the certificate’s expiration date.
  • Hilton free night awards can only be used for standard rooms. If a standard room isn’t available, your certificate can not be used for that stay.
  • Hilton free night awards are not transferable. The person named on the certificate must be the one who stays.
  • About 60 properties are excluded. The vast majority of these properties are Hilton Club and Hilton Grand Vacations Club locations. Hilton has over 7,500 properties within its brand portfolio.

Our take and bottom line

The standard offer on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card grants you a princely sum of points—130,000 is more points than you’ll get with most cards. But the addition of a valuable Hilton free night award makes this limited-time offer one of the best credit card welcome bonuses currently available.

And we like that you get 6 months to meet the $3,000 spending requirement to earn the bonus. Getting so much value from an easy-to-earn welcome bonus is rare and it’s worth jumping on this bonus before it expires on 7/31/24.

Be sure that you have a good use for the Hilton free night award before jumping on this bonus. Don’t use the certificate for a stay at a mediocre airport hotel—use the certificate to splurge on a really nice hotel. If you’ve already got an aspirational hotel booked with your Hilton points, even better. The Hilton free night certificate can be applied to existing bookings and you’ll get a refund of your points. Remember that your free night certificate will expire one year after it is issued.

Finally, know that Hilton Honors points expire if you do not have activity on your account at least once every 24 months. Earning points with a Hilton-branded credit card, redeeming points from your Hilton account, or earning Hilton points from a stay will all reset the 24 month clock.

For people who stay consistently at Hilton hotels, the Surpass card can be long-term keeper. If you pay for Hilton stays at least once a quarter, the card’s $50 quarterly statement credits for Hilton stays can more-than offset the card’s annual fee.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $150
(See Rates and Fees)

This is an affiliate link.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

The limited time offer adds a Hilton Free Night Award to this card’s usual welcome bonus, with no additional spending requirements.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
Hilton Honors Gold status.
Upgrade to Diamond status after spending $40k in a year on your card.
$200 Hilton credit: Up to $50 in statement credits each quarter for eligible Hilton purchases.
Free night reward after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year.
National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive® status. Enrollment required.

Rewards:
12x on Hilton hotels and resorts.
6x on dining at U.S. restaurants.
6x on groceries at U.S. supermarkets.
6x on gas at U.S. gas stations.
4x on U.S. online retail purchases.
3x on other eligible purchases.
Rewards are earned as Hilton Honors points.

Learn more:
Compare this card to other Hilton cards in our overview of Hilton credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

How much is 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points worth?

Based on our experience redeeming Hilton points, you’re likely to get about $600 worth of stays at Hilton Hotels from 130,000 Hilton points.

Do Hilton Honors points expire?

Hilton points expire after 24 months of inactivity. You can keep your points alive by earning or redeeming any number of Hilton points.

How much is a Hilton free night certificate worth?

A Hilton free night certificate can provide incredible value, as the certificate can be used at all but about 60 Hilton properties worldwide. Anywhere a standard, double-occupancy room is available to book with points, you should be able to use your Hilton free night award.

American Express card disclosures
  • For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees

Amex Basic Purchase Protection benefit disclosure: When an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase with their Eligible Card, Purchase Protection can help protect their Covered Purchases for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date if it is stolen or accidentally damaged. The coverage is limited to up to $1,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year.   Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Amex Extended Warranty benefit disclosure: When an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase to an Eligible Card, Extended Warranty§ can provide up to one extra year added to the Original Manufacturer’s Warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your Card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year.   Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Amex Basic Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance disclosure: Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

Amex Basic Baggage Insurance Plan benefit disclosure: Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Eligible Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a Common Carrier Vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible Account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on Baggage and up to $500 for checked Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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