Double down: Why it makes sense to get the Hilton Surpass and Hilton Business credit cards
There are two schools of thought in the world of travel rewards — and both hold weight.
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, you may want to diversify what’s already in your wallet by getting a card that earns a different type of rewards currency. Whether it’s airline miles, hotel points or transferable credit card points, all are subject to significant and sudden changes — and you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, as they say.
But on the other hand, it also makes sense to double down on a specific program, as TPG’s Eric Rosen explains. Perhaps you’re looking to accumulate points or miles with a particular currency in a hurry or are attracted to complementary earning rates on two cards that fall within the same family.
Whatever the reason, doubling down with two cards that earn the same points or miles can be incredibly valuable. Today, we’ll look at two Hilton cards that may be worth applying for in tandem: the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.
Here’s a closer look at why these two mid-tier Hilton cards are worth having in your wallet.
Generous welcome bonuses
First, let’s point out the obvious: The Hilton Surpass card is a $95 annual fee consumer card (see rates and fees) while the $95-per-year Hilton Business card (see rates and fees) is, well, intended for business customers.
But remember, you don’t have to have an office with dozens of employees to apply for a business card. A side hustle or consulting gig may be more than enough to qualify you for a small-business card. And both cards are currently offering a generous welcome bonus.
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and one free night reward after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of cardmembership. Offer ends July 19. Those welcome offer points equate to $780 in value, based on TPG’s most recent valuations.
Meanwhile, the Hilton Business card is offering 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and a free night award after you spend $4,000 on purchases on the card in the first three months of cardmembership. Offer ends July 19.
In total, there is the potential to earn up to 280,000 Hilton points with these two welcome bonuses. If you spend $2,000 on the Hilton Surpass and $4,000 on the Hilton Business cards within the initial three-month period, respectively, that’s 280,000 Hilton points, worth $1,680, according to TPG valuations.
Complementary earning rates
With either the Hilton Honors Amex Business card or the Hilton Surpass card, you’ll earn 12 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, which gives you a solid 7.2% return, according to TPG valuations.
The Hilton Business card also earns 6 Hilton points per dollar on a wide array of categories, including:
- U.S. gas stations.
- Wireless phone services purchased from U.S. providers.
- U.S. shipping purchases.
- U.S. restaurants.
- Flights booked directly with airlines or through the Amex portal.
- Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies.
Meanwhile, the Hilton Surpass earns 6 Hilton points per dollar at:
You’ll also get 3 points per dollar spent on other eligible purchases with both Hilton cards.
While there is some overlap in terms of bonus categories, the biggest perk is that you’ll earn 6 points per dollar spent on a total of seven unique categories by having both of these cards, including common everyday purchases at gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets.
The Hilton Surpass exclusively offers 6 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets. In comparison, the Hilton Business card exclusively offers 6 points per dollar on U.S. wireless phone services, U.S. shipping purchases, flights booked directly with airlines and rental cars booked directly with select car rental companies.
Double up your Priority Pass visits
Both the Hilton Surpass and Hilton Business cards offer 10 complimentary Priority Pass entrances to airport lounges every year. Since these entrances are tied to your specific credit card, you should be able to double up on this — and get 20 Priority Pass entrances per year. Enrollment is required.
If you’re a semifrequent traveler who goes through an airport with a Priority Pass lounge a handful of times a year, this is a great perk that won’t break the bank like similar benefits on premium travel rewards credit cards.
With both cards, you can enjoy a wide assortment of additional perks:
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status: With Gold status, you’ll earn an 80% points bonus on Hilton stays, the fifth night free on award redemptions, elite-tier rollover nights, complimentary breakfast at all hotels, room upgrades (when available) and more. When you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year, you receive Hilton Diamond status.
- Free night reward: You can earn a free night reward when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year. In addition, the Hilton Business card exclusively offers a second free night reward if you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year.
- Travel protections: Baggage insurance*, car rental loss and damage insurance**, and access to the Global Assist Hotline*** are all included with both of these cards.
*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
**Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
***Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Cardmembers are
responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
At just a $95 annual fee per year for the Hilton Surpass card and $95 per year for the Hilton Business card, there are some valuable benefits to having one — or both — of these cards in your wallet. From generous welcome bonuses to complementary earning rates, it pays to consider doubling down with these two cards. And if you’re looking at redeeming Hilton points, remember you can also transfer points from an Amex Membership Rewards account to top off your balance.
Application link: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card with 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and a free night award after you spend $4,000 on purchases on the card in the first three months of cardmembership. Offer ends July 19.
Application link: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card with 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and one free night reward after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of cardmembership. Offer ends July 19.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox.