In January 2018, American Express changed the name of the Hilton Honors Surpass card to the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend. 18 months later, it’s reverting back to its original name in an effort “to differentiate the card within the Hilton portfolio of co-branded cards”… or so an Amex representative told creditcards.com, in any case. Other than the name, the main features and benefits will remain largely unchanged, so there shouldn’t be too much distribution to customers. For frequent guests of the Hilton chain of hotels, the Hilton Honors Surpass is a great addition to your portfolio of cards, offering a wide variety of perks that can be used to offset some of the costs of hotel stays, plus more besides. For a rundown of the top 10 benefits you can expect to enjoy as the owner of a Hilton Honors Surpass, keep reading.
1. Sign Up Incentive
Sign up to a Hilton Honors Surpass and you’ll qualify for an incredibly generous new member bonus of 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points that will have you well on your way to maximizing your card’s potential for savings. Just bear in mind the minimum spend requirements before you get too carried away- before American Express will transfer the points, you’ll need to spend $3000 within the first 3 months from account opening. Providing you do, you’ll benefit from one of the most generous sign-up bonuses out there.
2. Membership Rewards
Yes, you get an incredible sign-up incentive, but the rewards don’t end there. For every dollar of eligible purchases charged on your card for bookings at a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio, you’ll earn 12 x Hilton Honors Bonus Points. For every dollar of eligible purchases you spend at US restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, you’ll qualify for 6 x Hilton Honors Bonus Points. For all other purchases, you’ll earn 3x Hilton Honors Bonus Points.
3. Complimentary Gold Status
Sign up to the Hilton Honors Surpass Card and you’ll automatically qualify for Gold Elite Status. As noted by Upgraded Points, this will get you some amazing complimentary benefits, including free breakfast at all participating Hilton hotels and resorts, and free upgrades where available. You’ll also be eligible to receive your fifth night free on award bookings- what extra incentive do you need?
4. Fast Track Your Way to Diamond Status
If you want more privileges than Gold Status will allow, you’ll be pleased to know the Hilton Honors Surpass is an easy way of working your way to Diamond Elite Status. Spend just $40,000 on your card per year, and not only will you receive the same benefits (complimentary breakfast and the fifth night free) as a Gold Status member, you’ll enjoy such extra privileges as access to the Executive Lounge of any participating hotel, and 48-hour room guarantee (i.e. the promise of a room at any participating Hilton hotel or resort provided you book 48 hours or more in advance of arrival).
5. Purchase Protection
The list of benefits you’ll earn as a Hilton Honors Surpass cardholder doesn’t just extend to hotel stays. In addition to the travel perks, Amex also offers several nifty plans and policies to help protect you and your purchases (well, at least the purchases you make using your Surpass card, at least). One such benefit is the very handy purchase protection plan. If you purchase an item on your Surpass card, you’ll be covered if that item is lost, stolen or suffers accidental damage within the first 90 days from purchase. The plan will cover you for up to $1000 per item, and up to $50,000 per calendar year.
6. Return Protection
If you purchase an item the retailer refuses to accept a return on, you can claim up to $300 per item (or up to $1000 per cardmember year) under the terms of the Hilton Honors Surpass card’s Return Protection policy. Given how difficult it can be to get some retailers to abide by the terms of their returns policy, this is a great little benefit to add to Amex’s arsenal of consumer protection plans.
7. Extended Warranty
Deciding whether to take out an extended warranty can be a difficult decision if the cost of the warranty is almost a match for the item itself. Fortunately, the friendly folk at Amex have made it easy for you by offering extended warranty on all eligible items purchased on the Hilton Honors Surpass card. Providing the manufactures warranty doesn’t exceed 5 years, you could qualify for an additional 12 months extended warranty, which offers overage up to $10,000 per item, and maximum annual coverage of $50,000.
8. Car Rental Loss and Damage insurance
A further perk available to Hilton Honors Surpass cardholder’s is Car Rental Loss and Damage insurance. While it’s a great benefit to have, it’s important to note this is secondary insurance only: if your rental car is damaged or stolen, your insurance plan will provide primary coverage, with the insurance provided by American Express kicking in second.
9. No Foreign Transaction Fees
With the cost of using some cards abroad adding anything between 3-5 % in foreign transaction fees, cards which apply 0% to any cash withdrawals or purchases made overseas are a godsend to frequent travelers. The Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express is one such card, allowing you to enjoy your international travel without having to worry about the additional fees.
10. Global Assist Hotline
If something goes wrong when you’re far from home, it can be hard to know who to turn to or what to do. While Amex can’t stop bad things happening, they can (and do) offer a helping hand to get things back on the right track. As a Hilton Honors Surpass cardholder, you’ll enjoy 24/7 access to any medical, legal or financial assistance you need, whether that’s replacing your passport, finding appropriate medical facilities, cash wires, or anything else that arises. Just call Amex’s Global Assist hotline, and they’ll take it from there.