Another Hilton Gem


Update: This post includes offers that were valid at the time of publication, but have since expired. Please click here to see the best offers currently available.

This morning I wrote about how the Hilton HHonors Surpass card from American Express surpassed my expectations for its point-earning ability.  A few helpful readers pointed out that American Express has another Hilton HHonors card without the “Surpass” title and without the Surpass card’s $75 annual fee.  I took a look at this card and indeed it appears to be almost as good as the Surpass for point-earnings.  The main differences appear to be that for spending at Hilton hotels, the Surpass earns 9 points per dollar whereas the regular card earns 6; and while both cards will get you Gold status with $20K spend per year, only the Surpass will get you Diamond status for $40K spend per year.  Check out the comments of the previous post to see one way (if you are a big spender) that you could actually cycle back and forth between these cards to keep Diamond status without paying $75 every year for the annual fee.

In order to estimate the point earning power of credit cards, I’ve setup a simple spreadsheet to automate the calculations.  When I plugged the Hilton HHonors specs into the spreadsheet, it came out with a 4.43 points per dollar average.  Compared to the 4.5 points per dollar average of the Surpass, this card is a close contender!

With the non-Surpass card, you will receive 6 Hilton HHonors bonus points at Hilton hotels, supermarkets; drug stores; stand-alone gas stations; and home telephone, wireless, cable, satellite TV and internet service providers. You will receive 3 Hilton HHonors bonus points per dollar for all other eligible spending.

Last updated on May 31st, 2017

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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The Surpass AMEX actually gives gold status without the $20k spend (for the first year). Of course, HHonors did a good job negating this advantage recently, which means those of us who had the Surpass for that reason lost out. Where was that darn crystal ball a few months ago….


The best advantage of Diamond status is to force a sold out property on a reward redemption at Diamond Axon reward redemption schedule. If the property is close to sold out just have a “friend” book up all of the available rooms then force a discounted reward redemption then cancell the unwanted reservations.


Thanks for the update. I was curious to see what the average was between the two cards. I will stick with my regular HHonors card for now.

Magic Man
Magic Man

I am buying vanilla reloads at my local CVS. They code it as a perscription rather than a normal purchase; consequently I get 3 points per $ from Hilton (not 6) and 1 point from Sapphire. I think I get more bang for the buck for travel use of my points. If that is true, which is a better value – 3 Hilton or 1 Sapphire? Thanks


Magic Man: the Hilton cards have stopped giving bonus points at drug stores anyway. Yes, I agree that 1 Ultimate Rewards point is worth more than 3 Hilton points.


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