Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
Welcome bonus: 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months.
Annual bonus: Weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
Category bonuses: 12x points at Hilton hotels, 6x points at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations in the US, 3x points on all other purchases
Complimentary elite status: Hilton Gold status (upgrade to Hilton Diamond after spending $40,000 in a calendar year)
Annual fee: $95
With free nights at Hilton ranging from 5,000 – 95,000 points, the current welcome bonus on the Hilton Honors Surpass Card will cover one to 30 free nights. Add in the free weekend night and you’re looking at even more free nights. Of course, not everyone is looking to redeem their points at a low-category hotel. Even if you opt for a top-tier redemption, you’ve got at least two free nights covered with this welcome bonus (assuming one is a weekend night).
The reason why the Hilton Honors Surpass card earns a high spot on this list of top hotel cards is because of how easy it is to earn a free night via credit card spending. While some cards require upwards of $40,000 for a free night at a top-tier hotel, it takes just $31,667 on the Hilton Honors Surpass card. Add in the generous category bonuses on everyday spending, and earning free nights becomes even easier.
The Hilton Honors Surpass card doesn’t slack off when it comes to travel perks, either. Cardholders receive instant Gold elite status, with the ability to upgrade to Diamond after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. Hilton Gold status perks are equivalent to what most other reward programs offer top-tier elites: Free breakfast, room upgrades based on availability, bonus points, and the possibility of club lounge access (assuming you’ve been upgraded to a Club room). This is a solid card for those who want elite status perks and the ability to rack up free nights quickly.