Hilton, Amex Revamp Hilton Honors Surpass and Aspire Cards  Hilton, Amex Revamp Hilton Honors Surpass and Aspire Cards 
handing over a Hilton Honors credit card

Hilton, Amex Revamp Hilton Honors Surpass and Aspire Cards 

“Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.”

Hilton and American Express have announced some major updates to two of their co-branded cards: the Hilton Honors Surpass and Hilton Honors Aspire cards.

About the Hilton Honors Surpass changes:

In addition to retaining all of its previous rewards categories, the card will now earn 4x Hilton Honors points on U.S. online retail purchases. Meanwhile, the Surpass card will be adding a new benefit that will earn cardholders up to $200 per year in statement credits when they use their card to make eligible purchases at participating Hilton properties. This credit is divided into calendar quarters, allowing customers to earn up to $50 in statement credits per quarter. Lastly, cardmembers will now earn complimentary National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status.

Previously, Surpass cardholders also enjoyed up to 10 complimentary airport lounge visits via Priority Pass. However, this perk has been removed from the revamped version of the card.

To account for these updates, the card’s annual fee will be increased from the current $95 to $150.

About the Hilton Honors Aspire changes:

As with the Surpass card, the Hilton Honors Aspire card will also be retaining its rewards categories and other perks, such as complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status. But, also akin to the Surpass, it will be losing its Priority Pass privileges (which were unlimited with the Aspire). In that perk’s place, Hilton and Amex have added or adjusted several credits to the card.

Now, Aspire customers can earn up to $400 in statement credits per year on purchases made using their card at participating Hilton Resorts. This is up from the previous $250 annual credit. However, in contrast to the former credit, this one is divided semiannually (up to $200 during each half of the year).

Another newly updated credit is one for up to $200 for eligible flight purchases — which replaces the $250 airline fee credit the previous version of the card offered. This credit is split up into $50 increments per quarter. Notably, unlike the prior credit and some other American Express credits of this nature, this new one can be redeemed for a wide range of flight purchases, including airfare itself.

The Hilton Aspire card will also be adding a $189 annual statement credit for CLEAR Plus. This credit will cover the full annual fee for the service for one person, while additional family members can be added to a membership for $70 per year. With CLEAR Plus, customers will be able to save time in line at select airport security checkpoints. Plus, the service can be used in tandem with TSA Precheck to save travelers even more time.

Continuing the new benefits, cardholders will now earn One Free Night Reward after spending $30,000 in purchases on their card in a calendar year. Lastly, customers will earn complimentary National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status with their Aspire card.

With these new perks, the Aspire card’s annual fee will be climbing to $550 — up from the previous $450.

Enhanced welcome bonus offers:

With the launch of these revamped cards, enhanced welcome offers have also been unveiled.

Discover the Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Check out all of the benefits of each card and apply in minutes. Click the button below to get started.
Best Travel Rewards Cards

Currently, new Hilton Honors Surpass card members can earn 170,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on their card within their first six months. As for the Hilton Honors Aspire card, new cardholders can earn 180,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 in purchases on their card within their first six months. According to Hilton, this number of points means that cardholders can redeem for four nights at participating Hilton properties. Incidentally, if those four nights are stung together, customers can actually enjoy five nights since Hilton offers a fifth night free promotion on all standard room reward stays.

My thoughts:

When it comes to these updates to the Hilton Honors Surpass and Aspire cards, there are definitely trade offs. The most obvious example of this is the increased annual fee for both cards. Additionally, the removal of Priority Pass privileges may be a blow to some. On that note, while I suspect that many Aspire cardholders will have lounge access via other cards, the Surpass card was one of the more affordable ways to gain a Priority Pass (even if it was limited to 10 annual visits).

Personally, I think the updates do make the Aspire card more intriguing for a few reasons. First, the $400 credit for Hilton purchases ($200 semiannually) still seems easy enough to use, making the $150 boost worth the annoyance of splitting the credit across at least two stays. Meanwhile, the $200 flight purchases credit ($50 per quarter) is far stronger than the Platinum card’s famously particular “airline incidental fees” credit. Then again, making this credit quarterly definitely hurts its appeal — especially since customers may need to sacrifice perks from other cards in order to take advantage of it.

As always, when it comes to these cards and updates, your mileage may vary. Therefore, before deciding to apply and claim one of these enhanced bonuses, be sure to run the math and make sure that you can realistically expect to earn positive value from the card.

Fioney has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Fioney.com and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.” (Note: advertising relationships do not have any influence on editorial content. Advertising compensation allows Fioney.com to provide quality content for free. All editorial opinions are those of the individual author and/or Fioney staff.)


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Money@30's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

2023 Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Tops 2019 Highs

The latest small business credit card study from J.D. Power shows satisfaction continuing to rise. About the study and results: This week, J.D Power released its 2023 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which includes responses from more than 3,400 small business credit card customers. In this case, the study looked at businesses with annual revenues between $10,000 and $10 million. First, it was discovered that overall satisfaction among...

Discover Announces 5% Bonus Categories for First Quarter of 2024

With 2024 sneaking up on us, Discover has announced its rotating 5% bonus categories for the first quarter of next year. About the Q1 2024 bonus categories: From January through March 2024, Discover It customers will be able to earn up to 5% back in two categories: restaurants and drugstores. According to the company, the Restaurants category includes full-service establishments, cafes, cafeterias, fast-food locations, and dining delivery services. For the...

Public App Adds Corporate and Treasury Bonds Feature

The FinTech trading app Public has announced new investment options for its members. About the features: Public is now rolling out the ability for customers to invest fractionally in corporate and Treasury bonds. This capability will be introduced on both the mobile and desktop interfaces for the service. According to Public, the addition comes as demand for fixed-income products increases. In addition to these bond types, the app will also...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

FedEx Announces Winners of 11th Annual 2023 Small Business Grant Contest

Nearly three months after the entry period ended, FedEx has announced the winners of its 11th annual Small Business Grant Content. This year's event saw more than $300,000 in funds going to a variety of small businesses across the nation. Last month, the company revealed 100 finalists, with that list now being narrowed down to just 10 winners. This year's grand prize winners included KindVR, The Cupcake Collection, Up In...
Summer app

Student Loan Benefit FinTech Summer Raises $6 Million

For years, student debt has been one of the most talked about financial topics. What's more, while the debt itself has become a major part of many Americans' lives, discussion of student loans has become political due to efforts to forgive certain loan repayments. However, while we wait for resolution on that front, a FinTech that brings student debt benefit solutions to employers and consumers has raised a new round...
H-E-B and Central Market  credit cards

Imprint Launches Credit Cards from H-E-B and Central Market 

The FinTech Imprint is partnering with the popular Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B for a pair of new rewards credit cards. This week saw the launch of the H-E-B Visa Signature Credit Card as well as the Central Market Visa Signature Credit Card. With these two (nearly identical) options, customers will be able to earn rewards on groceries and beyond. First, both versions of the card earn up to 5% back on select...
Melissa Urban holding a Ness card

Health and Wellness Rewards Card Ness Partners with Whole30

In recent years, several unique rewards cards have come to market. These include offerings from FinTech startups as well as brands looking to do something special for their loyal fans. On that note, a recently-announced rewards credit card offering is now working with a popular brand to introduce new benefits for customers. This week, the Ness Card (which is issued by The Bank of Missouri) unveiled a new partnership with...
Choice Privileges Select Card

Choice Hotels, Wells Fargo Debut Choice Privileges Select Card

With spring well underway and the summer travel season now just around the corner, Choice Hotels and Wells Fargo have unveiled their latest co-branded credit card offering. Today, the two companies announced the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard. Carrying an annual fee of $95, this card will serve as the premium option in the hotel brand's new lineup. Looking at the Choice Privileges Select, it offers a mix of rewards categories....