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The AMEX Hilton Surpass Card

Hilton Surpass Card Review for Military

This card used to be called the Surpass Card until Hilton refreshed their card lineup. Then they called it the Ascend Card until Hilton stumbled across TDWise and my gratuitous sarcasm showed them the error in their ways. It is now back to being called the Surpass Card, which avoids the constant confusion between it and its older brother, the Aspire. I, however, will leave in my sarcasm below as a testament to what one blog can do.

Surpass Card Benefits

The Ascend card, not to be confused with the Aspire card, because those names aren’t at all similar or confusable, has an exhaustive list of benefits:

…and it’s exhausted.

Instead of putting “Ascend” anywhere on the card, Hilton decided to make the design practically identical to the Aspire for ease of telling them apart

Seriously, the Aspire is the older brother of the Ascend that inherited a lopsided amount of “the good genes” and left the Ascend with genetic scraps.  All you need to know is the Ascend has a dope sign-up bonus and can (should) become an Aspire in a year and a day.  That’s literally it.  But I would be remiss if I asked for your patronage in clicking our referral link with a nothing-burger post, so the rest of this article will be spent mocking the Ascend “benefits.”  Enjoy.

Hilton Point Inflation

Well, I guess we’ll start with the main contributor to Hilton point inflation: a $95/year card that gives you 12x points per Hilton dollar spent, 6x points for restaurants, supermarkets, and gas, and 3x points for every other dollar.  So many points, so little spent to acquire them.  You’ll also be thrown the gold status bone, again, since you already have it from, you guessed it, the Amex Plat. Don’t want to pay foreign transaction fees? You don’t have to, just like every other card with an annual fee everywhere.

A Not-So-Free Night “Benefit”

Oh, what’s this? A free weekend night benefit? Why yes, a free Hilton weekend night, just for you Ascend cardholder.  You just have to spend a measly $15,000 a year on your card for it.  I did not typo that last zero, that’s at least 3 other minimum spends for a weekend Hilton night. It’s getting wild in here. You will, however, be able to get to your Hilton free night in some style with your priority pass benefit.  Just don’t travel too much with it, as it’s a priority pass with only 10 free visits per year.  I was unaware such a priority pass membership existed, but the Ascend managed to gut that benefit as well.

All told, the Ascend isn’t a bad deal for the occasional Hilton traveler.  That $95 fee can be easily overcome, but so can the $450 on the Aspire, which must just go to show you that this card exists for people afraid of high tier annual fees.

As always, please consider using our referral link to get yours.


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