The Hilton Surpass card from American Express ran a limited-time offering on their bonus for 80,000 points instead of the normal 60,000 points. In doing some research for another post today, I saw that the offer has again dropped down to the normal 60,000 points. The offer had expired on May 5th. Unfortunately, I forgot about the end date and forgot to encourage any interested one last time.
The Upgrade For 50,000 Still Works!
Fortunately, if you did forget to apply under the 80,000 point offer, the upgrade offer for 50,000 still works. Do not do the upgrade if you want to wait for the 80,000 point offer to come back as you will no longer be eligible for the new cardmember bonus. However, if you are need of Hilton points and have an Amex card you do not mind trading out, you may want to upgrade for 50,000 points!
It is very easy to upgrade a current American Express card to the Hilton Surpass card and get 50,000 points. Also, it does not have to be a regular American Express card that you are upgrading from – co-branded cards such as the Delta Amex cards work fine for upgrades.
To upgrade, you need to visit this American Express website – here – and enter your username and password of your account (or you could enter your card number you wish to upgrade from). Once you are in, it should offer you a box similar to the one below indicating which card is available to upgrade to the Hilton Surpass card. Note: you may want to open the above link in a private browser session like Chrome Incognito as Amex has a habit of not showing you offers if you already have an Amex account that has logged in from that computer.
Just click to Continue and it will give you an option to add an additional card user. Click to continue again and it will submit it. It should come back within 5 seconds with an approved message.
Note: Any card that you have opened or changed in the last 12 months will not be eligible for an upgrade. You must wait a period of 12 months before changes can occur.
The cards that I have received the upgrade offer on were the no-fee Amex Hilton card and Delta Amex cards (both the Gold and the Delta Platinum card). You will not be able to switch a charge card (like the Premier Rewards Gold or Platinum card) to the Surpass card as the Surpass card is a credit card.
Earning the 50,000 Points
To get the 50,000 points, you will need to spend the same $3,000 in 3 months that you would if you went for the 60,000 points. You will also be assessed an annual fee of $75 (since this is an upgrade, you will receive a prorated amount of the card you are upgrading from) within 45 days.
This card comes with Hilton Gold status so it is a nice perk to add to your new account.
Why Upgrade Instead Of Open A New Account?
Already Received A Sign-Up Bonus
A little while back, American Express changed their policy to allow you to receive a sign-up bonus once per lifetime. That is really an unfriendly policy to cardholders who may have held a card sometime in the past and now wish to open a new card to take advantage of different travel patterns. If you cannot receive the sign-up bonus, there is really little reason to sign-up for most cards, especially since this one comes with an annual fee of $75.
But, upgrading a card does not carry that same policy. If you have held the American Express Hilton Surpass in the past, you can upgrade and get the 50,000 points instead. It does not matter if you have already received a bonus on the Surpass before – an upgrade allows you to receive this 50,000 point offer.
Maxed Out The Amex Limit
American Express allows you to have a total of four credit cards (does not include charge cards) per account. Some have been able to get more since this policy was put in place, but it is a policy that stops many at four. If you had four before the policy went into affect, you are fine.
So, if you have the maximum of four cards, which is not too hard to believe, you would most likely be denied for a new American Express Hilton Surpass card. You would then need to call in and close one of your accounts and have them resubmit the application for the Hilton Surpass to get it. It is always possible to cancel a card preemptively, but there is still no guarantee you will receive an instant approval on the card.
By upgrading a current card to the Hilton Amex Surpass, you do not have to call in and you can simply trade out one card for the Surpass. This is also helpful if you have a card coming up that has an annual fee that is higher than the Hilton Surpass card. Upgrading allows you to stay within the Amex limit. It is a great way to trade out those unwanted Delta Amex cards for a Hilton card!
No Hard Pull Depending
This one is somewhat up for debate. When I have upgraded before for offers such as this, I did not get a hard pull on my credit report. Some people have mentioned that they have received a hard pull for the upgrade. From various things I have read, it appears that, if there is a hard pull, the process is to do a soft pull during the upgrade. If you are approved, it then does a hard pull but backdates the hard pull to the date the original card was opened.
A hard pull is what shows up on your credit report that other creditors will see when running a check on your credit report. It shows that you have made a request for credit. A soft pull is more of an identity check and the soft pulls can only be seen by you.
So, the chances are very good that upgrading through this offer will only do a soft pull (since you are only changing products and not getting any additional credit). That has been the case for me in the past. Worst case, they would only do a hard pull if you are actually approved for the card upgrade. If you are denied, it will not show up on your credit report as a hard pull.
Is It Worth It?
Personally, if I had never had the Hilton Surpass card before, I would wait until the 80,000 point offer comes around again. The only reason I would jump now, if I was in that situation, would be if I was in need of Hilton points. The good part is that the Surpass has already been at the 80,000 point level twice this year, so it may come back again this year.
But, if you have already had the Hilton Surpass in the past, this could be a nice offer to convert from another Amex card to the Hilton Surpass card. The terms do not preclude someone from receiving the offer if they have previously held the Surpass card and it has been my experience that the bonus has posted. If in doubt, just take some screenshots throughout the application process. Amex has really been sticking to their guns on awarding bonuses, but that is when the terms spell out that you may not be eligible to receive the bonus.