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Old Oct 11, 11, 6:46 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 75
Upgrade to Surpass HHonors AmEx: Earn 50,000+ bonus points

I recently upgraded to HHonors Surpass AmEx because I had some high dollar stays coming up for work and wanted to earn the extra points for the dollar spend. I also have only a few months left in my "membership year" for AmEx so the pro-rated annual fee was a nice incentive.

I would also be eligible for 20,000 HHonors points after my first spend (40,000 minus my previous first spend bonus on basic HHonors AmEx of 20,000 = 20,000 additional). (See post #9 below for an update to this.)

The night that I received my new card in the mail and activated it, I received the following email a few hours later...
Quote:
Dear HockeyCoachBen,

Take advantage of the opportunity to earn 50,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points to use for your next hotel stay!2 When you upgrade to the Hilton HHonors™ SurpassŪ Card from American Express, you can earn 50,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of Cardmembership. You'll also enjoy:

Complimentary Hilton HHonors Gold status3 for your first year—enjoy free WiFi access, the option to choose breakfast at many hotels, late check-out and room upgrades upon availability, plus a 25% bonus on all the Hilton HHonors Base Points you earn.

Free Priority PassTM membership—you'll get access to 600 airport lounges in over 90 countries around the world, and we'll waive the $99 annual membership fee.

9 points for every eligible dollar spent at hotels within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands; 6 points for every dollar spent on groceries, gas, and cell phone, internet, and cable bills; and 3 points for each dollar spent on anything else.

The annual fee is $75
RSVP CODE: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
EXPIRATION DATE: 01/04/2012
OR CALL: 1-888-721-1765
Of course, receiving the offer AFTER I had just activated my new card a few hours earlier upset me. So, I called the 800 number on the back of my card and was escalated to a customer care supervisor who advised he wouldn't be able to apply the promo to my account after the fact, but he would escalate the case again and hope for a better result.

I decided to play the phone roulette game and call back to see if someone else could apply the promo right away. No deal. So, I took to twitter and got ahold of Beth from the Social Media team who immediately applied the RSVP code to my account and said he would monitor my account for the $3,000 spend to hit (which I did this weekend in one stay). Now, I'm just waiting for the bonus to hit my HHonors account.

The 20,000 first spend bonus has already hit my HHonors account, so I am looking at a total of 70,000 bonus HHonors points for upgrading to Surpass on a pro-rated annual fee. Not bad! (See post #9 below for an update to this.)

The reason for this post...not sure if this info can help anyone, but there is a great bonus out there to upgrade to Surpass.

HockeyCoachBen

Last edited by HockeyCoachBen; Oct 12, 11 at 6:28 pm. Reason: Corrected first spend statement.
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Old Oct 11, 11, 7:29 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 461
Thanks for the info, I've been thinking about upgrading my card as well, and the 50k bonus points is a great incentive.

Your point about the "membership year" made me think about something - the upgraded Surpass card says that you'll be given complimentary gold status for your first year. Is this a full calendar year after you upgrade, or just the duration of your first "membership year". So for example, I got the standard Hilton card in March 2011, and am thinking about upgrading in October 2011. Is the complimentary gold good until March 2012 or October 2012?
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Old Oct 11, 11, 7:43 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoactuary View Post
Thanks for the info, I've been thinking about upgrading my card as well, and the 50k bonus points is a great incentive.

Your point about the "membership year" made me think about something - the upgraded Surpass card says that you'll be given complimentary gold status for your first year. Is this a full calendar year after you upgrade, or just the duration of your first "membership year". So for example, I got the standard Hilton card in March 2011, and am thinking about upgrading in October 2011. Is the complimentary gold good until March 2012 or October 2012?
I would imagine once you paid the annual fee (wether pro-rated or full-boat) AmEx simply submits paperwork to upgrade your HHonors account to Gold then it would be up to HHonors terms and conditions for how long your Gold status lasts and has nothing to do with your AmEx membership year (expiration date per-se).

Since you are in the second half of the current year, a status upgrade would be good until February 2013. (The remainder of the current calendar year & the entire next calendar year would be your upgraded "year", but because HHonors cycles status in February for some reason, you would also get the first two months of 2013.) At least, that is my understanding of the system.

Also, I should mention this seemed to be a targeted promotion. Not sure how to get "targeted" other than to hit the AmEx website a couple days in a row "checking out" the Surpass card but never upgrading. Thats what I was doing when the email came.

Last edited by HockeyCoachBen; Oct 11, 11 at 7:44 pm. Reason: Spelling
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Old Oct 12, 11, 9:05 am   #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 408
Received the same the past day & its definitely targeted.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 3:15 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 394
I did not receive a targeted email or other message, but after logging into Amex site and browsing cards, this offer was available for the Surpass upgrade. Is this standard now?

Was going to go for it but with the Premium Room redemption fiasco....Not so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyCoachBen View Post
I would imagine once you paid the annual fee (wether pro-rated or full-boat) AmEx simply submits paperwork to upgrade your HHonors account to Gold then it would be up to HHonors terms and conditions for how long your Gold status lasts and has nothing to do with your AmEx membership year (expiration date per-se).

Since you are in the second half of the current year, a status upgrade would be good until February 2013. (The remainder of the current calendar year & the entire next calendar year would be your upgraded "year", but because HHonors cycles status in February for some reason, you would also get the first two months of 2013.) At least, that is my understanding of the system.

Also, I should mention this seemed to be a targeted promotion. Not sure how to get "targeted" other than to hit the AmEx website a couple days in a row "checking out" the Surpass card but never upgrading. Thats what I was doing when the email came.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 3:42 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Philly, Madrid
Programs: DL Gold, Hyatt Dia, HHonors Dia, IC Amb
Posts: 2,445
Isn't 60k better than 50k?

I just logged in and also see the 50k after $3000 offer to upgrade my card.

But I also called in and was offered 40k to upgrade plus 20k for my first 8 stays. So this must be the standard upgrade offer by phone?

It seems like a no-brainer, unless I'm missing something?
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Old Oct 12, 11, 5:08 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Philly, Madrid
Programs: DL Gold, Hyatt Dia, HHonors Dia, IC Amb
Posts: 2,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by srodr View Post
I just logged in and also see the 50k after $3000 offer to upgrade my card.

But I also called in and was offered 40k to upgrade plus 20k for my first 8 stays. So this must be the standard upgrade offer by phone?

It seems like a no-brainer, unless I'm missing something?

Oops! Never mind... I just screwed myself by hitting the wrong button on the website and upgraded with the 50k promo. I'll call to try and fix it, but it may be too late for me.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 5:50 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by srodr View Post
I just logged in and also see the 50k after $3000 offer to upgrade my card.

But I also called in and was offered 40k to upgrade plus 20k for my first 8 stays. So this must be the standard upgrade offer by phone?

It seems like a no-brainer, unless I'm missing something?
I'm pretty sure the first 8 stays bonus will be received regardless of the promotion offered...that is a standard offer for AmEx Hilton cards.

Also, the 40k is the first spend bonus which you won't get 100% of. You will receive the 40,000 minus whatever first spend bonus you got on the regular HHonor AmEx card.

So, no need to fear "screwing" yourself.

What seems to be the confusion right now as I sit on hold with AmEx Customer Care with wether you are in fact eligible for the first spend bonus and the 50K bonus for $3k spend in 90 days or if the two cancel each other out.

How I read the T&C the two look stackable. AmEx CC is saying not so much...you are only entitled to 50,000 points TOTAL.

I'll update as I get answers.

Last edited by HockeyCoachBen; Oct 12, 11 at 6:16 pm. Reason: Spelling.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 6:21 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 75
Latest update is that the 50k with $3k spend in 90 days was supposed to supercede the first spend bonus.

However, you are still eligible for the 2500 points for each of the first 8 stays which equals an additional 20k HHonors points. CS rep confirmed by checking my account and seeing that my two recent stays posted the 2500 point bonus no problem.

You also still receive the 500 point bonus for booking online using Hilton AmEx card.

So, the potential bonus for upgrading to the Surpass card is 74,000... 50,000 spend + 20,000 first 8 stays + 4,000 online booking.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 8:05 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Philly, Madrid
Programs: DL Gold, Hyatt Dia, HHonors Dia, IC Amb
Posts: 2,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyCoachBen View Post
I'm pretty sure the first 8 stays bonus will be received regardless of the promotion offered...that is a standard offer for AmEx Hilton cards.

Also, the 40k is the first spend bonus which you won't get 100% of. You will receive the 40,000 minus whatever first spend bonus you got on the regular HHonor AmEx card.
I hope you're right, but the phone agent was very clear. She made no mention that the 40k would be reduced by what I already received. She assured me that I would get 40k pkus 20k. Had I taken her offer and then gotten nothing (I think I already got 50k for the original card) I would have blown a gasket.


Additionally, there was no mention of the 2500 per stay on the webpage with the 50k offer, so again I hope you're right.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 8:37 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyCoachBen View Post
...
Also, the 40k is the first spend bonus which you won't get 100% of. You will receive the 40,000 minus whatever first spend bonus you got on the regular HHonor AmEx card.
...
That is what's on the T&C but YMMV. I applied for both Hilton regular and Surpass on the same day and received the full spend bonus on both. Unfortunately due to the severe devaluation of the HH points I have cancelled all my hilton credit cards and I am looking to burn all HH points.

See Premium Room Reward only scam
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Old Dec 3, 11, 8:12 am   #12
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Programs: HHonors
Posts: 2
looking to upgrade my AMEX to the surpass for the upcoming busy season... its Dec 1st. If I do it now, will I have gold through Dec. 31 - 2012?, if I wait until January, would I get the gold through Dec. 31 -2013? im a new to the website, so sorry if this has been answered elsewhere! thanks for the help! $75 will clearly by paid for by access to the concierge lounge for about 30 nights in jan and feb for me!
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Old Dec 4, 11, 8:49 am   #13
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: ITH
Programs: HH Diamond, National Executive, UA
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by smithjo4 View Post
If I do it now, will I have gold through Dec. 31 - 2012?, if I wait until January, would I get the gold through Dec. 31 -2013?
If I'm not mistaken, you will be and remain gold for as long as the card is active. There is not spend limit on the Surpass to get gold status (although there is for diamond status if you are qualing just on spend).

Too bad I didn't see this thread before I got the Surpass card. I jumped right in to Surpass.
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Old Dec 4, 11, 10:53 am   #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: AS MVPG, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 3,324
The language in the first posts says complimentary gold status for the first year. After that you should be able to maintain gold by spending $20k per year or diamond with annual spending of $40k.
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Old Dec 4, 11, 11:18 am   #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: ITH
Programs: HH Diamond, National Executive, UA
Posts: 34
You're right, Silver is given free with the card no matter the spend.
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