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The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express (formerly called Surpass)

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express (formerly called Surpass)

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Old Jan 18, 18, 12:58 am   -   Wikipost
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Hilton HHonors American Express Ascend card. 75,000 points for spending $2,000 in 3 months+ 25,000 points after additional $1000 in 6 months; $95 annual fee.
  • Important limitation on this offer: "Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product."
Note: For existing Surpass card holders, AMEX verbally confirmed that on or after 20 January 2018, card holders can call in and request cards be converted to Aspire - while maintaining the same credit card number, balance limits, PIN, etc.

Card features:
  • Annual fee: $75, no first-year waiver.
    • Earning: 12 HHonors points per dollar on Hilton spend; 6 points/$ at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets & gas stations; and 3 points/$ on everything else.
      • Elite status: Hilton Gold status for as long as you have the card and Diamond status after $40,000 in annual spend.
        • Booking bonus: 500 bonus points for every stay (including award stays) booked directly with Hilton & guaranteed with the card

Check your application status

Linking Amex Surpass to your Hilton Honors account.
Many (most?) have reported that a new Hilton Honors number gets assigned by Amex even when they put their existing Hilton Honors number in the application, and it can take several weeks to get this worked out. However, the key to making things go smoothly seems to be an exact match of your name and address between Amex and Hilton, including adding your middle initial to your Hilton Honors account if you use it on your Amex. When everything matches, an Amex rep should be able to update the account number, it should "go through" immediately, and the correct Hilton account number will be reflected on the Amex website in about 2 days.
Is the Amex Surpass churnable?
As of May 1, 2014, Amex will not give a signup bonus to card applicants who have held the card in the past ~7 years, even if the applicant has never earned a previous signup bonus for it. However, it is still possible to upgrade an existing Hilton Amex to the Surpass card to earn a bonus (and reportedly to do this more than once by later downgrading & then upgrading again). The best strategy is to earn a Surpass signup bonus first, and only afterward pursue the upgrade bonus(es).
For information on other Hilton-branded credit cards, see the wiki at Ongoing offers for Hilton cards issued by Amex or Citi
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Old Jan 31, 18, 7:25 am
  #541  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New York, NY
Programs: BA Gold, SPG Lifetime Plat, Marriott Plt, HH Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, Carlson Gold, A3*G, UA*S, DLPlt
Posts: 1,143
A very nice party held by the team last night!







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Old Jan 31, 18, 11:00 am
  #542  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: DCA
Programs: Mainly DL, Hyatt, SPG - looking to broaden to AA
Posts: 564
Alright guys, I'm totally totally confused.
I applied for the Amex Surpass card in May of 2017 - when it was 100k with $75 annual fee and you get a free night award after the first anniversary (which hasn't happened yet - in theory would be 5/31/2018).
My card online says "Ascend" - but still have the old physical Surpass card.

If there's a thread/wiki I'm missing, please point me.
But basically I'm wondering what happens to that free night I was "promised" at account opening in 2017.
Also - wondering if anyone else is in the same boat with the Surpass... what are you planning on doing now that all is out there?
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Old Jan 31, 18, 3:59 pm
  #543  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by levilevi View Post
Alright guys, I'm totally totally confused.
I applied for the Amex Surpass card in May of 2017 - when it was 100k with $75 annual fee and you get a free night award after the first anniversary (which hasn't happened yet - in theory would be 5/31/2018).
My card online says "Ascend" - but still have the old physical Surpass card.

If there's a thread/wiki I'm missing, please point me.
But basically I'm wondering what happens to that free night I was "promised" at account opening in 2017.
Also - wondering if anyone else is in the same boat with the Surpass... what are you planning on doing now that all is out there?
Okay so I too got the Surpass last May with the same benefits. As far as the free night goes, as long as you keep your account open (which is now Ascend) you will get your free weekend night in May as promised by the Surpass signup. You will have to pay annual fee #2 which will be $95 this May as opposed to the $75 you paid last May to get the weekend certificate. As for getting your new Ascend card in, I have not gotten mine, and I think the consensus is at this point no Surpass cardholders have gotten their Ascend cards yet, but you are getting the Ascend card benefits effective 1/1/18. Personally I am keeping the Surpass/Ascend account open for another year because I want my free night certificate that came with the sign on last year, and regardless I knew going in I would have to pay AF#2 to get it. So at this point I am out an extra $20 but I still value the free night as worth that. As to whether or not I will keep it long term, not sure yet but after I pay AF#2 in May and get the certificate, I will have until May 2019 to decide if I want to go another year. I also applied for the Aspire on top of keeping the Surpass/Ascend and will have both cards for this year (we are doing a lot of travel this year and so it will work to my benefit to have both).
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Old Jan 31, 18, 8:24 pm
  #544  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Programs: Hilton Diamond, United 1k, Le Club Silver
Posts: 72
I am totally disappointed with the Hilton Surpass card and can't recommend this card to anyone. I met the annual spending requirement last October and was still not granted with the diamond status.

I reached out to Hilton, and the e-mail reply was "Please contact American Express for further assistance." I contacted American Express, and the online chat rep said, "We sent the charge details already on December 2017, please ask Hilton for further assistance."

I am upset that neither Hilton nor American Express takes responsibility for the Diamond Status upgrade.

Originally Posted by pollyG View Post
Realized that I crossed the $40,000 spending during the previous statement, but my Hilton Status still showed Gold. How soon does the Diamond status reflect on the account once the spending requirement is met? Should I contact Hilton or American express about the diamond status?
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Old Feb 1, 18, 9:32 am
  #545  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: AA, B6, UA, HH, SPG, WoH
Posts: 437
Originally Posted by pollyG View Post
I am totally disappointed with the Hilton Surpass card and can't recommend this card to anyone. I met the annual spending requirement last October and was still not granted with the diamond status.....
Each monthly statement provides a year to date total. If you look just below "Hilton Honors Points Earned" you will find:

"Your qualifying Year-to-Date spend on your Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is $xx,xxx.00. To qualify for Hilton Honors Diamond Status, you need to have $40,000 qualified spend by December 31st."

This appears on each monthly statement. Does it appear on your statements? If it does, what amounts are indicated for October, November and December Statements?

Last edited by BOSOGG; Feb 1, 18 at 9:38 am
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:02 pm
  #546  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Programs: Hilton Diamond, United 1k, Le Club Silver
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by BOSOGG View Post
Each monthly statement provides a year to date total. If you look just below "Hilton Honors Points Earned" you will find:

"Your qualifying Year-to-Date spend on your Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is $xx,xxx.00. To qualify for Hilton Honors Diamond Status, you need to have $40,000 qualified spend by December 31st."

This appears on each monthly statement. Does it appear on your statements? If it does, what amounts are indicated for October, November and December Statements?
November Statement: Your qualifying Year-to-Date spend on your Hilton Honorsº Surpass® Card is $4x,xxx.00. Congratulations! You have qualified for Hilton Honors Diamond Status.
December Statement: Your qualifying Year-to-Date spend on your Hilton Honorsº Surpass® Card is $4y,yyy.00. Congratulations! You have qualified for Hilton Honors Diamond Status.

But to Hilton, I am still only Gold Hilton Honors member (which I qualified based on my yearly stays). I am at a loss as to how to proceed. I offered to sent my credit card statement to show my balance to Hilton, but Hilton only replied to ask me to contact American Express. American Express acknowledged my spending and said they already sent the information to Hilton. It is an infinite loop!
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:31 pm
  #547  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: AA, B6, UA, HH, SPG, WoH
Posts: 437
Originally Posted by pollyG View Post
November Statement: Your qualifying Year-to-Date spend on your Hilton Honorsº Surpass® Card is $4x,xxx.00. Congratulations! You have qualified for Hilton Honors Diamond Status.
December Statement: Your qualifying Year-to-Date spend on your Hilton Honorsº Surpass® Card is $4y,yyy.00. Congratulations! You have qualified for Hilton Honors Diamond Status.

But to Hilton, I am still only Gold Hilton Honors member (which I qualified based on my yearly stays). I am at a loss as to how to proceed. I offered to sent my credit card statement to show my balance to Hilton, but Hilton only replied to ask me to contact American Express. American Express acknowledged my spending and said they already sent the information to Hilton. It is an infinite loop!
Hate the infinite loop! Maybe contact Lauren, the FT Hilton Company Representative.
She is active in several threads, and has encouraged people to contact her with problems.

Try this link to her thread:
Even More New Hilton Honors Benefits in 2018
Click on her name (HonorsRepresentative) and send a private message, including copy of statement. Good Luck.
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Old Feb 2, 18, 8:14 am
  #548  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: CT/ Germany - Ich spreche deutsch
Programs: UA Gold, AA Gold, LH Silver, *W Plat, Hyatt Exp, MR Plat, HH Gold, PC Plat, CC Gold
Posts: 3,414
Originally Posted by levilevi View Post
But basically I'm wondering what happens to that free night I was "promised" at account opening in 2017.
Also - wondering if anyone else is in the same boat with the Surpass... what are you planning on doing now that all is out there?
This has been asked and answered numerous times! HH Rep confirmed that the free night at 1 year anniversary from Surpass application (if you applied under that deal) will be honored.

Tons of people in the same boat including myself. I plan on keeping the card to get the free night at the anniversary date as you would be stupid to not keep it. If you use the card, I would consider spending $15k on it to get another free night as outlined in the Ascend new card benefits. For me since I primarily use the card for grocery purchases (and not much else) I don't plan on going for the $15 k spend as I get a better return by putting spend on other cards.
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Old Feb 2, 18, 10:24 am
  #549  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: 718
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 584
Originally Posted by christianj View Post
This has been asked and answered numerous times! HH Rep confirmed that the free night at 1 year anniversary from Surpass application (if you applied under that deal) will be honored.

Tons of people in the same boat including myself. I plan on keeping the card to get the free night at the anniversary date as you would be stupid to not keep it. If you use the card, I would consider spending $15k on it to get another free night as outlined in the Ascend new card benefits. For me since I primarily use the card for grocery purchases (and not much else) I don't plan on going for the $15 k spend as I get a better return by putting spend on other cards.
Does the $15k free nt post to account right after spending $15k? or do you get it at the new year? O_O

Also side note, not sure if diamond is worth spending $40k on anymore vs just getting the Aspire card, which kinda negates the $450 AF. And holding both Ascend and Aspire = potentially 2 free nts every yr! (x2 with SO)
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Old Feb 2, 18, 1:30 pm
  #550  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: PHL/EWR
Programs: AA, US, WN, HHonors Diamond, Hyatt Plat
Posts: 1,346
Originally Posted by zzrayzz View Post
Does the $15k free nt post to account right after spending $15k? or do you get it at the new year? O_O

Also side note, not sure if diamond is worth spending $40k on anymore vs just getting the Aspire card, which kinda negates the $450 AF. And holding both Ascend and Aspire = potentially 2 free nts every yr! (x2 with SO)
That is my thinking as well - the Aspire card does not require any spending in order to earn the perks. So I could charge one night in a resort to my Aspire card, earn the $250 credit and get a free night + diamond status for $200 while using the Aspire to spend $15K on bonus categories to earn 90K points and a free night for $95.
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Old Feb 3, 18, 1:44 am
  #551  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by pollyG View Post
November Statement: Your qualifying Year-to-Date spend on your Hilton Honorsº Surpass® Card is $4x,xxx.00. Congratulations! You have qualified for Hilton Honors Diamond Status.
December Statement: Your qualifying Year-to-Date spend on your Hilton Honorsº Surpass® Card is $4y,yyy.00. Congratulations! You have qualified for Hilton Honors Diamond Status.

But to Hilton, I am still only Gold Hilton Honors member (which I qualified based on my yearly stays). I am at a loss as to how to proceed. I offered to sent my credit card statement to show my balance to Hilton, but Hilton only replied to ask me to contact American Express. American Express acknowledged my spending and said they already sent the information to Hilton. It is an infinite loop!
I'm in the same boat. My qualifying statement closed on November 22 and I'm still Gold. Both parties giving me a run around. I'm gonna wait 12 weeks as suggested by Amex representative and will raise hell if I'm not upgraded by my next statement.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 12:07 am
  #552  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 138
Originally Posted by Jenn0625 View Post
As for getting your new Ascend card in, I have not gotten mine, and I think the consensus is at this point no Surpass cardholders have gotten their Ascend cards yet, but you are getting the Ascend card benefits effective 1/1/18.
I did the online chat today to ask about the Ascend card delivery for Surpass cardholders, and was told the following:
"Just to heads UP, ​​​​​​​you will not receive the new card as of now. However you will get a new card when the renewal card will be send to you, or you request the replacement"

I asked for clarification and he said that my Ascend card will be sent when my current Surpass card expires (for me, that means 2022), or if I request a replacement, which means new card numbers. I applied for the card last year as well under the 100k/free night offer, unfortunately a month after I spent a week in two Doubletrees where I could have had free breakfast and extra HH points.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 12:15 pm
  #553  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Programs: Hilton Diamond, United 1k, Le Club Silver
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by highinthesky View Post
I'm in the same boat. My qualifying statement closed on November 22 and I'm still Gold. Both parties giving me a run around. I'm gonna wait 12 weeks as suggested by Amex representative and will raise hell if I'm not upgraded by my next statement.
If you know a good way to complain, please share. Hilton asked me to confirm my last 4-digit of my credit card number and said "our liaison would contact American Express to open a case to investigate,"

The American Express representative also thought the 10-12 weeks would be from statement closing. However, their website said, "
Allow 10 to 12 weeks from the time your total eligible purchases reach $40,000 for your status to be upgraded." The terms and conditions did not mention "statement closing."

Either way, I am still waiting. Hilton doesn't seem to be eager for my business. I am switching to Marriott/Starwood......

Last edited by pollyG; Feb 9, 18 at 1:26 am
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Old Feb 8, 18, 1:00 pm
  #554  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: PHL/EWR
Programs: AA, US, WN, HHonors Diamond, Hyatt Plat
Posts: 1,346
When I was upgraded to Diamond via Surpass spending (about 5 years ago) my status changed immediately when the qualifying statement closed.It was during a Hampton Inn stay where I was Gold at check-in and I even received bonus points as a Diamond for the stay.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 3:25 pm
  #555  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Michigan
Programs: DL PM
Posts: 734
Originally Posted by klew97 View Post
I did the online chat today to ask about the Ascend card delivery for Surpass cardholders, and was told the following:
"Just to heads UP, you will not receive the new card as of now. However you will get a new card when the renewal card will be send to you, or you request the replacement"

I asked for clarification and he said that my Ascend card will be sent when my current Surpass card expires (for me, that means 2022), or if I request a replacement, which means new card numbers.
I requested a replacement for my Delta Amex because the magnetic stripe was not working reliably in gas pumps. There's an option online to replace a damaged card with a new card with the same number. I assume the Hilton card would be the same way.
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