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

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

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Old Aug 4, 19, 5:15 am   -   Wikipost
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Hilton HHonors American Express Surpass card. 130,000 points for spending $4,000 in 4 months; $95 annual fee. OFFER EXPIRES AUG 28!
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: $95, no first-year waiver.
  • Earning: 12 HHonors points per dollar on Hilton spend; 6 points/$ 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 Ascend 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 Ascend 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 Ascend 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 Ascend 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 Feb 14, 19, 7:04 am
  #646  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: California
Programs: American, Alaska, United, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG
Posts: 1,054
Originally Posted by Voodoo Daddy View Post
I don't think my ID has been checked, but they have often checked my boarding pass to make sure I'm actually flying that day. I assume if the boarding pass showed someone else's name, it would be an issue.
Ive been asked for ID at Alaska at LAX. But ya. They always ask for boarding pass. And that has your name.
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Old Feb 14, 19, 3:26 pm
  #647  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 182
Thanks for the reply. The situation is just as I imagined, but I had to ask the community for confirmation. Gave it a shot...
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Old Mar 2, 19, 10:49 pm
  #648  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,384
My no-fee Hilton card (which was converted from Citi) received an offer from Hilton (not AMEX) to upgrade to Ascend for 150k points after $3k spend. I completed the offer about 36 hours ago and my account still doesnít show the upgraded card. In the past, upgrades have been much faster. Iím in a slight hurry because I have some purchases coming up and my understanding is that my login has to show the upgraded card in order for those purchases to count toward the $3k spend, even if I use my old card.

How long did it take your upgrade to reflect on your online account?
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Old Mar 3, 19, 1:10 am
  #649  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Tampa
Programs: Hilton Gold
Posts: 123
Originally Posted by DaveInLA View Post
My no-fee Hilton card (which was converted from Citi) received an offer from Hilton (not AMEX) to upgrade to Ascend for 150k points after $3k spend. I completed the offer about 36 hours ago and my account still doesnít show the upgraded card. In the past, upgrades have been much faster. Iím in a slight hurry because I have some purchases coming up and my understanding is that my login has to show the upgraded card in order for those purchases to count toward the $3k spend, even if I use my old card.

How long did it take your upgrade to reflect on your online account?
I thought the upgrade always came through American express! So coming through the Hilton website i am not sure. Maybe others have been offered the upgrade through Hilton. I have not heard of that before.
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Old Mar 3, 19, 1:32 pm
  #650  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Ohio
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Originally Posted by DaveInLA View Post
My no-fee Hilton card (which was converted from Citi) received an offer from Hilton (not AMEX) to upgrade to Ascend for 150k points after $3k spend. I completed the offer about 36 hours ago and my account still doesnít show the upgraded card. In the past, upgrades have been much faster. Iím in a slight hurry because I have some purchases coming up and my understanding is that my login has to show the upgraded card in order for those purchases to count toward the $3k spend, even if I use my old card.

How long did it take your upgrade to reflect on your online account?
I remember a few years ago when I upgraded my regular, no fee Hilton AMEX to the Surpass/Ascend that it took over 24 hours for the change to appear in my AMEX account. I did the upgrade over the phone with AMEX, and I specifically asked the agent when the change would be effective. She said, "Immediately," and she was correct. All spend after the upgrade but before my AMEX online account showed Surpass/Ascend did count towards the minimum spend requirement to achieve the bonus points. My suggestion is simply to call AMEX and have them verify the status of your account (i.e. verify they are showing you as an Ascend card member). I wouldn't be too concerned as to what card is showing online in your account, as long as you hear directly from AMEX that they are showing you as an Ascend card member.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 4:44 am
  #651  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 621
Originally Posted by Dax1956 View Post
I thought the upgrade always came through American express! So coming through the Hilton website i am not sure. Maybe others have been offered the upgrade through Hilton. I have not heard of that before.
I too got 150k upgrade offer via Hilton e/m --not amx e/m
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Old Apr 16, 19, 6:33 pm
  #652  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,195
I got a new Amex Ascend card via a referral back in February for the 150K points. Last week I completed the $3000 spend. When will my bonus points to to my Hhonors account? Will that happen when the 90 days are up? When the regular points transfer happens at the end of the next billing cycle?
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Old Apr 17, 19, 3:52 pm
  #653  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
I got a new Amex Ascend card via a referral back in February for the 150K points. Last week I completed the $3000 spend. When will my bonus points to to my Hhonors account? Will that happen when the 90 days are up? When the regular points transfer happens at the end of the next billing cycle?
Where are you looking at your Hilton points total?

I did an upgrade, rather than a referral, but soon after I passed my spend (I can't remember exactly how soon, but it didn't wait for a statement), the point total went up by 150k on the Amex site (where it shows my Hilton points total), but it took several days after that before it was actually updated on the Hilton site itself!
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Old Apr 17, 19, 11:13 pm
  #654  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,195
I'm looking on the Amex site. I reached my $3K several days back, but no change in balance. I also just got a statement today.

I suppose I'll have to call them. (I'm hoping I haven't gotten the spend amount wrong--these referrals for 150K are $3K, right?)
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Old Apr 18, 19, 12:28 pm
  #655  
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
I'm looking on the Amex site. I reached my $3K several days back, but no change in balance. I also just got a statement today.

I suppose I'll have to call them. (I'm hoping I haven't gotten the spend amount wrong--these referrals for 150K are $3K, right?)
The other thing to check is whether you got the $3k right (including a reasonable buffer). Some people are reporting that certain credits subtract from the minimum spend, so if you earned any Amex credits you may want to sure you added etxtra spend to "buffer" in case that didn't count.

The other thing you have to hope is that you actually qualified for the 150k offer. Unfortunately there are some people who found out after they did the spend that they never qualified for a signup bonus (due to one of Amex's "anti-churning" policies, like don't close cards in the first 12 months, and don't "sock drawer" cards after you get the signup bonus), even though they also never got the dreaded "popup" that's supposed to warm them that they won't get the signup bonus if they proceed.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 8:18 pm
  #656  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,195
Man, Amex customer service sure ain't what it used to be.

I'm showing I have a little over $3K in spend since opening the acount. The agent I spoke to said he was showing a little over $100 less than that, but it wouldn't show pending charges. I don't have any of those left. So I told him, "I don't get it--I show over $3K." He put me on old. While I'm waiting, it occurs to me: I paid a $95 annual fee. I'll bet the annual fee does not count towards my spend, and that would be the difference. Agent returns to the phone. :"Everything's great! You've spent over $3K!" I tell him actually, while I was waiting, I realized the annual fee probably doesn't count. He sounds confused and is unable to confirm that. He now seems convinced I've reached the total. Now *I* am the one that thinks I haven't. I decide to put some more spend on it--I have until 4/28, he said. I ask him repeatedly when the bonus points will post. He just keeps talking about when the charges post. Finally he understands, and says it can take up to two billing cycles to see the bonus, although it can be less.

I'm just gonna keep spending.
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Old Apr 24, 19, 10:56 pm
  #657  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,195
So, as I suspected, the spend just wasn't quite there.

I prepaid a Doubletree stay (via the Price Match Guarantee). Once the charge posted, it only took a couple of days for the 150K to show up in my Hilton account. It actually showed up in my balance even before the transaction was listed on the Hhonors website.
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Old May 30, 19, 4:02 pm
  #658  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: EUG
Programs: AS MVPG, AA MM, HH Diamond, MR Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 5,074
I'm sure the answer is buried somewhere in these 650 posts, but if someone knows the answer I would be so grateful:

The certificate that you receive for spending $15,000 (not a sign-up bonus) on the Ascend card - if you use that certificate at a hotel with a Resort Fee, is the fee waived like it would be if you booked using points?

Edit: found the answer right in the fine print of the credit card terms...yes, all taxes and resort fees are waived for these certificate reservations.

Last edited by Eujeanie; May 30, 19 at 8:55 pm
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Old May 30, 19, 4:14 pm
  #659  
 
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I think if your diamond its waived
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Old May 30, 19, 4:36 pm
  #660  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: EUG
Programs: AS MVPG, AA MM, HH Diamond, MR Gold, SPG Gold
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Originally Posted by mrx900 View Post
I think if your diamond its waived
But that's not usually the criteria for waiving a resort fee - it's usually because it is a points reservation, regardless of your status.
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