Posted by sirtheta on March 25, 2017
Credit Card Offers Hilton Honors Surpass Upgrade

Published on March 25th, 2017 | by sirtheta


100,000 Hilton Honors Surpass Upgrade Link, No Once in a Lifetime Language

Update: reader iahphx may be seeing once-in-a-lifetime language using this link. As mentioned in the post, please be sure to check the terms when upgrading. I’ll update the post or remove this warning as appropriate once more DPs roll in.

Update: readers have reported not seeing this language, so I’m crossing the above out for now. Still – check your offer terms carefully! They’re very short.

The first upgrade offer people were seeing after the recent change to the signup bonuses American Express’s Hilton cards contained once in a lifetime language in their terms (“Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product”), such as this once-in-a-lifetime link.

I’m very happy to report we’ve found an upgrade offer without that language, thanks to reader Joe-SC1 and confirmation from reddit user SJ0Always be sure to check the terms when upgrading, in case things change.

Direct link to offer.

The bonus is (oddly) not displayed directly on the page. You can click on “REVIEW CARD BENEFITS”, then “Benefit Terms”, and then scroll up slightly to see the terms, without logging in (or just go directly there). There is no mention of “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product” & the offer terms state:

You can earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership starting from the date your account is approved.

You will need to log in to see if you are targeted for this upgrade offer–not everyone will be! (Alas, I am not.)

You can read more about American Express upgrade offers by consulting this article.

Questions, comments, and anything else can be dropped in the comments below!


Q: Can you get the upgrade bonus if you currently have a Hilton Honors & a Hilton Honors Surpass card? —TomT

A: I haven’t heard any DPs to the contrary, so my answer would be yes because the offer terms do not include “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product”. There is no hard pull from upgrading, so there’s not much to lose in any case.

Q: If you currently have a Hilton Honors card, but have never had a Hilton Honors Surpass card and apply for a new Hilton Honors Surpass card, can you get the upgrade bonus on your Hilton Honors card? —Joe-SC1

A: Again, I haven’t heard any DPs to the contrary, so my answer would be yes, assuming you’ll still be targeted for the upgrade after your new Hilton Honors Surpass card is approved. Personally, I would go for the new application no matter what because the weekend free night for keeping the card in year 2 is very, very good. (Assuming you aren’t running into any new account issues or the 4–5 CC limit with American Express.) Since there’s no hard pull for the upgrade, there isn’t much to lose.

Q: Can you downgrade from the Hilton Honors Surpass to the Hilton Honors, then upgrade using this? —Jeremy

A: Unknown, due to the timeline. The problem is that you have to be targeted for the upgrade offer (for instance, I am not) and we do not know how targeting works. It’s possible that the offer is only targeted at existing cardholders as of the time when the promotion went live and will not be targeted at people after that.

In better news, there are some users who have downgraded recently who were targeted: Milo (downgraded 3–4 months ago), gary (downgraded 4–5 months ago).

Q: Does upgrading require a hard pull? —DW

A: No.


h/t Joe-SC1, u/SJ0

98 Responses to 100,000 Hilton Honors Surpass Upgrade Link, No Once in a Lifetime Language

  1. Charlie says:

    The wife was targeted, I currently hold the Surpass card…..100K Hilton points….Awesome

  2. Jeremy says:

    Can one downgrade from Surpass to Regular no fee then upgrade using this?

    • sirtheta says:

      I have no idea. Someone reddit stated that you need to have the card for 1 year before you can be targeted (which you wouldn’t satisfy), but technically you would have had the card for however long your Surpass has been open since your account number stays the same (so maybe you would satisfy).

    • wanderinghome says:

      I downgraded my Surpass to the regular one when this offer first came out (3/26/17) in the hopes of being able to re-upgrade. My fee-free cards arrived in the mail last week when I was traveling, I confirmed receipt just now, clicked on the link in this post and put in my existing card number and last four, and was approved almost immediately. However, I had an upgrade offer in my Amex account that DOES have the once-in-a-lifetime language btw.

      TL;DR – Had my fee-free card for over a year, upgraded to surpass in jan, downgraded in late march, and reupgraded using the link in this post immediately after confirming receipt of the card.

  3. DW says:

    Just checked and I have this available. Upgrade = no hard pull?

  4. Anthony says:

    My wife and I both got the offer. Hilton points aren’t worth much after the latest stealth devaluation, but we’ll find a use for them somewhere. Definitely worth since there’s no hard pull.

    Thanks, DoC!

  5. TomT says:

    I see the offer, but I currently still have the regular no annual fee Amex Hilton and the Surpass. Any idea if I will get the points for converting to a second Surpass? Definitely worth $75 if I will.

    • Charlie says:

      I’m in the same boat, I pulled the trigger, and don’t see a reason why… according to the terms, that we shouldn’t get the offer. For 100K and no HP it’s totally worth a shot IMHO.

    • sirtheta says:

      Yes*, because the offer terms lack the once-in-a-lifetime language.

      * well, I should say, I’ve never heard any DPs to the contrary. I don’t want to guarantee anything here!

  6. Joe says:

    how do you know if you’re targeted? I just converted to the no-fee a few weeks ago…would be great to convert back and pick up an extra 100k…having trouble ascertaining whether or not I am targeted…

  7. Charlie says:

    I only have the no annual fee AMEX card. If I choose this offer, will I be able to get another bonus offer if i open the AMEX surpass in the future?

  8. Joe-SC1 says:

    Sirtheta –

    I was going to confirm your question from the previous post (yes, btw) last night, but ran out of “reply” options in the comment trail.

    Glad this has worked for others!

    Interest to see if any DP’s surface about someone applying for a new Surpass for the free night and then upgrading an existing no AF card via the link above, or in their AMEX Offers, for another 100k.

    I rechecked my spreadsheet and will have two cards drop off 5/24 on the same day in late August (to 3/24), so I may attempt this possibility anyway as I will have one slot to give regardless. Any news on future CSR bonus point levels? Ever going back to 100k?


    • Bryce Griffler says:

      This is what I want to know. Currently have the no-fee card, upgrade eligible, and never had the surpass. I want to apply AND upgrade my no fee card, to get 200K points. Anything that would prevent me from doing both in the same day? It would behoove me to apply first, and THEN upgrade (in that order), but other than that, it might work… Tempted to hurry and do it before the “lifetime” verbiage link goes away.

      • sirtheta says:

        I’ve added a response to your question in the FAQ 🙂

        • Bryce Griffler says:

          Thanks. I went ahead and pulled the trigger. Now we wait and see if I can be that winning DP!

          • Shaun says:

            Same boat here. Have Amex no-fee Hilton, never had Surpass. Applied for new Surpass today, was approved instantly (kinda surprised cause it’ll be my 5th Amex credit card – and I had been denied different Amex credit card in past due to 4-card limit). So then immediately applied for the upgrade offer on my current no-fee Amex Hilton – after confirming terms had no once-in-a-lifetime phrasing – and was approved. Will meet min spend requirements and keep fingers crossed. And will report back here the outcome.

    • sirtheta says:

      No worries! If you ever run into that issue in the future, you can still reply to yourself & I should still see it because I browse comments on the backend (where I see all comments). (Though I do frequently miss comments; I have numerous comments on my posts to still go through.)

      I’ve added a response to your question in the FAQ 🙂

      As for the CSR, I do not think it will go back to 100k, but Chase has run better targeted offers for various cards in the past. We can always hope, right? 😉

  9. LWT3 says:

    For any Amex cards other than the Platinum, have there been any reports of Amex not awarding bonus points if MS was used to meet the minimum spend? I’m working on the minimum spend for multiple other cards right now, so I can’t hit $3,000 for this card organically. In the past I never had a problem using MS to satisfy Amex minimum spend requirements, but after the 100,000 MR point Platinum clawbacks, I don’t know if I can do that.

  10. iahphx says:

    A couple of years ago, I got the Surpass card (for the bonus) while keeping the standard Honors no-fee card (using the old no-fee card only for occasional AMEX offers). AMEX has always offered me a retention bonus for keeping the Surpass card, so I keep both open.

    Clicking the link above, it says I can upgrade my no-fee Honors card to Surpass and get the 100,000 point bonus for doing so. But the terms and conditions state “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.” So does that mean I would NOT get it, despite the offer on my account?

  11. P says:

    im targeted and got approved. I upgraded last February 2016 when my Amex Hilton made one year. Downgraded it back in April or may 2016.

  12. Nick says:

    I currently hold both the HHonors fee-free Amex and the Surpass, logged in through the link above and was able to upgrade the HHonors card to a Surpass. I looked over the T&C with a fine tooth comb and didn’t see language indicating I wouldn’t be eligible for the 100K bonus. I saved a PDF of the T&C just in case though. Thanks for the post sirtheta!

  13. de says:

    I’m not technologically savvy. Any chance, we could get a .pdf of the t&c’s to save in order to hopefully ward off any issues (you know, voodoo). TIA!

  14. David says:

    Awesome! Targeted & upgraded w/a quick approval. This is exactly what I’ve been hoping for! Saved a copy of the terms in case there’s problems.

  15. Jan says:

    I have the no fee card for many years and eligible for this offer, never have the surpass card. My questions are: 1) Have the $75 been waived for the new application? 2) Do you get at second year a weekend free night when you pay the fee again? I didn’t see this benefit stated. Is it only for new application? Or for upgrade as well? 3) This upgrade is not consider a new card (as in Chase’ term 5/24), right? Thank you!

    • sirtheta says:

      1) The $75 fee is not waived. You’ll be charged a pro-rated annual fee based on the number of months remaining to your anniversary date (the date on which you opened the card and every year after that). If your anniversary date is in 6 months, you’ll be charged (6/12) * $75. You’ll then pay $75 again when your anniversary date arrives. (This isn’t exact because the anniversary date is not necessarily the date an annual fee is charged, but you it’s very close to correct.)
      2) The upgrade offer does *not* include the free night. This is why a new application is better.
      3) An upgrade is not considered a new card, it’s the same account.

      You’re welcome!

  16. NinjaX says:

    i believe there are bonuses for people who want to DOWNgrade from surpass to no AF, but that is targeted as well. so for those wanting to downgrade asap for a future targeted 100k upgrade offer, i would just wait for the downgrade offer then wait again for the upgrade offer. this cycle has been documented many times actually.

  17. P says:

    I didn’t see the “Once in a Lifetime Language” in previous upgrade link neither.

  18. scwam says:

    Damn. Just got my 75k upgrade points 2 weeks ago. I wonder if they will match the offer if I mention “Doctor of Credit”

  19. Prem says:


    I had no language term for BGR card for 50k points….applied, finished spending but they did not give it to me, saying i had it in past.

    Complained to executve office, wrote to BBB and other agencies BUT AMEX did not budge saying since i had it in past, they cannot do it……..


    • peter s says:

      Def YMMV, I have seen DF similar as yours. But there are a lot more DP of success vs failure. Take myself as an example. I am 3 of 3 for getting the bonus again when I applied for the no language cards. There 3 cards were: 1 PRG Biz and 2 PRG.

  20. Travel Griz says:

    Very nice find was targeted.

    My original card was the no fee HH Amex from years ago, I then upgraded to the HH Surpass when I received a 50k offer 2 years ago I believe. Downgraded last year back to the no fee version and was targeted again for this 100k offer.

  21. iahphx says:

    OK, I just clicked the link again and no sign of the troubling language.

    So if I click that link, I should be eligible even if I have another Surpass card?

    What is the confidence level that AMEX will honor this deal? Obviously, I can print out a copy of the terms, but have they ever reneged?

    • sirtheta says:

      There are rare instances where upgrades have not been honored but I would say it’s easily a 95%+ probability that nothing goes wrong and likely more. Tons of people use these frequently.

  22. Dave says:

    I was targeted and just upgraded my account. When I log on, it still shows the old no-fee HH card. When will my account page show the new card?

  23. XL says:

    This may sound a little greedy, but can I upgrade my both Hilton amex cards? I got surpass+regular Hilton card more than a year ago and downgraded surpass. I just clicked your link and it looks like both accounts are eligible for the bonus and no “lifetime” language in there.

    • Baron says:

      Same as you. After going through the process and being approved for the 1st upgrade, went back to the original link and it still offered the second upgrade with same offer and terms so I went for it. It was also immediately approved. After overnight, both HH cards are now showing as Surpass in my account

  24. Baron says:

    Can I go ahead and start accomplishing the spend for this upgrade offer before the Surpass card arrives? I know the offer terms say the spending begins once the upgrade is approved (“You can earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership starting from the date your account is approved.”), but in practice is there any risk in going ahead and starting spend, say, the day after approval?

    • iahphx says:

      Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, especially since I have a supermarket gift card bonus offer that’s going to expire in a couple of days.

      It should be OK to do, right? Same credit card number and such.

      Also, is there any harm in calling AMEX and asking whether your new Surpass account has been flagged for the spending bonus? I’d hate to spend the $3000 and be told I wasn’t eligible.

  25. April says:

    Just pull the trigger and upgrade my amex HH card using the 2nd link without once in your lifetime language. I just applied Surpass a few weeks ago and the card hasn’t arrived yet. I guessed that’s why I still got the targeted offer. Will report back when I finish the min spend.

  26. Pat says:

    So if my anniversary date is May 3, I can upgrade now from no fee card AX to Surpass for a prorated charge of $75, i.e., less than $13, and if I very quickly spend the $3000, I can receive 100,000 Hilton points for a small charge? Can I then downgrade back to annual fee as soon as full $75 fee posts this May? Any strategy suggestion here to minimize fee payment for the upgrade? Thank you.

  27. Miguel says:

    My wife’s was eligible for the upgrade and immediately approved when I went through the process yesterday. As of today though, the account still shows up as a regular Hilton amex. Some comments indicated their upgrade showed up online the next day. I plan to just sit tight, but wondering if it would be in my best interest to chat with Amex and confirm. Any suggestions?

    • sirtheta says:

      If everything was in order and she was approved for an upgrade, I see no reason to worry. I wouldn’t contact AmEx until at least a few business days have passed; these types of things aren’t guaranteed to be immediate.

    • Kristi says:

      I just completed the online upgrade ad it does say to give them 24 hours for the upgrade to go through their system, so if it has been less than 24 hours I wouldn’t worry about it. I’d give it until tomorrow for all of the changes to batch through the system and then I might get concerned if the account type didn’t show up.

  28. chda says:

    I originally opened the surpass a few years ago. I downgraded to the nofee in late 2015. I then took advantage of a 75K offer in june 2016 and then downgraded again about four months later. When I log in to my account and “request upgrade” I can see the offer…that is the only place on my account I see it. (In card management) Does that mean I was targeted and should I try again based on my previous upgrade/downgrade?

  29. Ian says:

    I downgraded a year or two back. I clicked through the link, got the offer to upgrade to surpass without once in a lifetime language, and applied and was immediately accepted. I checked today and saw my card had been upgraded. In an abundance of caution I did an online chat, and they told me that NO, the offer was NOT on the account, no offer at all. Not trusting them, I called, and same story – no offer on the account. They’ve started a research case to find out what happened which will take a couple of weeks. THey were asking for an “Offer Number” which I didn’t have, and the # in the link is not what they were looking for.

    So – TLDR; just because you can see the offer when you click on the link – don’t trust it. Take screenshots. Be prepared to follow up and get a confirmation before you make the spend.

  30. Panda says:

    I clicked the request upgrade inside my account, and there was the surpass offer BUT this was the language in the terms and conditions:

    POID C9U8:0002
    Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

    • iahphx says:

      Panda — First sign into your account, but then try clicking on the “special” link at the top of this thread and see what the language says.

  31. P says:

    Hi Sirtheta,
    I have both cards but I used the previous link to upgrade. After failed to confirm the upgrade bonus with Amex, I called them to reverse the product change yesterday. The card become to no annual fee version again in the online system today. Then I tried to use the second link to upgrade again. It works! Hope it helps.

  32. Miz says:

    I was able to login and see the offer in the morning, but now (5:26pm PST) I cannot login. Whenever I try to login, I see this message: “We’re sorry. We are experiencing temporary system outage. Please try again later or call the toll-free number on the back of your Card.”

  33. Farnorthtrader says:

    Upgraded both my and my wife’s card on Sunday, met minimum spend on wife’s card on Monday through Plastiq on Monday, bonus points credited to her Hilton account this morning.

  34. TomT says:

    I posted this on reddit. No results from “investigation” yet.

    I decided to close my existing Surpass and then accept the upgrade offer in the hopes I will earn the bonus. On a chat now to see if the bonus is on the new card can be confirmed…

    Update #1: Person on chat could not see the offer, but he said that it could take 24 hours to be updated. The offer code of POID CFHS:0002 is on the PDF for Benefit Terms that I saved during the upgrade process accessed by clicking on “REVIEW CARD BENEFITS” link then on the “Benefit Terms” link.

    Update #2: Just to confirm that the upgrade did process, I tried using the link again. This time it showed:
    We’re Sorry Your recent request for a product change is currently being processed. If you have questions on your new Card, or would like to change your request, please call the number on the back of your card. Thank you for your continued interest in American Express Card Membership.

    So good news I think. Also may explain why the person on chat could not see anything about the upgrade.

    Update #3: Chat person today said he could not locate the offer code on my now upgraded Surpass card (same card number now shows as Surpass online today). I told him that when I clicked the upgrade offer link on Saturday, it showed my then existing no AF Hilton card and included the offer code and terms, which I saved. He offered to open an “investigation” into this issue on that card, which will take 1-2 weeks to complete. I somewhat reluctantly accepted. Hope I did not doom myself.

  35. pete says:

    thanks for the info. Also, like others, wondering if I use current card before new one arrives, whether that counts towards spending requirement.

  36. Miz says:

    I applied for the upgrade and got an “Approved” message, yet my card logo has not changed to Surpass in Amex online banking. Also when I try to login to the upgrade webpage again, I receive this message “Your recent request for a product change is currently being processed.”

    Very optimistically, all is fine and this is just how Amex processes these upgrade requests.
    Less optimistically, because of how Amex processes these upgrade requests, there might be a lag between card approval and issuance, which means you may be better waiting to receive your card before starting to spend on it.
    Pessimistically, there is a chance the upgrade will not go through even if you receive the “Approved” message.

  37. R Johnson says:

    I was approved for the upgrade. The message indicated that my account number would not change so I could start spending towards the $3K immediately. The new cards would arrive in 7-10 days. I’d say once you get the “approved” message, you are approved.

    Since I “upgraded” that card when I logged in today they offered me another upgrade on another card. I’m thinking about that as well.

  38. TWoK says:

    Wife had the current Hilton AMEX, never had the Surpass. Grabbed it first, then upgraded current card. Hopefully after $6k spend 200,000 Hilton pesos show up.

  39. chapman says:

    Would the upgrade to Surpass count as a new card for 5/24 purposes?

  40. Joe S says:

    Got card upgrade on Friday in mail (have already had this card several times), spent money on Friday, 100K points hit account today (Tuesday), 1 day after the charges posted to my CC.

  41. Brandon says:

    I upgraded several of my Hilton HHonors cards as well, completed the minimum spend on one as a test, after the final charge posted to push me over the $3,000 spend requirement the bonus posted 4 days later. SUCCESS!

  42. Maury says:

    I had the Surpass before and recently I applied with the upgrade and met the min spend and points posted no problem.

  43. Peter S says:

    I had surpass before and downgraded from surpass to regular hilton two years ago. Upgraded using the link, met the spending and got the 100k. What a deal!!

  44. dizzy says:

    I had the upgrade link, now it’s disappeared from the site! Not sure what happened! I tried to do amex chat but it says it’s unavailable which is a first for me.

    • brandon says:

      @dizzy, I still see it there? Did you try clicking the “Direct link to offer” in above?

      try this too:

      • dizzy says:

        Yeah the page shows it when I go, but I’m no longer targeted. Says “We are unable to process your request for a product change at this time. Please call the number on the back of your card.” Also on the main site where I could just go to all cards it just shows me offer to app for new surpass and not do the upgrade. I was hoping to avoid the hard pull but still get 100k points (more valuable to me than a HP for 1 night @ $75)

        I haven’t logged in in a couple of days and also I just fulfilled requirements for the 75k offer hope that wasn’t what triggered it to turn off.

        • brandon says:

          How long have you had your current regular Hilton HHonors card?? The one without the annual fee, you need to have had the regular Hilton HHonors card for at least 12 months before you can upgrade it to the Surpass…

          • dizzy says:

            That might be it…ALTHOUGH even though I only had the card a few months the upgrade offer was still showing for me all throughout March and into April when I logged into my account

  45. EO says:

    A question on this offer: I took advantage of this a month ago and upgraded my no fee hilton card to the surpass. I was able to meet the minimum spend and get the 100,000 points. I also just successfully downgraded the card back to the no fee version before the annual fee hit. When I now link back to the offer site, I am once again offered the possibility to upgrade for 100,000 points. Am I playing with fire by attempting to do another upgrade, or is this worth a shot? Any risk in trying this?

    • brandon says:

      Hammer away! I am doing this upgrade/downgrade thing currently with 5 Hilton Surpass cards, going to get as much in before it goes away on 5/31!

      • EO says:

        Thanks for the courage, Brandon. Just went for it and was immediately approved. I’ll update later if it works after I meet the minimum spend (again).

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