A tip about that AMEX Hilton Surpass card

Introduction

My wife has the AMEX Surpass card and I’m an AU on it.  While I don’t like to MS on the card, it seems that getting Hilton Diamond seems to be worth it these days.  I’ve been reading data points that Diamonds are getting better treatment than Golds.  I know when I went to the Seychelles, I’m sure my Diamond status secured me this upgrade and this one as well.  And we’re headed to the Conrad Koh Samui in a few months and definitely want to be Diamond there as well.  So while I hate MS’ing on the card, I think it’s worth doing to get the Diamond status.  But what happens once you’ve reached the $40,000 spend?  That card is now effectively useless and taking up a valuable AMEX slot.

 

Confirming Diamond status

I met the $40K spend around May of this year or so.  My wife was already Diamond through 2017, but the Hilton site still showed this:

I then decided to do an online chat with Hilton to ask when her status would end and this is what they said:

WOOHOO!  That meant the $40K spend was sent to Hilton to reflect her Diamond status through 2018.

 

Cancelling card

Once I confirmed she had Diamond through 2018, I was able to call up AMEX to cancel the Surpass card.  While I haven’t checked, I’m 99% sure they didn’t revoke her Diamond status because I had cancelled the card.  Once January 2019 rolls around, I’ll get the card again (no signup bonus,) MS on it real fast and get Diamond for 2019 and 2020.  Rinse and Repeat.  This method allows me a free AMEX slot for 1.5 years.  Sure I give up any upgrade bonuses or whatnot, but the extra slot is worth more to me.

  • jose alarcon

    Question.. how long does it took to post your status once you reached the 40k?

    • Miles per Day

      I didn’t check that often. I waited for the statement to close. I’m sure it was around that time.

  • Young

    Is there a reason you don’t like to MS on the Surpass? Is it AmEx in general or a value issue?

    • Miles per Day

      Value issue. Click through on the link in post.

  • Aaron

    Awesome calculator. Any way to edit the VGC fee field from $5.95 to $3.95?

    • Miles per Day

      Added although I don’t know which groc store has VGC fee for $3.95. I’m assuming you’re talking about Simon’s. Anyway, I added new rows for you.

      • Aaron

        Yes, referring to Simons. Thanks for the edit.

  • Jacinto
    • Miles per Day

      oh yeah, no Stop and Shop here

  • Jacinto

    I don’t MS on surpass for just the 6 points per dollar. But there are so many stacking opportunities for grocery spend that I get to $40k MS quite easily. Discount gas and free groceries far exceed the value of the Hilton points earned. I guess you don’t have those opportunities?

    • Miles per Day

      Are you talking about extreme couponing? I don’t know how you’d spend $40K on groceries w/o MS.

      • Jacinto

        No, it is MS, just stacking the 6 points with the other opportunities.

        • Miles per Day

          like gift card reselling? i get the discount gas angle but not sure about free groceries.

        • Dc Cartledge

          You wouldn’t ms the Hilton, but you would use it instead of a 2% card that you would MS?

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  • Justin

    Good summary.