Shake Up in the Top 10

On the heels of Starwood decreasing the largest sign up bonus they’ve ever offered for the SPG Amex, the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express increases to its highest level. Until May 4th, the Surpass card is offering a 100,000 point sign up bonus for spending $3,000 in the first three months. This is up from 85,000 and worth about $600 in hotel stays at Hilton properties. This not only bumps up a couple Hilton hotels on our list, but it put pulls one fantastic property onto our list for the first time, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.

Increasing in the Top 10

Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando-South Lake Buena Vista – (Current #9; Increases to #8) Moving up one spot, the Hampton Inn now only requires about $5k in credit card card spending after the sign up bonus to get seven free nights. Previously, we estimated you’d need to spend about $9k after your sign up bonus, so this gets you on vacation just a little faster.

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek – (Current N/A; Increases to #7) With the increased sign up bonus, you can get five free nights at this AMAZING resort. We hadn’t featured it in the past because it runs 40k-50k in points per night, but with the increased sign up bonus it’s just within reach to achieve relatively quickly. It takes about $15k in spending after the sign up bonus to get five free nights and this is a hotel that runs about $272 a night so there’s $1,360 in total value here. We love this hotel and are very excited to add it to our Top 10..

Homewood Suites by Hilton Anaheim-Main Gate Area – (Current #6; Increases to #5) The amount you’ll need to spend after your sign up bonus to achieve five free nights decreased from $9k to $5k with the increased sign up bonus. This means you’ll be able to book your vacation a month or two earlier than you might have been able to otherwise.

Decreasing in the Top 10

Southwest Airlines – (Current #5; Drops to #6) Nothing changed for getting your five (or more) roundtrip flights on Southwest Airlines using the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign up bonus. The increased Surpass bonus just caused the Homewood Suites to edge it out for the #5 spot on our list.

Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort – (Current #7; Drops to #9) Still a great property within walking distance of Disneyland, one we strongly recommend. It was #5 back when the SPG Amex offered the 35k sign up bonus, but you can still five free nights for just $15k in spending after the sign up bonus; a pretty great deal for this hotel.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort – (Current #9; Drops to #10) – We’ve stayed at this hotel more times than I can count. We absolutely love it, so it’s not a bad use of points. But, you might be better off using your Chase Ultimate Rewards for flights on Southwest and paying cash for this hotel if that’s a strategy that fits your family. Again, nothing changed here, just the increase Hilton sign up bonus forcing a few options down the list.

Hyatt Regency Orange County – (Current #10; Drops from the list) We’re sorry to see this Hyatt Regency go; we really do like it a lot. But, with the increase in sign up bonus from the Hilton HHonors Surpass, there are just better options out there right now.

Other Notes

hilton-surpassThoughts on Surpass Amex – I really want to try out the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek property, so this sign up bonus is very compelling for us. In our family, if we used this card for all our purchases, we would average about 4 points per dollar spent. Since we value Hilton HHonors at 0.6 cents each, you’re earning about 2.4 cents back on every dollar you spend. This is pretty good ongoing value. Factoring the strong sign up bonus and solid ongoing return on your daily spending, this is a card we recommend getting before the May 4th deadline. Take a look at our full review of the of card HERE.