Update on 1/30/2024: Thanks to our reader HML for letting us know that her Hilton gift card purchase triggered this credit on her Amex Surpass card last month. I went head and purchased a $50 Hilton gift card through this non-affiliate link nine days ago, and my credit just posted yesterday. Keep in mind that there is a $1.99 fee per card. No guarantee that this strategy will also work for you, but we wanted to pass along the information. There is a small chance that Amex may claw back these credits at a later date, so do this at your own risk.
Original post below:
A month and a half ago, I wrote a post about getting approved for an offer on Amex Hilton Surpass card X 2 that didn’t contain a lifetime restriction language. I’m happy to say that I already got one sign-up bonus, but we are still waiting for my husband’s points to hit after this statement closes. I didn’t think it would take me only a month to spend $6k, but thanks to my son’s broken arm and a mountain of medical bills, I’ve accomplished this goal in no time. Silver lining indeed.
Amex recently introduced a new benefit for this card, namely $50 quarterly credits on Hilton purchases. The charge doesn’t have to be for a resort, but has to be processed by Hilton property directly. Since Surpass product has a $150 annual fee, I naturally started looking for ways to maximize this perk.
I’m looking to use points on a specific Hilton resort in Florida for a 5-night stay sometime in 2025. Obviously, I can’t redeem my points for it just yet. But this $50 credit is a “use it or lose it” type deal. So, I figured I would make a reservation for 2 nights with the points I already have in my account for a stay in 2024. It would be a placeholder of sorts.
I then contacted the resort and honestly explained the situation. I’ve mentioned that we might extend the stay and move it to another month, but I wanted to know if we could prepay $100 ($50 per card) now in order to utilize credits for 2023. I got a reply from the resort telling me it wouldn’t be a problem. I also got two invoices for $50 each. The rep said she would attach the $100 credit to my existing reservation and move it to a new one if needed.
I then emailed her back and asked if it would be OK if I reached out to her four separate times in 2024 for the same type of transaction. She told me it would be totally fine. I did apologize for the nuisance factor, but she said not to worry. Turns out, hotels are happy to accept prepayment from future customers! Who knew?
How long it took to get a reimbursement
The $50 charge hit our respective accounts 10 days ago, and just yesterday I got both credits from Amex. Not bad at all. So my plan worked like a charm. It’s likely that the reservation number won’t change even if I move the reservation and extend it by a few nights. So, it shouldn’t be too hard for the resort to keep track of it. Plus, I got an email to prove the fact that we paid it.
If all goes well, by the end of next year we should have a $500 credit towards our stay. I don’t want to call it free since we did pay $300 in annual fees. Still, factoring in 340k Hilton points we should collect as a result, it’s not too bad of a haul if I say so myself. If you are tentatively planning on redeeming your points towards a specific Hilton property, it could make sense to reach out to them and see if you could start an expense account of sorts and finance it with your Amex Hilton Surpass card.
It will require some work, and I plan to add reminders to my calendar. Still, $500 is nothing to sneeze at. Despite the fact that resort food tends to be overpriced, you can’t beat the convenience factor. And with a family of four it’s not that hard to spend $500 on dining in only a few days.
P.S. If you’ve never had Amex Hilton Honors Surpass before and are thinking about applying, I hope you consider using my personal referral link. The offer of 170k points is identical to the one without the lifetime language.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.