Houston, We (May) Have A Problem…With Surpass Grocery Spending

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Hilton Surpass Grocery Points Still Not Posting Properly?

A few months ago I wrote about some issues with the Amex Hilton grocery bonuses not posting.  At the time the card was earning 12X per dollar at grocery stores, normally 6X per dollar, because of one of American Express’ pandemic offers. After the first month or so many points were not posting for larger purchases.  Then it started happening for the Delta and Bonvoy grocery offers too. People’s points eventually ended up posting but immediately clawed back.  It would leave a partial points payout with no rhyme or reason to where the numbers were coming from.  American Express ended up sending out a letter saying they felt that it was rewards abuse and cash equivalents were purchased. The big question on everyone’s mind was will there still be trouble with Hilton Surpass grocery points still not posting properly, even at the lower 6X earning rate?

RELATED: Complete Guide to Amex Shutdowns & Clawbacks

Data Points

In the past the 6X earning would post like clockwork on the Hilton Surpass card.  No one ever really reported an issue on their grocery spend no matter what the purchase or monthly total was.  I was very curious to see how it would play out this month, being the first after the big promotion.  I will share some of my friends data points, and then, my own very confusing one below.  Please share yours in the comments as well so we get a clear picture of what is going on.

Data Point One

The first data point never received any points during the 12X promotion. They were caught up in it early and had all of their spending denied. They spent around $3,000 on the card this month, mostly purchases in the $450 range. The points showed on the statement properly but never posted.  They said their Delta and Bonvoy purchases posted fine though.

Data Point Two

The second person earned a decent amount of points during the 12X promo but was never caught up in the clawbacks. They spent a few thousand dollars this month and the points showed properly on the statement but never posted.  They also had issues with their Membership Rewards from their Gold card not posting.  The welcome offer and spending did not post, so it could be an issue with their particular account overall.

Data Point Three 

Similar to data point one.  They were caught up in the initial freeze and did not receive points this month.  The points appeared on the statement properly but did not post to their account. They still have not received the post and immediate clawback for the previous 3 months during the 12X promo. That could mean that their account is on a freeze overall, no matter what, until that is concluded.

Data Point Conclusions

It has been a few weeks since the statement cut for all of these data points.  Hilton points would normally post within 2 days before, even if there were a lot of grocery purchases.  The terms allow 8-12 weeks for points to post so they could be manually reviewing large purchases like they did before.  This would be a break from the norm though at the 6X earning level.

My Own Experience

My data point is a strange one.  I didn’t have any issues until the final month of the promo, I didn’t use my card a ton.  They clawed back some of my points on the final statement but most posted normally.

This months statement looks like a decipher code. I made one $460 grocery purchase and a second purchase for like $20 (not at a grocery store).  I did this so I could see if 6X was posting properly, and also because I didn’t want to get in too deep without knowing for sure if they were posting points or not too.

Here are some screen shots – it looks like they wanted to remove some more points from the promo but then the points posted properly for the spend I had.

As you can see the 3X bonus, to make it 6X earnings overall, on the $468 charge posted properly. Even though it should have been a negative amount according to the statement I received all of the points from my spending.  I am not sure what exactly is going on or if that negative amount will hit my account as some point in the future. I am also not sure if the points will post properly in the future but it seems like they should.

Final Thoughts

So the question remains, is Hilton Surpass grocery still not posting properly? I guess you could say, for some at least, there are still issues.  I did hear from a person caught up in the clawbacks that their points posted properly this month.

If I had to guess, I would say some people are still under review for the 12X spending and all points are being held until that is cleared up.  For my own account I think I had cleared the spending but they had more charges they had issues with and hadn’t deducted the points yet.  I am not sure why the points were posted negatively like the statement shows but only time will tell if that changes.

Let us know your September statement results in the comments.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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24 COMMENTS

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24 COMMENTS

  1. We used my Aspire card exclusively during the offer. We shopped every two weeks and rang up $350 – $500 a trip. All points posted promptly, no issues. I’ve read some impossible amounts and I’m sure the offer was abused. We had no issues.

  2. My last statement said I earned -2088 Grocery points but I did not make any grocery purchases last month, only restaurants. A grand total of Negative -1,374 points. But for some reason I earned 1,302 Positive points in my Hilton account. I have a feeling by tomorrow morning there will be points taken out of my Hilton account. My Surpass card will not be in my wallet again until January when I can earn a free night after spending 15,000 again.

    • A lot of people say they are getting all their points except grocery where they are getting 0, however my math shows that’s not exactly the case. While removing all grocery purchases and then watching g points post and claw back, the final number I earn is close but not exactly perfect match to my manual per transaction calculations. Their systems got some
      Strange math going on for sure.

      • That is the tough part – the numbers make no sense and they are not forthcoming with what they are doing.

  3. Signed up for surpass 130k offer 6/13. Planned on using the grocery 12x since the other cards I had promos all ended. Did some medium grocery spending 3-4K a mo for 2 mo. Most transactions $650-700 As I went to the store once a week only.

    First Statement Looked fine, points posted 16 days later but the usual low/partial amount Followed by clawback. Been using this as my primary card for all spending since I got it unless I had a 5x category somewhere else.

    Second statement 8/13, same spending patterns. All points included sub were shown negative on statement. A small amount of points posted to Hilton 2 weeks later. Now promo over. But kept spending regular spend.

    Got letter in mail.

    Used amex chat function To inquire about missing sub and missing grocery. They said account under review for sub, should be over soon. Got 14k spending on here, likely half grocery, now so sub shouldn’t be an issue. Tried to get an answer on grocery and chat suggested I might be buying gcs. Asked if I had receipts from all grocery purchases back In June/July. I said of course not who keeps grocery receipts for 3-4 mo. I asked for the issue to be escalated. Rep said she did and I would hear back later. I asked for a date they couldn’t provide one but eventually agreed that I would reach out if I hadn’t heard back in 14 days.

    I’m pretty sure they are going to fight and give me nothing. I did explain that the grocery promo was the reason I applied for the card and I expected them to honor their promotion.

    • Hopefully you at least get the welcome offer since you met that without the grocery spending. Let us know how it goes.

    • Its Still Broken even without Bonus category
      Oct Statement over 3k total
      Grocery transactions
      6.94*
      127.34
      134.79*
      138.05*
      132.45
      138.75*
      124.78
      138.04
      =944.14

      should earn
      1x base
      5x bonus = 4720.7
      Total 6x = 5664.84

      On PDF Statement: Earned US Supermarkets 2823 (short 1897)

      Items with * are noted in PDF as ‘GROCERY STORES’ others are not.
      They are all at the same store.

      Even so, these dont add up to points awarded either. Nothing makes any sense with these guys.
      *s total= 418.53
      x5 = 2092.65
      x6 = 2511.18

      For the first time, everything posted to Hilton RIGHT AWAY.
      Another bright spot, the Surpass 130k SUB finally re-posted, after spending 15k on the card (2k min spend offer). Seems like my account is out of review (I got the letter), but 6x grocery still isn’t working normally.

      • The Hilton cards earn 3X base and 3X bonus for grocery not 1 and 5 but that shouldn’t matter for the overall totals. It should come out to 6X no matter what for those charges. I wish they showed a per transaction earning like Chase does.

        • Thanks for the Math help there. I’m not used to 3x base..
          So with that update, It may be correct.
          2823 US Supermarkets @ 3x bonus = $941 spend…
          The base points earn looks right at 3x the statement balance.

          Only thing left to to see if they ever do anything about the 12x from the promo period. I did respond to the letter and escalate. You know, the reason I got the card, since all the other cards promo periods were over and this one lasted a few extra months.

  4. @ Mark — Do people have nothing better to do with their time? I did lots of MS years ago when it was easy (Vanilla Reloads and Target Red Card), but it is just not worth the effort anymore. Most of the people doing this stuff are smart, so why not put their energy into their career/education/family?

    • For many people this is just as easy as Vanilla reloads. All depends on where you are at and it can be very lucrative depending on the deals. People make $15K-$20K just a few weeks ago on a grocery store deal. It is still worth it Gene…100%

  5. Mine post fine but I’m not one to game the system, try to run through gift cards and otherwise scan the card companies.

    • Same. I posted normal grocery spend on my Hilton Aspire and AMEX Gold cards (and my daughter uses a Hilton AMEX she is an AU for) and everything posts just fine.

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