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Changes to Hilton Amex earning structure

Changes to Hilton Amex earning structure

Old Jan 16, 13, 9:24 am
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Changes to Hilton Amex earning structure

Hi all, sorry if this has been posted already, but I wanted to alert everyone that the Hilton Amex and Hilton Surpass cards have had very recent changes to their earning structure. I say very recent because I applied 10 days ago under the old T&Cs.

The no-fee Hilton Amex now gives 6x only at Hilton properties, and the Hilton Surpass has eliminated drug stores from their 6x category bonuses (grocery stores and gas stations are still 6x). I don't know what exactly the old T&Cs said about gas stations, but the application page now specifies "gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations," perhaps in response to our friends in Minnesota.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by sgideons View Post
Hi all, sorry if this has been posted already, but I wanted to alert everyone that the Hilton Amex and Hilton Surpass cards have had very recent changes to their earning structure. I say very recent because I applied 10 days ago under the old T&Cs.

The no-fee Hilton Amex now gives 6x only at Hilton properties, and the Hilton Surpass has eliminated drug stores from their 6x category bonuses (grocery stores and gas stations are still 6x). I don't know what exactly the old T&Cs said about gas stations, but the application page now specifies "gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations," perhaps in response to our friends in Minnesota.
I too had applied for the no fee card prior to this change, the card member agreement I received still states 6 pts at groceries and whatnot. Seeing this change on the amex site worries me, do people who applied under old terms get to usually keep their earning structure? Or would i now be earning under the new structure?
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Old Jan 16, 13, 9:42 am
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There is another thread on this subject. However, received a secure message from AMEX stating they are not changing the bonus categories. Maybe it is something they are looking at doing or had planned buy did not implement at this time.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by deant View Post
There is another thread on this subject. However, received a secure message from AMEX stating they are not changing the bonus categories. Maybe it is something they are looking at doing or had planned buy did not implement at this time.
I assume you're talking about this 138 page thread about the Surpass card: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilto...press-138.html
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Old Jan 16, 13, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by sgideons View Post
I assume you're talking about this 138 page thread about the Surpass card: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilto...press-138.html
That's one. Go to the last page and work your way forward for a couple of pages you'll see the discussion about this.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by CrushD View Post
I too had applied for the no fee card prior to this change, the card member agreement I received still states 6 pts at groceries and whatnot. Seeing this change on the amex site worries me, do people who applied under old terms get to usually keep their earning structure? Or would i now be earning under the new structure?
I don't know what they [AmEx] have in mind. However, when a CC company sends out a change in T&C's, you have the option of accepting them or cancelling your card; they don't have to "grandfather" in any previously issued cards, unless they choose to do so out of magnanimosity. All they need do legally, is notify you that the T&C's have/are changing. It's typically buried in your monthly statement or on-line statement. As a consumer, you may always vote with your feet and find another product. If enough people do this, it may change a company's course, but doubtful.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 11:11 am
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Wow, I just got the base card about three weeks ago and have been using it for all my spending in the bonus categories (cable/gas/groceries/drug stores). Hopefully they will either grandfather in existing cardholders or at least wait to implement the change in earning structure for those accounts. Otherwise, I guess this card will get dumped in the sockdrawer. (I use the Citi Reserve Card for my Hilton stays.)
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Old Jan 16, 13, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by dw View Post
Wow, I just got the base card about three weeks ago and have been using it for all my spending in the bonus categories (cable/gas/groceries/drug stores). Hopefully they will either grandfather in existing cardholders or at least wait to implement the change in earning structure for those accounts. Otherwise, I guess this card will get dumped in the sockdrawer. (I use the Citi Reserve Card for my Hilton stays.)

For the time being, the bonus categories ARE NOT changing. Last night I sent a SM on my wife's account (just upgraded from the free AMEX to the Surpass card earlier this month). The response was that we will continue to receive the bonus miles on drug stores, phone etc.

So maybe AMEX is planning a change, or had thought about a change or something but they are not implementing the change at this time.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 3:44 pm
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I got a similar response, but it's vague enough that if they were to change the policy (and give notification), even soon, their email would technically still ring true

-----

Thank you for writing in.

Yes, you will continue to earn 6 Hilton HHonors bonus points for every dollar of eligible purchases:

-At U.S. stand-alone supermarkets
-At select major drugstores
-On gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations
-For U.S. wireless and home telephone, cable TV, and satellite TV services

However, we continually evaluate Card benefits to ensure that the benefits associated with our Card products appeal to our Cardmembers. We will notify you, should we make any additions to the benefits associated with your Card.

I hope I was able to address your concern.

If we can be of any other assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Email Servicing Team
American Express Interactive Services
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Old Jan 16, 13, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by uhezay View Post
I got a similar response, but it's vague enough that if they were to change the policy (and give notification), even soon, their email would technically still ring true

-----

Thank you for writing in.

Yes, you will continue to earn 6 Hilton HHonors bonus points for every dollar of eligible purchases:

-At U.S. stand-alone supermarkets
-At select major drugstores
-On gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations
-For U.S. wireless and home telephone, cable TV, and satellite TV services

However, we continually evaluate Card benefits to ensure that the benefits associated with our Card products appeal to our Cardmembers. We will notify you, should we make any additions to the benefits associated with your Card.

I hope I was able to address your concern.

If we can be of any other assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Email Servicing Team
American Express Interactive Services
Thanks for posting this uhezay, very useful to have more data points. It seems to me that given what Frequent Miler posted today the two worst possibilities are a mailer going out February 1, which would require them notifying every cardholder in the states (and possibly overseas?) before the change went into effect, at some considerable expense. The second worst possibility is that the amendment will be included in statements closing after February 1, which would only require trivial printing costs.

Optimistically I think a change in the 4-8 month timeframe is more likely, since hundreds-to-thousands of people must sign up for these cards monthly, and any change in the first month of membership (as it would be for myself and others) would invite lawsuits and welcome bad will. All to shave a few points off expenses?

And no, I'm not suggesting the lawsuits would have any merit or succeed, we knew the T&Cs when we applied. My supplement reads "We may change the terms of this program at our discretion." Legally I can't say it's bulletproof, but it's there.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by uhezay View Post
I got a similar response, but it's vague enough that if they were to change the policy (and give notification), even soon, their email would technically still ring true
The absolute vagueness of that answer is actually quite amusing.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by dw View Post
The absolute vagueness of that answer is actually quite amusing.
View From the Wing has another technically-true-but-doesn't-mean-anything response from American Express

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfr...rican-express/

"Still applies" is another way of saying "hasn't ended yet."
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Old Jan 16, 13, 7:58 pm
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------

Last edited by crimsonAA; Nov 14, 17 at 5:55 am
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Old Jan 17, 13, 2:28 am
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No-fee Amex is not changing as far as I can see as well.
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Old Jan 19, 13, 8:27 am
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No update here two days after this report came out? http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfr...at-we-thought/
Effective with the first billing period starting on or after May 1, the free card changes to:
■7 points per dollar at Hilton Worldwide properties

■5 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants

■5 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations

■5 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets

■3 points per dollar for all other eligible purchases

So indeed drugstore and cable/telecom bonuses go away, restaurants go up, and the other everyday categories lose a point.
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