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American Express Announces Two New Hilton Credit Cards

American Express Announces Two New Hilton Credit Cards

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Old Jun 14, 18, 6:23 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: jbeckett
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The resort benefit on the Aspire card only works at the ~200 hotels on the list at this link:
http://www3.hilton.com/en/resorts/index.html#
For existing Surpass card holders, AMEX verbally confirmed that on or after 20 January 2018, card holders can call in and request cards be converted to Aspire - while maintaining the same credit card number, balance limits, PIN, etc.

For the Aspire card, the Annual Weekend Night Reward will be issued in the form of a redeemable code and sent in an email from Hilton Honors to the email address listed on your Hilton Honors account. You will receive the reward email within 8-14 weeks after opening your Card Account and each year within 8-14 weeks after your Card Account anniversary date. E-mail for Hilton providing the free night certificate has been received by several people..

HonorsRepresentative (Lauren) has provided answers in the following posts to some of the questions that have been raised in this thread:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29118905-post491.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29082769-post468.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29068815-post452.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29068259-post449.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29064439-post446.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29037200-post430.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29032382-post420.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29027525-post401.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29014945-post312.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29009198-post227.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29005693-post161.html
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Old Nov 3, 17, 7:32 am
  #286  
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
I would like some insight from those with Priority Pass experience as to how redeemable this "benefit" might prove to be in practical terms. I paid a rare visit to the main SEA Boardroom last week and it was SRO.

I fear this offer might be along the lines of "Here's ten passes, good luck trying to use them," with low confidence of success, sort of like UA RPUs -- exciting to receive, infuriating to try to use, until you eventually stop caring / trying.

$450 is one night in New York City, so by giving out Diamond for a $450 fee they are essentially freeing road warriors to stay wherever they like -- which is easy because Diamond "benefits" on-property are usually unremarkable, in the US anyway.

If I were engineering a loyalty scheme I would make the top tier more remarkable and harder to obtain, not incent people to buy it for a pittance then go stay at whatever other hotels are cheaper / nicer. This seems like a calculated strategy to destroy loyalty, and eventually the integrity of HHonors, for a few extra short-term dollars. But that's just me.
I'm surprised you were able to get into a SEA BR if it was SRO. There's been a lot of reports of PP holders being turned away due to capacity control issues when it's too crowded and some BR's just putting out a sign saying they aren't admitting PP holders. I know they will still admit BR members and passengers eligible to enter on a First Class ticket (and those passengers should be given priority), not sure about someone willing to buy a day pass. This is going to suck for me if this happens to me at ANC since Delta doesn't have a skyclub, I understand why they are doing it and wish Delta would do the same and only admit skyclub members and people on eligible tickets if the club is SRO during peak hours.

Some lounges that partner with airlines won't admit PP holders during their peak times with partner airlines like the KE lounge at LAX. The Escape clubs no longer accept PP and I was told it was due to all the new members in PP thanks to the Chase Saphire Reserve (which is how I have my current PP membership). What PP is doing at some airport is partnering with a vendor and giving PP members a credit. Since Escape is no longer a member at MSP they are partnering with the PGA lounge and you can get a credit for golf or a credit for the bar/food (which is nice seeing how crowded the MSP skyclubs are, they can literally be SRO only and they will continue to admit people). I was at the Sumaq lounge in December at Lima and I heard them tell the person in front of me they couldn't enter with a PP between 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. due to capacity issues and told her where another PP lounge was and after I entered and saw how packed the club was I was glad they were denying entries.

If you go on the Chase partner forum there is a thread about the PP lounges (I'm assuming this benefit will be like the one that comes with chase cards except it's limited to 10 visits) and there's a thread on FT about PP holders getting turned away at the Board rooms.

As far as loyalty Hilton needs to add another tier above diamond or have a special diamond level like Delta has Diamond 360. I used to be a diamond through Hilton activity and will be a diamond through credit card use (probably from now on as long as Hilton make it so easy to give status) and I think it's only fair someone that is staying over two months out of the year with Hilton gets the one last remaining exec floor or suite upgrade over me. But with me Hilton is only getting my personal (which is usually cheap) rates and very few business rates. Most of my business stays are going to Hyatt if there is one in the area or SPG. With Hyatt it's because I get treated a lot better (things like a hot breakfast if no lounge, 4 p.m. checkout and I never have an issue with premium wifi unlike Hilton). With SPG I get a 4 p.m. checkout due to being a Delta diamond.

I can just imagine the outrage from top tier flyers if they partnered with a credit card giving top tier status for only $450 (or even $1,500) a year
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Old Nov 3, 17, 7:56 am
  #287  
 
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Lauren,

For the: For those of us who already have the Surpass Card do we get 10 free Priority Pass™Lounge passes to ease the airport experience? If so, when can we start using this perk?
Yes, those will begin on January 18, 2018.

How will that happen? I will be traveling on Jan 18th and it would be useful to use. Will the priority pass automatically recognize that I now have this benefit
?

The 10 passes are they for just myself or can I use 4 of them for companions at 1 visit?

Thanks
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Old Nov 3, 17, 8:05 am
  #288  
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
I'm surprised you were able to get into a SEA BR if it was SRO. There's been a lot of reports of PP holders being turned away due to capacity control issues when it's too crowded and some BR's just putting out a sign saying they aren't admitting PP holders.
Thanks for your PP insight and field reports. I have no direct experience with PP. I got into the SEA BR because my wife and I were flying first class and I had a couple of admission codes as an MVPG bennie.

Originally Posted by jamesteroh
Hilton needs to add another tier above diamond or have a special diamond level like Delta has Diamond 360... Hilton is only getting my personal (which is usually cheap) rates and very few business rates. Most of my business stays are going to Hyatt if there is one in the area or SPG.
Agreed. With the Citi Reserve Visa I have actually eased up on Hilton stays the last few years, knowing I'll remain Gold whether I hit 20 or not. I prefer Hyatt properties anyway; they're just not thick enough on the ground. These card deals have the perverse effect in some cases of making people less loyal. As a cardholder I can stay at La Quintas or use Priceline without jeopardizing my Hilton status, and non-cardholders start to feel like idiots for working / spending to qualify the old-fashioned way.

Originally Posted by jamesteroh
I can just imagine the outrage from top tier flyers if they partnered with a credit card giving top tier status for only $450 (or even $1,500) a year
If a random person could buy AA EXP, BAEC Gold, or UA 1K for $450, those programs would obviously self-destruct overnight, and the airlines would hemorrhage loyalty-driven premium revenue. Hard to believe Hilton doesn't see some lesson in there somewhere.
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Old Nov 3, 17, 8:15 am
  #289  
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Originally Posted by broadwayboy View Post
I have a CitiCard that will be transferred to the new Ascend. Is it possible to request an upgrade to an Aspire card once I get the Ascend card in 2018?
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that all of us new Ascend cardholders are going to get plenty of Aspire marketing materials in our inboxes and physical mailboxes in early 2018. Probably a nice glossy DM piece that somebody spent a lot of money designing.

My gameplan will probably be to chill with two Ascend cards, make sure my anniversary free night posts from my existing Citi account (March), and wait/watch for any good up-gauge offers. I bet we get something.
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Old Nov 3, 17, 8:23 am
  #290  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
I would like some insight from those with Priority Pass experience as to how redeemable this "benefit" might prove to be in practical terms. I paid a rare visit to the main SEA Boardroom last week and it was SRO.

I fear this offer might be along the lines of "Here's ten passes, good luck trying to use them," with low confidence of success, sort of like UA RPUs -- exciting to receive, infuriating to try to use, until you eventually stop caring / trying.
I have Priority Pass through the Citi Prestige card and have never been turned away or had any issue using it. Even though I also have a Delta SkyClub membership, I still get a good amount of use (and value) from PP.
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Old Nov 3, 17, 8:31 am
  #291  
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Thanks for your PP insight and field reports. I have no direct experience with PP. I got into the SEA BR because my wife and I were flying first class and I had a couple of admission codes as an MVPG bennie.

Agreed. With the Citi Reserve Visa I have actually eased up on Hilton stays the last few years, knowing I'll remain Gold whether I hit 20 or not. I prefer Hyatt properties anyway; they're just not thick enough on the ground. These card deals have the perverse effect in some cases of making people less loyal. As a cardholder I can stay at La Quintas or use Priceline without jeopardizing my Hilton status, and non-cardholders start to feel like idiots for working / spending to qualify the old-fashioned way.

If a random person could buy AA EXP, BAEC Gold, or UA 1K for $450, those programs would obviously self-destruct overnight, and the airlines would hemorrhage loyalty-driven premium revenue. Hard to believe Hilton doesn't see some lesson in there somewhere.
If the BR was that crowded when you were in there chances are they weren't accepting PP swipes. Which is only fair if the Boardroom is at capacity the airline should be taking care of their own passengers over someone getting it with priority pass or a credit card perk.

It is worth it for me to pay $450 a year for diamond status and a free night since Hyatt and SPG doesn't have much of a presence in the areas I like to stay at outside of North America and there is considerable difference in treatment between gold's and diamonds at a few of the properties I stay at and I always get well over $300 value out of my free night certificate.

Speaking of airlines it's kind of ironic that Delta is raising the required spend for the MQD waiver for their diamonds next year 10 fold from $25K to $250K and then a month or so later Hilton announces you can get diamond status by simply having the right am ex card. Has me wondering if Am Ex working with Hilton to increase benefits has anything to do with the lost revenue they are going to suffer from Delta diamonds like myself. If I decide to drop to Platinum instead of doing the waiver they will lost $195,000 in spend plus the annual fee on three of the cards I'll drop.

One concern I had with the reserve going away was if I decide to go for the Delta $250K Am Ex spend was getting in another $40K in Am Ex spend to remain diamond with Hilton seeing how many places I use the reserve card at for the $40K spend this year don't accept Am Ex. Being able to get this card will take a lot of pressure off me to get spend requirements in if I decide to go for diamond again with Delta.
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Old Nov 3, 17, 8:39 am
  #292  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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My plan:
No-fee HH Visa becomes HH Amex. Fine, keep. No fee and want to keep the credit line.
HH Reserve: just canceled.
AX Surpass: becomes Ascend, and then I'll upgrade to Aspire (in/around January 18).
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Old Nov 3, 17, 8:44 am
  #293  
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
One concern I had with the reserve going away was if I decide to go for the Delta $250K Am Ex spend was getting in another $40K in Am Ex spend to remain diamond with Hilton seeing how many places I use the reserve card at for the $40K spend this year don't accept Am Ex.
An allied concern for me is: I have cracked the $40k barrier with the Citi Reserve the last couple of years putting home renovations and moving expenses on the card. I have more of the same on the docket in 2018, but a lot of contractors refuse to accept Amex. When I had Amex I always took care not to use it with small businesses / vendors I was friendly with, because I know it costs them more and they don't like it. Plus, I've had a series of difficult experiences with Amex in the past -- cancelled all my cards except one no-fee sock-drawer one, my backup business card -- and much prefer Citi / Visa from a customer service standpoint, though I know others feel differently. I kind of resent being slammed back into an Amex relationship.
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Old Nov 3, 17, 9:05 am
  #294  
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Hi Lauren,

I have a question I'm hoping one of your Am Ex reps can answer.

The credit card reform act of 2009 prohibits a credit card company from raising an annual fee on a new credit card within that first year of having it. Even though the Aspire is offering a ore benefits than the Ascend, if someone has had the Ascend for less than a year American Express can't upgrade the card to an Aspire and the cardholder would have to apply for the Aspire card and then if approved and no longer wanted the Ascend close that out which means taking a hit on your FICO (which can be a big deal with Chase with their 5/24 rule).

If my Citi Reserve has been open for over a year and once the Ascend is issued by Am Ex will Am Ex consider the Ascend to be a new account with Am Ex thus making it ineligible to be upgraded to an Aspire for one year or will they consider they consider the date I opened the Reserve account to be the opening date (I tried calling Am Ex and they weren't sure and said I would have to wait until the new card was issued before they would have an answer). Also wondering if the date the Citi card was opened will show up on our credit reports after the takeover or if is going to show up as the Citi card being closed and the Am Ex card as being a new account.

I have the fee free Hilton Am Ex so I know I can easily convert that to an Aspire but I would rather have the Ascend card upgraded instead since I am a little nervous about the citi free night benefit not carrying over if I close the account out and I also have a lot more credit history with the Citi card than I do the Hilton Am Ex.
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Old Nov 3, 17, 9:32 am
  #295  
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My Plan:
Citi Reserve becomes Ascend. If the credit card reform act of 07 considers the opening date to be that of the reserve for upgrading it will get upgraded to a an Aspire and I close the free Am Ex card. If they consider 1/31 to be the date the Ascend is open the free Am Ex Hilton gets upgraded and the Ascend gets closed.

Business stays will go to Hyatt if there is a Hyatt convenient and leisure stays in the US will go to Hyatt if there is a location that is convenient and the rate isn't much more than a Hilton. I can keep my top tier status that way with Hyatt. If I come a little short with stays with Hyatt I'll put $40K on their credit card for the extra night credits.

My stays outside North American with Hilton and Hilton will get my business for business stays where Hilton is the only choice and Hyatt isn't an option due to location and my leisure stays when Hilton is cheaper than Hyatt or there isn't a Hyatt conveniently located.
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Old Nov 3, 17, 9:36 am
  #296  
 
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Did anyone else find out today via e-mail which card they are moving into? Apparently, I am already being assigned to the Ascend card. I'm not so sure I love the idea of them sending me from a no-annual-fee card to an annual-fee card without asking first. Maybe they will waive the annual fee the first year?

Does anyone know when we'll receive the new card and account number?
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Old Nov 3, 17, 9:42 am
  #297  
 
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My Plan

AF was due this month on my Citi Reserve, easily cancellation yesterday, no offers or pressure to move to another card. Was used primarily for personal Hilton stays.

Wife did the 2-step Surpass first application earlier this year, added me as a user, replaced the Citi Reserve as the personal stay card.

I have had a Surpass for many years, used for business stays, earn Diamond on a regular basis.

With the continued devaluation of Hilton points, we use Citi and Chase private label cards to accumulate points for other purchases, generally to not meet min spend required for free weekend nights.

Subject to whatever upgrade promotions are offered next year, my current thinking is to move my Surpass to an Aspire, for personal stays, make a new application for the business card, wait for the anniversary on my wife's Surpass, some type of retention offer.

With guaranteed Diamond status, I will be free to maximize IHG quarterly promotions, which can be quite lucrative, particularly when points can be combined with Chase card free anniversary night at nicer properties (such as Venetian in LV).
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Old Nov 3, 17, 10:18 am
  #298  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Thanks for your PP insight and field reports. I have no direct experience with PP. I got into the SEA BR because my wife and I were flying first class and I had a couple of admission codes as an MVPG bennie.



Agreed. With the Citi Reserve Visa I have actually eased up on Hilton stays the last few years, knowing I'll remain Gold whether I hit 20 or not. I prefer Hyatt properties anyway; they're just not thick enough on the ground. These card deals have the perverse effect in some cases of making people less loyal. As a cardholder I can stay at La Quintas or use Priceline without jeopardizing my Hilton status, and non-cardholders start to feel like idiots for working / spending to qualify the old-fashioned way.



If a random person could buy AA EXP, BAEC Gold, or UA 1K for $450, those programs would obviously self-destruct overnight, and the airlines would hemorrhage loyalty-driven premium revenue. Hard to believe Hilton doesn't see some lesson in there somewhere.
I agree with you on your last paragraph. The thing is, we don't know how much Amex is paying Hilton for this deal. For all we know, Hilton could be getting a big chunk of the Annual Fees. Not knowing how the money is flowing back and forth between Amex and Hilton and how much the total amount is makes it harder to understand why Hilton is doing this.
IMO, Hilton was probably in a superior negotiating position since Amex lost Costco to Citi.

Last edited by bigbuy; Nov 3, 17 at 10:32 am
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Old Nov 3, 17, 10:42 am
  #299  
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Originally Posted by bigbuy View Post
IMO, Hilton was probably in a superior negotiating position since Amex lost Costco to Citi.
And also with the recent announcement that Delta was raising the MQD spend waiver on American Express from $25,000 to $250,000 for diamond. Delta was really giving the middle finger to diamonds who rely on the MQD waiver. I know it's nothing like the Costco loss but a lot of the people that this will effect are going to be big Am Ex chargers. Some Diamonds spend $60K to $220K on their Delta Am Ex cards every year. That money is going to probably go on another card for a lot of those diamonds who depend on the waiver now that the MQM's won't be as valuable and 1 skypeso per $ charged is an awful return, much better credit card rewards out there.
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Old Nov 3, 17, 10:43 am
  #300  
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Does Am Ex give retention bonuses on the Hilton Cards? My plan is to cancel one of the cards after the deal but I will gladly keep the free card and store it in a drawer if I get some HH Points thrown my way.
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