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-   -   American Express Announces Two New Hilton Credit Cards (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilton-hilton-honors/1875140-american-express-announces-two-new-hilton-credit-cards.html)

HawkeyeFlyer Nov 1, 17 9:34 am


Originally Posted by MrHilton (Post 29003929)
Believe me hotels can see if you are a cc diamond or a head in bed diamond member.

Chatted about this with several hotel staff and they confirmed they look at stay history and spendings to assign the best upgrades.

The most negative part is that the executive lounges are going to become even more crowded...

Most hotels do not really care, even though they can see it. Also, when people start earning all these higher level points, reward stays will be harder to get and 48 hour room guarantees. It is just a mess all around

The biggest slap in the face is for those of us who actually put in 10 years plus and over 1000 nights are now getting the same benefits as someone who is being paid $50 by Hilton to become a Diamond

lixiaojuventus Nov 1, 17 9:34 am

Wasn't this already offered with the Citi Hilton reserve card? I remember spending $40k will give you Diamond status, no?

HawkeyeFlyer Nov 1, 17 9:40 am


Originally Posted by lixiaojuventus (Post 29004021)
Wasn't this already offered with the Citi Hilton reserve card? I remember spending $40k will give you Diamond status, no?

HUGE, HUGE difference between making someone spend $40k annually for the status vs a $450 AF to get it. This fee is also completely offset by the credits.

Bicoastal Yokel Nov 1, 17 9:42 am

I'm assuming the Resort credit would be applied towards any charges incurred at one of the 80 or so resorts here:

http://www3.hilton.com/en/resorts/index.html

Bicoastal Yokel Nov 1, 17 9:45 am


Originally Posted by HawkeyeFlyer (Post 29003944)
There almost has to be a higher status than Diamond coming.

Guaranteed suite upgrades and 4pm check out?

HawkeyeFlyer Nov 1, 17 9:55 am


Originally Posted by Bicoastal Yokel (Post 29004087)
Guaranteed suite upgrades and 4pm check out?

I am not sure what the benefits would look like. I am talking about harder qualifications, like annual spend at Hilton over $25k or actual Head in Bed night requirements or even a higher lifetime stay. Not really sure

Bottom line is Diamond took a MAJOR devaluation with this card coming out

timfountain Nov 1, 17 9:56 am


Originally Posted by HawkeyeFlyer (Post 29004017)
Most hotels do not really care, even though they can see it. Also, when people start earning all these higher level points, reward stays will be harder to get and 48 hour room guarantees. It is just a mess all around

The biggest slap in the face is for those of us who actually put in 10 years plus and over 1000 nights are now getting the same benefits as someone who is being paid $50 by Hilton to become a Diamond

I agree, I had to educate a front-desk staffer at an HGI last week at how to determine how many times I had stayed at that property. She welcomed me starting with as "Since this is the first time at our property...".

She had also never seen the other pages with your score, complaint history etc.

Kacee Nov 1, 17 9:57 am

Great, let's start another thread on the new AMEX cards :rolleyes:

milesmilesmiles Nov 1, 17 9:59 am

[QUOTE=HawkeyeFlyer;29003853

Lifetime Diamond feels like a joke at this point[/QUOTE]

Not a full joke... yet... as you still need 10 years of Diamond level AND 1,000 nights. You can pay the $450 to get the years, but still have to stay at the properties to get the nights threshold.

Hopefully they will make existing "Lifetime Diamonds" a new, higher level (or some scheme like others have mentioned)

fozziedoggie Nov 1, 17 9:59 am


Originally Posted by HawkeyeFlyer (Post 29003911)
The Aspire Card is $450 annual, BUT, you get Diamond Status and $500 in credit so essentially they are paying you to become a Diamond member

Sorry, I meant to write "Ascend," and not Aspire....good catch.

bitterproffit Nov 1, 17 10:05 am


Originally Posted by fozziedoggie (Post 29003844)
From what I'm reading in Lauren's post, the Ascend card has no annual fee and comes with no Foreign Transaction Fees, the Surpass card charges FTE and $75. You should be able to contact AmEx and request they convert your existing Surpass account to a no annual fee Ascend card.

Lauren did not indicate an annual fee of $95 on the Ascend card, but all other communications indicate that there is a $95 annual fee on the Ascend card.

Maybe she can clarify. Thats a big deal

Often1 Nov 1, 17 10:07 am

Don't kid yourself. Corporate sees the two of equal value and may well see Aspire as having less overhead.

These complaints arise with air carriers too. You aren't a "real" elite. But, you are.

Bottom line is that there are more people with a claim to the same number of upgrades and square footage in a lounge.

milesmilesmiles Nov 1, 17 10:07 am


Originally Posted by lmwong1977 (Post 29004008)
Hi Lauren,

Thanks for posting. Could you clarify some things on the new Aspire card? Specifically:

• $250 Airline incidental fee statement credit

How does this work on the Amex side? Does it use the same "engine" as the Platinum/Centurion American Express cards? I've read that those cards requires you select an airline before you use your card to get it credited. And you can only change it once a year. Is this how it works with this card? Incidentals means not airline award taxes, upgrade fees?

• $250 Hilton resort statement credit

Is this only for resort hotels - is there a list of which ones are eligible for this credit?

• $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package

What is the exclusive Aspire Card package?

While just the messenger, HonorsRepresentative picked a bad day to stop drinking :)

Need Nov 1, 17 10:09 am


Originally Posted by bitterproffit (Post 29004191)
Lauren did not indicate an annual fee of $95 on the Ascend card, but all other communications indicate that there is a $95 annual fee on the Ascend card.

Maybe she can clarify. Thats a big deal

I think she just missed it. $95 would make sense as the folks converting from Citi Reserve to Ascend would have the exact same annual fee. That way there is no partial refund or partial charge needed.

HawkeyeFlyer Nov 1, 17 10:17 am


Originally Posted by milesmilesmiles (Post 29004171)
Not a full joke... yet... as you still need 10 years of Diamond level AND 1,000 nights. You can pay the $450 to get the years, but still have to stay at the properties to get the nights threshold.

Hopefully they will make existing "Lifetime Diamonds" a new, higher level (or some scheme like others have mentioned)

It is all the same though. If each year a person can simply pay $450 annual fee and then have that offset in credits, there is no need to worry about Lifetime status. You will have it all of the time anyway

HawkeyeFlyer Nov 1, 17 10:19 am

Bottom line is that there are more people with a claim to the same number of upgrades and square footage in a lounge.[/QUOTE]

Exactly and the clearly devalues the worth of Diamond Status

It is essentially free now for anyone who can qualify for the card

HawkeyeFlyer Nov 1, 17 10:21 am


Originally Posted by milesmilesmiles (Post 29003077)
Hmmm.. is the first time you could "buy" Diamond status for the lowish price of $450?

****************************************


Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

• Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status

• $450 annual fee

Factor in the $500 in credits and Hilton/Amex are PAYING YOU $50 to become a Diamond member. What a joke

Evo40 Nov 1, 17 10:26 am


Originally Posted by woodford02A (Post 29003938)
Can someone help me understand, in general, what the benefits of Diamond are over Gold? What are folks actually seeing on a day to day basis in practice vs. what Hilton is advertising?

I am US-based but often travel to Europe, Asia and S. America.

Honestly, I'd say the biggest benefit of Diamond over Gold is that you are guaranteed lounge access at most properties, even if you aren't upgraded to an Executive-level room.

You get a 50% points bonus as Diamond versus 25% bonus as a Gold. But you have to spend a ton to have this be worth something substantial. You also have a 48-hour availability guarantee as a Diamond, although there are exceptions and you can still be faced with a very high room rate.

For MyWay benefits at full-service properties, Diamonds don't have to choose between food/amenity or points. They get both, unlike Golds. But at places like Hampton Inn or HGI, Diamond benefits are identical to Gold.

Theoretically, you're prioritized for room/suite upgrades as a Diamond over Gold.

I am told Diamonds often get markedly better treatment outside of the US (I won't be doing my first international stay until later this month).

Abidjan Nov 1, 17 10:28 am

Yes, Diamond recognition/service is markedly better abroad, especially in Asia.

IcHot Nov 1, 17 10:34 am

I guess it is fun to overreact.

Diamond status is not worth much as an American customer in the US. Not sure many people will think this is some great deal that can't be passed by.

How many people who are not already Diamond or capable of achieving Diamond anyway will be tempted by a $450 fee? How many will do the math?

Seriously, Diamond probably means more to people that already have it than people that want it.

Do you know how cheaply one could get Diamond if they wanted it? If they aren't staying at hotels, they aren't using up your upgrades. I don't think they give many upgrades anyway, so who wants it?

Gig103 Nov 1, 17 10:36 am


Originally Posted by BearX220 (Post 29003604)
Me too, and I do NOT want to deal with American Express -- ever again.

I resent being slammed without my consent into an American Express relationship I do not want. I cannot believe Hilton's "extensive consumer and small business research" elicited a bunch of people saying, yes, hijack my account, switch my card provider, and change all the terms without consulting me.

Costco did the same thing in reverse - went from Amex to Citi. I was just as upset as you are right now (I love Amex).

Need Nov 1, 17 10:40 am


Originally Posted by IcHot (Post 29004313)
I guess it is fun to overreact.

Diamond status is not worth much as an American customer in the US. Not sure many people will think this is some great deal that can't be passed by.

How many people who are not already Diamond or capable of achieving Diamond anyway will be tempted by a $450 fee? How many will do the math?

Seriously, Diamond probably means more to people that already have it than people that want it.

Do you know how cheaply one could get Diamond if they wanted it? If they aren't staying at hotels, they aren't using up your upgrades. I don't think they give many upgrades anyway, so who wants it?

I kind of did the math. Anyone who has no Hilton status and want to stay a week in a Hilton Resort wants it. Because it will save them over $400 even after paying the $450 annual fee. And that's not including the value of the HH points they will get from the stay as a Diamond and using the Aspire x14 to pay for it.

HawkeyeFlyer Nov 1, 17 10:43 am


Originally Posted by IcHot (Post 29004313)
I guess it is fun to overreact.

Diamond status is not worth much as an American customer in the US. Not sure many people will think this is some great deal that can't be passed by.

How many people who are not already Diamond or capable of achieving Diamond anyway will be tempted by a $450 fee? How many will do the math?

Seriously, Diamond probably means more to people that already have it than people that want it.

Do you know how cheaply one could get Diamond if they wanted it? If they aren't staying at hotels, they aren't using up your upgrades. I don't think they give many upgrades anyway, so who wants it?

Yes I know exactly how"cheaply one could get Diamond".....EXACTLY...qualify for the card and they will PAY YOU $50

IcHot Nov 1, 17 10:46 am


Originally Posted by Need (Post 29004344)
I kind of did the math. Anyone who has no Hilton status and want to stay a week in a Hilton Resort wants it. Because it will save them over $400 even after paying the $450 annual fee. And that's not including the value of the HH points they will get from the stay as a Diamond and using the Aspire x14 to pay for it.

How many of those people are there who value it like you do?

I would think most of them are already Diamond.

Most people cannot be bothered with complications.

timfountain Nov 1, 17 10:48 am

Meh, I think this is the last year for me being even vaguely loyal to Hilton. I've recently been staying at Marriotts and even as a lowly gold, they treat me a lot better than Hilton does as a Diamond. I am head on pillow Diamond - 55 stays, 79 nights, 192k base points.

I'll go for a status match to Marriott Platinum in Dec and see what next year brings.....

Adios Hilton.

IcHot Nov 1, 17 10:51 am


Originally Posted by HawkeyeFlyer (Post 29004354)
Yes I know exactly how"cheaply one could get Diamond".....EXACTLY...qualify for the card and they will PAY YOU $50

Not exactly. You have to bother with credits and stays and think Diamond is worthwhile.

In the US, it is of marginal value. For those who think it is of real value, it is easily achievable anyway.

I suspect you are not being realistic about the population. The people who would think this is a great deal are likely diamonds already.

pinniped Nov 1, 17 10:52 am

Questions:

- Is it $250 credit on any airline expense, as with the Citi Thank You card, or is Amex using a tighter definition of "incidental"? If so, what is that definition? (e.g. Kiosk upgrades, baggage fees, paid upgrades to Economy Plus type seats, ticket change fees, etc.)

- Honors hasn't typically called out "resorts" in the past like Marriott has. Is the $250 Hilton credit only at some subset of the properties in the portfolio? Hilton brand only, with "resort" in the title? It's a rather loose term that some brands slap on all sorts of hotels that the naked eye wouldn't really think of as a "resort".

- Priority Pass guests? Citi Prestige allows 2 additional adults in their T's & C's, and they can be on different PNRs or flying to different cities than the cardholder. CSR technically doesn't impose a guest limit, although the lounges can. Other products charge for guests or allow just you + family on a single PNR.

- Which rental car agencies and can I book any rate via any channel with those agencies?

Looks like a solid product. I'm *probably* in, unless the restrictions on the credits are too tight.

IcHot Nov 1, 17 10:56 am

The only thing I treasure in the US is the Hampton diamond parking space so I can make jokes about what a big shot I am. Conversely, I can make ridiculous tongue in cheek rants about how they are diluting Diamond when the space is full.

Evo40 Nov 1, 17 10:58 am


Originally Posted by pinniped (Post 29004407)
Questions:

- Is it $250 credit on any airline expense, as with the Citi Thank You card, or is Amex using a tighter definition of "incidental"? If so, what is that definition? (e.g. Kiosk upgrades, baggage fees, paid upgrades to Economy Plus type seats, ticket change fees, etc.)

- Honors hasn't typically called out "resorts" in the past like Marriott has. Is the $250 Hilton credit only at some subset of the properties in the portfolio? Hilton brand only, with "resort" in the title? It's a rather loose term that some brands slap on all sorts of hotels that the naked eye wouldn't really think of as a "resort".

My best guesses:

* The $250 airline incidentals credit will work the same was it does for the AMEX Platinum or Gold. You'll have a to pick an airline each year and can only get reimbursed for non-airfare-ticket expenses like: baggage fees, in-flight dining, ticket change fees club/lounge memberships. Upgrades would be excluded; gifts cards, too (at least by the T&Cs, even if there are workarounds).

* I imagine resorts would be these properties: http://www3.hilton.com/en/resorts/index.html. And it's a beach-heavy/hot-weather-heavy collection

Yellowjj Nov 1, 17 11:00 am


Originally Posted by cce5858 (Post 29002551)
Sucks for the non-Americans who do not have access to the Aspire card LOL and have to earn Diamond status through actual stays (who actually does this?)

*Raises hand*

In any event, this doesn't really bother me too much as Hilton has been stealthily doing small devaluations the past few months (Properties increasing in category level overnight). I don't look for/need upgrades when travelling alone and when with family, I gravitate towards Homewood because the full size fridge is a necessity.

IcHot Nov 1, 17 11:02 am

Hell hath no fury like a lifetime diamond scorned, apparently.

woodford02A Nov 1, 17 11:02 am


Originally Posted by mia (Post 29003967)
A credit card thread is probably not the best place to find this information. I would look for threads with both words in the Title, such as:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilt...d-vs-gold.html

Thanks for the link. I ask here independently in the context of these new cards which will surely drive a slew of new Diamonds to the program (does the incremental value of Diamond status benefits make this card attractive to Golds? Will Golds be disappointed with the product/service they ultimately receive?)

bcosinteno Nov 1, 17 11:10 am

Pure speculation, but they are setting the stage for a higher tier than Diamond (Diamond Plus, etc).

I'm guessing it'll be achieved by pure nights/stays or through spend on the new Aspire Credit Card (60,000 in a year - similar to Marriott).

If this is the case, hopefully Diamond Plus or whatever the new tier is comes with guaranteed suite upgrades, guarantee late check out, waived resort fees, etc.

diver858 Nov 1, 17 11:12 am


Originally Posted by dave1013 (Post 29003641)
Will there be opportunity/option for current Surpass cardholders to upgauge to the Aspire card? Or would we have to go through the normal application process?

Based on earlier AMEX upgauge offers, I believe it is reasonable to expect. From this perspective, it may be useful to hold more than 1 Surpass, as the Aspire card is essentially a moneymaker.

elCheapoDeluxe Nov 1, 17 11:18 am


Originally Posted by bmrisko (Post 29003102)
Well, I guess Diamond just became even more devalued...hopefully the HH lounges don't start becoming super crowded like Centurion airport lounges.


Originally Posted by arlflyer (Post 29003177)
I'm usually not quick to get worked up about these things, but I don't see a scenario here that bodes well for Diamonds who actually earn through staying at properties.

I liked the analogy that someone else used recently - Honors has become the Southwest Rapid Rewards of hotel programs. Not going to be any real perks for loyalty, just a kickback in terms of points.

I guess they're just betting that that those few marginal points per dollar will be worth something to someone, moreso than the value of the devalued perks they'll be losing.


Originally Posted by HawkeyeFlyer (Post 29003911)
The Aspire Card is $450 annual, BUT, you get Diamond Status and $500 in credit so essentially they are paying you to become a Diamond member


Wow - just wow. I guess if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Why bother to stretch to reach Diamond next year? I can stay where I want and still know I'll always be Diamond.

diver858 Nov 1, 17 11:20 am


Originally Posted by Need (Post 29003392)
You mean you get paid $50 and a weekend Cert to become a Diamond? :D I could easily spend the $250 Resort credit and $250 incidental, and the weekend cert is worth at least $200.

Like when Citi rolled out its Prestige Card, there were several bennies to help make a big splash, draw customers away from AMEX and Chase, eventually rolled back. Based on prior AMEX devaluation history, I would expect the same for the new Aspire, my plan is to jump on any up-gauge offers or new application bonuses, take full advantage in the first year.

Need Nov 1, 17 11:20 am


Originally Posted by IcHot (Post 29004371)
How many of those people are there who value it like you do?

I would think most of them are already Diamond.

Most people cannot be bothered with complications.

You could be right. I am thinking of how it makes it easier (cheaper) for my "fake" diamond to continue. Before I had to spend $40K now it is just $450 and I get all of them back. I guess I would become "fake fake" diamond LOL. :D

I guess if you are spending $40K on the Surpass or Citi Reserve to get Diamond, it would make sense to switch to the Aspire.

HonorsRepresentative Nov 1, 17 11:25 am


Originally Posted by Need (Post 29004212)
I think she just missed it. $95 would make sense as the folks converting from Citi Reserve to Ascend would have the exact same annual fee. That way there is no partial refund or partial charge needed.

Sorry - got cut out during the copy/paste process. You're correct, the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card has a $95 annual fee.

Just updated the original post.

Thanks!
Lauren

Points Scrounger Nov 1, 17 11:26 am

IMHO, the massive devaluation was in status matching all top tier elites from any other program. This card is simply the cherry on that sundae here. I don't see it creating lots more crowding and competition; these folks are more likely to rack up points via non-Hilton spending.

NationalCCW Nov 1, 17 11:43 am

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?


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