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Rumor: Possible fee increase and benefits change for the Amex Hilton Aspire

Rumor: Possible fee increase and benefits change for the Amex Hilton Aspire

Old Mar 11, 23, 10:28 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie
Splitting it up at all would be terrible. I only use it for food on board, so that would mean I'd be forced to do it once a quarter, and if I bring the family (which we do at least once a year) $50 would not be enough to cover everyone, so I'd be paying more out of pocket.
If it’s $50/quarter and covers airfare, I would probably have enough ticket purchases to use the credit. Or worst case I could “manufacture” ticket purchases (or buy UA TravelBank credit).

If they go that route, I wonder if they will switch the Plat to a similar scheme and just eliminate the whole cat and mouse airline credit game.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 11:01 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by COLINDAD
That well may be true, but what you lose in lounge membership you will be able to directly apply to AA tix, which heretofore I don't believe you were able to do.

Eujeanie -- I think you are located in PDX, right? I'm not sure what the dominant carrier is there, but I would think that you, too, would be able to apply it directly to airfare.

In addition, let's be honest with ourselves -- although applying it to food at a resort is great, that food is very often very inflated, so you are taking a haircut on that $250 credit in any event. Thus, the reduction from $250 used at a resort -- to $200 perhaps split semi-annually (hopefully) or quarterly is not too much of a reduction. I have always applied it for this item, because the resorts I have frequented have always been in the 80,000 point or 90,000 point range -- with commensurate prices -- and it was better to use my many Covid accumulated certificates that had termination dates, than my own hard earned cash or points.
No, not in PDX, but in EUG (hence my location and my screen name ) - AA has very limited service out of EUG, our carrier of choice is AS, which you can't use (or are not supposed to use) the credit for airfare, and I don't care for the Premium Seats (prefer exit row), so we don't actually have problems over the course of a year using up the $250 that way. But it would be a problem having to use it in increments. When we took the kids to Disneyland last month, 6 of us both ways had about $150 of food and drinks on board. If I could only get $50 reimbursed I'm not going to be happy. NOT paying the $450 (or $550) AF will go a long way then.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 11:12 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer
Splitting the airline credit up into $50 per quarter means I drop this card like a hot rock. I use 100% of the current airline credit to purchase part of an annual lounge membership with AA. If the credit is split quarterly I'd only be able to use $50 on the membership fee.
Great point. I wasnt sure if you could split the Admirals Club membership fee into two charges ($200 on AmEx Plat and $250 on the Hilton card)? If so then it would be beneficial unless the do change the credit per quarter (then would only get $50) 😳
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Old Mar 11, 23, 12:50 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie
No, not in PDX, but in EUG (hence my location and my screen name ) - AA has very limited service out of EUG, our carrier of choice is AS, which you can't use (or are not supposed to use) the credit for airfare, and I don't care for the Premium Seats (prefer exit row), so we don't actually have problems over the course of a year using up the $250 that way. But it would be a problem having to use it in increments. When we took the kids to Disneyland last month, 6 of us both ways had about $150 of food and drinks on board. If I could only get $50 reimbursed I'm not going to be happy. NOT paying the $450 (or $550) AF will go a long way then.
Ahh, I like the screen name!

I guess Alaska does not have any gift cards or any sort of travel bank -- I guess a combination of tix and food purchases might work on selective flights, but I see what you mean.

Unfortunately, that quarterly breakage that AMEX is instituting for the card is alive and well at JP Morgan as well.

On the Premier Traveler Card, one pays $95 and gets Platinum status (nothing all that remarkable -- sounds better than it is), a free night up to 40,000 points, the ability to add as many points as you need to meet a desired use for a night, and two (2) $25 semi-annual installments to the United Travel Bank which expire if you don't use them within 6 months.

If you can use them, then the card is a steal -- net, net -- $49 for the annual free night -- just like the previous incarnation of an IHG card that is no longer available.

So, both these major card issuers are using this form of enticement credits -- that must be used or one loses.

Last edited by COLINDAD; Mar 11, 23 at 12:56 pm
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Old Mar 11, 23, 1:07 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by COLINDAD
I guess Alaska does not have any gift cards or any sort of travel bank -- I guess a combination of tix and food purchases might work on selective flights, but I see what you mean.


So, both these major card issuers are using this form of enticement credits -- that must be used or one loses.
I think what's going to lose is them and their customers. I don't even want to think about whether a charge is in this quarter or that quarter. What an additional headache.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 1:49 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie
our carrier of choice is AS, which you can't use (or are not supposed to use) the credit for airfare, and I don't care for the Premium Seats (prefer exit row), so we don't actually have problems over the course of a year using up the $250 that way. But it would be a problem having to use it in increments.
Originally Posted by COLINDAD
I guess Alaska does not have any gift cards or any sort of travel bank -- I guess a combination of tix and food purchases might work on selective flights, but I see what you mean.

Unfortunately, that quarterly breakage that AMEX is instituting for the card is alive and well at JP Morgan as well.
Repeat after me … good for both incidentals and airfare on any airline




So if this is implemented, it wouldn’t be difficult to capture the $50 for each quarter. Certainly not for AS flyers. If you have natural spend - ticket or fees/food/bags - great. If not, at the end of the quarter buy a $50 ticket, cancel after 24+ hours and receive the refund into the travel bank for future use. Or with UA buy straight TravelBank credit. It’s rare that I have a quarter when I don’t buy an AS ticket, even if it’s just a speculative award I run across. Yes, you have to remember to check if you have used the credit four times a year, but it isn’t really the bad part of these potential changes. The UberEats credits treadmill of the Plat is much worse.

Originally Posted by Eujeanie
When we took the kids to Disneyland last month, 6 of us both ways had about $150 of food and drinks on board.
I think you have an AS Visa, too, right? So if you had used that for the $150, you’d have received a 20% discount. There is obviously also some potential opportunity cost when buying airfare with the Aspire (compared to, say, Amex Plat 5X), but for inflight purchases I always use my AS card.

Last edited by notquiteaff; Mar 11, 23 at 2:05 pm
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Old Mar 11, 23, 2:11 pm
  #52  
 
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Keep forgetting that under the new rules you can use the credit for airfare? That would help.

But how is the 20% discount for the food better than no charge at all with the current Aspire credit?

I'm just going to wait and see how this all shakes down....maybe I'll keep the Aspire, maybe I won't.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 4:46 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie
Keep forgetting that under the new rules you can use the credit for airfare? That would help.

But how is the 20% discount for the food better than no charge at all with the current Aspire credit?
Use the $250 credit for airfare that you buy anyway (with the various approaches you can find in the airline-specific threads). Or if this new benefit change gets implemented, use it for airfare without workarounds. I buy UA credit via TravelBank since UA is my secondary carrier.

I guess we should also keep in mind that these are possible changes that Amex/Hilton are exploring via surveys. I received a survey over a year ago (maybe two?) that tested similar changes. Maybe they have refined their possible approaches. But I wouldn’t necessarily expect these to become reality overnight. That said, most cards see product changes over time, and since every blogger has sold this card as “must have” that pays for itself, a net benefits reduction wouldn’t be shocking.

I need to look through my screenshot archive; I think I might have taken some of the proposed changes I was interviewed about.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 5:20 pm
  #54  
 
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"Use the $250 credit for airfare that you buy anyway (with the various approaches you can find in the airline-specific threads). "

Yeah, no, I don't do that. I'll just leave it at that.

If under the new rules that's a viable option, that will be fine. It will all be part of the new big picture.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 6:59 pm
  #55  
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They are trying to tweak the perks so they appear still useful, while becoming more unusable. It is quite an art and a tight balance....
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Old Mar 11, 23, 7:11 pm
  #56  
 
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I would rather they just simply hike the annual fee to $550 and NOT make any changes to the current reward structure, this card will still be a keeper because of the two $250 credits and Free Night.
That being said, Aspire right now is almost too good to be true so why wouldn't you expect Amex/Hilton to level the playing field sooner or later.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 7:16 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by Nana Lunastra
That being said, Aspire right now is almost too good to be true so why wouldn't you expect Amex/Hilton to level the playing field sooner or later.
Yeah, kind of surprised it has lasted this long without being nerfed. Would I still pay at $550? Probably, assuming they don't place any additional restrictions on the global free night, which I find very helpful for the one-night layovers in some far away land.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 10:12 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff
Repeat after me good for both incidentals and airfare on any airline




So if this is implemented, it wouldnt be difficult to capture the $50 for each quarter. Certainly not for AS flyers. If you have natural spend - ticket or fees/food/bags - great. If not, at the end of the quarter buy a $50 ticket, cancel after 24+ hours and receive the refund into the travel bank for future use. Or with UA buy straight TravelBank credit. Its rare that I have a quarter when I dont buy an AS ticket, even if its just a speculative award I run across. Yes, you have to remember to check if you have used the credit four times a year, but it isnt really the bad part of these potential changes. The UberEats credits treadmill of the Plat is much worse.



I think you have an AS Visa, too, right? So if you had used that for the $150, youd have received a 20% discount. There is obviously also some potential opportunity cost when buying airfare with the Aspire (compared to, say, Amex Plat 5X), but for inflight purchases I always use my AS card.
Do not need to repeat after you -- I grok it thoroughly, surprised you could not divine that from my posts.

Now, as for Alaska flights @ $50, I don't know as I do not fly them, but I seriously doubt that they go that low, and in any event it is up to her how many and much she will spend for a ticket above the $50 4 times with the hope that she can combine them into a future ticket and use same within 1 year. I do not make assumptions for others as to their travel patterns and costs they are willing to spend.
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Old Mar 11, 23, 11:30 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by Super Mario
If they can't afford to stay at a resort once, can they afford to stay at a Waldorf, Conrad, Canopy, etc twice and rack up charges? While resorts aren't exactly numerous, to your point, these brands aren't either.
While there's some overlap, the Waldorf / Conrad / Canopy properties cater to a lot larger diversity of interests than do the Hilton "resorts." If you're not looking to ski, golf, or sit on a beach, the number of options for the resort credit declines significantly. Of those three, we're only interested in the beach option — and frankly, if we're taking a multi-hour flight for a weeklong beach vacation, it isn't going to be a $250 resort credit that decides where we go.

On the other hand, if I'm flying to explore a city and want to stay in a nice hotel, I'm a lot more likely to plan that around a good rate and benefits. If I'm comparing resorts, the difference between food / pools / beaches / etc is fairly extensive. If I'm in a city center going to museums and restaurants, the difference between a Waldorf and a St Regis is a lot less meaningful.

Ultimately the $250 resort credit would be a lot easier for me to spend if there were more properties near me that worked for a quick long weekend trip on short notice. (Anyone ever stayed at the one in Quebec?)
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Old Mar 11, 23, 11:32 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by Friendly Traveling Deathmerchant
Priority Pass already cut out the restaurant program, which sucked for me, because I liked that and traveled routinely through some airports that had that, but not lounges. Been considering changing to another credit card for that benefit.
Priority Pass didn't cut that Amex did. Still available for memberships through several other cards.
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