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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 9, 23, 6:06 am
  #1  
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Rumor: Possible fee increase and benefits change for the Amex Hilton Aspire

I know there were rumors before Amex refreshed the Bonvoy Brilliant, changed benefits, and increased the annual fee. Moreover, sending out surveys to existing cardmembers is nothing new. However, I've seen a few posts on Reddit, and rumors on at least one travel blog , so I wanted to open a thread on Flyertalk as well.

At this point, these are just rumors. However, as someone that holds 2 Aspires and is working on getting a 3rd one at the end of May, I hope they hold off.

It looks like they may be eliminating the Resort credit, breaking up the airline and hotel credits into $50 quarterly credits, and increasing the annual fee to $550.00.

Here is a link to Thrifty Traveler: https://thriftytraveler.com/news/cre...-card-changes/

Here is a link to Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/amex/commen...ntial_changes/

It'll also be interesting if they add a monthly Lyft benefit, considering Amex partners with Uber, though Hilton has a partnership with Lyft.

The images posted below were originally taken from Reddit:




Last edited by diesteldorf; Mar 9, 23 at 4:57 pm
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Old Mar 9, 23, 6:57 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by diesteldorf
I know there were rumors before Amex refreshed the Bonvoy Brilliant, changed benefits, and increased the annual fee. Moreover, sending out surveys to existing cardmembers is nothing new. However, I've seen a few posts on Reddit, and rumors on at least one travel blog , so I wanted to open a thread on Flyertalk as well.

At this point, these are just rumors. However, as someone that holds 2 Aspires and is working on getting a 3rd one at the end of May, I hope they hold off.

It looks like they may be eliminating the Resort credit, breaking up the airline and hotel credits into $50 quarterly credits, and increasing the annual fee to $550.00.

Here is a link to Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/amex/commen...ntial_changes/

Here is a link to Thrifty Traveler: https://thriftytraveler.com/news/cre...-card-changes/

It'll also be interesting if they add a monthly Lyft benefit, considering Amex partners with Uber, though Hilton has a partnership with Lyft.

The images posted below were originally taken from Reddit:


That would suck, but I am sure it is coming. Doubt I would be keeping this card if what is shown above is true.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 7:21 am
  #3  
 
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Right now, for the annual airline credit, you have to lock in your airline selection in January. For us infrequent flyers, this is a disadvantage when we use other airlines. If the quarterly airline benefit allowed you to switch your airline selection each quarter, this would be a net positive.

Eliminating the resort credit, but adding a $200 "lifestyle and luxury" credit seems OK. The list of true resorts isn't huge, so adding brands but decreasing the value is a wash.

Adding tiered free-night earnings seems like a net positive. These FNCs can be worth $500+ in value.

I'm not a typical user though as my company travel (100+ nights per year) is allowed to be purchased on my personal Aspire card.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 7:32 am
  #4  
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Like resort fee charging hotels, AMEX wants to offer credits that LOOK valuable, but a minority of cardholders actually use. (CLEAR, LYFT, on-property non-room rate spend, etc.) They also want people to put non-hotel spend through the credit card - therefore the airline credit being split into 4 separate chunks.

Where Amex and Hilton are burning money unnecessarily is the statement credits for hotel spend. People are already getting this card for the Diamond status and the 14x on hotel spend. I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of cardholders wouldn't cancel the card (and their Diamond status) just because some statement credits went away...
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Old Mar 9, 23, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif
Like resort fee charging hotels, AMEX wants to offer credits that LOOK valuable, but a minority of cardholders actually use. (CLEAR, LYFT, on-property non-room rate spend, etc.) They also want people to put non-hotel spend through the credit card - therefore the airline credit being split into 4 separate chunks.

Where Amex and Hilton are burning money unnecessarily is the statement credits for hotel spend. People are already getting this card for the Diamond status and the 14x on hotel spend. I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of cardholders wouldn't cancel the card (and their Diamond status) just because some statement credits went away...
Actually, if the resort credit and airline credit gets broken up, I'll no longer keep this card.

With the progressive reductions in the breakfast (food&beverage) benefit, most resorts saying 'there are too many diamonds to provide upgrades' and the lack of guaranteed late checkout, the loss of the resort credit and breaking up of the airline credit will tip the scales for me and hilton will go bye bye.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 8:22 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by pharmawalk
Actually, if the resort credit and airline credit gets broken up, I'll no longer keep this card.

With the progressive reductions in the breakfast (food&beverage) benefit, most resorts saying 'there are too many diamonds to provide upgrades' and the lack of guaranteed late checkout, the loss of the resort credit and breaking up of the airline credit will tip the scales for me and hilton will go bye bye.
This. The lack of free breakfast for domestic is really a killer for me. If the AF is raised, I (and I imagine many others) will simply transition to Marriot.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 8:57 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by pharmawalk
Actually, if the resort credit and airline credit gets broken up, I'll no longer keep this card.

With the progressive reductions in the breakfast (food&beverage) benefit, most resorts saying 'there are too many diamonds to provide upgrades' and the lack of guaranteed late checkout, the loss of the resort credit and breaking up of the airline credit will tip the scales for me and hilton will go bye bye.
I totally agree; to me it's the resort and airline credit that offsets the yearly fee. The Diamond level is not worth the $ 450 (or $ 550) yearly fee to me due to the dilution of benefits as noted above.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 9:35 am
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A more flexible Airline and Hilton credit would be a nice improvement, offsetting the annual fee increase IMO. Also glad Hilton also kept the flexibility of the free night to be any day of the week, and no points caps. As long as those stay, I'm a happy camper!
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Old Mar 9, 23, 9:46 am
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Is Priority Pass being removed as a benefit of this card? I don't see it listed. That benefit is somewhat limited for me, but I still like to have it.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 10:40 am
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Expect it is coming from monthly/semi year credit on other AMEX premium cards. Proposed changes make negative impact on how to use these credits fully without actually spending more. I would probably cancel the card with these changes.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 10:44 am
  #11  
 
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Amex is clearly moving to a model that encourages you to spend on their cards - 30K on this card for an extra free night, 30K on a Delta Reserve for MQM boost, 60K on a Marriott card for an extra free night, 75K on the Amex Platinum for free guest access to Centurion Lounge, etc. They want you to have a few cards and to spend a lot on them to get the benefits. These changes, if true, fit into that. And to be fair - cardholders that hold an Amex Aspire, or any card, and simply use it a few times a year to max out the benefits, with no other spend, are not profitable customers.

IMO, a better deal than the card as proposed would be to downgrade to the $95 Surpass, and to spend 15K on that card for a free night annually. The main thing is that Gold and Diamond status are more or less indistinguishable. If Diamond status were better, maybe there would be more value in the Aspire fee.

The changes to the credits depend entirely on your stay and spend patterns...
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Old Mar 9, 23, 11:25 am
  #12  
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The food and beverage credit fiasco definitely makes Diamond much less valuable. Just hope they don't extend it to properties worldwide.

That being said, I'll probably still keep the card and the rumored changes might actually work out better for the way I use the card. The fact that the airline credits would cover airfare is nice, especially if it covers award fees and if UA travel bank purchases still get reimbursed. If it applies to any airline without having to choose one, that's another plus. In my book, the credits for any Hilton purchases (or Hilton Luxury/Lifestyle purchases) are better than the resort credits, as I have to work hard to get to a resort every year to use up the credit. Although, breaking the credits into quarterly/semi-annual payments will make it cumbersome and will be one more thing to monitor.

I'll definitely use most of the Clear credit, so assuming I can get full value out of the airline and Hilton credits, I'm still ahead of the game.

Loss of Priority Pass would be a disappointment, but not life changing.

So overall a mixed bag, but I'm ok with the changes if true.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by aww3583
Right now, for the annual airline credit, you have to lock in your airline selection in January. For us infrequent flyers, this is a disadvantage when we use other airlines. If the quarterly airline benefit allowed you to switch your airline selection each quarter, this would be a net positive.
While anyone COULD find a scenario that works better for them, this change would absolutely be a net loss for most. First off, you are missing the $50 decrease in value from $250 to $200. Then you would have to book a flight every quarter, with incidentals. Finally, you are assuming they will let you change airlines.

The rest seems like the new garbage AMEX business model. Showing you "value," but placing so many hurdles to actually get said value. I agree this card was too good of a value. However, they are really nuking it here.
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Old Mar 9, 23, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by Super Mario
While anyone COULD find a scenario that works better for them, this change would absolutely be a net loss for most. First off, you are missing the $50 decrease in value from $250 to $200. Then you would have to book a flight every quarter, with incidentals. Finally, you are assuming they will let you change airlines.

The rest seems like the new garbage AMEX business model. Showing you "value," but placing so many hurdles to actually get said value. I agree this card was too good of a value. However, they are really nuking it here.
The flight credit line says good for airfare not just incidentals. That would be a mild improvement.

What if they didnt make you select an airline, what if it worked for all?


Seems like things like selecting an airline is their way to advertise a benefit but make it hard to redeem. If they make it quarterly, Id say that makes it difficult enough, it would be nice if they opened it up to more airline choices
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Old Mar 9, 23, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by StangGT909
The flight credit line says good for “airfare” not just incidentals. That would be a mild improvement.

“What if” they didn’t make you select an airline, what if it worked for all?


Seems like things like selecting an airline is their way to advertise a benefit but make it hard to redeem. If they make it quarterly, I’d say that makes it difficult enough, it would be nice if they opened it up to more airline choices
It says "any" airline, so it would have to be opened up to more than the existing airline choices and presumably not subject to a selection.
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