I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
Two Hilton American Express cards will each see one change this summer. There’s a name change, and a new restriction on a statement credit benefit to know about.
I consider the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card to be among the 5 best American Express cards and I consider the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express to be one of the 6 best value rewards cards out there.
The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express offers an initial bonus of 125,000 Hilton Honors points after $2,000 in eligible purchases with the product in your first 3 months of card membership.
Each year you spend $15,000 on the card you’ll earn a weekend night reward, and $40,000 in a calendar year earns Hilton Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year. It also comes with 10 Priority Pass lounge visits per year (starting August 1 access excludes restaurants).
American Express tells me that effective July 18 “the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card will once again be known as the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card” however there are no other changes to this card besides the name.
Surpass was the name of Hilton’s premium co-brand American Express card since it went live in February 2009. With the re-upped Hilton deal that went exclusive with American Express (and ended Hilton’s co-brand relationship with Citi), a new more premium card was introduced and Surpass was renamed with improved benefits. They’ve decided to resurrect the Surpass name.
Conrad New York
Meanwhile the new premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with Diamond status and also a free weekend night each cardmember year. $60,000 in purchases in a calendar year earns another weekend night. The card is providing a lot of value but bear in mind that Diamond status doesn’t promise much beyond what Gold offers (no commitment of suites or late check-out).
You get a $250 airline incidental fee credit per calendar year and a $250 Hilton resort statement credit per cardmember year, and of course Priority Pass.
The card is actually worth using at Hilton properties where it earns 14 points per dollar which I value as being worth 5.6 cents (or a 5.6% rebate, edging out the 5.4% rebate on hotel spend from Chase’s Sapphire Reserve).
Effective August 1, the $250 annual Hilton resort credit benefit will no longer be able to be used on Hilton’s Advance Purchase rate.
Conrad Koh Samui
I don’t love advance purchase rates because I do not like being locked in, even if you can actually change Hilton non-refundable rates for a fee. However for those that normally book these rates they are going to have to spend more to use their statement credit, and over a long resort enough stay that could mean negating the entire value of the credit.