Some changes are coming to two of the American Express Hilton cards later this summer. The three Amex Hilton cards are some of the best in the industry for hotel perks and overall value. Fortunately, these changes aren’t significant blows to their values. But they are noteworthy.
American Express Hilton Cards Overview
The regular Hilton Honors card is the chain’s entry-level hotel card. It has no annual fee and offers complimentary Silver Status as its main perk. The Hilton Honors card comes with a sign-up bonus worth 75,000 HH points. You will receive the bonus upon spending $1,000 on the card within the first three months.
Next, the Hilton Ascend card is the chain’s mid-tier card. It has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and offers much more in benefits. Highlights include complimentary Gold Status, the chance to earn a free weekend night, and 10 Priority Pass lounge passes per year. This card also comes with a sign-up bonus worth 125,000 HH points. You can earn this bonus by spending $2,000 on the card within the first three months.
Finally, the Hilton Aspire card is the chain’s premium card. It has a $450 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and offers even more in benefits. Highlights include complimentary Diamond Status, up to two free weekend nights, and Priority Pass lounge access. This card also comes with a sign-up bonus worth 150,000 HH points. You can earn this bonus by spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months.
What’s In a Name?
American Express and Hilton are changing the name of the Ascend card on July 18, 2019. This card will be renamed the Hilton Surpass American Express Card.
The Hilton Surpass Card was a co-branded card from Citibank and Hilton that existed before American Express signed their partnership deal with Hilton. The Surpass card was discontinued in favor of the Ascend card in early 2018. But the name is being resurrected, replacing the Ascend name.
The Ascend card’s benefits, earning structure, and sign-up bonus are remaining the same after the name change. This is huge because the Ascend / Surpass Card is a favorite amongst Hilton loyalists and travelers alike.
Advance Purchase Rate
The Hilton Aspire card has a change coming to one of its benefits on August 1, 2019. You can no longer book rooms with Hilton’s Advance Purchase Rate using the card’s $250 annual Hilton resort credit. Hilton’s Advance Purchase rate lets you reserve a room and lock in a rate months before your scheduled vacation.
You can save up to 20% on your stay by using this feature, which can be huge when used at a resort. Therefore, you can use this feature and save $250 by booking a resort stay worth $1,250. Conversely, using points is another highly encouraged option.
These two changes are minor, but notable. Fortunately, there is no value lost with the Ascend / Surpass card and the regular Hilton Honors card. The name change is going to be weird for some, but we will get used to the change.
However, the restriction for the Hilton Aspire resort credit could make some travelers alter their strategies for hotel bookings. This restriction is not significant enough to make people switch hotel brand loyalties. But Hilton Aspire cardholders should use their credit before the change comes on August 1.