American Express Confirms Two New Hilton Cards ($450 Annual Fee & New Business Card)

After much speculation it looks like American Express has finally confirmed that starting in January, 2018 they will be offering two new cards. In addition they will also be refreshing their existing line up. This coincides with American Express becoming the sole issuer of Hilton cards.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire

  • Annual fee of $450
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
    • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
    • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status for as long as you hold the card
  • One weekend night at any hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio (on account opening and on account anniversary)
  • A second weekend night at any hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 on the card within a calendar year
  • Priority Pass membership (unlimited access, no word on guest access)
  • $250 airline incidental fee statement credit (to work the same as the credits provided on Platinum & Gold cards)
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • Annual fee of $95
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
    • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service producers and U.S. purchases for shipping
    • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, and car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
    • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors gold status. Earn Diamond status after spending $40,000 in purchases within a calendar year
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • 10 free priority pass lounge passes
  • No foreign transaction fees

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Yay, our speculation was right. This card replaces the Hilton Surpass card. Annual fee increases from $75 to $95.

  • Annual fee of $95
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
    • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
    • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • 10 free priority pass lounge passes
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors gold status. Earn Diamond status after spending $40,000 in purchases within a calendar year
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases on the card in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Hilton Honors American Express Card (No annual fee)

Card is same as before but with no foreign transaction fees.

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
    • 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
    • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases

Our Thoughts

First of all it’s nice to see no negative changes being made, both the Ascend (formerly Surpass) and no annual fee Hilton card are getting improvements (Ascend more so then the no annual fee card) [Update: This isn’t correct as the annual fee is increasing to $95]. The business card looks very similar to Aspire, only better with extra 6x categories the opportunity for a second free night and the status benefit. Either way it’s nice to have another card we will be able to get the sign up bonus on.

The real killer here is the new Aspire card. I honestly expect some of these marketing bullets to have some significant catch’s or be outright wrong, because the value proposition is too good. For a $450 annual fee we get:

  • Free award night annually
  • Hilton Diamond status
  • $250 airline incidental credit
  • $250 Hilton resort fcredit
  • Priority pass membership

That’s before considering any potential sign up bonus, but I suspect given it comes with a free night in the first year that will be the sign up bonus. If I naturally had Hilton diamond status I’d be angry, offering top tier elite status on a card with this value proposition just means that a lot more people are going to have that status now and there are only so many upgrades to go around. It also seems that Citi Hilton cards are set to become American Express Hilton cards.

Your move, Chase.

If you enjoyed this post, please considering retweeting it on Twitter or sharing it on Facebook.

F.A.Q’s

Will Ascend Be Treated As A New Product?

It’s entirely possible that it will be considered a different product than the Surpass, making it possible to get the bonus again. My gut feeling is that this will not be the case, but I could easily be wrong.

Should I Get The Surpass Now If I’ve Never Had It Before?

See above. If you think it will be considered a new product, then I’d recommend it. Keep in mind the bonus is a weak 75,000 points at the moment (high of 100,000 points + free night on anniversary) and I suspect we will see high bonuses when the new card is relaunched.

Will Existing Surpass Cardholders Become Ascend Cardholders?

Yes and that’s part of the reason why I think you won’t be able to get the bonus on the Ascend if you’ve had the Surpass previously.

$250 Resort Credit – How Does It Work?

I don’t know as I don’t have a full guide to benefits yet (this has been requested). I suspect it will only work at Hilton resorts. They provide a different booking portal for those here. I would be very surprised if it works at regular properties given it’s called a resort credit rather than a property/hotel credit. Would also be far too valuable if this was the case as well.

What Sign Up Bonuses Should We Expect?

I think expectations lead to disappointment. That being said my predictions:

  • Hilton Aspire: Two free nights (plus the one free night it comes with normally)
  • Hilton Ascend: 100,000 points + free night on anniversary
  • Hilton no annual fee: 80,000 points

That’s basically the highest bonuses we’ve send on the Ascend/Surpass and no annual fee cards and then three free nights on the Aspire card.

 

 

85
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Troy
Troy

I received the Surpass card in April 2017. I just chatted with an Amex rep who assured me the free night stay on the one-year anniversary will not require a $15,000 spend if that was the original agreement. My guess is this turns out well for us Surpass holders as we will get our one night stay as they initially promised, plus we’ll receive 10 lounge passes. I presume we’ll have to pay $95 instead of $75 at the one-year anniversary, which is no big deal.

F
F

I’ve had Diamond status for a year now and stayed at a handful of Hilton properties in North America. It’s been essentially worthless for me, with very minor perks.

NinjaX
NinjaX

after more reading, i just dont get it. the HH Aspire is TOO DAMN CRAZY…

is this some kind of RAT trap? hm.

foobar
foobar

Also, the cards now show your Hilton Honors number on the front…

Payal
Payal

I got an email saying in Jan 2018 my HH surpass card will become Hilton Ascend card………

Right now I HAVE ONE FREE NIGHT AT CARD ANNIVERSARY, and Ascend says one weekend free night after 15k spend in calendar year .

Does that mean My current free night will not be honored?

Nick Pang
Nick Pang

Here’s the T&C of the new Aspire Card (sent to me via email) Rates and Fees Annual Fee: The annual fee for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is $450. APRs: The following APRs will vary with the market based on Prime Rate. APR for Purchases: currently 16.74% to 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening. APR on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening: currently 16.74% to 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. APR for Cash Advances: 26.24%, Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable rates are accurate as of 11/01/2017. The variable penalty APR will not exceed 29.99%. Other Charges: Cash Advance Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Foreign Transaction Fee: None. Earn Hilton Honors Points Hilton Honors Bonus Points earned using your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: You will receive 3 Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases. You will receive 11 additional Hilton Honors Bonus Points, for a total of 14, for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a property within the Hilton portfolio, including bookings and incidental charges. To receive the 11 additional Hilton Honors Bonus Points for charges made at the time of booking, the booking must be made directly through a reservation channel operated by Hilton. You can receive the 11 additional Hilton Honors Bonus Points for incidental charges made on the Hilton hotel property (including charges made at restaurants, spas, and other establishments) if those charges can be and are charged to your room and paid for with your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card at checkout. You will receive 4 additional Hilton Honors Bonus Points, for a total of 7, for each dollar of eligible purchases at the following categories of merchants: restaurants located in the U.S., airfare on a scheduled flight charged directly with passenger airlines or amextravel.com (charter flights and private jet flights are excluded); and purchases directly from select major car rental companies listed at americanexpress.com/rewards-info. To get additional points for a restaurant purchase, the purchase must be at a restaurant located in the United States. You will NOT get additional points for purchases made at a restaurant owned by a U.S. company but located outside… Read more »

Eric
Eric

I believe you get a max of two free nights, not annually – one after opening and one on anniversary.

Tom
Tom

I reckon the Airline Credit / Resort Credit is an either/or situation where you can select which one you want at the start of each year. Otherwise this card is too generous

HiltonParker
HiltonParker

Willing to bet that the $250 Hilton resort credit will have significant restrictions, and that no one but hardcore Hilton loyalists will be organically using the full $250 without going out of their way.

Nicely played, Hilton.

Blue
Blue

Yeah, I put essentially zero value on that “benefit.”

Son
Son

I think this will apply for resort fee/valet parking. I stayed at Hilton Waikiki in Sept. The cost of parking for the week was $250.00. I still have Hilton points, so I will definitely stay at Hilton one more time at least.

I already maxed out on AMEX CC, so I will cancel my Surpass that I had for a few years now.