Published on January 18th, 2018 | by William Charles52
Is The American Express Hilton Ascend A New Product? & Other Questions Answered
Update 01/18/18: The Ascend card is now live. Lots of people are asking this question currently. I still think it won’t be considered a new product but one thing that’s interesting is that the fine print states:
- Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
When the American Express Delta Blue card was launched it stated:
- Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who: Have or have had this product or the Delta SkyMiles® Options Credit Card, or Currently have or have had one of the following products in the last 90 days: Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, or Delta Reserve® Credit Card.
I think if American Express wanted to exclude Surpass cardholders the fine print should state: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or the American Express Hilton Surpass card”. That being said American Express are the kings when it comes to denying bonuses despite terms and conditions that state customers should be otherwise eligible. I personally still think that the Ascend won’t be considered a new product. Frequent Miler disagrees with me and thinks it will be a new product and One Mile At A Time received a chat response stating it won’t be considered a new product. I personally put 0% faith in what a front line representative states, I’ve contacted American Express’ media team for comment.
Original post: When we posted about the two new American Express Hilton cards and the two product refreshes one thing a lot of people wanted to know is how the Hilton Ascend card will be treated. More specifically people wanted to know if they would be able to get the sign up bonus on the Ascend card if they have/have had the Hilton Surpass card. It’s important to note that all of the following is my opinion and isn’t based on any inside knowledge, I’ll point out the facts and my own conclusions but you should also be drawing your own conclusions and acting accordingly.
Is The Ascend Card A New Product?
This is the big question, if it is considered a new product then you should be able to get the sign up bonus if you’ve had the Surpass card before. My understanding is that this is a ‘product refresh’ with a new name, rather than a truly new product. We often see cards have their benefits changed and this does not result in card issuers considering this a new product. The difference this time is that the name is also changing. My reasons for thinking this won’t be considered a new product are:
- Hilton sent an e-mail out stating that “your Hilton Honors Surpass card will become your Hilton Honors Ascend card on 1/18/17”. They did refer to it as a new card, but the title of the e-mail was “Refreshed Card”.
- Press release states: “Today, consumers are able to acquire the Hilton Honors and Surpass Cards and will automatically be upgraded to the new benefits launching January 2018″
I’d love for American Express to consider this a new product, I just don’t see any reason why they would. All of the language they use is about this being a product refresh rather than a new product.
Hard data points:
What Should I Do If It Is A New Product?
If you disagree with me and think it will be a new product then there are a numbers of things it might be wise to do if you want to get the sign up bonus on the Hilton Ascend. Keep in mind American Express credit card applications state:
Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product
Here’s what I’d recommend:
- If you already have an American Express Hilton Surpass, you should close or downgrade it. As mentioned above these will be turned into the new Ascend card. Keeping this card would prevent you from getting the sign up bonus as you’d “have” the Ascend card.
- If you have the Citi Hilton Reserve you should close this card. Citi Hilton cards are being turned into American Express Hilton cards and you don’t want this to become the new Ascend card otherwise it would prevent you from getting the bonus. If your near to getting the free night certificate based on spend it might make sense to keep the account open.
If you haven’t gotten the bonus on the Surpass card, you should sign up now. Finish the minimum spend requirement as soon as possible and then cancel/downgrade the card. Then you’ll be ready for when the Ascend card launches. As comments point out, this likely isn’t a good idea due to American Express trying to crack down on those ‘gaming’ the annual fees and cancelling within the first year.
I’d be very very surprised if the Ascend is considered a new product, obviously this is something I’d be happy to be wrong about. If you disagree with me then follow the above steps. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below.