Posted by William Charles on June 3, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on June 3rd, 2019 | by William Charles

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American Express Hilton Ascend To Become Hilton Surpass Again & Change To Resort Credit On Aspire

American Express has announced that starting July 18th, the American Express Hilton Ascend card will become known as the American Express Hilton Surpass card. This was the name of the Surpass card before they changed it to Ascend.  In addition on August 1st, 2019 changes will be made to the $250 resort credit. This resort credit will no longer be usable when booking an advance purchase rate (official statement below).

  • On August 1, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Members can continue to use their $250 Resort Statement Credit benefit for purchases made with participating resort properties for all rates, except when booking an Advanced Purchase rate.

    • All other Hilton rates remain eligible for the $250 Resort Credit benefit for purchases made with participating resort properties.

Our Thoughts

Having two cards named Ascend & Aspire before was a mistake, even though I blog about credit cards constantly I still often got them confused. American Express obviously realizes that was a mistake in hindsight. American Express are claiming that the advance purchase rate change will only affect a very small number of customers, but in my experiences those rates are almost always the cheapest so this will devalue that benefit significantly. If American Express/Hilton are not properly compensating properties for that resort credit then I’d expect to see the differences between those rates actually increase as well.



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steve
steve

can i spend 12k on the aspire downgrade to the ascend/surpass and spend the other 3k to combine both for 15k anniversary night? i also think you can get the anniversarry cert 2x in one annual fee before january and after january . i got alot of them ever since hilton switched from citi to amex,and spent alot on the card , that is why I think i can get certificates 2x one before the year is up and one after even got back on with them after being financially reviewed

George
George

i got the upgrade from ascend to aspire thanks to your posts about the upgrade offers, however it has been since april and still never got a message about the anniversarry nights in my hilton. hilton is telling me they dont have it in my account, also if i have 2 aspires can i get 2 certs. i signed up for one aspire quickly before accepting the upgrade offer on my ascend as not to lose out on the lifetime bonus. i did the spending on the upgraded one and received the pointsm before spending on the signup one and srilld didnt receive the points oh wel i guess i probably wont get it anyway because i spend the upgraded card first thereby invalidating the new card . thank you for the greatest website ever made!

John
John

“Having two cards named Ascend & Aspire before was a mistake, even though I blog about credit cards constantly I still often got them confused.”

Marriott: Hold my beer.

Abey

Need a Hyatt Business card on a rush.

Roger
Roger

I think credit has always not been working for U.S resort Advanced rates…so I guess not that dramatic of a change. Hopefully special sales rates still work.

JF
JF

Any rate that gets billed directly by the hotel (as long as its a listed resort) has worked to trigger the credit. If its a promotional rate offered by the resort property I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

E
E

I guess they are preventing you from paying advanced, getting credit and canceling it. But in my case, the credit did not show up until I asked in the 13th week via online chat. (the term says 8-12 weeks)

Ty Webb
Ty Webb

I booked one night advance at a resort about a week out, but wasn’t feeling well a couple days before and canceled. The Amex Aspire credit had already posted and the refund on the deposit resulted in a negative statement balance. I was quite surprised to say the least.

VL
VL

Hah… Amex is well known on making you wait full 12 weeks on something which is clearly a glitch, and normally posts much faster. Did not have to deal with this credit, but had the same situation with 2-3 other ones.

James Bond

+1, agree that having two cards with similar names like Ascend & Aspire was confusing to customers (including me). We see the same pattern in the benefits game: Offer great benefits to draw in new customers and then quietly withdraw or devalue those benefits.

Xinnie
Xinnie

Bummer, advanced purchase is usually the cheapest rate 🙁

sdsearch
sdsearch

But in never worked for domestic (USA) Hilton resorts anyway, because domestic Hilton advance purchase rates are billed to Hilton central, not billed to the individual resort hotel, which it would have to be billed to in order to trigger the resort credit.

So it’s only if you were going to use an advance purchase on a international (non-USA) resort that you’re losing something.

Justin
Justin

+1. THIS ISN’T REALLY A CHANGE. In the US it’s typically about $3 more expensive, and the advanced purchase booking are charged from some other entity, in TN I think. I think they are just updating the terms. I think doc probably picked this up from another click-bait blog title I saw earlier. The credit (at least for US) works exactly as before. At best they are closing a loophole for international bookings but I highly doubt that even changes, I think it’s just terms updating to protect themselves.

JF
JF

This is what I’ve been saying. I wouldn’t be surprised if the advance rate still works with international properties, but I’m not interested in a non-refundable international booking anyway.

I think this update is just AmEx clearing themselves from having to go back and credit people that booked advance rates at US properties. Now they can point to the rule and not have to manually sort those out.

Pointz
Pointz

August 1 – using 250 for advance purchase- dead, eating at PP restaurants-dead. Amex has been busy…

Steve
Steve

I thought advance purchase (pre payment) didn’t work for the $250 credit before. Did anyone get credit for using advance purchase?

Jack
Jack

I assumed the same about prepayment. I always thought the purchase had to be run by the hotel not the Hilton website.

Lrdx
Lrdx

There is a requirement for this credit that it needs to be run by the hotel; for non-US resorts, the advance payment is run by the hotel. For US resorts, it is run by the website and not triggering the credit.

If don’t actually think this is a devaluation, “just” closing a loophole. Still sucks.

Mark
Mark

I didn’t book advanced purchase, but I had to pay one nights’ deposit a few months before staying at Hilton Bonnet Creek and that triggered the credit.

Boji
Boji

Speaking of the confusing card names, how about the Bonvoyed Brilliant card, Business card and Boundless card… lots of Mariott BB cards lol

Mark
Mark

Waiting for the Bonvoy BOHICA

SeeSharp
SeeSharp

“If American Express/Hilton are not properly compensating properties for that resort credit then I’d expect to see the differences between those rates actually increase as well.”
-> Individual properties likely do not “see” the resort credit. It is a deal between Amex and Hilton at corporate level. I don’t think we will see any impact on the actual rates.

blah blah
blah blah

I wish AMEX will just issue a second weekend cert instead of the resort credit 😛

Michael
Michael

I was hoping the same. I know I said that in the survey a few months back. Still my keeper premium card though.

M
M

Does anyone know if it’s possible to collect the Aspire Resort Credit with a GC purchase (e.g. at a resort front desk)?

Spencer
Spencer

This is a real nerf. Recently went to Thailand, and used the 35% off Asia sale to book a 135 sq meter suite for 3 nights – total charge $825 – $250 Aspire statement credit. While $200/night is a lot “In Thailand” it was a real TREAT to have the top executive suite of the Hilton Arcadia Phuket. A suite like that in Hawaii would be 10x the cost. Sad that the cridit won’t stack with advance rates like that.

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