Posted by William Charles on March 5, 2020
Hotel Booking

Published on March 5th, 2020 | by William Charles

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American Express Updates Terms To Prevent Abuse On Marriott Brilliant $300 Credit & Hilton Aspire $250 Credit

Update 3/5/20: They’ve added similar terms to the Marriott Brilliant $300 Marriott credit as well. (ht to reader Vic)

Original Post:

American Express has added new terms to the Hilton Aspire card that go into effect on May 1st, 2020 as first point out by Travel With Grant. The new terms state:

  • The benefit terms for the $250 Hilton Resort Credit benefit are being updated to add clarifying language that statement credit(s) received during the reward year may be reversed if the eligible purchase is returned/cancelled, or if you engage in abuse or misuse in connection with the benefit (for example, if you do not maintain an eligible card account for the duration of the reward year).

New terms have also been added for when Hilton points are transferred:

  • Updated language notes that Hilton Honors Bonus points you earn with your Card will be posted to your Hilton Honors account up to 12 weeks after the end of your billing period

I’m actually surprised that the resort credit terms didn’t already include that type of language. Even without that language I wouldn’t risk doing a cancellation anyway with how often American Express seems to clawback credits these days.

 



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Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts

Where is their verbiage stating if they decide at some point during your lifetime that they feel they don’t like you they can claw back all your points and at least 1 of your children? Thought they were adding that too.

Thomas
Thomas

Dont make a mountain out of a mole hill….

Air Bud
Air Bud

He isn’t making a mountain out of a molehill; amex already has a demonstrated history of closing accounts and clawing back rewards even if the cardmember didn’t break any rule. It happened to me, and it could happen to you.

Jr
Jr

You likely broke a rule.

Sa
Sa

Don’t give them ideas please.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Anyone who named a kid Bob Roberts should have already had all rights to procreating clawed back. For all future generations.

Mimi
Mimi

I went to church with Harold Bahls as a kid.

TT
TT

“ ..for example, if you do not maintain an eligible card account for the duration of the reward year”

They are warning against double dipping?! I’m sure this will be applied to other cards too if they haven’t already

P
P

They don’t want you downgrading or cancelling the card I believe for the reward year, which I think is also membership year from when you got approved or it could be a year from when you upgraded also.

Air Bud
Air Bud

Double dipping should still work, because you have up to 1 month beyond the cardmember year to downgrade. But this kills the triple dip.

Damian
Damian

Looks like this will be the last year I hold onto this card. It was too good to last! This was by far the best card on the market if you knew how to use the credits.

chirovegan
chirovegan

What does reward year mean? Cardmember or calendar year?

dan
dan

it’s not worth the cost & stress to keeping amex premium, high-fee cards anymore

Avi
Avi

I say it was never worth it, but I know I’m in the minority.

jsl
jsl

I agree, but it was nice knowing that you could pay a $550 AF and get close to that back in cash value while earning the SUB. Now if you wanna get an Amex Platinum, for example, you’re paying $550 for 60k MR and no guarantee that you get any value from the benefits.

They’re trying to minimize the number of customers who don’t make them money and it’s working. Sucks for us but I can’t blame them.

Vic
Vic

William Charles Marriott Brilliant TC updated too.
> Statement credit(s) may be reversed if the eligible purchase is returned/cancelled or if we, in our sole discretion, determine that you have engaged in abuse or misuse in connection with the benefit or that you intend to do so (for example, if you do not maintain an eligible Card Account for the duration of the reward year). Card Members remain responsible for timely payment of all charges.

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card-application/apply/supplementary/terms/marriott-bonvoy-brilliant-card/36182-9-0

CericRushmore
CericRushmore

Ouch…. there goes my trip dip then.

P
P

I hope they don’t retroactively enforce this!

Cjrmets
Cjrmets

You understand this is Amex you’re talking about right? They would claw back your first born for a 15 year old transaction.

qmc
qmc

hey, good timing… the teenage years are tough.

Ctown Bin
Ctown Bin

I know it’s AMEX, but they can’t retroactively change terms of service. If a behavior abided by the terms at the time you engaged in it, they can’t punish you. The platinum clawbacks that are happening now are different, because it was always in the terms of service that they could take back your credit if you cancel the underlying purchase – they just weren’t enforcing it.

P
P

This is my concern:

My account anniversary for my Hilton no-fee is January. I am eligible for upgrade to Aspire and I am planning to do so in May as offer expires in May. I then get the $250 after the upgrade for 2020. I get another one after my renewal in January, 2021. If I cancel or downgrade my card in July, 2021, the terms seem to suggest that they can claw back the resort credit issued after my renewal in January, 2021 unless I maintain my card until January, 2022 (and so on and so forth). Is this correct?

dan
dan

P it shouldn’t as long as the credit is used at a resort stay; i would downgrade then

P
P

“…or if you engage in abuse or misuse in connection with the benefit (for example, if you do not maintain an eligible card account for the duration of the reward year).”

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

You’ll get the resort credit at the anniversary of the upgrade, not when you opened the no fee version.

FreeIsGood
FreeIsGood

I don’t think that’s true. When I upgraded, I was refunded for a partial year of the Surpass and then charged for a partial year of the Aspire. The Annual Free Night was issued when my new big annual fee is charged was charged, which still keeps with the same cardmember year as the previous card. I assume the resort credit reset on that timescale as well as I’ve never heard it’s different from the free night – that would be three separate reset dates as the airline fees are on a calendar year.

If it’s true, then I have a 2 month window to use an additional credit I didn’t know I had. Not sure I want to test it out though.

Joe S
Joe S

Resort credit is on the anniversary of when the original card was opened, so in theory if you upgrade in April and the card anniversary is in July, you’d get a $250 resort credit from April-July, and then another in July. When upgrading, very easy to get 2 resort credits, 2 free nights, 2/3 airline credits, and the points for upgrading.

playwithcards
playwithcards

not ture. I got the resort credit immediately after upgrade, even though the new annual fee not charged yet.

Joe S
Joe S

Incorrect

CericRushmore
CericRushmore

Where do you see where it lists May as the date your offer expires?

Joe S
Joe S

I’d hope not also as they are probably looking for either negative Hilton resort charges on the account (same as refundable airline credits) or cards that were closed or downgraded less than a year after being opened. I’d hope that as long as you keep the card upgraded for a year, you’d be safe, especially if still keeping the card after (downgrading) with the same numbers.

the_shek
the_shek

Is this not cardmember year not calendar year anyways? They’re just worried about double dipping then?

Walter T.
Walter T.

I have this card. I would sincerely appreciate it if someone could explain to me in plain language what this card benefit is and how I can take advantage of it. For example, which Hilton properties qualify, and while I am staying there, what services can I charge to this card that will qualify for reimbursement under this benefit, without asterisks next to it? What are the sure bet items that gets reimbursed without gotchas?

I know, google. But to be honest I’ve tried to figure this one out before and I cannot seem to find a concise list of qualify things that get me paid back. Does such a list exist?

Greg
Greg

All Hilton resort properties are eligible for the $250 credit. A list of these eligible properties can be found at http://www.hilton.com/resorts. Any charge that gets billed directly by the property to your card qualifies for the credit, including your room rate, drinks/meals billed to the room, spa services, etc. Hope this helps.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Only US properties are eligible.

CJ
CJ

This is false.

Mimi
Mimi

Not true. I have used it in Japan and in Bali.

Wow chunner
Wow chunner

No

Deb
Deb

I used the $250 credit at the Rome Waldorf Astoria, so not just US..

Greg
Greg

Yes, not true. I used it in Mexico at the Hilton Los Cabos.

AB
AB

I used it in Zanzibar.

Any properties listed as resorts count.

Phill
Phill

Def. not true…Used my resort credit in Fiji.

FreeIsGood
FreeIsGood

The clawback of the resort fee for a partial year downgrade is definitely a new worry. They should really have that info and have the CS agent tell you an up-front bottom line number for a $$ hit when one calls to downgrade. If one downgrades late in the cardmember year, then the clawback of the resort credit could be more than the pro-rated annual fee refund.

But seems double dipping might be getting RAT scrutiny. The question is whether they actually enforce the rule.

We still don’t know if the 2019 airline fee clawbacks were everyone who got refunds or just obvious and chronic abusers.

Chicagoan33
Chicagoan33

For these new rules would early Dec. be the best time to open a card? You get credits for the remainder of the year, all of next year, and forget about early Jan.

Ctown Bin
Ctown Bin

How would AMEX- or anyone, for that matter – be able to distinguish between “abusers” and “regular users” with regards to the airline fee credit? People cancel flights for legitimate reasons all the time.

FreeIsGood
FreeIsGood

Say someone had 3-4 fees refunded and those added to ~$250 and were the only ones on a given year. Then the next year was the same followed by a pro-rated fee downgrade?

Would be obvious on a manual review.

The data points I’ve seen reported are few and now specific enough. Some people are saying no clawbacks yet on single refunds, perhaps they look at total profitability of a customer. Perhaps they aren’t going after the average amex customer (that may have an occasional refund or fee credit), but obvious gamers.

Until we see more about how fee refunds are handled THIS year, we won’t know if they have upgraded their software to ID before the end of the year. I’m guessing an end of the year clawbacks involves some kind of manual review.

YoniPDX

Did someone figure out how to return or cancel an eligible purchase at a Hilton resort after the fact. Not like you can return, a massage, spa treatment, a meal or a game of golf (or a GC purchased at the Spa) days, weeks or months later.

The Value Traveler

yeah me was wondering the same thing– whats the angle of return on a resort credit?

Matthew
Matthew

Some resorts charge refundable deposits.

Beach chaser
Beach chaser

A number of eligible resorts charge a refundable deposit typically 1 or more nights plus tax/fees when you book them, once the charge posts the resort credit triggers, if you cancel the reservation the deposit refunds and you still have the $250 from the resort credit.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

O
—–>

playwithcards
playwithcards

Will they be able to claw back the fn if downgrade the card after getting it? It seems pretty hard, especially if the fn has been used. Will they send a bill quote the price for fn?

dan
dan

playwithcards shh, don’t feed addl ideas

YoniPDX

Amex has a special RAT team headed by this guy named Freddy that claws back that free night –
Then they send you a 1099-misc the following January at the rate listed on the back of the door of the hotel room.

playwithcards
playwithcards

have you seen DP for claw back fn?

dan
dan

the marriott’s $300 cr may still be easier to get its full value than the hilton’s $250

CericRushmore
CericRushmore

What’s the point of getting GCs though if Amex takes back the credit when you downgrade or cancel.

Sevillada
Sevillada

It’s funny, aren’t they implying,by clarifying the terms now, that before they had no right to claw back?
They have been doing clawbacks for years and only now they put it in writing

Ctown Bin
Ctown Bin

What clawbacks have ever been done before simply because the user cancelled/downgraded the card at some point afterwards? Seems like this is new.

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