Posted by Chuck on October 10, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on October 10th, 2018 | by Chuck


[Targeted] Get 150,000 Points for Upgrading To Hilton Aspire

The Offer

Check your email (subject “Upgrade & Earn 150,000 Bonus Points”) for the following offer. Others are seeing it in the Amex Offers section in their login.

  • Upgrade to the Hilton Aspire card and get a bonus 150,000 points when you spend $4,000 within 3 months.

Some people are getting this on their Hilton Ascend or on their no-fee Hilton cards.


The Fine Print

  • You can earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 (the “Threshold Amount”) on eligible purchases on your Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership starting from the date your account is approved.
  • Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount of this offer include those made by both the Basic and Additional Card Members on the Card Account.
  • Eligible purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits.
  • Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount of this offer do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchase of travelers checks, purchase or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or other cash equivalents.
  • Purchases may fall outside of the 3 month period in some cases, such as a delay in merchants submitting transactions to us or if the purchase date differs from the date you made the transaction. (For example, if you buy goods online, the purchase date may be the date the goods are shipped).
  • Hilton Honors Bonus Points will be credited to your Hilton Honors account 6–8 weeks after the Threshold Amount has been reached.
  • If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more cards to obtain a welcome offer(s) that we did not intend for you; if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit Bonus Points to your account. We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may have with us.
  • Your Card account must not be canceled or past due at the time of fulfillment of any offers. A
  • dditional Card Members are not eligible to receive this offer.
  • Bonus Points do not count toward elite tier qualification; for more information, visit

Our Verdict

Sweet offer. The bonus and spend threshold are the same as when you signup directly. Here’s a comparison of the 4 Amex Hilton cards. 

Thanks to reader Russ for sharing this offer and a few friends as well

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I actually have this offer on my no annual fee hilton card as well. I dont really see a benefit to doing it over just signing up for the aspire (havent had aspire yet), in fact i think it would be worse if i did the upgrade, cause then i would be ineligible for the aspire bonus, right? if i sign up for the aspire directly, there’s a chance i could get the aspire upgrade offer again in about a year, and therefore get 2 aspire bonuses

And why wouldn’t you be in the same situation if you upgraded?

I would say upgrading is better as it won’t add a new account to your profile.

this is based off memory, but there used to be a similar loophole with upgrading to the old hilton annual fee card (what is now the ascend). if you applied for the card and got the bonus, you were still eligible for the upgrade offers. but if you did an upgrade offer first, it would make you ineligible to ever get the signup bonus. so the best way to do it was to get the signup bonus first, downgrade to no annual fee, and then hope for an upgrade offer so that you could get the bonus again. if i open a new aspire account and keep the no annual fee card, i think i would have a better chance of getting an upgrade offer on that no annual fee card sometime next year (by the time when it would be time for me to close the aspire) versus if i upgraded the no annual fee card now, there would be no chance of having an upgrade offer next year. i say this cause the upgrade offers seem to be tied to having the no annual fee card for a certain duration (people could only do the old upgrade downgrade trick like once per year if i remember)

also with the new amex referral bonus rules, i would be giving up a referral bonus as well

You would be giving up the referral bonus, but in trade you don’t add to your 5/24 count (if you still have Chase cards you want). I’ve read data points suggesting they closed the loophole on applying for one card and simultaneously upgrading another (you only get 1 bonus). So, it boils down to referral bonus vs. 5/24 slot.

You could apply for the Aspire (make sure to use a self referral) and then take the upgrade soon after. You’d get the bonus on the new card and on the upgrade = 300k. I’m planning on doing this (just did so with the SPG lux)

wow so the upgrade did not go away when you were approved for the new card? and are we positive self-referrals are working?

Yes and yes. Reddit threads have many DPs and I can confirm from mine

so you got 2 same cards at same time (one via referral to you and opening a new account which will show up as 5/24 inquiry application on your credit report, and then did the upgrade offer for same card which since an upgrade will not show as new inquiry/card on your credit report? And AMEX approved both cards for same time/ASPIRE, meaning you have 2 same Aspire cards at same time?

PLease clarify, as it sounds insane!!!!!

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So happy I received offer. But questions:
– I just upgraded from Ascend 5 months ago. The terms said Amex may claw back the points if I cancel or downgrade it. Is it safe to upgrade?
– How long does this kind of offer stay alive? Can’t find it in the terms. I want to wait for a month or so since I have other expense requirements to meet.

If you call/chat Amex and give them the POID of the upgrade offer, they can tell you when it expires.

Thanks! Didn’t know the trick.
Just chatted with Amex and was told the offer will expire in a year. That seems too good to be true.

Good catch. The language on this offer says that if you downgrade within 12 months, they can claw back the bonus and/or close other AMEX accounts. This means that you’d have to pay the annual fee again after your cardmember year turns over.

This should really be in bold in the original post. I have no intention of ever keeping the card past the first year, and I think paying that fee twice would nuke most of the value out of it.

You can wait at least 13 months to cancel an Amex card with paying the second year AF on apps from scratch. But this is a post about an upgrade, not app from scratch, and upgrade AFs are billed totally differently.

Amex refunds the af for like 30 days.

knowing amex, they may consider that in 12 months lol

Aditya Shrivastava
Aditya Shrivastava

You are scaring me!

Amex doesn’t tend to bill 2nd year AF until 13 months or sometimes even 14 months after initial approval (on apps from scratch), so if all you want to do is avoid the second year AF, there’s no need at all to cancel within 12 months.

(Upgrade AF timing is confusing, because it’s related to what month you opened your original card that you upgraded, which you may have lost track of if your original card was a no-AF card.)

I meant I just upgrade TO ascend 5 months ago. Can’t edit the original post…

Aditya Shrivastava
Aditya Shrivastava

I’m on the same boat! What are you doing?

Another benefit of this offer is that I believe the annual fee will be prorated based for the remainder of your card member year.

I agree that this is great, but there is language about their being able to take back the bonus if you downgrade within 12 months. I have no idea whether they ever do that in practice.

Can I apply for a new Aspire card and upgrade an existing Ascend card at the same day and get 2*150,000 points? I think the upgrade offer will disappear after I open the Aspire card, but I can keep the upgrade link for a while. If the trick works, it should apply to the luxury SPG card as well.

Trick confirmed works with SPG lux. You don’t have to apply same-day but I recommend within a week to avoid losing the upgrade offer. Make sure to self refer for the new card for extra points

I usually agree with you Verdict, but not sure why this is a sweet offer. It looks like the same bonus and required spend as if doing a new application. But it will likely cut off the period that one has to earn a weekend night with 15K in spending on the Ascend, and for those of us who paid an annual fee for the Ascend 🙁 it may just layer the new Aspire annual fee on top for a few overlapping months. Personally, better to deal with an upgrade or replacement later and to maximize the time I have to use certificates. I guess if someone is upgrading from the normal no fee Hilton card, there is no harm. Could also make sense if you need the extra Aspire benefits before year-end, or want to hit the minimum spend with holiday shopping.

Worked for me to upgrade! Interestingly displayed on my no fee Hilton offers list but when I went to upgrade it told me to upgrade my ascend

I would only do this if ive had those hilton cards before. Otherwise i will never be able to get the bonus on the aspire or ascend again.

i’ve had my No-AF Hilton card for years and years. Upgraded & Downgraded Surpass 3 or 4 times. Got the bonus each time. I also signed up for this upgrade, and the $250 Airline reimbursal makes it a no-brainer (even if i don’t use the HIlton-specific reimbursals).

I will downgrade next year sometime, and bide my time, waiting for another upgrade offer to come along.

Do you also immediately get a free weekend night? If not, the new cardmember bonus is better.

no, the free night comes at teh anniversary (i assume after you’ve paid the AF?)

Not my experience …

Yes, after 8 weeks.

… yes, my experience, too.

How do you self refer from the hilton ascend to the hilton aspire?

If I have the Hilton Honors can I refer myself for the HH Business card?

Yes you can. On top of the referral page it asks if you want to see other referred cards click that, on the top right of this page it asks if you’re looking for business cards.

Thank you

I got an offer on the no AF card via email to upgrade to Ascend, 150k after $3k in 3 months.

Dang. No go for my Ascend.

Dewayne Simmons

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I got the email some months back and ignored it but the upgrade link is also available on the right side of my ascend homepage with the same details.

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