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Last year it was announced that Hilton is entering into an exclusive credit card agreement with American Express (while previously they also had credit cards issued by Citi), and then in November it was announced that Hilton is rebranding their American Express cards.
Next week we’ll see Hilton introduce a suite of new cards. Personally the card I’m most excited about is the Hilton Aspire Card, which will have a $450 annual fee and will offer Honors Diamond status for as long as you have the card, a $250 annual airline incidental fee credit, a $250 Hilton annual resort credit, and an annual free weekend night certificate. In many ways this card seems too good to be true, and I can’t wait to apply for it.
Another change that will be happening is that the Hilton Honors™ Surpass Card from American Express will be converted into the Hilton Ascend Card. This will happen around January 18, and the changes being made to the card are as follows:
- The card’s annual fee will be increasing from $75 to $95, including for existing cardmembers with an annual fee due on/after February 2, 2018
- The card will offer no foreign transaction fees, while the previous version of the card had fees for these transactions
- The card will offer an annual free weekend night certificate when you spend $15,000 on purchases on the card in a calendar year (previously there was no option to earn an annual free weekend night certificate)
- The card will offer 10 free Priority Pass lounge passes each year
One big question has been whether the Hilton Ascend Card would be considered a new product or not. This matters because American Express has a “once in a lifetime” policy when it comes to receiving the welcome bonus on most of their cards.
So we’ve been curious if those who have the Hilton Surpass Card (or have had it in the past) will be eligible for the sign-up bonus on the Ascend Card. I wrote about this topic last week, and speculated that it wouldn’t qualify as a new product.
It looks like we now have a more definitive answer when it comes to this. Reader Eric shared a chat he had with Amex online, where the representative said the following:
As you currently have or have had the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the past, you will not receive the welcome bonus offer for the refreshed Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, as you will only receive a welcome bonus once per Card product in your Card Membership.
This sounds like their typical official wording for offers, so I’d assume this is accurate information. It seems like there’s not much benefit in canceling the Surpass Card prior to the Ascend Card being introduced, since it won’t be considered a new product either way. Oh well.