Amex Hilton Ascend -> Amex Hilton Surpass
Starting on July 18, the Amex Hilton Ascend card is going to be renamed to the Amex Hilton Surpass credit card. I’m guessing that Amex/Hilton realized having multiple cards start with the same letter can get confusing (Ascend, Aspire).
Amex Hilton Upgrade Offers
American Express recently sent out upgrade links to Hilton card members to upgrade their cards to the next tier. Should you take the upgrade offer?
Request an upgrade to the next tier using the respective links below:
Upgrade from the Hilton Honors to Ascend/Surpass: https://online.americanexpress.com/dapply/partner/preacq/hil/hhac-upg-51/cmupgrade/carddetails#/cshop
Upgrade from the Ascend/Surpass to Aspire: https://online.americanexpress.com/dapply/partner/preacq/hil/hhas-upg-51/cmupgrade/carddetails#/cshop
The upgrade offers are scheduled to end on July 16, 2019, however, it’s not unusual for offers to be extended / pulled.
When you upgrade the card, you’ll also be charged the respective higher annual fee in the next billing statement.
Ascend/Surpass = $95*
Aspire = $450
* you generally get a pro-rated refund of the annual fee paid on the current card (i.e., $95 / months remaining)
Value of Upgrade Offers
Each upgrade offer has a minimum spend requirement to earn the bonus.
Hilton Honors (no annual fee) => Ascend/Surpass
150k Hilton Honors points for $3,000 min spend within 3 months
Ascend/Surpass => Aspire
150k Hilton Honors points for $4,000 min spend within 3 months
The value of the Hilton Honors points varies on where you plan to redeem them. A conservative value would be 0.6 cents per point (CPP), and an aggressive value would be 0.8 CPP.
Conservative: 150k * 0.6 CPP = $900 in value
Aggressive: 150k * 0.8 CPP = $1,200 in value
1) Hilton => Ascend
Conservative = $900 / $3,000 = 30% return on spend (ROS)
Aggressive = $1,200 / $3,000 = 40% ROS
1) Hilton => Ascend
Conservative = $900 / $4,000 = 22.5% ROS
Aggressive = $1,200 / $4,000 = 30% ROS
Hilton Upgrade Strategy
American Express has a once in a lifetime bonus rule, so the order in which you apply for cards and upgrade them matters.
HAVE: Hilton Honors (no annual fee)
NEVER HAD: Ascend
Strategy: Apply Ascend THEN upgrade Hilton
NEVER HAD: Aspire
Strategy: Apply Aspire THEN upgrade Ascend
Takeaway: Don’t burn a welcome offer for no reason.
Watch the video below to learn more about the optimal strategy for upgrading/downgrading cards.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
UGC disclosure: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.