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Upgrade from Amex Hilton Ascend to Aspire?

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I signed into my AMEX account online and there sat a pretty much gurannteed offer to upgrade my Hilton Honors Ascend to Hilton Honors Aspire.  I'm pretty sure this will not be a hard pull. Right?

 

The benefits I would get are awesome but Aspire has a $450 annual fee compared to a $95 for Ascend.  The annual fee is a beeatch!! LOL. Here is a comparison:  https://thepointsguy.com/guide/hilton-ascend-vs-hilton-aspire/

 

A lot of folks, from what I read, are making up the annual fee buying Airline gift cards.  One of the benefits is a $250 annual credit for incidentals with a pre-chosen airline.  You can buy airline gift certificate and it will trigger the statement credit.  Then use the gift ticket to travel.  There are other perks such as annual free night at Waldorf Astoria, $250 resort credit, and diamond status at Hilton properties.  What do you all think?

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10 minutes ago, hegemony said:

is there a SUB for the upgrade? if not, what is the new app SUB?

Ok I am kinda new here.  What is a SUB?

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10 minutes ago, hegemony said:

in general I rate 90% of hilton properties in the C+ to B- range (including Waldorfs)

So you are saying the upgrade is not worth it because Hilton properties are not impressive?

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7 minutes ago, oncredit said:

So you are saying the upgrade is not worth it because Hilton properties are not impressive?

yes and yes. I have been gold or platinum for over 20 years and I have not received an upgrade in o er 10 years. If you read at FlyerTalk forums you'll see others with similar experiences.

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11 minutes ago, hegemony said:

yes and yes. I have been gold or platinum for over 20 years and I have not received an upgrade in o er 10 years. If you read at FlyerTalk forums you'll see others with similar experiences.

Ok that is something to think about.  Thanks for the advice.

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16 minutes ago, hegemony said:

"sign up bonus"

 

promotion points given when you get approved for a new card.

Ok I wasn't 100% if I would get a SUB since I am being upgraded and not a new holder.  But I think it said 150,000 points.  I just signed in again to see and be sure of the offer and now it's gone!!! Today was the first time I saw the offer and now it's gone? I wonder will it re-appear or can I call and accept the offer if wanted it?

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Ok I figured out how to see the offer gain.  It says, "Upgrade and earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership".

 

Well that's a deal breaker for me.  I won't be spending $4000. Unless I could somehow pay my car loans with the card.

 

 

Edited by oncredit

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I've been quite pleased with Hilton redemptions in small/mid-sized cities.  Hampton Inns that have been recently built can be easily the nicest property in town when you aren't in one of the largest ~50 MSAs.

 

Overall I am more of a Marriott whore enthusiast, but mainly because they have so many more properties than anyone else...  I can almost always find a location convenient to my needs (even when I'm attending a conference that's at another chain's property, there's generally some flavor of Marriott/SPG nearby).

 

If you want the bonus and can't spend the $4,000 in three months on normal purchases, consider buying some Costco Cash cards or some gift cards at your local grocery store for places you'll shop anyway (the grocery store itself, gas stations, Home Depot, chain restaurants if you have the stomach for it, etc.) and use those for future household needs.

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9 hours ago, cv91915 said:

I've been quite pleased with Hilton redemptions in small/mid-sized cities.  Hampton Inns that have been recently built can be easily the nicest property in town when you aren't in one of the largest ~50 MSAs.

 

Overall I am more of a Marriott whore enthusiast, but mainly because they have so many more properties than anyone else...  I can almost always find a location convenient to my needs (even when I'm attending a conference that's at another chain's property, there's generally some flavor of Marriott/SPG nearby).

 

If you want the bonus and can't spend the $4,000 in three months on normal purchases, consider buying some Costco Cash cards or some gift cards at your local grocery store for places you'll shop anyway (the grocery store itself, gas stations, Home Depot, chain restaurants if you have the stomach for it, etc.) and use those for future household needs.

 

Buying some Cash cards sounds like a good idea.  BTW you got me laughing out loud with whore enthusiast.

 

 

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2 hours ago, oncredit said:

 

Buying some Cash cards sounds like a good idea.  BTW you got me laughing out loud with whore enthusiast.

 

 

Now I feel dirty.  😛 

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Digging up an old thread but I didn't see any other general thread about this card. Having had subpar experience with hotel cards in the past (except maybe the SPG) I got the Aspire card based on a recommendation from a friend who said Diamond status makes everything different. I'm not loyal to any hotel brand, but I'm not opposed to Hilton either. Anyway, my friend was correct. After I got the card and the Diamond status that goes along with it, my experience with Hilton has been elevated to new heights. Holy cow! What a difference! I didn't get any bonus points based on previous sign-up churning. However, all other benefits make up for the annual fee. At least for me. However, I guess I'm a good candidate to thoroughly use this card. There are multiple nice Hilton resorts and hotels in my region, I travel at least once a year to where there is a Hilton property (Executive Lounge saves on breakfast, snacks & beverage expenses), and I've made use of the airline credits. My best experience was in Austin, where because of my Diamond status, they let me check in at 6am. :)  And in Seattle, they waived $110 worth of valet parking fees. :)

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19 hours ago, IndyPoolPlayer said:

:offtopic:  I can remember when "Aspire" was a PoS scumprime credit card issuer with huge fees, usury interest, and left nasty stains on ones CR.

THAT one still is a POS...looks like The Bank of Missouri is presently overseeing it.  Terms were not easy to locate on the website since it appears to be something where you have to 'respond' to an offer...

 

 

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On 1/8/2020 at 2:30 PM, pronto said:

Digging up an old thread but I didn't see any other general thread about this card. Having had subpar experience with hotel cards in the past (except maybe the SPG) I got the Aspire card based on a recommendation from a friend who said Diamond status makes everything different. I'm not loyal to any hotel brand, but I'm not opposed to Hilton either. Anyway, my friend was correct. After I got the card and the Diamond status that goes along with it, my experience with Hilton has been elevated to new heights. Holy cow! What a difference! I didn't get any bonus points based on previous sign-up churning. However, all other benefits make up for the annual fee. At least for me. However, I guess I'm a good candidate to thoroughly use this card. There are multiple nice Hilton resorts and hotels in my region, I travel at least once a year to where there is a Hilton property (Executive Lounge saves on breakfast, snacks & beverage expenses), and I've made use of the airline credits. My best experience was in Austin, where because of my Diamond status, they let me check in at 6am. :)  And in Seattle, they waived $110 worth of valet parking fees. :)

@pronto is correct.

 

I guess it all depends on how much you'll use it.

 

I used to travel with 267ish nights per year in hotels and I was top status with many different brands: Hilton and Hyatt among them . . . and, YES, that top status DOES make your stays a different, much more pleasant experience.

 

So, if the SUB and the $450 annual fee are really worth it TO YOU then go for it. But, if the $4K spend is problematic then definitely not the right offer for you at this time.

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On 1/14/2020 at 4:23 AM, CreditGuy100 said:

@pronto is correct.

 

I guess it all depends on how much you'll use it.

 

I used to travel with 267ish nights per year in hotels and I was top status with many different brands: Hilton and Hyatt among them . . . and, YES, that top status DOES make your stays a different, much more pleasant experience.

 

So, if the SUB and the $450 annual fee are really worth it TO YOU then go for it. But, if the $4K spend is problematic then definitely not the right offer for you at this time.

 

All I know is that I have about a $3000 annual Hilton spend on my "Surpass" card and I can't see my way to upgrading to "Aspire".  It's a close call though, and once my wife retires and I look to more reliably visit one of their "resorts", benefiting from the $250 Aspire resort credit, we'll likely upgrade.

 

Surpass is a very much a sweet spot right now.  On our last 2 night Doubletree stay (roughly $200/night tax incl for a modest 1 br suite upgrade), we were awarded 35,000 Hhonors points, between Hilton 3x points and card bonuses.  At a reasonable conversion of $.005/pt, that's a $175 rebate on a $420 bill (incl incidentals), roughly 40%.

 

In the case of "pronto", it's his call to make.  But, seeking out a "rule of thumb", I'd suggest that it takes a $5000 annual Hilton spend to really get sufficient benefit from the Aspire to warrant the increased annual fee over Surpass.  (On the other hand, I assign a near "0" value to the incidental airline fee credit.  With sufficient status, most such fees are waived.  For someone who realizes the full $250 benefit, Aspire could be a no-brainer.)

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