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Valued Contributor
crunching_numbers
Posts: 1,093
Registered: ‎02-15-2012
0

AMEX Hilton Hhonors Surpass change

AMEX has changed the rewards program for Surpass card holders. Effective on November 10, 2013, Surpass card holders will have Hilton Hhonors Gold status as long as they are card holders. Previously, they only extended this benefit for the first year of cardmembership. 

 

They are trying to keep the card competitive with the Citibank version, I assume.

 

I figured this might be helpful to someone trying to decide whether they wanted the AMEX or Citibank card.


Starting Score: 693 TU FICO, 679 EQ FICO
Current Score: 748 TU(12/12), 783 TU98 , 813 TU08 FICO, 744 EQ FICO , 735 EX(9/12), 794 EX08 FICO, 809 EX08 bankcard FICO
Goal Score: 750+, but shooting for the 800's
Hyatt Visa Sig ($23K), Amex BCP (20.7K), BofA Travel Rewards ($17.5), B&N World MC ($17.3K), Amex RP Gold (NPSL w/ S&T), Cash+ Sig (15K), FNBO Visa (13.1K), Hilton Surpass (10K), Freedom Visa Sig ($8.6K), Disc It ($8K), Citi Dia Pref MC ($3.7K),Sam's D ($8.5K), Wally D ($7.5K), JCP($5.3K)
Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0

Re: AMEX Hilton Hhonors Surpass change

The forex fee on the Amex Surpass is still a major drawback. The fact that you can't even use it at international Hilton properties without paying an extra 2.7% can a deal-breaker for many.

 

My other concern is the explosion of gold members from the Surpass, Citi Reserve, Amex Plat, fast-track offers, etc. It makes me wonder if they will eventually downgrade the benefits of that tier.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Super Contributor
enharu
Posts: 7,008
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
0

Re: AMEX Hilton Hhonors Surpass change


CreditScholar wrote:

The forex fee on the Amex Surpass is still a major drawback. The fact that you can't even use it at international Hilton properties without paying an extra 2.7% can a deal-breaker for many.

 

My other concern is the explosion of gold members from the Surpass, Citi Reserve, Amex Plat, fast-track offers, etc. It makes me wonder if they will eventually downgrade the benefits of that tier.


+1. The forex fee on the SPG is the main reason I have yet to apply for that card as well. Kinda a bummer, because the FTF essentially wipes out all, if not most, of the rewards I get in return.

 

I do think Hilton will downgrade gold tier benefits pretty soon. Even without a Hilton credit card, there are many ways to get gold status. Just a week or two ago there was a promotion going on where one could get Hilton gold status for $10, and earlier this year anyone could get Hilton Gold status by typing in an Australian Visa infinite credit card number, which can be easily obtained via generators.

JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
New Member
jatienza15
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-11-2012
0

Re: AMEX Hilton Hhonors Surpass change

Yes,just got a letter  from them.Nice perks,maintain gold status with no spending requirement.I have both amex surpass and citi hilton reserve card which offers gold status for the life of the card but one good feature of the citi is the no foreign transaction fee while the surpass is 12x  per dollar at Hilton properties.

Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0

Re: AMEX Hilton Hhonors Surpass change

[ Edited ]

enharu wrote:

CreditScholar wrote:

The forex fee on the Amex Surpass is still a major drawback. The fact that you can't even use it at international Hilton properties without paying an extra 2.7% can a deal-breaker for many.

 

My other concern is the explosion of gold members from the Surpass, Citi Reserve, Amex Plat, fast-track offers, etc. It makes me wonder if they will eventually downgrade the benefits of that tier.


+1. The forex fee on the SPG is the main reason I have yet to apply for that card as well. Kinda a bummer, because the FTF essentially wipes out all, if not most, of the rewards I get in return.

 

I do think Hilton will downgrade gold tier benefits pretty soon. Even without a Hilton credit card, there are many ways to get gold status. Just a week or two ago there was a promotion going on where one could get Hilton gold status for $10, and earlier this year anyone could get Hilton Gold status by typing in an Australian Visa infinite credit card number, which can be easily obtained via generators.


It seems like there is a trend towards top-tier elites while watering down benefits for the rest. This isn't a surprise since a relatively small propotion of guests account for a very large share of their profits. There were some figures released by SPG several years ago which stated that about 5% of their guests account for ~34% of their revenue. When viewed through this lens, it makes sense for a business to protect their best customers. The budget-conscious family that travels once per year is frankly quite expendable in comparison, as is the infrequent traveller with enough stays to make silver/gold on their own (albeit less-so).

 

This is one reason why I actually like Ritz/Marriott gold. You need 50 nights per year, and you can't get it by having a low AF CC. Yes the requirements can be steep (which is why it isn't the favoured program among bloggers), but it also serves to keep many of the plebs out. While the numbers increased this year due to the UA/Marriott partnership, those who have UA Gold (and therefore fly 50k+ miles per year) probably already have their own hotel preferences and loyalty programs chosen. That's better in terms of limiting numbers than a CC that anyone can pick up for $75/year.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Valued Contributor
red259
Posts: 2,096
Registered: ‎06-05-2013
0

Re: AMEX Hilton Hhonors Surpass change

Not sure they will decrease the gold benefits. Given the masisve devaluations Hilton went through being able to easily maintain mid tier status with them is one of the main draws. If they got rid of that then I don't see any real reason for people to be loyal to them at all. The bigger problem will be that soo many people will have gold status that people will get denied upgrades due to lack of availability. 


Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 730 6/27/14
Goal Score: 800 In garden until 1/2015
Super Contributor
enharu
Posts: 7,008
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
0

Re: AMEX Hilton Hhonors Surpass change

With the way they are handling out gold status, I doubt they really care if "legitimate" gold status customers take their business elsewhere. They seem to be using the gold status as a marketing perk more than a real privilege status.

On the other hand, they probably will not do anything to make the higher tiers worse.
JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0

Re: AMEX Hilton Hhonors Surpass change


red259 wrote:

Not sure they will decrease the gold benefits. Given the masisve devaluations Hilton went through being able to easily maintain mid tier status with them is one of the main draws. If they got rid of that then I don't see any real reason for people to be loyal to them at all. The bigger problem will be that soo many people will have gold status that people will get denied upgrades due to lack of availability. 


The devaluation was quite large, but where they're currently at is in line with the other major chains IMO. The size of the devaluation seemed 'unfair' mainly because of how generous it was to start off with. Nights at pre-deval Cat7 hotels were a downright steal at 37.5k points via AXONs.

 

I still think there's quite a bit of value in the program, depending on your travel patterns. If you're primarily looking for one night domestic redemptions, then you're going to be sadly disappointed. However if you can use international C&P (for example), there is still some great values there. Also their promos work very well for some. I have an upcoming 4 night stay, which means quadruple points.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL

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