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When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

jdbkiang
Established Contributor

When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

AF for the Hilton Ascend just hit. Already have the Aspire, so don’t have much use for the card anymore as I have the bonus categories covered with other cards (Amex Gold/Citi Premier).

Any suggestions? If I cancel/downgrade when should I do that? The AF just hit today, so is it within 30 days of today or 30 days of the one year anniversary?

And if I downgrade, does it matter that I already have the no-fee Hilton card? Maybe I should cancel and go for the Hilton business and try to nab that bonus?


[2/2019]
Message 1 of 14
13 REPLIES 13
Blackswizz750
Established Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

I would lay off the Amex bonuses for a while if you cancel or downgrade the card. They are shutting that down by denying SUBs forever. However, if you don't want to pay, they should give you a refund within 30 days.
Message 2 of 14
dyn085
Regular Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

It will look to them just like your post reads to us, as though you're simply bonus chasing. I would proceed with caution.

Message 3 of 14
DangerNoodle
New Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

The contract says that they consider gaming to be cancelling or downgrading within 12 months of getting the card. I'd consider it safe to cancel during month 13 and get a pro-rated refund, but to be honest, I'd pay the AF for the second year and cancel it during month 25 just to be safe. Just because you're not technically gaming as far at the contract is concerned doesn't mean that Amex doesn't have the right to terminate its relationship with you.

Message 4 of 14
jdbkiang
Established Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?


@dyn085 wrote:

It will look to them just like your post reads to us, as though you're simply bonus chasing. I would proceed with caution.


Well, maybe without context, I understand that. But I've never closed or downgraded any cards with them and I've put a more than acceptable amount of spend on my Amex cards. The reality is that the Aspire is just a much better card than the Ascend as far as benefits go, and the combo of the Aspire and the no-fee HH card has really eliminated the need to pay a $95 fee. To me, they really shot themselves in the food, because the only real benefit of the Ascend is the $15K spend weekend cert. OTOH, the Hilton Biz at least provides other bonus earning categories, and still has the $15K weekend cert, but the Ascend categories are the exact same as the no-fee Hilton. I'd actually be able to use the Biz in a different way from the Ascend when I need to rack up Hilton points. 



[2/2019]
Message 5 of 14
AverageJoesCredit
Mega Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

If you already have the other Amex hotel card with a fee and you cancel the lower AF card in month 13, i dont think you will have issues. Just be careful on the next card you cancel because if its one with a SUB and you cancel after a year again, then i see them seeing a pattern.
Message 6 of 14
kdm31091
Super Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

I would tread lightly with downgrading and then going for a different card bonus. Even though you mention the Hilton business, I don't think personal vs business really matters in terms of the algorithim. You don't want to appear to be chasing after bonuses and then downgrading/cancelling the card. You have no use for the card, and you will probably not have use for the Hilton business either, resulting in the same problem after the bonus is grabbed. A pattern will develop that Amex won't like.

 

Unfortunately, although it is boring advice, you really should only apply for cards you actually have a need for beyond sign up bonuses, so that you can keep them and not have to downgrade and then sign up for something else. Algorithims are becoming more and more sophisticated against this behavior.

Message 7 of 14
mr_suave
Established Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

Yea I agree. I’ll at least try to keep a card for 2 years just to be safe with AMEX. However, the Ascend fee isn’t waived the first year anyways so I don’t think it would pose too many problems since you already paid it already.

The value from
the Ascend comes from the free night after 15k spend. If you can’t reach that, it may be best to close it since you already have diamond with the aspire.

I was thinking about closing my Marriott Bonvoy when the fee hits but I’m going to keep it for the 2nd year now. Besides the free night more than pays for itself.
Amex Green NPSL, Amex Hilton Surpass 5k, Amex Marriott Bonvoy 1k, AMEX BBP 1k, AMEX Biz Cash 6k, BOA Cash Rewards 5k, BOA Better Balance Rewards 2k, Care Credit 15k, Chase Amazon Visa 19.825k, Discover 11.8k, Discover 12.5k, Nordstrom Store 4.5k , Fidelity Visa 10k, Cap 1 QS 15k, Cap 1 Savor 10.5k, Citi Rewards+ 4.4k, Citi DC 8k, Citi Advantage Platinum 5.5k, US Cash+ 3.5k, Altitude Reserve 12.5k, Paypal Mastercard 4k, Apple Card 6.5k, Wells Fargo Cash Wise 5k, BOA Premium Rewards 8k, Citi AA Biz 1.5k, Flexperks Biz 3k
Message 8 of 14
SkyCommander
Frequent Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?

I'd pay the AF and not apply for any other Amex card just to not be on Amex's radar. Think in the long term you can still get a bonus or risk not being able to because of pattern of open/close or downgrades. That's what I'm doing with my SPG card I'm renewing it just to stay off the radar. Then next year when your AF appears you can move CL and cancel.

Chase Hyatt | Chase Freedom | Chase Freedom Unlimited | Amex ED | Amex Hilton | Amex Bonvoy | BoA Amtrak
Message 9 of 14
jdbkiang
Established Contributor

Re: When is it safe to cancel after year 1?


@kdm31091 wrote:

I would tread lightly with downgrading and then going for a different card bonus. Even though you mention the Hilton business, I don't think personal vs business really matters in terms of the algorithim. You don't want to appear to be chasing after bonuses and then downgrading/cancelling the card. You have no use for the card, and you will probably not have use for the Hilton business either, resulting in the same problem after the bonus is grabbed. A pattern will develop that Amex won't like.

 

Unfortunately, although it is boring advice, you really should only apply for cards you actually have a need for beyond sign up bonuses, so that you can keep them and not have to downgrade and then sign up for something else. Algorithims are becoming more and more sophisticated against this behavior.


Well the categories for the no-fee Hilton and the Ascend are the same, while the Hilton Biz actually has different categories from the non-AF Hilton. And as I've already paid the first year's AF, I figured they would be okay with it. The other issue is that the similarly priced Bonvoy card actually offers a free night to help you offset the AF, while this Ascend really doesn't do much in that aspect unless you spend $15000. As I've said above, the combination of the Aspire and the no-AF card makes the Ascend rather obsolete unless you focus on spending $15000 on it every year. 



[2/2019]
Message 10 of 14
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