Amex Re-branding the Ascend Card & Slightly Devaluing The Aspire Card
American Express sent out an email with an update on a few of their Hilton cards. They will be re branding the Ascend card and hopefully changing the card art so it doesn’t look so much like the Aspire card. They will also make a slight change to the resort credit perk of the Aspire card which is a little bit of a devaluation but nothing major.
Ascend Reverting Back to the Surpass
If I am being honest I still call the Ascend card the Surpass card from time to time. It is one of my favorite cards on the market because of the $15K free night. It is probably the second best hotel card for everyday spend, just behind the World of Hyatt card.
I think this is a costly move for Amex for something they launched not too long ago. Reprinting a ton of cards and mailing them out will not be cheap. But I did find the similar names of the Ascend and Aspire card annoying. The fact that they look so similar is annoying too. Hopefully they go back to the card design of the old Surpass so you don’t have to go all Sherlock Holmes on your wallet trying to figure out which card is which.
Change to Aspire Resort Credit Perk
I have said the Aspire is hands down the best perks card out there. With the change in the Priority Pass membership it has been knocked down a little bit but I still put it in the top spot. One of the better perks of the card is the $250 resort credit you get each year. American Express is making a slight change to that perk and it is a little bit of a devaluation:
On August 1, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Members can continue to use their $250 Resort Statement Credit benefit for purchases made with participating resort properties for all rates, except when booking an Advanced Purchase rate.
All other Hilton rates remain eligible for the $250 Resort Credit benefit for purchases made with participating resort properties.
That is a little bit annoying since the advanced purchase rates are almost always the lowest. They also usually bill at least a portion of the room right away. This allowed people to book rooms past their credit’s expiration date since they were billed at the time of booking. That would be my guess why Amex made the change. If you have an AAA card then that rate is usually about the same as the advanced purchase rate.
Neither of these changes is anything major. I think the Surpass re-branding is kind of a positive just for my sanity. Overall it won’t make any difference to us though. I am guessing the Ascend card is not doing as well as it had when it was the Surpass.
The Aspire change is overall a negative change. It isn’t anything major but it does stop people from gaming the perk a little bit. They are no longer able to use it for a stay past the expiration date unless they call the hotel and have them bill them in advance.