Posted in Credit Cards and Loyalty Programs

Why I Chose to Upgrade from the Hilton Surpass to the Aspire Card

I recently made a bold move to upgrade my Hilton Surpass credit card (which I loved) to the Hilton Aspire. American Express sent me a targeted offer for 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases with the card in the first 3 months if I chose to upgrade. Challenge Accepted!

Many points and miles aficionados would argue that I should have canceled my Surpass card and then applied for a new Aspire which could have netted 150,000 bonus points instead. But I am happy with the 100,000 bonus point offer and upgrading was easy. Because there was no hard pull on my credit it means it didn’t affect my credit score or my Chase 5/24 standing which is important because I plan to apply for one of their cards later this year.

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What I Am Excited For

  • Complimentary Hilton Diamond Status
  • $250 Annual Resort Credit
  • $100 Waldorf Astoria/Conrad Credit on stays of 2+ nights
  • $250 Annual Airline Fee Credit
  • Free Night Certificate annually on my Account Anniversary

My dining purchases will get a small boost from 6 to 7 points per $1 spent. Looks like I will be paying for more of our dinners out!

I like to refer to Hilton Free Night Certificates as the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket. They are so valuable because they don’t restrict what hotel category you can book from or have a maximum points cap. Last year I used a Free Night Certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea and it saved us $1200.

Both cards include Priority Pass Lounge Membership which I use whenever we fly. I am happy to keep this benefit since it has become one of our favorite perks allowing us to pop into a lounge for a bite and a drink preflight or during layovers. It saves us money on high-priced airport options and is much more relaxing than waiting at the gate.

What I Will Miss

  • Earning 6 points per dollar on Gas and Groceries
  • The $95 Annual Fee will now be $450

My husband opened our first Hilton Surpass credit card a few years ago to obtain the best points return on his purchases. His top spending categories are gas, dining out, and miscellaneous. The Surpass offers 6 points on gas, groceries, and dining as well as 3 points on everything else. It is a perfect fit for him and he will stick with that card.

I opened my Surpass card shortly afterward to earn the 6 points for grocery purchases as well as my own Hilton points to use when I travel without my husband. Earning 6 points on groceries will be the thing I miss the most given how expensive they are. I will be switching those purchases over to my American Express Gold card which earns 4 points per $1 on groceries or using my husband’s card to continue earning 6 points.

So if everything was working well why upgrade?

Benefits!!! We are staying more frequently at Hilton resort properties. I am looking forward to having the $250 Resort Credit to use each year as well as the $100 extra Credit at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties. The Resort credits would have been great to have during our stay at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea last fall.

With Hilton Diamond Status and a Free Night Certificate, as included benefits of the Aspire card, I won’t have to stress anymore about trying to meet the annual spending requirement to earn them.

Signing up now means I can use the card during our Winter Getaway to Key Largo, and our trip purchases will apply to the spending requirement for the 100,000 bonus points. Earning 100,000 bonus points would give us the potential for a bonus night somewhere exceptional or 2-3 nights at a moderately priced property.

I don’t think I will have any problem finding enough benefits with this card to offset the increased annual fee. We get more than $450 in value from just one Free Night Certificate. I am super excited about the added resort credits and plan to put them to good use right away.

Overall I feel pretty good about upgrading to the Aspire card and can’t wait to see how we can use its benefits to create some amazing travel experiences this year.

Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure!