Keep or Cancel our American Express Hilton Aspire credit card?

Keep or Cancel our American Express Hilton Aspire credit card?

The American Express Hilton Aspire card comes with a strong set of benefits.  This includes: 

  • Diamond status with Hilton
  • A $250 resort credit at select Hilton properties
  • A $250 Airline credit
  • An annual free night at Hilton Properties

It also comes with a $450 fee.   

We’ve had the card for over a year, and got great value for the $450 annual fee.  This card easily paid for itself during our trip to the Conrad Maldives in February of this year.

This week the annual fee once again hit our account.  With travel on hold, we couldn’t justify paying $450.  

So what to do?

Options included:

  1. Cancelling the card
  2. Downgrading to a no-fee Amex Hilton card
  3. Asking for a retention offer to help offset the annual fee. 

We decided to start with number 3.  In order to retain customers, credit card companies will offer incentives such as statement credits, or extra points to encourage card holder to keep the account open.  

We logged onto our American Express account and used the chat function to navigate our way to the Membership Consulting Services Department.  This department has the ability to make retention offers. 

We explained our situation: 

“My annual fee hit for my Hilton Aspire card, and it's hard to justify now that we're not traveling. The fee is $450”

The representative was able to offer the following: 

“because you are such a valued Card Member, you can earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $1,250 or more on purchases on your Hilton Aspire card account within 3 months of accepting this offer. The $300 statement credit will be applied to your account within 8 to 12 weeks after the purchase requirement has been met. This is our way of saying thank you for keeping your Hilton Aspire card  account open today.”

What do you think about this offer? 

This would reduce the out of pocket cost for the annual fee to $150.  

For that $150 we would get…

  •  Diamond status with Hilton
  • A $250 resort credit at select Hilton properties
  • A $250 Airline credit
  • An annual free night at Hilton Properties

The annual night alone was worth $150.  From 2018 through 2020, we’ve stayed 13 nights at a Hilton.  This includes stays in Dublin, London and the Maldives. We estimate that the average cash price per night, for these thirteen nights, was a little over $800 per evening. This is admittedly skewed by 5 nights at Conrad Maldives, but in general, we stay at higher priced Hilton hotels. 

We also get good value from the airline credit and the free breakfast that comes with Diamond status. As a side note – if you stay at the Conrad Maldives, the cost of breakfast for two, may make it worth getting a Hilton credit card that comes with status. 

In any case, the $300 statement credit made the math work for keeping the card. 

The Fine Print

Accepting the retention offer was subject to the following terms. 

I want to confirm that after our conversation today you are keeping your Hilton Aspire  account open. You can earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $1,250 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within 3 months of accepting this offer starting today. The statement credit will be applied 8 to 12 weeks after the purchase requirement has been met.
If American Express determines that you have engaged or intend to engage in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the loyalty offer, including if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it or if you return purchases you made to meet the threshold amount, we reserve the right to withhold, freeze, or revoke the Statement Credit from your account and cancel any accounts you have with us.
Your Hilton Aspire account must not be cancelled or past due at the time of fulfillment of any offers.
Purchases may fall outside of the 3 month period in some cases, such as a delay in merchants submitting transactions to us or if the purchase date differs from the date you made the transaction. If this happens these purchases will not be counted toward your eligibility for the $300 statement credit. Purchases to meet the purchase requirement do NOT include fees or interest charges, cash advances, purchases of traveler's checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of any cash equivalents. Additional Card Members on your account are not eligible for this offer. Eligible purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits.
Do I have your approval to process your request to keep your Card account open?

Keeping the Card

We said yes, and now it’s time to spend $1250 on the card. 

Do you have credit cards that come with annual fees?

Have you ever called and asked for a retention offer? 

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