[United TravelBank Data Point] Major Changes On Hilton Credit Cards

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DansDeals will receive compensation if you are approved for a credit card via a link in this post. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers, visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Update: DDF member “dealsrus” shares that his $100 United TravelBank purchase was credited by both the $250 airline fee credit (which ends 12/31/23) and the $50 quarterly airfare credit (which began 10/19/23), which left him with a $50 profit on the purchase.

Note that AMEX often claws back the profit on deals like this, so you might want to buy more TravelBank credit so there’s no profit from the transaction.

It’s great to see that the new airfare credit also works for TravelBank, as that will be a great way to ensure you can always use the quarterly credit on this card.

Originally posted on 10/19:

AMEX has announced major changes to the Hilton Surpass and Aspire cards that go into effect today:

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card’s annual fee has gone up from $95 to $150 for new cardholders. That will be effective 2/1/24 for existing cardholders.

  • As of today, it will gain:
    • 4x points on US online retail purchases
    • National Car Rental Executive status
    • Up to $50 in statement credits for spending at Hilton hotels every quarter, up to $200 per year.
  • It will continue to offer:
    • Hilton Gold status
    • One free reward night after $15K spending per calendar year.
    • 12x points on Hilton spending
    • 6x points on US restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations,
    • 3 points everywhere else.
  • It will lose:
    • 10 free Priority Pass visits per year. (Ends 1/31/24).

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card’s annual fee has gone up from $450 to $550 for new cardholders. That will be effective 2/1/24 for existing cardholders.

  • As of today, it will gain:
    • $200 in statement credits semi-annually at Hilton Resorts, up to $400 per year. (Existing cardholders get this starting 1/1/24)
    • Up to $50 in statement credits for paid flights directly from the airline or on AMEXTravel.com every quarter, up to $200 per year.
    • National Car Rental Executive status
    • $189 annual CLEAR Plus statement credit every calendar year.
    • One free reward night after $30K spending per calendar year.
    • Cell phone protection: Up to $800 per claim with a $50 deductible when you pay the wireless bill on the card.
  • It will continue to offer:
    • Hilton Diamond status
    • An annual free night each membership year
    • An additional free night after spending $60K in a calendar year
    • $100 statement credit for 2+ night stays at participating Waldorf and Conrad hotels.
    • 14x points on Hilton spending
    • 7x points on eligible flights, car rentals, and US restaurants
    • 3 points everywhere else.
  • It will lose:
    • Priority Pass membership. (Ends 1/31/24).
    • $250 annual airline fee credit (Ends 12/31/23).
    • $250 in statement credits annually at Hilton Resorts, which is being replaced by a $200 semi-annual credit. (Ends 12/31/23 for existing cardholders).
  • The Hilton Honors Card from American Express remains unchanged:
    • Get Hilton Silver status, with 20% bonus points, 5th night free on awards, and bottled water. Earn Gold with $20K/year of spending.
    • Earn 5 points per dollar at US gas stations, US restaurants, and US supermarkets, and 7 points per dollar at Hilton hotels.
    • No annual fee.
    • For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Cardplease visit here.
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card:
    • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible Hilton purchases.
    • ENHANCED: Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases made using the Hilton Honors Business Card on the first $100,000 in purchases each calendar year, 3X points thereafter.
    • NEW: Enjoy up to $240 back each year for eligible purchases made directly with Hilton.
    • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors(TM) Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card. With Hilton Honors Gold status, you can enjoy benefits at hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio. As a Gold member, earn an 80% Bonus on all Base Points you earn on every stay getting you to free nights faster.
    • You may receive an upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond status if the total eligible purchases on your Card Account during a calendar year reach $40,000 or more.
    • NEW: Enjoy complimentary National Car Rental(R) Emerald Club Executive(R) status. Enrollment in the complimentary Emerald Club(R) program is required. Terms apply.
    • Annual Fee: $195
    • For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Cardplease visit here.

Welcome bonus terms: 

You officially won’t get the welcome bonus on this card if you have or have had this exact card, though readers have reported success after several years.

You can tell if you are eligible for an AMEX welcome bonus by simply applying. If you are not eligible for the bonus you will get a popup notification after clicking to apply for the card. At that point you can decide whether to proceed or cancel the application before it is actually processed.

American Express doesn’t perform a hard pull for existing AMEX cardholders.

Spend Threshold:

You’ll need to spend $1,000-$4,000 within 3 months.

You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.85% fee. If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.

My local natural gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay.

Business vs Consumer card:

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can open a business credit card for “Joe Smith” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.

Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field

Hilton card comparison chart: 

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You can use your Hilton points for aspirational stays, like an overwater pool villa in the Maldives, and mush more.

Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa Overwater Pool Villa


What do you think of these changes? Will you apply for any Hilton cards with these offers?

Leave a Reply

61 Comments On "[United TravelBank Data Point] Major Changes On Hilton Credit Cards"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Stull a keeper for twomplayer mode – just slightly harder to get full value still the best premium Hotel card the Ritz and then Brillant. We tend to in combination with FHR/other FNC as well.


Wow they lost me as a customer


With the Surpass do you still get a free night when you spend $15k?


Well, I’ll be canceling my aspire card in December.


We all knew that the card was too generous for the AF to stay at $450. The resort credit boost is ok if you can use it. One positive thing with the new resort credit is that it is annual instead of membership year. I used my $250 in the first month of my membership year and now get 2x$200 starting again in Jan.

If you can use the 4x$50 for UA travel bank, and/or can bank cheap flight credits it’s basically a wash.

The only loss is priority pass, and most people have it from another card.


If I already have Aspire and spend $450+ on a resort today, will I get both the ending $250 and new $200 credits? Or if I spend in 2 transactions, $250+ and $200+? Sounds like the latter may work.





PLEASE MAKE A POST ABOUT THIS https://twitter.com/StopAntisemites/status/1714730472884900120?t=c3Ax0HFL6l47EqRSTK1lUQ&s=19

Shaya E

Interesting twist to give the existing cardholders one more set of calendar year benefits before raising the AF.


Good timing with the Clear credit being effective immediately- the $75 Uber credit promo runs until tomorrow night.


Like a slot machine!


if i got the Hilton AMEX Surpass in July will I loose my free night if I downgrade to the free card?


Dan, what are your thoughts on the current changes to the Aspire card vs the Amex platinum card? Is one better than the other in terms of benefits ? To me they look very similar


wish they wouldve given advance notice as would have like to get aspire card. now with increased annual fee along with loss of airline credit, it’s a no go


Any reports of getting these cards again (2nd/3rd time) like earlier this year?


To answer my own question, it does not work for me.


Already did the $250 airline credit this year. Can I do the $50 credit for this quarter?




“American Express doesn’t perform a hard pull for existing AMEX cardholders.”

Is this a new rule?


I guess for the aspire card you can book 50$ flights and then convert them to vouchers, any idea how to utilize the 50$ hotel benefit for the surpass card assuming I’m not going to 4 hotels a year? Between me and my wife I currently have both cards.


Is the clear credit per calendar year or membership year?


My only reason for paying for the Surpass card were the 10 free Priority Pass visits. I’m disturbed that they can cancel this part way through the membership year.


So I can still
Do airline 200 reimbursement


The $50 airline credit is on any airline? No need to select an airline?


Bought $100 united travel bank on Oct 19 and got credited both the $100 and $50 credits

Harold Biller

I thought the free night on the Aspire card was only on weekends


That changed during Covid


dan, is the new $50 airline credit on the aspire for new cardholders only or for old as well?


This works nicely with the update I just got from United:
“You can now gift TravelBank cash to friends and family. we’re making it easy to give the gift of travel this holiday season. Our newest feature allows you to gift TravelBank cash to friends or family — all you need is their MileagePlus® number and last name”
Check out the formus: https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=92142.msg2759091#msg2759091

Ed A

Good work Dan! I quickly jumped on the Aspire $50 United Bank purchase. I had already maxed out the $250 credit on that card but noticed that $50 was apparently added to be used for the last quarter of 2023. Otherwise I would have never looked.

I don’t get it

If I apply today for the inspire card, will I still receive the travel credit that is said to expire at the end of the year?


I tried doing same thing as was posted. I didn’t use any of aspire airline credits yet this year. I charged my card $100 for the United travel bank on 10/25 and on 10/30 I received a credit of $50 but have not received the $100 credit as was shown in this post. Any chance its still coming and if not did I miss out on $200 of airline credits for 2023?


any new ideas how to utilize the 50$ hotel credit assuming i dont pay for a hotel 4 times a year?


If I upgrade today to Aspire –will I get 200 airline credit this year and next year in Jan / Feb 2024?


Free night will I get for 2023 and 2nd free night in Jan/Feb 2024


Dan have you heard of anybody getting the $200 semiannual resort credit from Amex on the Aspire card for purchasing Hilton gift cards online? If so was there a limit on the max purchase for the credit?