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Amex Hilton Aspire

Discussion in 'Hilton Grand Vacations Club / HGVC' started by Julian926, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Sky313

    Sky313 TUG Member

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    Wow, that's not a bad deal! If you can get 3 nights for 1 annual fee, that's a steal.
     
    CalGalTraveler likes this.
  2. natarajanv

    natarajanv TUG Member

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    Did you call to pay the MF or did it online? I just upgraded myself to aspire today. I had different outcomes in the past when paying MF to LV Blvd with Chase CSR cards.
     
  3. Oscar923

    Oscar923 TUG Member

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    I paid online. And the $250 credits showed up after 2 days.
     
  4. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I went for the Aspire Card:

    The benefits are just too good for me to pass up with our desire to vacation more.

    - One free night upon getting the card can be used at the Waldorf Grand Wailea at the end of our Maui trip
    - The $250 resort credit will be either used at the Hilton Hawaiian Village when we charge stuff to the room this winter. If that doesn't work we will pay our maintenance fees next November.
    - The $250 Airline credit will be used for baggage or seat upgrades on Hawaiian Airlines this winter
    - The 14 points for Hilton expenditures is better than the 12 we get with the Ascend Card.
    - The 20 points for Platinum when we paid for reservations, which is rare, instead of the 18 points we were getting for Gold
    - The 7 points for Restaurant expenditure is better than the 6 we get with the Ascend Card
    - The 7 points for airline expenditures is better than the 3 we get with the Ascend Card or what Hawaiian Airlines give us if we use their cards
    - We may even get the 2nd free night after 60,000 in expenditures
    - While we lose the 6 points for Supermarkets, the 7 points for SELECT rental cars is the one thing that bothers me. While it is better than the 3 with the Ascend card, it is only for Enterprise, Alamo, and National. We use Budget, Dollar and Thrifty many times since they are the least expensive. That bothers me.
     
  5. brp

    brp TUG Member

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    Also, don't forget to sign up for your Priority Pass account. A very worthwhile benefit.

    Cheers.
     
  6. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I did, thanks for the reminder. However, I don't know if any of the lounges are where we can use for leaving from home them. Islip Airport which is our home airport doesn't have one. The Hawaiian Airline Terminal, which is the only one we use in JFK is in Terminal 5 which is a far distance from the Priority Pass Lounge in Terminal 4.
     
  7. loosefeet

    loosefeet Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Every time I try to use a lounge, I'm told they do not take Priority Pass. A couple of times told "it just ended." 0/5 times able to use! So, this is not a good benefit, at least not in NY, MSP, SF, OAK, ANC etc.
     
    presley likes this.
  8. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    We have had luck with Priority Pass in Seattle (AK Boardroom), LAX, HNL (lounge not great), SJC, and ATL. However were not able to use the LAX lounge in October due to overcrowding.

    Use the mobile app to get the latest list. I am upgrading to Aspire from Ascend once my statement closes this month to benefit from the prorated fee until my anniversary.

    Do you think priority pass will work for an authorized user? My DD will also have Aspire and if I can get the priority pass for her since I already have one from my Chase Reserve card, that would be a nice benefit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  9. brp

    brp TUG Member

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    What lounges are you trying to use? We've used this in NYC (multiple places) and SFO with no problems. The only issues I've heard about is Alaska Airlines lounges in Seattle and (sometimes) Portland. We have access via Admiral's Club membership, but I have seen PP turned away, and now certainly AS lounge locations are pulling out. Other than that...not a single problem in many uses.

    Seattle AS lounge will be ending/has ended already (not sure which). Other AS locations are hit & miss.

    Next time you're through SJC, have to stop and say hi, unless you're just passing through the airport :)

    Cheers.
     
  10. frank808

    frank808 TUG Member

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    The priority pass membership membership is put in the name of the account holder when you sign up for membership. When you click on the icon, it just activates priority pass membership. PP ships you the membership kit and there is no input needed from you. PP uses the info Amex sends them from account.

    Sent from my SM-T217S using Tapatalk
     
  11. tombanjo

    tombanjo TUG Member

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    there is a priority pass app that shows lounge locations and times
    Not many airports have them, they tend to be bigger international airports in the international terminals
    Lounge Buddy is another app that's useful if you have lounge access
     
  12. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The Aspire Card benefits that I was attracted to were listed in my last post and are those that gave me stuff that I already used and paid for or were getting with another card at a lower benefit rate. I didn't sign up for the Aspire Card with the Priority Pass benefit in mind. We have never been in a Priority Pass Lounge. However, the comments about Lounges not taking the Priority Pass, Being Closed or Closing, and being overcrowded do turn me off. In some cases these lounges are not conveniently located to our boarding area so if we have to go out of our way just to be turned away that would be a real turn off. The airports in the NY area that we use either do not have a Priority Lounge or it is in another terminal. People have said they were not impressed with the HNL which is one of the ones we could use. Why was that? The LAS is other one that we could use, has anyone ever used that one?
     
  13. brp

    brp TUG Member

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    We've never been turned away from a Priority Pass lounge in several dozen uses - both domestic and international. They also have quite a number of restaurants and we've had a number of very nice breakfasts and dinners at these restaurants.

    As to the "not taking Priority Pass," it would be interesting to hear which specific lounges these were.

    At LAS we use the Centurion Lounge, but we have also used The Lounge @ LAS and quite liked it. We have used Lounge @ in SJC and MCO as well and have enjoyed these as well.

    Cheers.
     
  14. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thanks brp for the positives about the breakfast and dinners, were they complementary at the Lounges? We fly Southwest to and from Las Vegas out of Terminal 1 and on line they called that Priority Pass Lounge "The Club" is that the same one that you visited?

    Has anyone have any more information from IASS Lounge at HNL it is at the Overseas Terminal?
     
  15. brp

    brp TUG Member

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    The actual breakfasts and dinners were at restaurants in the Priority Pass system. There one gets $28/person for whatever you want. Does not include gratuity, so that is extra. The lounges have various snacks. Little sandwiches, soups, decent drinks. All of this is complementary. Vegas only has "The Club" and no restaurants as yet. Other airports that we frequent (SFO, JFK, MIA, PDX, SEA, for example) have resturants.

    Cheers.
     
  16. natarajanv

    natarajanv TUG Member

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    I paid my MF on Dec 3rd, for LV Blvd, and AMEX "sees" it as a stay.

    $804.33

    Will appear on your Dec 24 statement as HGV LV BLVD VAC HOA LAS VEGAS NV

    Thank you for your stay
    CHECK-IN
    December 3, 2018

    CHECK-OUT
    December 4, 2018

    I will find out whether I get the $250 credit in a couple days...
     
  17. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Just upgraded to the Aspire. Many sweet benefits.

    The rep confirmed that the airline credits are by calendar year and the Hilton resort credits are by membership year. Will need to pick an airline ASAP and pay incidentals before the end of the year. He said I can then select the same or another airline in January for another $250 in credit. If this is true, we will receive more in benefits that the prorated AF paid.

    He said that upgrades don't count but lounge passes do. Wondering if the lounge has to be associated with the airline picked e.g. United Lounge and United? or can it work for any lounge? We have a lounge at our local airport that doesn't take priority pass, but not associated with an airline. This will also be helpful for all of those #@$#@ United change fees.
     
  18. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    That is great that you got the Aspire Card. It did seem to have some good benefits. I don't know what you or the rep you spoke with meant by "upgrades" but when I talked to the rep signing up he said that charges for extra comfort seats on Hawaiian Airlines were included, and the papers they sent describing the benefits used the term payments for seat assignments.

    I wonder if anyone has any further information on this. I most probably will use it for baggage since I must always pay for baggage anyway and if I get back the charges for the baggage I will also get 7 points per dollar spent for airline charges. But it would be good to know if you can get reimbursed for extra comfort seats. You can pay for your extra comfort seats when you buy your tickets but then it might just be lumped together in the airline ticket price on the credit card, however, you can also select a regular seat when you buy your ticket and then go in an get your extra comfort seat and pay the additional amount.
     
  19. Chop999

    Chop999 TUG Member

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    I really wish I had known about the different Amex cards when I signed up at a presentation. I’m too early to upgrade. They told me it had to be one year. Only option would be a hard pull and a new card.
     
  20. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    They offered me an upgrade when I signed up for the Aspire Card. However, I had a free night coming from the Ascend Card do to just spending more than $15,000 and many bonus points from paying my maintenance for 6 timeshares that I didn't want to mess up so I agreed to a new card. I will probably cancel the Ascend card before the next renewal date.
     
  21. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    I earned the $15k free night and waited to make sure the cert was in my Hilton Honors account prior to upgrading. AMEX assured me that once I had earned it that the upgrade would not mess this up.

    FWIW...$15k for spend is borderline because at 2% which can be earned on other cards, that translates to $300 a night. Totally worth it for Waldorf or high-demand Hilton > $370/night. Not worth it for Hampton or HGI which tend to be cheaper than $300. I liked spend for weekend night much better when it was $10k for Citi Hilton. (those were the days...). With the new card we also don't need to spend to get to Diamond. Not sure what that gets but better than nothing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 10:44 AM
  22. 1Kflyerguy

    1Kflyerguy TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I would be really surprised if you receive credit for an independent lounge not part of the airline you select. It seems pretty clear that the credit is for airline fees, so i believe the charge must come directly from the nominated airline.
     
  23. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    While we charge just about everything on our credit cards, our annual spending amount is not great enough to support 2 Amex cards plus charges at other places that don't take Amex. We are moving toward charging the $60,000 amount to get the 2nd free Aspire night. We want to spend our Hilton, Restaurant, Airline, and Rent a car expenditures on the Aspire Card to get the bonus points. Also, keep in mind that the Ascend Card does cost $95 annual feee which we don't have to spend with, for instance, my Fidelity 2% card.
     
  24. frank808

    frank808 TUG Member

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    Better strategy to only use Aspire for HIlton spend for the 14x HH points and for the $250 Hilton plus $250 airline rebate. That way it's like getting paid $50 and free HH points to have card. Then use your fidelity card for the 2% rebate for all other spend. The $60k you fidelity is worth $1200 in rebate. Versus free night valued about $600-700 at a Waldorf Astoria for the same $60k spend.

    Another strategy would have you also carry Ascend card for the $15k spend for the free night for $95. If you can use the free night for a redemption value of at least $300 to break even with your fidelity 2%.

    So Aspire $450 fee you get $500 rebate with Hilton and Airline spend and you get a free night. Ascend $95 fee gets you a free night to make that nice weekend trip at a hilton with $15k spend. Then the other $45k spend you get back $900 with fidelity which pays for the $95 for ascend card leaving you $805 ahead.

    Only using Aspire for $60k spend you will get same two weekend nights and at least 135k HH points. But lose the $805 cash from your Fidelity card.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
    anderik1 likes this.
  25. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I do follow most of your scenarios about using the various cards and I have been wondering about whether I should go for the 60K on the Aspire Card. While you have taken into consideration the 14x HH points for Hilton expenditures you don't consider the 7x HH points for Airline, Rent a Car, and Restaurants. I estimate that all of those bonus categories come to about $10K. Therefore, the remaining $50K would only get 3x HH points totaling 150,000 HH points. I value those points at about $750, more if you use them in blocks of 4 and get the fifth night free. I agree with you value of $300 for the free night for the 60K points. So that comes to $1050. The Fidelity $50K would give back $1000, so it is close to a wash.

    I have also thought about keeping the Ascend card. I spend about $5K in supermarkets and gas which get 6x HH points and would add up to 30K HH points. I would need to spend another $10K on the Ascend card to make the $15K for the free night. That 10K would only get 3x HH points for 30K HH points. The total HH points for the $15K in expenditures would be 60K which I value at $300. Plus the free night which I value at $300. So that total is $600 for the benefits of the Ascend card which costs $95 + the lost $15K in Fidelity expenditures which would give back $300. So the benefit here is $600-395 or $205.

    So your thoughts are good thoughts.
     

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