Guide: How does the new Amex airline credit work?

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Over the past few weeks, American Express has been offering limited time offers on their co-branded Hilton credit cards, which will be ending soon on January 17, 2024. Late last year, American Express made significant changes to two of their credit cards in the Hilton portfolio, the Hilton Surpass card and the Hilton Aspire card. These changes included revamping the airline fee credit benefit on the Hilton Aspire card to an Airline credit.

Previously, with the Airline fee credit, cardholders had to select an airline from a list of US-based airlines. This benefit proved to be cumbersome for many, especially for those who primarily traveled internationally. However, with the new credit, American Express has eliminated the requirement to select an airline. Instead, cardholders can now use the credit for buying flights directly with an airline or through amextravel.com.

The new airline credit is divided into four chunks of $50 each quarter, allowing cardholders to potentially receive up to $200 back each year. To qualify for the credit, purchases must be made directly with an airline or through amextravel.com. However, there are some excluded purchases, such as charter flights, private jet flights, flights that are part of tours, cruises, or travel packages, ticketing or similar service fees, ticket cancellation or change fees, interest charges, or purchases of cash equivalents.

One of the benefits of the new airline credit is that cardholders do not need to activate it. It is automatically applied when qualifying purchases are made. To test the benefit, the author made an award booking on the Air Canada website and charged the taxes and fees to their Hilton Aspire card. The credit posted to their account a few days later.

In addition to the revamped benefits, American Express is also offering elevated limited time offers on the Hilton Surpass Card and the Hilton Aspire Card. These offers include earning bonus Hilton Honors points and free night certificates.

Overall, the author is pleased with the changes made by American Express to the Hilton credit cards. While they would have preferred an annual credit instead of quarterly, they find the new airline credit to be a significant improvement over the previous airline fee credit. The author plans to utilize the benefit by purchasing flights or paying for award flight taxes and fees each quarter. They also appreciate that the benefit does not require activation.

The author concludes by expressing their desire for American Express to make similar changes to the airline fee credit on the Amex Platinum Card. They believe that the revamped Hilton credit cards, particularly the Hilton Aspire card, are beneficial for frequent travelers. Additionally, cardholders earn 7x Hilton points per dollar on airfare purchases. The only requirement is to use the benefit every quarter.

In conclusion, the revamped Hilton credit cards by American Express offer improved benefits and opportunities for cardholders. The new airline credit is more flexible and user-friendly, providing potential savings on flight purchases. Cardholders can take advantage of the elevated limited time offers to earn bonus points and free night certificates. Overall, the changes made by American Express enhance the value and appeal of the Hilton credit cards.

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