Hilton Aspire and Ascend Referral Links are Now Up

The Hilton Surpass was replaced by two new products called Aspire and Ascend. Lots of info here on ask Sebby. The new offer of 100k HHonors points for $3,000 spend. For those who had the surpass, you can’t get the ascend offer since they are counting the ascend as a surpass. I for one kept my surpass and am hoping for an upgrade offer to the Aspire.

The aspire gives a free annual night, also $250 in Hilton Resort Credit and another $250 in airline credit much like the AmEx Platinum (can be used for some gift cards). Use my link here. I wrote an article here on my whole experience.

Use the link here for the ascend. Pretty much exactly the same features as the surpass along with no foreign transaction fees.


Chase 24 rule: Card Open Date ≠ Bonus Award Date

The ubiquitous warning on every Chase application is:

This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months

Back in October of 2015 I opened my Chase British Airways card and got the bonus of 50k on 22-Nov-15, then another 25k on 22-Jan-16, and a final payout of 25k on 22-Apr-16. This was in line with the offer of 100k points over several tiers reported two years ago. I ended up closing the Avios account (no SCRA or MLA waiver) in preparation of applying for the product again to get the current 75k offer as well as MLA protection. I thought I would be eligible because I would no longer have the card, nor would I be in the 24 month window of getting the first bonus!

Unfortunately my plan was foiled because they counted the last tier, April 2016 payout as receiving a bonus! I called Chase Lending Service at 1-888-270-2127 and they explained to me that my credit wasn’t even pulled, and that the application was flagged because I was within 24 months of receiving the April 2016 bonus. SO I would have to wait till April to get my sweet MLA Waived Avios Card.

Keep in mind Chase keeps excellent records, and don’t be so quick to close accounts until your last bonus payout times out! Check those statements both on the Chase side and the awards program side. You might be surprised at how long some of these card took to get the awards!


Regrets, I’ve had a few

Well it has been less than a month with the AmEx Aspire and I already hit my spend to get 100k points! Like an idiot I closed my Ascend to get under 5 cards, instead of closing another card and upgrading the ascend to another Aspire to hit the Flight and Resort bonus twice a year ($500 more).

For those who didn’t have the Aspire or Surpass before, its time to hit AmEx for another 100k Hilton Honors point using the link below:

Happy churning!


3 United Updates

1) Orders Required for United Club Access

As of 01 February 2018 United Clubs require you to bring printed travel order to access United Clubs when flying on their airlines. This was reported by reader Howie who has previously reported on the Centurion Lounge in Sweden. He reported being asked for orders in SAN and IAD this last week. From the United Club website:

United Club℠ invitation

We are pleased to invite active duty military members in uniform or with present leave orders or rest and recuperation papers to visit our United Club locations on the same day they are traveling on a United- or United Express®-operated flight. Please present your military ID, your boarding pass and sponsoring documentation for entry. Access is available to active duty military members and family members with gate passes or traveling on the same flight as the military member and is subject to each location’s capacity and seating availability. For more information about our United Club locations, please see the Club and Lounge Access page.

I guess the rule has always been there, but they are enforcing it to the letter from now on. On the Club Access website we have this:

Make sure you carry your orders from NSIPS, or TAD orders from DTS if you want access to the Club.  I for one recommend getting your spouse or yourself the United Club card and using the MLA to get the annual fee waiver. This way you will have access without showing orders when traveling with the spouse, and then your spouse would get 2 free bags checked as well as United Club access when traveling without you. Keep in mind the applicant would have to be under 5/24 to get the Unite Club Credit card.

2) United Gift Registry Still Closed

United still has to way to contribute to their gift registry outside of using their branded Chase United Travel Bank credit card. This is a bummer for those who just got the Aspire card form AmEx and are looking for a place to dump their $250 for the year. I am happy to report that American Airlines gift cards still work. I called in and chose American Airlines for my Hilton Aspire card. Then bought $100, $100, and a $50 gift card from American:

Three days later the benefit showed it was depleted:

On the fourth day the credit posted for the previous day:

3) Use AmEx MR to Book United via Singapore Air

Frequent miler posted an article here with an excellent go by on how to book United Flights using Singapore Miles. You can transfer the points from Chase UR or AmEx MR to Singapore Air. Keep in mind you can always book using MR or UR directly using their travel portal for 1.5 cents. SO do your calculations to see if it will be worth it to transfer.