Guide: How does Amex’s ‘new’ airline credit work?

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Last week, American Express made some changes to two of their co-branded credit cards with Hilton. The Hilton Aspire card, in particular, underwent some significant updates, including a new airline credit. As a frequent traveler, I was intrigued by this change and decided to test it out for myself.

Previously, the Hilton Aspire card offered an airline fee credit, where cardholders had to select a US-based airline. However, this benefit was quite restrictive for international travelers like myself. The new credit, on the other hand, is a simple airline credit that can be used for buying flights.

Amex has divided this airline credit into four chunks of $50 each quarter, allowing cardholders to potentially receive up to $200 back each year. To qualify for the credit, you must make a qualifying purchase directly with an airline or through amextravel.com. However, certain purchases, such as charter flights, private jet flights, and ticketing service fees, are excluded.

Eager to try out the new benefit, I decided to make an award booking on the Air Canada website and charged the taxes and fees to my Hilton Aspire card. The charge posted to my card on October 20, and just five days later, the credit posted to my account. I found the process to be straightforward and easy to use.

Overall, I am pleased with the change made by Amex. While it would have been preferable for the credit to be annual instead of quarterly, it is still an improvement from the previous airline fee credit. As someone who frequently travels and has carried the Hilton Aspire card for a while now, I find this benefit to be incredibly useful. Additionally, I earn 7x Hilton points per dollar spent since the purchase codes as an airfare purchase.

Looking ahead, I hope that American Express will make a similar change to the airline fee credit on the Amex Platinum Card. However, I am uncertain if that will happen. For now, I plan to continue purchasing flights or paying for award flight taxes and fees each quarter to take advantage of the new airline credit.

What are your thoughts on the revamped Hilton credit cards by American Express? Do you prefer the new airline credit over the previous airline fee credit? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

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