Have you ever paid an annual fee on a credit card, used some of the credits that the card provides, and then quickly closed or downgraded the card after you’ve gotten the benefit? It shouldn’t surprise you to find out that American Express has caught on to people doing this, and it making some changes.
There are a couple of co branded credit cards that American Express services that have a high annual fee. Both the Hilton Honors Aspire and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cards have a $450 annual fee, and both of them offer a hotel credit, $250 and $300 respectively.
Starting on May 1st, if you paid an annual fee for one of these cards, and use up the credit, only to downgrade or cancel the card, it is very likely that American Express will come back and charge you for the credit. Additionally, Hilton has added that they can take up to 12 weeks after the close of your billing statement to give you Hilton Honor Bonus points.
From the companies point of few, I completely understand why they would make these changes. It seems pretty unfair for these companies when someone uses the credit up only to get a complete refund for the annual fee. It would also make sense to get the benefit back. I would hope if you are trying to cancel or downgrade the card, a representative will inform the public that this credit will be clawed back. At the very least, if the credit is used up, you may as well wait until the next annual fee posts to cancel the card.
The other change here is actually something that you should pay attention to. The new terms indicate that Hilton can withhold points for up to 3 months after you’ve earned them. That to me is waaayyy too long of a wait. American Express was already getting flack for being a statement credit behind on its Membership Reward Point cards. How come we have to wait a full 3 months after the fact? They’ll give out free nights before they’ll give you points? That’s crazy! Let’s see if that 12 weeks is actually something that will happen, or it’s just more so something to cover themselves.
What do you think about these changes? Let us know down in the comment section below!