7 reasons to get the Amex Hilton Aspire card
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with current information, including recent card upates in response to the coronavirus.
Two years ago, Amex and Hilton launched The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. We consider the Hilton Aspire to be one of the best hotel credit cards currently on the market, despite its $450 annual fee (see rates and fees), because its perks easily offset this significant cost and then some.
The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The card is currently offering a 150,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, which, based on TPG’s most recent monthly valuations, is worth $900. The card also added a number of limited-time, nontravel perks to provide cardholders additional value while grounded at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Related reading: Why Hilton’s top credit card has me switching my hotel loyalty
From airline fee credits to lounge access and high earning rates, here are seven reasons why the Hilton Honors Aspire Card is worth adding to your wallet.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Top-tier elite status
Quite possibly the greatest perk that comes with the card is complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status for the primary cardholder. Unlike the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you’ll receive this status as long as your card account is open, without having to reach any minimum spend.
Diamond status comes with 100% bonus points, executive-floor lounge access, free breakfast and room upgrades, among other benefits. It’s typically earned after 30 stays or 60 nights or by earning 120,000 base points in a calendar year (which equates to $12,000 in spending).
Related reading: What is Hilton Honors elite status worth?
Up to two weekend reward nights each year
With the Aspire Card, you’ll receive one weekend night at almost any Hilton property worldwide after opening your account, and then again each year on your cardmember anniversary. You’ll also receive a second weekend night when you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year.
As long as the property is eligible and there’s a room available, there are no exclusions to this benefit, so even infrequent travelers should be able to take advantage of this perk and save hundreds of dollars a year.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, unexpired free weekend night certificates — plus those issued through Dec. 31, 2020 — can now be used on any night of the week, and those issued between May 1 and Dec. 31, 2020 will be valid for 24 months from the date of issuance (rather than the usual 12 months).
Related reading: Maximizing Amex Hilton free night certificates
$250 airline-fee credit
The Hilton Aspire comes with an annual up to $250 airline incidental fee credit that can be used to offset a wide variety of airline fees, such as checked bag fees, change fees and inflight food and beverage purchases. Just like the airline fee credits that come with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you need to choose one airline each year to use exclusively for your fee credit, though that shouldn’t stop you from maximizing this benefit on an annual basis.
Related reading: How to maximize the Amex Hilton Aspire card
$250 Hilton resort statement credit
Each cardmember year — defined by the date you opened the account — you and your authorized users will receive up to a total of $250 in statement credits to spend at eligible Hilton resorts. The best part about this benefit is that it’s not just limited to incidental charges such as meals and spa treatments, but can also be used toward room rates and taxes, effectively getting you another night or two at one of the eligible resorts.
Hilton understands that you might not be traveling right now, so from June through August 2020, purchases at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery, will also qualify for the credit.
Putting aside all of the card’s other benefits, the $250 airline-fee credit and $250 resort credit alone already offset the card’s $450 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Related reading: 5 ways to use the Amex Hilton Aspire $250 resort credit
Priority Pass membership
A complimentary Priority Pass Select membership is included as a travel benefit for primary Hilton Aspire cardholders. This benefit provides you and two guests with unlimited access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, where you can enjoy complimentary food, drinks, Wi-Fi and more.
Related reading: The best credit cards for Priority Pass lounge access
Up to $100 Hilton on-property credit
Each time you book at least a two-night paid stay at a participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts or Conrad Hotels & Resorts property through HiltonHonorsAspireCard.com by verifying your card number, or by mentioning code ZZAAP1 when booking by phone, you’ll receive up to a $100 credit for incidentals during your stay.
Unlike the resort credit, this really is just for incidentals and can’t be used to cover the cost of the room or property fees, though it can still be an extremely valuable perk if you spend two or more nights at eligible properties.
Impressive earning rates
The Aspire card earns you a whopping 14 points per dollar on paid stays within the brand. Based on TPG’s valuation of 0.6 cents per Hilton Honors point, that’s an 8.4% return on spending — much more rewarding than any other cobranded hotel card. And, since the card comes with complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, and one of the benefits of that status is a 100% point bonus for Hilton stays (or 20 points per dollar at most Hilton properties), you’ll actually be earning a total of 34 points per dollar on most Hilton stays as a cardholder, meaning a 20.4% return.
While not as competitive for other travel purchases as premium cards such the Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll also earn 7 points per dollar spent (a 4.2% return) on flights booked directly with airlines or at amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies (Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, E-Z, Fox, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt and Thrifty) and at U.S. restaurants; and 3x points (a 1.8% return) on all other spend with the card.
In light of the pandemic, the card is also offering 12 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets through July. That equates to a solid 7.2% return. On top of all of that, bonus points earned through purchases posted between May 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, will count toward elite-tier qualification and lifetime Diamond status.
Related reading: How to choose the best Hilton credit card for you
There are a ton of reasons to love the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire, and it’s pretty easy to maximize its benefits to more than offset its annual fee — even if you don’t routinely stay at Hilton hotels. With perks such as top-tier elite status and 34 points per dollar earned on stays with the brand, the card sets a new precedent for hotel cobranded credit cards.
To learn more, check out our full review of the Amex Hilton Aspire card.
Featured photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire Card, please click here.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.