6 great ways to use the Hilton Aspire’s $250 resort credit

Jun 13, 2020

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Hilton offers a suite of cobranded credit cards with American Express — each of which has different benefits, annual fees and welcome bonuses. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is the highest-end card in this lineup — it has a $450 annual fee (see rates and fees), but includes benefits such as complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, unlimited Priority Pass airport lounge access and an annual free weekend night.

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Further, the card has two annual credits: an up to $250 airline fee credit and up to $250 resort credit. The airline fee credit works similarly to the credit included with The Platinum Card® from American Express, but the resort credit is in a class of its own.

There is some confusion around the resort credit though, so in this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of the resort credit benefit and take a look at ways you can use the credit.

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Resort credit details

Each cardmember year (defined by when you opened the account), you and your authorized users will receive up to a total of $250 in Hilton resort statement credits. As confirmed by American Express, the statement credit is not limited to incidental charges such as meals and spa treatments, but can also be used for room rates and taxes.

The property must be among the 190+ resorts listed on hilton.com/resorts for it to be eligible. In other words, just because a hotel has the word “resort” in its name or charges a resort fee doesn’t mean that it will automatically count as an eligible resort.

Further, since the charges must be billed to your room and paid for with your Aspire card at checkout, you must be a guest at the resort to receive the credit. Unfortunately, this means no using it to treat yourself to dinner during a staycation.

On the bright side, you do count as a guest when redeeming the weekend award night certificate that comes with the card, so as long as the resort is eligible, you can use the resort credit in combination with your free weekend night.

Related reading: The only card you need for your next Hilton stay: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire credit card review

Head to Vegas for a weekend

Hilton has a few properties on the Strip, with one of the originals being the DoubleTree Tropicana Las Vegas. This hotel often comes out to around $100 per night, so the $250 resort credit could easily cover a two-night stay. Plus you’ll likely end up with leftover credit that you can use on dining, parking or other amenities.

While Tropicana isn’t the poshest hotel on the strip, it offers an on-site casino and a five-acre pool area with three tropically landscaped pools, lagoons, waterfalls and an adults-only area. Plus, the hotel is near the airport and on the Las Vegas strip, making it one of the most convenient places to stay on a budget in Vegas.

Casino in the Tropicana Las Vegas
(Photo by Kit Leong/Shutterstock)

Eat lunch at the world’s only all-glass undersea restaurant

If you make it all the way to the Conrad Maldives Hotel on Rangali Island, you can use the resort credit toward a meal at one of the Maldives’ best-known attraction: the Ithaa undersea restaurant. Dinner costs a bit more than $300 per person, but the resort credit fully covers one person’s $238 lunch. Plus, the afternoon sunlight makes it easy to see the surrounding fish.

(Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

Stay within walking distance of Tokyo Disneyland

The Hilton Tokyo Bay is a Hilton resort within walking distance of the Tokyo Disneyland and the DisneySea theme parks. Stays at the hotel range from $175 to $275 per night, so you can use your resort credit to cover a single night at the hotel if you’re planning on spending a day in Disneyland during your next trip to Tokyo.

(Photo courtesy of Tokyo Disneyland)
(Photo courtesy of Tokyo Disneyland)

Spend three (or more) Days in Penang

The DoubleTree Resort Penang is one of the cheapest Hilton properties out there, with room rates ranging from $39 to $80 per night. Even at the top-end of the price range, you can use your resort credit to stay at the hotel for three nights.

Don’t let the price fool you though: the property is right on the beach and its recently renovated rooms are modern and spacious. If you’re heading to Malaysia and have a resort credit to burn, don’t skip out on this property.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang
(Photo courtesy of the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang)

Hit the beach in Fort Lauderdale

The Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach is a DoubleTree resort located on the coast of Fort Lauderdale, right between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercostal Waterway. Rates go as low as $175 a night, so you can cover a night with your resort credit.

Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
(Photo courtesy of the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach)

Enjoy A Michelin-starred Dinner in Rome

At $300 to $500 per night, the Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri is one of the best places to use your Hilton Aspire’s weekend night certificate. The hotel has an amazing view of Rome, beautiful rooms and a whopping 15-acres of private land that’s filled with a golf course, four pools and a pair of tennis courts.

One of the best things about the hotel, however, is its on-site Michelin three-star restaurant. La Pergola is the only three-star restaurant in Rome, serving gourmet Italian cuisine and an extensive wine list. A meal for two will cost a bit more than $250 with wine, but you can use the credit to chop off a nice chunk of the bill.

La Pergola restaurant interior
(Photo courtesy of La Pergola)

Bottom Line

Whether you use your resort credit to cover a lavish meal or fund a multi-night resort stay, you can get a ton of value from your Hilton Aspire’s annual up to $250 resort credit. Combined with the card’s complimentary weekend award night and up to $250 airline fee credit, this credit enables you to more than offset the card’s annual fee — even if you stay at Hilton resorts just once a year.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Amex Aspire card, click here.

Benji Stawski contributed to this post

Featured photo by dibrova/Shutterstock

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