Hotel winners in the 2020 TPG Awards Readers’ Choice categories

Dec 7, 2020

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Hotels & Destinations Week banner for the 2020 TPG Awards

We’re now into our third week of the 2020 TPG Awards, as this week will focus on Hotels & Destinations. There’s a ton of great content to come across our site and social channels, but as we did during Airlines Week and Credit Cards Week, we’re starting off by announcing the winners of our two Readers’ Choice awards.

Read on to see if your favorite loyalty program and cobranded card took home honors this year.

In This Post

Best Hotel Loyalty Program

The first two years of the TPG Awards have seen a consistent winner of the award for best hotel loyalty program.

Well … that’s changing this year.

Winner: Hilton Honors

Capturing the award for Best Hotel Loyalty Program in 2020 is Hilton Honors. With one of the largest global footprints, the program boasts more than 6,300 properties across nearly 120 different countries and territories, giving you a plethora of spots at which to earn and redeem points. It’s also seen notable growth in membership, ballooning from 85 million at the end of 2018 to over 110 million today.

The various levels of Hilton Honors elite status drive significant value for frequent travelers, and you also don’t pay those pesky resort fees when you redeem your points — a key differentiator between it and other popular chains.

It also was the first major hotel loyalty program to extend elite status due to the coronavirus pandemic — and then significantly altered qualification criteria for next year. There are definitely ways we’d love to see the program drive even more value to its members, but this year, TPG readers voted it as the best one out there.

RELATED: 8 ways to maximize redemptions with the Hilton Honors program

Best Hotel Cobranded Credit Card

Last year saw a sweep of the hotel awards by the same program, and 2020 is no different …

Winner: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

This year’s honor for Best Hotel Cobranded Credit Card goes to the Hilton Aspire Card — which also took home this honor at the inaugural TPG Awards in 2018. Despite its $450 annual fee (see: rates & fees), the card offers an array of valuable perks. This includes:

In fact, it’s even offering a terrific welcome bonus right now, one that’s exclusive to TPG. New cardholders can earn 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a one-time $100 statement credit after using your new card to purchase an ExpertFlyer Premium annual subscription ($99.99 plus applicable taxes, followed by automatic renewal) within your first year.

If you’re not familiar, this platform can be a great tool for finding coveted, premium-class award and upgrade space — so with a hopeful travel outlook for 2021, it could become an indispensable tool in your arsenal.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Amex and Hilton made some notable updates to the Aspire Card in light of COVID-19. This included new, temporary bonus categories and the ability to have restaurant purchases count toward the card’s annual Hilton resort credit. It also extended the validity period of many free-night certificates earned on the card (and other Hilton cards) and even began allowing them to be used on any night of the week — not just weekends.

Even though many readers aren’t traveling right now, they clearly still recognized the value in the Aspire card, pushing it back to the podium for 2020.

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.

RELATED: How I got more than $1,300 in value from the Hilton Aspire Card — despite the pandemic

Bottom line

Both of this year’s Readers’ Choice awards for hotels went to the Hilton Honors program, as the TPG audience voted it as the best hotel loyalty program and recognized the Hilton Aspire Card as the best hotel credit card. Despite the major downturn in travel throughout 2020, the program (and the card) continued to provide value for members — which will hopefully continue into the new year.

Note that this doesn’t mark the end of the accolades we’re giving out this week. Stay tuned for a new Editors’ Choice award on Wednesday, Dec. 9 followed by a special honor — TPG’s “Inspiration Award” — for an incredible individual on Friday, Dec. 11.

Do you think TPG readers got it right with these selections? Join the conversation on Twitter using the #TPGAwards 2020, and then tune into our Facebook Live on Wednesday at 2 p.m. as I discuss the winners with several of my esteemed colleagues.

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

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.