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3 reasons I’ll open the Amex Hilton Aspire Card before arriving at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives

June 27, 2022
7 min read
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The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is a contender for the most benefits-packed slab of plastic in the travel credit card world. It might be my favorite card — and I haven’t even applied for it yet.

If you travel with modest regularity, you can save $1,500 annually with this card with a $450 annual fee (see rates and fees). I’ve got an upcoming stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. And opening the card before I arrive will net me over $2,100 in value during my stay.

Here are three reasons I’ll open the Amex Hilton Aspire before my stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives.

The information for the Amex Hilton Aspire 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 Amex Hilton Aspire can dramatically enhance the Waldorf Astoria Maldives

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Huge savings on alcohol

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives offers two ways to save money on alcohol for Hilton Honors Diamond elite members:

  • A happy hour at the lobby bar (named Peacock Alley) from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • A 50% discount on drinks at Peacock Alley from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Considering many mixed drinks cost around $30, alcohol can be a huge expense at this hotel. My husband and I could easily pay $120 in a single sitting. But limiting our drink purchases to these two times of day, I expect to save around $180 per day — and around $1,020 during our five-night (six-day) stay.

Related: What is Hilton Honors elite status worth in 2022?

34 Hilton points per dollar

Another benefit of Diamond elite status is the ability to earn 100% bonus points on Hilton hotel stays. That’s good news because the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is not cheap. Even with using airline miles for award flights and hotel points for a "free" room, I expect that we’ll pay $4,500 during our stay:

  • Food could easily cost $2,400 during our stay.
  • The mandatory yacht transfer to the island costs a repellent $900 per person.
  • We’ll probably make another miscellaneous purchase, such as a paid water sport.

At the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, you’ll earn 10 points per dollar spent on the property. A 100% bonus thanks to Diamond status means you’ll earn 20 points per dollar. Plus, the Amex Hilton Aspire earns 14 points per dollar at Hilton properties. That’s a grand total of 34 points per dollar.

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Related: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card review

By earning 34 points per dollar, we should net 153,000 points during our stay. TPG valuations peg the value of Hilton points at 0.6 cents each. That means I’ll accrue $918 worth of Hilton points.

But get this: I’m receiving a value of 1.9 cents per Hilton point for my stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives. If I were to use my points in an equally shrewd manner for my next hotel stay, these 153,000 points would be worth $2,907!

$250 resort credit

The Amex Hilton Aspire comes with an annual $250 resort credit which can be used at 214 Hilton resorts worldwide. The Waldorf Astoria Maldives is included on this list. That means I’ll effectively get a $250 discount on my food, airport transfer or other expenses I might incur during my stay.

As long as the charges can be processed through Hilton, the resort credit will trigger automatically.

More reasons to open the Hilton Aspire if you plan to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives

(Photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy)

The below benefits don’t apply to my situation, as I’ve already booked my stay. But if you’re planning a trip to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives in the future, there are four additional reasons you should open the Amex Hilton Aspire in preparation for your trip.

5th night free

Again, this card comes with automatic Diamond elite status. If you have any level of Hilton elite status (even the lowest tier), you’ll get the fifth night free when booking five or more consecutive award nights. You’ll save 150,000 points on a five-night stay.

Related: How to maximize longer hotel stays by using a free night benefit

150,000-point welcome bonus

The Amex Hilton Aspire comes with 150,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership. Remember, TPG estimates the value of Hilton points to be 0.6 cents each — making this bonus worth $900 on average. But if you use the points for a stay at the ultraluxe Waldorf Astoria Maldives, you can expect to receive a value similar to mine: 1.9 cents each (it’s worth noting that I booked five consecutive award nights, so I’m getting the fifth night free).

This means you could squeeze $2,850 in value out of the card’s welcome bonus.

Free breakfast

Gold and Diamond elite members get free breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives — though several paid rates also offer free breakfast, so the benefit isn’t as valuable as it may appear.

For those who have to pay for breakfast, the rate is $65 per person. If you’re with a travel buddy, having Gold or Diamond status will save you $130 per day, or $780 for a five-night (six-day) stay. That’s a huge savings.

Annual free night reward

You’ll receive one free night reward after you open the Amex Hilton Aspire, valid at nearly any Hilton hotel on earth, including the Waldorf Astoria Maldives. These are not technically award nights, so Hilton won’t allow you to use this award night as part of a five-night stay that qualifies for a fifth award night free (though I know several people who have convinced Hilton customer service agents to do it anyway).

Using this benefit at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives would give you $2,200 in value.

Related: How to get maximum value from Hilton free night certificates

Bottom line

By opening the Amex Hilton Aspire before my stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, I expect to receive $2,188 in value from benefits like:

  • Discounted alcohol.
  • Earning 34 points per dollar.
  • $250 resort credit.

If you’re planning your own visit to this hotel, you should unquestionably open the Amex Hilton Aspire. The card comes with a huge welcome bonus (worth $900, on average), an annual free night reward and free breakfast.

Plus, the card has plenty of other valuable benefits, such as Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, a $250 airline incidentals credit and Amex Offers. But its ability to save you many thousands of dollars at luxury Hilton resorts means the card could be worth opening for just one single bucket list trip. Enrollment is required.

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

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