Amex Hilton Aspire Card Review: Is It Worth it? [2020]

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The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is one of the most value-loaded hotel credit cards. It comes with a great welcome bonus, strong bonus category earnings, and a lot of perks and credits that can easily allow you to make a profit off this card. This is one of the few credit cards that I plan on keeping for a very long time and in this article I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Hilton Aspire.


Hilton Aspire Card overview

Hilton Aspire Bonus

This is one of the most loaded premium travel credit cards in terms of benefits. Here’s a look at everything the Hilton Aspire card has to offer.

  • 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One weekend night at any hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio (upon opening account and on account anniversary)
  • Weekend night after spending $60,000 on the card within a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass membership
  • $250 airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • $450 Annual Fee 

Related: Which American Express Hilton Card is Best for You?

Hilton Aspire card review
Hilton Americas-Houston Lobby Bar


Hilton Aspire card welcome bonus 

We’ve seen different offers for this card so you’ll want to apply for one of the strongest offers if you can time it right.

The initial offer for the Aspire was for 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months but that offer soon increased to 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

150,000 points will set you up to cover a couple of nights at a premium Hilton brands like the Waldorf or Conrad.

The beauty is that this card also comes with a free weekend night, so you could always combine the points with your certificate to cover about two or three nights at a great hotel. Of course, you could also stretch these points at a lower tier hotel for several nights.

Related: Hilton Honors Surpass Review 


Hilton Aspire eligibility rules

Amex states:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card.

This means you can only get the bonus for this card once per lifetime. Also, the standard Amex application rules of 1/5, 2/90 apply to the the Aspire.

By the way, I know credit card application rules can be complex and difficult to track, so I’d check out my new project WalletFlo if you’re looking for ways to manage your credit cards and applications.


Credit card strategy 

If you are under 5/24 (meaning you have NOT opened up five new accounts in the past 24 months), you don’t want to burn a slot for the Hilton Aspire card.

Instead, you should first stick with Chase and consider cards like the Chase Sapphire PreferredWorld of Hyatt Card, etc. and then move on to a different issuer. Trust me on this.


Hilton Aspire Bonus categories

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases

At .5 cents per point, this card earns 7% back on Hilton purchases.

But since it also gives you Diamond status, you’ll earn an additional 20 points per Hilton purchase for 10% back. So that’s a total of 17% back without factoring in any promo offer (which Hilton virtually always offers).

If you regularly stay at Hilton properties, that 17% back will add up very quickly so this card should be very appealing to you.

What’s crazy is that if you spend $2,647 a year at Hilton properties, the bonus earning rate of 17% would cover the annual fee alone! So you’d then be able to cash out with over $500 gained in travel credits.

Hilton Aspire card

Hilton Diamond Status

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status

Hilton Honors Diamond status comes with a number of solid benefits like complimentary breakfasts, late check out, lounge access, and better upgrades to suites. You can read more about Hilton Diamond benefits here. I’ve been pretty pleased with our success at upgrades with Diamond status, so I think this is an excellent perk.

It does seem that Diamond status might suffer a bit of a dilution problem now that so many people can obtain the status directly, though it wasn’t very hard to earn Diamond in the past via status challenges. I think now it will make more sense to forgo the cost of a status challenge and just use those funds to cover the annual fee for the Hilton Aspire card.

Related: Check out the ultimate guide to Hilton Honors

Hilton Aspire card
Hilton Executive Rooftop Lounge at the Hilton Americas-Houston.

Hilton Aspire card free night

  • You will receive one Annual Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors — one after opening up an account and one after your first year anniversary.

You will receive the free night certificate within 8-14 weeks after opening your account and each year within 8-14 weeks after your anniversary date.

Hilton free nights are limited to weekend nights (Fri, Sat, and Sun), so that’s kind of a bummer but you can use these certificates at any Hilton property around the globe. I think that’s fantastic value because there are some Conrads that go for over $1,000 a night. So you’re talking about a lot of potential value here.

If you’re a couple, you may want to seriously consider each getting this card so that each year you’ll have two free nights for an amazing weekend get-a-way. This is why I include this card in my best credit cards for couples list.

Hilton Aspire Card
Hilton Cabana Miami Beach.

Hilton Aspire travel credits

The Hilton Aspire card offers up to $600 a year in credits which include a $250 airline credit, $250 Hilton Resort credit, and $100 credit at the Conrad or Waldforf (subject to booking restrictions).

$250 airline credit

This airline credit is for qualifying incidental airline purchases so it works for the same the types of purchases that work for the Platinum Card and Gold Card. You can read more about Amex travel credits here so see what type of purchases qualify for the Aspire travel credit.

$250 Hilton Resort Credit

During each year you are eligible to receive up to $250 total in statement credits for eligible purchases made directly with participating Hilton Resorts. (Each subsequent reward year begins on the anniversary of your account opening date.)

Incidental charges (including charges made at restaurants, spas, and other establishments within the hotel property) must be charged to your room and paid for with your Aspire Card in order for them to trigger the credit. You can visit hilton.com/resorts for the list of participating Hilton Resorts.

$100 property credit

When you use your Aspire Card to book through HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard or by calling Hilton Honors at (855) 292-5757, for a two-night minimum stay at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, and Conrad Hotels & Resorts, you will be eligible to receive a property credit of up to $100 per booking.

I highly recommend that you read up on my article breaking down these credits because there are some less obvious restrictions you may have to deal with.

Hilton Aspire credit card
Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites.

Weekend night after spending $60K

This is the one benefit of the Hilton Honors Aspire card that I’m not crazy about. $60,000 for a free night? That’s a lot of spend. If you get the Hilton Surpass you’ll be able to receive a free night after just $15,000 worth of spend, which I find much more reasonable and obtainable. So it could make sense to get the Hilton Surpass and to use that for non-Hilton purchases up to $15,000 per year — plus you’ll get Hilton Gold status. 

Related: read about special Hilton MVP discounts


Priority Pass

This card comes with Priority Pass Select (allowing for up to two free guests) which at this point isn’t quite as exciting since so many credit cards offer this perk. Also, because your membership will be through Amex, you won’t get access to the Priority Pass restaurant credits.

Still, this is a significant perk considering the value of it is at least $400.

If you’re able to take advantage of some of the travel credit offered by the Hilton Aspire card, you’ll be able to come out on top big time even with paying the hefty $450 annual fee.


Final word on the Hilton Aspire card

The Hilton Aspire card has the potential to be one of the most valuable travel rewards credit cards. If you frequent Hilton hotels this is a no-brainer but even if you don’t, getting 100K points, Diamond Status, the free nights, $600 in credits, and Priority Pass make the Hilton Aspire card an extremely attractive offer. 

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5 comments

    1. Still haven’t gotten confirmation. I’ve only seen others report it can be done while a phone agent has told me room rates don’t qualify.

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