Some people might read about the card and think “well, it sounds great, but I’m not traveling much right now, so I’ll hold off.” In this post, I wanted to lay out why I think the current circumstances are all the more reason to pick up this card sooner rather than later, even if you’re not traveling much right now.
The exceptional perks of the Hilton Aspire
- Hilton Honors’ top tier Diamond status for as long as you have the card
- A Hilton weekend night certificate, valid at properties costing up to 120,000 points per night
- A $250 Hilton resort credit every cardmember year, which can be used towards any eligible purchase at a Hilton resort
- A $250 airline fee credit every calendar year, which can be used towards select airline purchases
- A Priority Pass membership, giving you access to 1,300+ lounges around the world
The Hilton resort credit for any eligible resort spending
Why it makes sense to get the Hilton Aspire now
Why am I suggesting that it could make sense to get the Hilton Aspire Card around this time, even if you’re not traveling much right now? There are two reasons:
Earn more flexible free night certificates
One of the perks that justifies the Hilton Aspire Card annual fee for me is the anniversary free night certificate the card offers. I consistently redeem this at hotels that would cost hundreds of dollars per night.
The catch is that ordinarily these certificates are only valid for 12 months, and are only valid for weekend stays. Currently, Hilton free night certificates have more flexibility that should add value for anyone who earns them:
- Free night certificates issued in 2020 can be used for any night of the week and will be valid for 24 months
- Free night certificates issued in 2021 can be used for any night of the week, and the expiration will be extended to December 31, 2022
This is a huge amount of flexibility that shouldn’t be undervalued. To me, the added expiration and ability to use the certificate any day of the week makes this perk significantly more worthwhile. As long as you think you’ll travel at all before the end of 2022, hopefully, you feel similarly.
The fact that these free night certificates are valid for so long also means it’ll be easier to earn multiple of them, and then use them for a back-to-back stay of more than one night.
Use your free night certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
Get a $250 airline fee credit now, another in January
While most of the perks of the Hilton Aspire Card are based on the cardmember year, the exception is the airline fee credit, which is based on the calendar year. If you want to recoup as much value as quickly as possible, it can make sense to apply for cards with airline fee credits around the end of the year:
- You can use your $250 airline fee credit now through December 31
- Then as of January 1 you’ll have access to another $250 airline fee credit
Now, admittedly the challenge is that Amex’s airline fee credits are quite restrictive. However, I’ve consistently been able to maximize them pretty well. For example, at the beginning of the year I bought some American Airlines 500 mile stickers, and they were automatically reimbursed.
Everyone else might not have the same luck, but that was my experience.
The Hilton Aspire Card is my favorite hotel credit card. While signing up for a high annual fee hotel credit card during a time like this might seem counterintuitive, there are some real benefits to doing so.
The free night certificate is one of the most valuable benefits of this card, and the added validity and lack of day-of-week restrictions makes this perk much more valuable.
If you’re someone who is able to take advantage of the airline fee credit, then the benefit is that you can take advantage of a $250 credit now, and then another $250 credit come January.
On top of that there are all the other phenomenal perks of the card, ranging from Hilton Honors Diamond status, to a $250 resort credit, to a Priority Pass membership.
I imagine we’ll continue to see generosity around using card perks for a while, given how the landscape has changed.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (Rates & Fees).