Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected independently by One Mile at a Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
As I often say, I find hotel credit cards to be quite underrated. More so than just about any other cards, hotel credit cards can be worth holding onto just for the benefits they offer.
For example, I’ve written about how the World Of Hyatt Credit Card (review) is great — the card has a $95 annual fee, and I think the Category 1-4 free night certificate offered by the card more than justifies the annual fee in and of itself.
But there’s one even more premium hotel credit card that I find to be at least as valuable. I picked up the card over a year ago, and have consistently gotten outsized value from it. Specifically, I’m talking about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.
The card has a $450 annual fee, which is obviously on the high side for a hotel credit card, though this is a card that’s ridiculously rewarding.
The Hilton Aspire Card is offering a welcome bonus right now of 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 within the first three months, though what makes this card so worthwhile is the long-term benefits it offers.
Specifically, I’d say the following four benefits more than justify the annual fee on the card:
Hilton Honors Diamond status
Just for having this card you receive Hilton Honors Diamond status. That’s valid for as long as you keep the card, and this is Hilton’s top tier hotel status. That’s right, you get top tier status just for having a credit card.
This gets you bonus points, breakfast or club lounge access, room upgrades subject to availability, and more. While I don’t consider Hilton Diamond to be the most valuable top tier status, getting it just for having the card is a phenomenal deal, especially as Hilton has a huge global footprint.
I’ve been especially impressed by how Hilton has been growing their luxury footprint, with more Conrad and Waldorf Astoria properties opening around the globe.
Receive complimentary breakfast with Honors Diamond status
Annual weekend night reward
With the card you receive an annual free weekend night reward your first year and every subsequent year. This can be redeemed at virtually any Hilton Honors property in the world where there’s a standard room available on a weekend night (here’s the small list of excluded properties)
Hilton properties retail for up to 120,000 points per night, so you could obviously get a ton of value out of this.
To give an example, Ford and I both have this card, so a couple of month ago we used our certificates at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills for back-to-back nights, where a paid room would have cost over $700 per night. That’s an amazing value.
We used our weekend certificates at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
We’ve already used our certificates for this year to reserve two nights at the Conrad Osaka, where the nightly rate would have been over $600 per night (this is for our upcoming trip to Osaka & Kyoto).
$250 annual Hilton resort credit
Every cardmember year you receive up to $250 in statement credits for eligible purchases made directly with participating Hilton resorts using your card. See this link to find all participating resorts.
What’s incredible is that virtually any spending at these hotels should qualify, regardless of whether we’re talking about the room rate, incidentals, dining, etc. So as long as you spend just $250 per year on the card at Hilton resorts, you should be able to make full use of this benefit.
You could even redeem your anniversary free night certificate at a top Conrad or Waldorf Astoria resort and then use the $250 to get massages, a nice dinner, etc. For example, when we stayed at the Conrad Bora Bora on points, we used the credit to cover some of the incidentals.
It can take 8-12 weeks for credits to be posted.
Use your resort credit at the Conrad Bora Bora
$250 annual airline fee credit
The Hilton Aspire offers a $250 airline fee credit every calendar year. You need to designate an airline, and then eligible fees will automatically be reimbursed. Technically these post within four weeks of an eligible purchase, though in practice they typically post much faster than that.
This works very similarly to the benefit on the Amex Platinum Card, and you can read more about the Amex airline fee credit benefit here.
The terms state the following regarding what purchases aren’t eligible:
Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.
Your annual airline credit can save you money on fees with most major US airlines
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card in many ways is too good to be true, and I’ve gotten so much value out of the card. For a $450 annual fee you’re getting an annual free weekend night, a $250 airline fee credit, a $250 Hilton resort credit, and top tier Hilton Diamond status.
Personally I get more than $450 of value out of the free night certificate alone, so as far as I’m concerned the rest of the benefits are just the icing on the cake.
And I’m not even talking about all of the benefits of the card, as the Hilton Aspire also offers a Priority Pass membership, access to Amex Offers, and more. See this post for more details on how all of the benefits of the card work, and see this post for a detailed review of the Hilton Aspire Card.
Anyone else love the Hilton Aspire Card as much as I do?