One of the credit cards that I picked up a couple of months ago is the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. This card has a $450 annual fee, and is easily one of the all around most compelling hotel credit cards out there.
This card has many huge benefits, and almost seems too good to be true. Among other things, the card offers the following five benefits, which I consider to be the most valuable:
- Hilton Honors Diamond status for as long as you have the card
- A $250 airline fee credit every calendar year
- A $250 Hilton resort credit every cardmember year
- An annual weekend night reward
- A Priority Pass membership
I got this card a couple of months ago and have learned quite a few things about how the benefits work, so wanted to share my experience in this post, since I get a lot of questions about the nitty-gritty of the perks.
Hilton Aspire Honors Diamond status
Just for having the Hilton Honors Aspire Card you receive Honors Diamond status, which is Hilton’s top tier status. There’s nothing you need to do to activate this — it’s automatic. This benefit only applies for the primary cardmember, and not for any authorized users.
Typically once you’re approved for the card you should see your Honors account updated within a day or so to reflect your new status. It’s amazing how fast that happens.
One thing I learned the hard way is that any existing reservations won’t update with your new status without manual intervention. So if you’ve made any reservations before your status is upgraded, make sure you call and have them remove your Honors number and then put it back in your reservation, so the Diamond status shows correctly.
Hilton Aspire $250 airline fee credit
Just for having the Hilton Honors Aspire Card you receive a $250 airline fee credit every calendar year. This follows a strict calendar year definition, meaning you get one credit through December 31, and then another credit as of January 1 of the following year.
You have to specifically designate an airline at this link on which you want this credit to apply, with the choice between Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest, and United.
Per the terms, the annual airline credit can be used for purchases made directly with airlines, excluding the following:
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.
As you can see, this excludes a ton of stuff. Anecdotally, however, many report having luck purchasing airline gift cards and having those reimbursed. Read this post for more on how to maximize that.
Hilton Aspire $250 resort credit
Just for having the Hilton Aspire Card you receive a $250 statement credit for eligible purchases made directly with participating Hilton resorts using your card. This is based on your cardmember year (which is calculated as the 12 month period following when you open the card, and so on). See this link to find all participating resorts.
There’s no registration required to activate this perk, and virtually any spend at a participating resort will be eligible. This includes 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.
While the terms state that it can take 8-12 weeks for the credits to post, in my experience the credit posts much faster than that. For example, I stayed at the Conrad Bora Bora, and the credit posted three days after the purchase hit my statement.
The incredible Conrad Bora Bora
Hilton Aspire annual weekend night reward
Just for having the Hilton Honors Aspire Card you receive an annual free weekend night reward your first year and every subsequent cardmember 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 95,000 points per night, so you could obviously get a ton of value out of this.
While you do get a certificate the first year, you don’t get it right away. For example, I still haven’t gotten mine. However, Ford opened his Aspire Card on September 28, 2018, and he received his certificate by email on December 15, 2018, so it took just over 2.5 months to receive.
The certificate is then valid for a year, and you’re given a code to redeem it over the phone. To see if you’ve received it, check your email for the subject line “Your Reward has arrived!”
Hilton Aspire Priority Pass membership
Just for having the Hilton Honors Aspire Card you receive a Priority Pass Select membership, where you can take up to two guests to the 1,200+ Priority Pass lounges around the world as often as you’d like. This is a hugely valuable perk.
You receive it as long as you have the card, though you do need to enroll. You can do this either by logging into your Amex account and going to the “Benefits” tab, or by following this link. Just click the “Enroll Now” button, and the membership card should be sent to your address on file within about a week.
Hilton Aspire welcome bonus
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card is offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 Honors points after spending $4,000 within three months. One common point of confusion is how the airline fee credits, Hilton statement credits, and annual fee play into that spend requirement.
The $450 annual fee doesn’t apply towards the minimum spend, while any spend that is reimbursed through airline fee credits or Hilton resort credits does count towards the minimum spend.
In other words, if you spend $3,500 on “normal” purchases, and then $250 on items that are reimbursed as part of the airline fee credits, and another $250 on a Hilton resort purchase that is reimbursed, you’ll have reached the minimum spend. But don’t forget that the annual fee doesn’t count towards the minimum spend requirement.
Hilton Aspire bottom line
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card is almost too good to be true. I’m thrilled to have the card, and have enjoyed maximizing all the benefits. Since getting the card a few months ago I’ve already used by $250 airline fee credit from 2018, $250 airline fee credit from 2019, $250 resort credit, and Diamond status.
Soon I’ll get my free weekend night reward, which I look forward to using as well.
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.