Get ready Hilton lovers: the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is the ultimate Hilton Honors credit card, delivering premium benefits for discerning frequent travelers whose brand of choice is Hilton.
Sure, it comes with a steep annual fee. This may have discouraged you from digging deeper into the benefits of having the Hilton Aspire card, but procrastinate no longer. We’ve done the digging for you and are sharing all the reasons you might want to consider this card.
Let’s see if the Hilton Aspire card makes sense for you.
1. A Generous Welcome Offer
While introductory welcome offer vary, you can expect an initial bonus of 100,000 to 150,000 Hilton Honors points after a specified level of spending is met for the Hilton Aspire card, usually in the first 90 days after card approval. Use these Hilton Honors points for free nights at any Hilton brand, including Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, and Conrad properties worldwide.
Additionally, you may receive a bonus offer to upgrade to the Hilton Aspire card if you are a current cardmember with one of the other Hilton-branded cards.
2. Supercharged Earnings at Hilton Properties Worldwide
Use your Hilton Aspire card at Hilton properties and receive 14 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent. These points are in addition to any Hilton Honors points you earn for staying at Hilton properties.
3. Elevated Earnings on Travel Purchases
Earn 7 Hilton Honors points for each dollar spent on flights when you book directly with the airlines, on American Express Travel, car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies, and for purchases at U.S. restaurants.
4. Earn Hilton Honors Points on Every Purchase
You’ll always earn Hilton Honors points even when you’re not spending at Hilton properties or on travel. Every purchase you make on the card earns 3 Hilton Honors points for each dollar spent.
Hot Tip: Be sure to sign up for Hilton Honors promotions to earn even more when staying and spending at Hilton properties.
5. Receive Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond Status
Receiving upgraded status to top-level Hilton Honors Diamond with the Hilton Aspire card is a superb benefit. Normally, achieving Diamond status would require 30 stays, 60 nights, or 120,000 Hilton Honors base points earned annually.
Generally, Hilton Honors elite members enjoy perks such as free bottled water, free Wi-Fi, 10 to 18 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent for their stay, the fifth consecutive night free on rewards stays, late checkout, and other ancillary elite benefits.
Diamond Status includes the previously mentioned elite benefits plus much more.
Diamond elite members receive a 100% point bonus on their stay, which equals a total of 20 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent (10 base points per dollar, plus 10 bonus points per dollar).
This earning opportunity is important because these points are awarded just for the stay and don’t include the additional 14 bonus points per dollar you earn for using the Hilton Aspire card. That’s a total of 34 points per dollar spent when paying with your Hilton Aspire card.
Diamond elite members receive upgraded rooms (including suites, when available), access to the hotel executive lounge (where available), breakfast, and a welcome amenity.
Bottom Line: If you frequently stay at Hilton properties, having complimentary Diamond elite status can be a huge benefit that you won’t find on other Hilton-branded credit cards.
6. Complimentary Airport Lounge Access
Hilton Aspire cardholders enjoy a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that provides access to over 1,300 Priority Pass lounges worldwide. There are many Priority Pass locations in the U.S. alone.
Membership includes access for the cardholder and 2 guests. Additional guests can visit for a discounted rate of $32 for each person per visit.
Note:Priority Pass Select memberships that come with U.S.-issued American Express cards do not include “non-lounge airport experiences” such as Minute Suites and restaurants.
7. 24/7 American Express Concierge Services
Whether you need last-minute tickets to a popular concert, dinner reservations for a special anniversary, or even help to pick out a unique birthday gift, the American Express Concierge is at your service day or night.
Free Hotel Nights
8. Receive a Free Reward Night
Shortly after you’re approved for the Hilton Aspire card, you’ll receive a confirmation that your free night is on its way.
Within 8 to 14 weeks after card opening, you should receive a code you can use for your first free night good for a stay any day of the week (these were previously only good on the weekends). You will then receive a free night every subsequent card anniversary.
9. Earn a Second Free Reward Night
When you spend $60,000 on your Hilton Aspire card in a calendar year, you will receive a coupon code for an additional free night.
10. Fifth Night Free
When booking award night stays with your Hilton Honors points, you’ll receive the average value of the nights booked credited as the fifth consecutive night free. Just log in to your Hilton Honors account and make your booking. When you request the rate for 5 or more nights using your points, the fifth night free will automatically be calculated.
11. Redeem Points for Free Nights
Use your Hilton Honors points for free nights, or use a combination of points and cash to pay for your award night.
Bottom Line: Earning Hilton Honors points to redeem for free nights is great, but receiving a free night shortly after you get your Hilton Aspire card is a real bonus.
12. $250 Airline Incidental Fees Credit
No worries about baggage fees, purchasing onboard food or beverages, or other airline incidentals charged separately from the actual flight expense. Designate a specific airline and receive the $250 airline incidentals statement credit each calendar year.
13. $250 Hilton Resort Credit
Linger a little longer during your Hilton resort stay, as your $250 statement credit each card anniversary year includes reimbursement for purchases at a Hilton resort, including additional room nights and upgrades. Advance Purchase rates are excluded.
14. $100 Credit at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad Properties
Perhaps you’d like to treat yourself to a massage or relax in a rented cabana by the pool. On-site purchases qualify for a $100 statement credit each membership year when you book a 2-night stay or longer at Waldorf Astoria or Conrad properties.
Bottom Line: If you utilize all the hotel and airline statement credits, you’ll more than offset the annual fee on the Hilton Aspire card.
Easy Hilton Honors Point Redemptions
When it comes time to redeem the points you’ve earned, using your Hilton Honors points for reward nights can result in the best value, meaning you should be getting at least a one-half cent, or better, of value per point.
Points & Money Rewards
One redemption option that is not unique to the Hilton Aspire card but has significant merit is the option to use your Hilton Honors points with Points & Money Rewards. With Points & Money, you’re in control and can use as few or as many points as you want to adjust the price of your room.
Flexibility is a positive, and having the option to use just a small amount of points to reduce the price versus a predetermined fixed cash/point option is a good thing. You can use as few as 5,000 Hilton Honors points to offset the cost of any room rate, including special Hilton Honors member price specials.
Always check to make sure you’re getting fair value for the points you redeem. Slide the Points & Money tab to see how much your points are worth to determine if it’s a worthy redemption for you.
Hot Tip: Don’t have enough Hilton Honors points to fund that entire family resort vacation? Just use the Points & Money option to reduce the cost of the room or book 4 nights with points and get the fifth night free.
Other Ways To Redeem Your Points
Additional redemption options that can yield lesser value for your Hilton Honors points include:
- Bidding for Experiences: Take part in auctions for experiences such as cultural, musical, or sporting events, concert performances, and travel packages.
- Shopping on Amazon: 500 Hilton Honors points equals $1 on Amazon.com.
- Exchanging Your Points: You can select from airline, rail, and credit card partners.
- Renting a Vehicle or Purchasing a Cruise: Use your Hilton Honors points for car rentals and cruises.
- Donating Your Points: 4,000 Hilton Honors points equals a $10 donation via Pointsworthy.
Additional Benefits and Protections
We’ve covered the top benefits of having the Hilton Aspire card, but there are so many more protections and benefits that come with the card.
Travel Benefits and Protections
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Use your card to pay for your rental car and receive coverage if the car is damaged or stolen.
- Travel Accident Insurance: Coverage for accidental death or dismemberment when traveling on a common carrier. Fare must be paid with your Hilton Aspire card.
- Baggage Insurance Plan: Up to $3,000 for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage. Terms and conditions apply.
- Premium Roadside Assistance: Call anytime 24/7 to receive assistance and up to 4 free service calls per year.
- Premium Global Assist: Receive legal, financial, and medical emergency assistance services 24/7 worldwide.
- Concierge Services: Anytime assistance with reservations and help to make arrangements for any special outing.
- Terms Apply.
Shopping and Entertainment Benefits and Protections
- American Express Presale and Preferred Seating: Early access to event tickets and premium seating.
- Entertainment Access: Member-only events and access to special experiences.
- Return Protection: Return an eligible item purchased with your card within 90 days, and if the merchant doesn’t take it back, the purchase price will be refunded.
- Extended Warranty: An additional year is added to the manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less on eligible purchases.
- Purchase Protection: Eligible purchases made with your card are covered when accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost.
- Auto Purchasing Program: Over 10,000 participating dealers offer thousands of dollars in savings with this program. Plus, you can use your American Express card to pay at least $2,000 toward the purchase price.
- Terms Apply.
You’ll want to access the complete Hilton Aspire cardmember agreement to view all of the card’s terms and conditions.
Hot Tip: Curious how this card stacks up to other premium credit cards? Check out our head-to-head comparison of the Hilton Aspire card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Alternative Hilton Honors Credit Cards From American Express
If you’re not keen on paying a big annual fee regardless of the associated benefits, you may want to consider the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Card — both of these cards are also great options for Hilton loyalists.
Here’s how the 3 cards compare:
||Hilton Honors Card
||Hilton Surpass Card
||Hilton Aspire Card
||No annual fee
(see rates and fees)
(see rates and fees)
(see rates and fees)
|Hilton Honors Points Earned on Hilton Purchases
||7 Hilton Honors points per dollar
||12 Hilton Honors points per dollar
||14 Hilton Honors points per dollar
|Hilton Honors Points Earned on Bonus Categories
||5 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
||6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
||7 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel, car rentals booked at select car rental companies, and U.S. restaurants
|Hilton Honors Complimentary Elite Status
- Silver: Complimentary
- Spend $20,000 on the card per year to earn Gold
- Gold: Complimentary
- Spend $40,000 on the card per year to earn Diamond
||Priority Pass Select: 10 single visit passes
||Priority Pass Select: full membership with unlimited access to affiliated airport lounges
- $250 airline incidental fees credit
- $250 Hilton resort credit
- $100 Waldorf Astoria/Conrad credit
|Free Reward Night
||Free reward night after spending $15,000 in a calendar year on the card
- Free reward night awarded in the first year and each anniversary year
- Additional hotel night earned at $60,000 spent in a calendar year on the card
Hot Tip: If you’re a frequent traveler and Hilton loyalist, the Hilton Aspire card is the ultimate card match for you. If this card provides benefits you won’t use, you might consider the Hilton Surpass card, which also offers a collection of travel benefits and earnings for a lesser annual fee. You’ll still receive complimentary lounge access, Hilton Honors Gold status, and generous Hilton and bonus-category earnings.
If you’re a Hilton fan, it makes sense to have an American Express Hilton-branded credit card such as the Hilton Aspire card. It’s good for free hotel nights, earning Hilton Honors points on every purchase, elite status, statement credits, and all the American Express protections and benefits that come with your card.
Fortunately, American Express has made it easy to carry a card that earns Hilton Honors points by offering 3 great choices.
Even if you stay at Hilton properties just a few times a year, you’ll still find benefit in having a Hilton Honors-branded American Express card.
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.