15 Benefits of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Waikoloa Village Hawaii

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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 have shared all the reasons you might want to consider this card.

Let’s see if the Hilton Aspire card makes sense for you.

Accelerated Earnings

1. A Generous Welcome Bonus

While introductory bonuses 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.


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 night free on rewards stays, late checkout, and other ancillary elite benefits.

Diamond Status includes the previously mentioned elite benefits plus much more.

Hilton Honors elite point earning graph
Image Credit: Hilton Honors

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.

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, which provides access to over 1,100 Priority Pass Lounges and restaurants 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 memberships from U.S.-issued American Express cards no longer include restaurants (“non-lounge airport experiences”).

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 picking out a unique birthday gift, the American Express Concierge is at your service day or night.

Free Nights

Hilton Hotel Berlin at night
There are plenty of free nights to be enjoyed when you have the Hilton Aspire card. Hilton Hotel Berlin. Image Credit: Christine Krzyszton

8. Receive a Free Weekend 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 weekend night good for a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night stay. You will then receive a free weekend night every subsequent card anniversary.

9. Earn a Second Free Weekend 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 weekend 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 weekend night shortly after you get your Hilton Aspire card is a real bonus. 

Statement Credits

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 excluding Advance Purchase rates.

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 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.

15. Points & Money Rewards

One redemption option that has merit is using 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.

Hilton Points and Money
Image Credit: Hilton

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 little 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.

For some of the best ways to redeem your Hilton Honors points for maximum value, access our expert guide for creative ideas and destination recommendations that make your points go further.

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: You can use your Hilton Honors points for car rentals and cruises
  • Donating your points: 4,000 Hilton Honors points equals a $10 donation via Pointsworthy

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. 

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 making 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 for a minimum of $2,000, up to the full price of the car.
  • 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 — all of these cards are great options for Hilton loyalists.

Here’s how the 3 cards compare:

Hilton Honors CardHilton Surpass CardHilton Aspire Card
Annual fee
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 amextravel.com, 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
  • Diamond: Complimentary
Lounge access
  • N/A
  • Priority Pass Select: 10 free visits
  • Priority Pass Select: full membership with unlimited access
Statement credits
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • $250 airline incidental fees credit
  • $250 Hilton resort credit
  • $100 Waldorf Astoria/Conrad credit
Free weekend reward night
  • N/A
  • Free weekend reward night after spending $15,000 in a calendar year on the card
  • Free weekend reward night awarded in the first year and each anniversary year
  • Additional weekend 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. 

Final Thoughts

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 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.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, click here.

Frequently asked questions

How does the Hilton fifth night free work?

Just book 5 consecutive nights using your Hilton Honors points and the fifth night will be free.

Sign in to your Hilton Honors account before searching for a property and use points for your booking.

Insert the dates for all 5 nights and the fifth night free will automatically be calculated. It will be displayed as a discount applied to each night but the discount is calculated as the average cost of the total nights.

How does the Hilton lounge access membership work?

When you receive your Hilton Aspire card in the mail, you can register the card and sign up for the Priority Pass Select membership. Your membership will not be active until you do so.

You will then need to use your digital Priority Pass card or your physical Priority Pass card to access any of the network lounges.

You and 2 additional guests may access the lounges at no charge. Additional guests incur a discounted charge of $32 per person.

How do I redeem Hilton Honors points for hotel nights?

You will first sign in to your Hilton Honors account online and start a hotel booking. Just click the small box that says Use Points located right next to the dates you want to book the hotel.

Once you submit the information, you will see all the rates available for your hotel room for the dates you selected, including how many points the room will cost.

If you select a cash price, you will be given the opportunity to apply points to offset the price before checkout with the Points & Money option.

Which is the best Hilton Honors credit card?

The best Hilton Honors card for you is the one where you’ll use the associated benefits provided with the card and the one where you’re comfortable with the annual fee.

You can’t go wrong having the Hilton Aspire card if you travel and stay frequently at Hilton properties.

If you don’t want to pay the large annual fee or you won’t utilize all of the benefits on the card, you may want to consider the Hilton Surpass card or the Hilton Honors card.

Both allow you to earn Hilton Honors points on every purchase, and the Hilton Surpass card gives you elite status and lounge access as well.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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  1. Is the Premier Global Assist offered by the Aspire card the same as offered by the AMEX Platinum card, which includes the emergency evacuation coverage?


  2. Hi there. Do you know how long it takes to get $250 hilton resort credit back on room charges? Also, I didn’t get any email that the free weekend night is on your way. Should I be worried about it or I should wait 8-14 weeks and then ask hilton?


    • Hi there and thanks for the questions. Regarding the resort credit, you should see it shortly after the charge hits your statement (within a week). You didn’t mention how long you’ve had your card but you can always call and ask regarding the free night code, especially if you’ve had the card more than a couple of months and haven’t received it.


  3. Michael Kavanagh November 5, 2018

    How exactly do you register for Priority Pass? Do you call Amex or go to Priority Pass directly?


    • Hi Michael. The best way to register for Priority Pass is to log in to your American Express online account for your Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card. At the top of the page, you would select “Benefits”. A list of all the benefits that come with the card will appear, including Priority Pass Select. There will be a link for you to register with Priority Pass there. Thanks for your question.


  4. Hi. Is the $250 airline credit good per calendar year or membership year? Thanks.


    • Hi Tom and thanks for the question. The $250 airline incidental credit is good once every calendar year. The $250 resort credit is per membership year. I will update the article with that information. Thanks again.


  5. Can non-Americans (no address in the U.S.) apply for Hilton Honors Aspire card?


  6. Hi, if I book a hotel room for one night, for say $300, do I get $250 back as credit? Thanks!


    • Michael,

      The $250 is a resort credit. You must use it at a qualifying resort. You must visit hilton.com/resorts and stay at one of the hotels listed there to qualify. Room rates and taxes count, too!


  7. American Express is not granting me the welcome bonus. Do you know why they would not allow the welcome bonus of 150,000 if that is what is advertised? Is it still worth it to get the card?


    • Hi Marilyn. It is difficult to say exactly why they’re not granting you the welcome bonus. It could be that you have applied for more than one card with them within a 90 day period, you have the maximum allowed number of cards, or perhaps you’ve already received the welcome bonus in the past. You could call them directly and ask. If you have another Hilton Amex card, you may be able to upgrade to the Aspire as well. The card is definitely worth getting if the benefits give you more value that the cost of the annual fee. If you stay at Hilton properties, value having top Diamond status, will use the $250 resort credit, and the airline incidental credits, it would be worth it.


  8. If I book a Hilton hotel using booking.com or another travel site, can I still get points for my stay when I use the Hilton credit card?


    • Hi Karen,

      You will still earn points, but it will not code as spend with Hilton – so you will not get the bonus multiplier for it. Additionally, you likely will not receive any elite benefits.


  9. Paula McMahon January 14, 2020

    Just got the Aspire card, and the Diamond status. Does the Diamond status remain or must you qualify for not each year?


  10. If I add an authorized user with the aspire will they get the priority pass membership?


    • Hi Raman,

      Yes, authorized users can receive their own priority pass membership.


      • According to the terms for this benefit on the website “Additional Card Members are not eligible for this benefit.” What am I missing? Thanks!


        • Hi Barbara. Authorized user benefits vary so much. Authorized users on the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum do receive their own Priority Pass Select membership. Authorized users on the Aspire do not. There is also a cost to add authorized users to the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum cards but there is no cost to add authorized users to the Aspire.


  11. This is a helpful article, for sure, but did you mention the annual fee anywhere? I couldn’t find it, even in the chart comparing it with other cards. Kind of an important point to leave out.


  12. On the Waldorf $100 credit, do two consecutive weekend free nights using certificates work or do you only get it on paid stays?

    With the Hilton announcement that everyone keeps their status until the end of 2020 when my fee is due in June can I cancel the card and keep status through the rest of the year and then in December reapply. Know Amex will not intentionally give me the signup bonus again but I have had it slip through.

    My biggest concern about doing this is the possibility that they will shut down new applications and I do value the Diamond status benefit.

    PS – my sister who has done all sorts of crazy things to earn Diamond, including moving from hotel to hotel every night on business trips, is really unhappy I got the same status, not only for free but with a positive cash flow year one.


    • Hi Jon. The $100 Waldorf credit is on paid stays only. Diamond status is only granted as long as you have the Aspire card. You may try calling when your fee is due to see if Amex will offer some concession to keep the card.


  13. I have the Suprass already but want the Aspire. Upgrading directly through AmEx, you don’t get a signup bonus. Do I need to cancel the Surpass before applying for the Aspire in order to get the 150,000 signup bonus points?


    • Hi Nick,

      No, you do not need to cancel your Surpass card before applying for the Aspire to get the bonus. You are able to hold both cards at the same time. Thanks for reading!


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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