The Top 15 Benefits of the Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card from American Express

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Get ready Hilton lovers: the Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card from American Express 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 $450 annual fee. That may have discouraged you from digging deeper into the benefits of having the Hilton Honors Aspire credit 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 Honors Aspire® credit card from American Express® makes sense for you.

The Accelerated Earnings

1. A Generous Sign-Up Bonus

While sign up bonuses vary, you can expect an initial bonus of up to 100,000 Hilton Honors points after a specified level of spending is met, usually in the first 90 days after card approval. Use these Hilton Honors Points for free nights at Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, and Conrad properties worldwide.

2. Supercharged Earnings at Hilton Properties Worldwide

Use your Hilton Honors Aspire® credit 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.

The Perks

5. Receive Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond Status

Receiving upgraded status to top-level Hilton Honors Diamond with the 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.

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 Honors Aspire credit 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 Honors branded credit cards. 

6. Complimentary Airport Lounge Access

Hilton Honors Aspire® cardholders enjoy a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which provides access to over 1,100 Priority Pass Lounges and restaurants worldwide. There are nearly 70 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 $27 for each person per visit.

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.

There are plenty of free nights to be enjoyed when you have the Hilton Honors Aspire credit card. Image by Christine Krzyszton.

The FREE Nights

8. Receive a Free Weekend Reward Night

Shortly after you’re approved for the Hilton Honors Aspire credit 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 Honors 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 stays with your Hilton Honors Points, you’ll receive the fifth consecutive night free. Just log in to your Hilton Honors account and select the option to use points for your booking. When you request the rate for five or more nights, 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 Honors Aspire card is a real bonus.  

The 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.

13. $250 Hilton Resort Credit

Linger a little longer during your Hilton Resort stay, as your $250 statement credit includes reimbursement for purchases at a Hilton Resort, including additional room nights.

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 Honors Aspire card. 

The 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.

The Hilton Honors Points & Money Rewards option allows you to use your points toward the cost of booking your hotel room. Image Hilton.com.

Flexibility is a positive, and having the option to use just a small amount of points to reduce the price versus a pre-determined 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:

  • Bid 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.
  • Donate 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 four nights with points and get the fifth night free. 

Additional Benefits and Protections

We’ve covered the top benefits of having the Hilton Honors Aspire® Card from American Express, 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 Aspire credit 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.

Shopping and Entertainment Benefits and Protections

  • No foreign transaction fees: You’ll never be charged a fee on foreign purchases (just one of many cards that has $0 foreign transaction fees)
  • 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 manufacturer’s warranties 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.

You’ll want to access the complete Hilton Honors Aspire card holder agreement to view all of the card’s terms and conditions.

Alternative Hilton Honors Credit Cards From American Express

If you’re not keen on paying a $450 annual fee regardless of the associated benefits, you may want to consider the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend® Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

Here’s how the 3 cards compare.

Hilton Honors® Card from American ExpressHilton Honors Ascend Card from American ExpressHilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
  • Annual fee
  • $0
  • $95
  • $450
  • 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. Terms Apply.
  • 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Terms Apply.
  • 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. Terms Apply.
  • Hilton Honors complimentary elite status
  • N/A
  • Gold: Complimentary
  • Spend $40,000 on the card per year to earn Diamond
  • Diamond
  • 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 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 Honors Aspire® Card is the ultimate card match for you. If the Aspire® Card provides benefits you won’t use, you might consider the Hilton Honors Ascend® card, which still comes with good 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 Honors credit 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.

FAQ

How does the fifth night free work?

Just book 4 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, select advanced search, then select add a special rate code and check the use points box.

Insert the dates for all 5 nights and the fifth night free will automatically be calculated. It may be displayed as a discount applied to each night.

How does the lounge access membership work?

When you receive your Aspire® credit 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 $27 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 Honors Aspire® credit card if you travel and stay frequently at Hilton properties.

If you don’t want to pay the $450 annual fee or you won’t utilize all of the benefits on the card, you may want to consider the no annual fee Hilton Honors card option or the Hilton Honors Ascend card.

Both allow you to earn Hilton Honors points on every purchase, and the Hilton Honors Ascend card gives you elite status and lounge access for a $95 annual fee.

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