Amex Hilton Aspire Card Review: Is It Worth it?

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card is now live (as are the applications for the other new Hilton credit cards). I’m focusing just on the Hilton Aspire card right now since it’s a brand new product and offers a lot of unique perks. So here’s my Hilton Aspire Card review with a detailed look at all of the benefits it has to offer.

Hilton Aspire Bonus

Hilton Aspire Card review

This is one of the most loaded premium cards in terms of benefits. Here’s a look at everything the Hilton Aspire card has to offer.

  • 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One weekend night at any hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio (upon opening account and on account anniversary)
  • Weekend night after spending $60,000 on the card within a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass membership
  • $250 airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • $450 Annual Fee 
Hilton Aspire card review
Hilton Americas-Houston Lobby Bar

Hilton Aspire card bonus 

  • 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months

This isn’t quite as high as I thought it might go, but 100,000 Hilton Honors points is still a lot of points. If you’re planning on staying at a top tier property like the Conrad or Waldorf, you’re probably only going to be able to cover one night (although you can find Waldorfs and Conrads for under 50,000 points).

The beauty is that this card comes with a free weekend night, so you could always combine the points with your certificate to cover about two or three nights at a great hotel. Of course, you could also stretch these points at a lower tier hotel for several nights.

Hilton Aspire Bonus earning

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases

I’m starting to value Hilton points at .5 cents per point rather than .4 cents per point because that’s how my most recent redemptions are working out. At .5 cents per point, this card earns 7% back on Hilton purchases.

But since it also gives you Diamond status, you’ll earn an additional 20 points per Hilton purchase for 10% back. So that’s a total of 17% back without factoring in any promo offer (which Hilton virtually always offers).

If you regularly stay at Hilton properties, that 17% back will add up very quickly so this card should be very appealing to you.

What’s crazy is that if you spend $2,647 a year at Hilton properties, the bonus earning rate of 17% would cover the annual fee alone! So you’d then be able to cash out with over $500 gained in travel credits.

Hilton Aspire card

Hilton Diamond Status

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status

Hilton Honors Diamond status comes with a number of solid benefits like complimentary breakfasts, late check out, lounge access, and better upgrades to suites. You can read more about Hilton Diamond benefits here. I’ve been pretty pleased with our success at upgrades with Diamond status, so I think this is an excellent perk.

It does seem that Diamond might suffer a but of a dilution now that so many people can obtain the status directly, though it wasn’t very hard to earn Diamond in the past via status challenges. I think now it will make more sense to forgo the cost of a status challenge and just use those funds to cover the annual fee for the Hilton Aspire card.

Hilton Aspire card
Hilton Executive Rooftop Lounge at the Hilton Americas-Houston.

Hilton Aspire card free night

  • You will receive one Annual Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors — one after opening up an account and one after your first year anniversary.

The Annual Weekend Night Reward will be issued in the form of a redeemable code and sent via email. You will receive the reward email within 8-14 weeks after opening your Card Account and each year within 8-14 weeks after your Card Account anniversary date.

Hilton free nights are limited to weekend nights (Fri, Sat, and Sun), so that’s kind of a bummer but you can use these certificates at any Hilton property around the globe. I think that’s fantastic value because there are some Conrads that go for over $1,000 a night. So you’re talking about a lot of potential value here.

If you’re a couple, you may want to seriously consider each getting this card so that each year you’ll have two free nights for an amazing weekend get-a-way. This is why I include this card in my best credit cards for couples list.

Hilton Aspire Card
Hilton Cabana Miami Beach.

Hilton Aspire travel credits

The Hilton Aspire card offers up to $600 a year in credits which include a $250 airline credit, $250 Hilton Resort credit, and $100 credit at the Conrad or Waldforf (subject to booking restrictions).

$250 airline credit

  • This airline credit is for qualifying incidental airline purchases so it appears it will work for the same the types of purchases that work for the Platinum Card and Premier Rewards Gold Card. You can read more about Amex travel credits here so see what type of purchases qualify for the Aspire travel credit.

$250 Hilton Resort Credit

  • During each year you are eligible to receive up to $250 total in statement credits on your Card Account for eligible purchases made directly with participating Hilton Resorts.
  • Each subsequent reward year begins on the anniversary of your account opening date.
  • Incidental charges (including charges made at restaurants, spas, and other establishments within the hotel property) must be charged to your room and paid for with your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card at checkout in order for them to be recognized as Hilton Resort purchases.
  • Visit hilton.com/resorts for the list of participating Hilton Resorts.

It sounds like this credit might even apply to hotel bookings, though I’m awaiting confirmation on that.

$100 property credit

  • When you use your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card to book through HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard or by calling Hilton Honors at (855) 292-5757, for a two-night minimum stay at Waldorf Astoria® Hotels & Resorts, and Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, you will be eligible to receive a property credit of up to $100 per booking
Hilton Aspire credit card
Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites.

Weekend night after spending $60K within a calendar year

This is the one benefit of the Hilton Honors Aspire card that I’m not crazy about. $60,000 for a free night? That’s a lot of spend. If you get the Hilton Ascend, you’ll be able to receive a free night after just $15,000 worth of spend, which I find much more reasonable and obtainable. So it could make sense to get the Hilton Ascend and to use that for non-Hilton purchases up to $15,000 per year.

Priority Pass

This card comes with Priority Pass (allowing for up to two free guests) which at this point isn’t quite as exciting since so many credit cards offer this perk. Still, this is a significant perk considering the value of it is at least $400. If you’re able to take advantage of some of the travel credit offered by the Hilton Aspire card, you’ll be able to come out on top big time even with paying the hefty $450 annual fee.

Final word on the Hilton Aspire card

The Hilton Aspire card has the potential to be one of the most valuable travel rewards credit cards. If you frequent Hilton hotels this is a no-brainer but even if you don’t, getting 100K points, Diamond Status, the free nights, $600 in credits, and Priority Pass make the Hilton Aspire card an extremely attractive offer.