Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card overview
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is a premium hotel credit card loaded with top-tier benefits. For starters, it comes with Hilton Diamond status for as long as you hold the card, and you’ll earn 14 points per dollar at participating Hilton hotels. In addition, the card comes with up to $200 flight purchase credits and up to $400 in Hilton resort credits every year. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Although Hilton Honors have sky-high award night prices, the credits and complimentary Diamond status make the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card a great pick if you stay at Hilton properties regularly.
Amex has recently refreshed the Hilton Aspire to provide Hilton property credits of up to $400 annually and $200 in statement credits for flight purchases, car rental elite status and cellphone protection while increasing the annual fee to $550 (see rates and fees).
Even with the card’s significant annual fee (see rates and fees), several benefits easily outweigh the cost, such as annual fee night awards valid at nearly any Hilton property. There aren’t too many hotel credit cards with all of these perks tied to a single card.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Hilton Aspire Card.
The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Hilton Aspire welcome offer
The Aspire card’s current welcome offer is 180,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership. Those 180,000 points are valuable — worth $1,080, according to the latest TPG valuations.
This is the best-ever offer we’ve seen on the card, so now is an excellent time to open the Hilton Aspire.
Hilton Aspire benefits
There are a lot of perks and value packed into this cobranded card:
- Hilton Honors Diamond status — As long as your card account is open, you’ll receive Diamond Hilton elite status for the primary cardholder. Diamond status is valued at almost $3,000 annually, thanks to the bonus points you earn, lounge access, free breakfast and room upgrades.
- Up to three reward nights — Receive one night at almost any Hilton property worldwide after opening your account and on your cardmember anniversary each year. Earn a second night when you spend $30,000 and a third night when you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year.
- Up to $400 in Hilton resort statement credits — During each calendar year, you’ll receive $400 (up to $200 biannually) in statement credits for eligible purchases at eligible Hilton resorts. That $400 can be used on dining, activities, spa treatments and even room rates and taxes.
- Up to $200 in annual airline fee credits — Receive up to a total of $50 in statement credits each calendar quarter for airfare purchases on flights purchases directly from the airline or through AmexTravel.com.
- Up to $100 Hilton on-property credit — When you book at least a two-night paid stay at Waldorf Astoria or Conrad properties through HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard (or over the phone and quote booking code ZZAAP1), you’ll receive a credit of up to $100 for incidentals during your stay.
- Clear Plus membership— Receive up to $189 in statement credits per year when they sign up for a Clear Plus membership and pay with the Hilton Aspire card.
- Rental car elite status — Receive complimentary National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive status after enrollment in the Emerald Club program (terms apply).
- Cellphone protection — Card members can be reimbursed for the repair or theft of a device for a maximum of $800 per claim when the wireless bill for the specific cellphone line is paid using the Hilton Aspire card. There is a limit of two approved claims within a 12-month period, and each claim has a $50 deductible.
Enrollment is required for select benefits.
*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
Earning points on the Hilton Aspire
The card makes it easy to get a high balance in your Hilton Honors account, which you’ll need if you’d like to enjoy luxury or peak-season properties with Hilton Honors award nights.
The Aspire card offers 14 points per dollar spent at hotels in the Hilton portfolio. At TPG’s valuation of 0.6 cents per point, that’s equivalent to an 8.4% return on spending. You’ll also earn 7 points per dollar (a 4.2% return) on flights booked directly with airlines or through AmexTravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants.
Finally, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar (a 1.8% return) on all other spending with the card.
Related: Best credit cards for Hilton stays
Redeeming points on the Hilton Aspire
Hilton gives you lots of options when it comes time to use your points. We suggest using them for standard award nights instead of using one of your other redemption options, like for merchandise, gift cards, premium room redemptions and airline transfers (at a roughly 10:1 ratio).
Although you can’t be entirely sure how many points an award night will cost thanks to Hilton’s variable award charts, you can use Hilton’s Points Explorer to get a rough idea of how many points your desired property will cost. You can also use your points to subsidize paid stays with the Points & Money option, which could get you up to 1 cent per point off your total room bill when choosing very expensive Hilton properties.
Related: How to maximize Hilton redemptions
Which cards compete with the Hilton Aspire?
If you want a card that carries a lower annual fee or earns a different type of rewards, one of these options might be a better fit:
- Hilton perks with a lower annual fee: The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with Hilton benefits like complimentary Gold status but a much lower annual fee of $150 (see rates and fees). For more details, check out our full review of the Hilton Surpass.
- Elite benefits with Marriott: The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is the top-tier card in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup. It comes with perks like a free night award and Priority Pass lounge access. (Enrollment is required); For more details, check out our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant.
- More versatile rewards: The Platinum Card® from American Express earns rewards you can transfer to Hilton or any of its other travel partners. It comes with perks like comprehensive airport lounge access and elite status with both Hilton and Marriott. For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Platinum.
Related: Hilton Surpass vs. Hilton Aspire
Is the Hilton Aspire worth it?
While its $550 annual fee might seem steep, it comes with a valuable welcome bonus, annual free night certificates, automatic elite status, and multiple statement credits. You’ll easily justify the Hilton Aspire’s annual fee if you can utilize all or most of these benefits. However, if you don’t stay at Hilton properties often enough to get much value from these benefits, you’ll be better off going a different route.
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card provides incredible value to even a semi-frequent Hilton customer. This is a great premium product if you don’t have another similarly positioned card.
If you routinely stay at Hilton properties, the offer of Diamond status and 34 Hilton points per dollar without any promos is incredible — plus, you get complimentary breakfast (or an on-property credit at U.S. properties) from Diamond status and up to $400 off at Hilton resorts every year.
The welcome bonus is enticing, but the added incentive of a free-night reward every time you renew your card is a great incentive to hold the card for the long haul.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass Card, click here.