• Aditya Bagaria

American Express Hilton Aspire Card review!



Background:

This is the premium Hilton credit card. Hilton offers other American Express credit cards as well such as the Surpass Card.


Annual Fee: $450


What type of earning do I get?

14x points per dollar on Hilton purchases (ex. hotel costs when booked through Hilton.com, food & drink at hotel, etc.)

7x points per dollar on travel booked directly with American Express Travel or with the airline. This also applies to car rentals.

7x points per dollar on dining at U.S. restaurants.

3x points per dollar on other purchases.


Benefits:


Hilton Honors Diamond Status

· This status alone provides enough value to cover the $450 annual fee. Diamond is the highest level of status in the Hilton Honors loyalty program. This entitles you to free breakfast, suite upgrades, enhanced earning rates on paid hotel stays, and more!


Weekend Night Rewards

· You receive this every year after the renewal of your card including when you open the Aspire. This can be used at any property that is part of Hilton on a weekend night: Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. I would suggest using this at a Waldorf Astoria or Conrad property as they are usually hotels that cost over $1,000 a night (ex. Conrad Tokyo during cherry blossom season).


$250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit

· This is any purchase made at participating Hilton resorts (all of them are!). You can even use this for the room rate and any additional taxes. It’s essentially $250 to spend for free at any Hilton property. I would use it to eat at the hotel or for a relaxing spa!


$250 Airline Fee Credit

· This covers incidental fees such as baggage fees, food, and WiFi. You select an airline in January of every calendar year. You are not allowed to change your choice after January 31st. If you don’t have an airline-specific credit card such as the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card that waives luggage fees for your first bag, this can come in very handy!


Airport Lounge Access

· Priority Pass Select so you can enter lounges through this route with 2 guests. You can’t use the card at Priority Pass restaurants so be mindful!


Consumer Protections

· Baggage Insurance: Up to $3,000 for check and carry-on baggage per covered person per covered trip if baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen. You must purchase the entire fare on the Aspire for this benefit, but other credit cards such as the American Express Platinum Card are better for this purchase!


Analysis:

The Aspire Card has a hefty annual fee of $450. Any family can make great use of this card with just one vacation through the Diamond status. The free breakfast can be extremely valuable, especially internationally when you don’t know the language or food is expensive (ex. Switzerland). Combined with the $250 airline fee credit and $250 Hilton resort credit, and this card is a no-brainer!

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