Hilton Honors Amex Aspire Review

Hilton Honors Amex Aspire

Reviewed by Credit Carrots (2019)

hilton honors credit card

TL;DR: This Hilton credit card is unique among hotel credit cards as it gives you top tier “diamond” status out of the box. It also provides a free night every year, and $350 worth of combined hotel/resort credits. This card is a must-have if you enjoy staying at nice hotels while you travel.

Hilton Honors Amex Aspire

This Hilton credit card will give you awesome perks and earn rates at one of the world's most storied hotel chains.

Annual Fee

The Hilton Honors credit card has an annual fee of $450.

Top Five Travel Benefits

  • Annual Free Night Award
  • Hilton Diamond Status
  • $250 Resort Credit
  • $100 Hilton Property Credit
  • Airport Lounge Access

Top Additional Perks

  • No FX Fees

Introduction

What the Hilton Amex Aspire is all about

This terrific credit card is a collaboration between Hilton and American Express that allows you to earn rewards point in the Hilton Honors program – which is one of the best hotel loyalty programs around.

The Hilton Honors program has its roots in an “Instant Win” scratch-off promotion tied to U.S. Olympic Team sponsorship back in 1987. Today, it allows you to redeem points at over 4,000 properties around the world.

This card provides a long list of benefits that are highlighted by Hilton Honors Diamond Status, $250 Hilton resort credit, and a free weekend night stay every year.

Read on to learn more about the robust benefits and perks that come with the Hilton AMEX Aspire credit card.

How to Earn Rewards Points

Hilton Honors Points Earn Rates

Before we get into the detail of the different ways you can earn Hilton Honors points, we want to first clarify how much each point is worth.

Based on our research, we value a Hilton Honors point at 0.65 cents. That means if you spend a dollar to earn a rewards point, then you are essentially getting 0.65% of value back. Luckily for us, this credit card offers much more than one point per dollar!

Here are the different ways you can earn points:

3 rewards point per dollar spent on everyday purchases (ie. you’re getting 1.95% of your spend back in Hilton Honors points value).

7 rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines (ie. you’re getting 4.55% of your spend back).

7 rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked through AMEX Travel (ie. you’re getting 4.55% of your spend back).

7 rewards points per dollar spent on all US restaurants, and certain car rental companies (ie. you’re getting 4.55% of your spend back).

14 rewards points per dollar spent at participating Hilton hotels and resorts (ie. you’re getting 9.10% of your spend back). This is amazing value!

How to Redeem Rewards Points

Redeeming Hilton Honors Points

Hilton Honors is a solid rewards program that gives you access to a large number of properties around the world. In our experience, Hilton’s price point is typically a bit higher than their competitors such as Marriott. However, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for luxury then this is a great loyalty program!

There are a lot of redemption options for your points, but our favorite ones are below:

Hotel Stays. Since Hilton is a hotel company, it comes as no surprise that redeeming your Hilton Honors points for hotels stays is the best use of your points. Your points can be used at over 5,000 locations with no blackout dates. As a Hilton Diamond member (a perk of this card), you will also receive every fifth night free on rewards stays!

One of the downsides of Hilton Honors is that they do not publish a redemption chart showing how many points you will need for each hotel tier. The only way to find out how many points you’ll need for a stay is to go through their online portal or call in.

Experiences. Hilton experiences allows you to redeem points on experiences such as concert tickets and sporting events. Some of the past redemption options include an oyster tasting in Ria Formosa, camel rides in Cairo, and a Goo Goo Dolls concert.

Hilton experiences also allows you to bid for once-in-a-lifetime experiences using your points. Some previous experiences up for bid include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, playing tennis with John McEnroe, and a VIP event at F1 Abu Dhabi.

While the redemption rates are not always the best, you can find some real gems when using your points to bid. In our experience, not too many people actually participate in the bidding process so you have a decent chance to access some truly exclusive experiences at a palatable price.

Vacation Packages. You can also redeem your points on a wide assortment of packages including all-inclusives and golf vacations. The redemption rates on these rewards are rarely attractive so we would suggest that you save your hard-earned points on either hotel stays.

Additional Benefits and Features

What else does the Hilton Honors AMEX Aspire get you?

The Hilton Honors AMEX Aspire comes with all of the usual perks of a hotel credit card along with the benefits found on top-tier travel rewards credit cards.

Our favorite benefits include:

  • Annual free night award. As a cardholder, you’ll enjoy a free hotel stay every year after your account anniversary.
  • Priority Pass Select. With Priority Pass membership, you will have access to over 1000 airport lounges around the world.
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond Status. Hilton’s Diamond status is the highest membership tier of the loyalty program. This is rare among credit cards as most of them only give you a middle-of-the-road membership status.With Diamond status, you get some pretty awesome benefits such as late checkout, complimentary breakfast, hotel lounge access, room upgrades, and fifth standard reward night free.
  • $250 Airline Fee Credit. This benefit gives you $250 per calendar year to use towards incidental airline charges such as baggage fees. The one big downside to this is that the fee credit is only valid for one airline – that you get to select. If you haven’t made the selection with American Express, then you won’t be able to apply the fee credit.
  • $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit. Hilton will give you a $250 resort credit for charges at Hilton resorts that are made on your AMEX Aspire card. This resort credit will refresh on your account anniversary date.
  • $100 Hilton On-property Credit. When you book at least two nights using your AMEX Aspire, you will get up to $100. This credit is applied in a pretty interesting way. Essentially, for every qualifying dollar you spend at the hotel, you will get one dollar’s worth of hotel credits that will be applied to your total bill at checkout. The “qualifying dollar” definition is actually generously broad, and includes everything except for property fees, taxes, gratuities, and the cost of the room itself.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. This is a key feature for any international traveler. If you’re charging a foreign currency to your standard credit card, it would cost you over 2% extra for the currency conversion. With no FX fees on the AMEX Aspire, you only pay what the banks pay to convert your currency.

For a full list of all Hilton Amex Aspire benefits click here.