Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Credit Card Review

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Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

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Rewards rate:

Earn 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies & at U.S. restaurants. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

  • Intro bonus: 150,000 Points
  • Annual fee: $450
  • Regular APR: 15.74% – 24.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Hilton Amex Aspire card* is a premium travel rewards credit card, geared towards frequent Hilton hotels visitors. Cardholders get travel-related perks such as Hilton Diamond elite status, up to $250 in airline fee credits and $250 in Hilton resort credits. The card comes with a hefty $450 annual fee.

At a Glance

  • 14x points on purchases at Hilton hotels and resorts
  • 7x points on select travel and U.S. restaurants
  • 3x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Diamond elite status, including room upgrades, bonus points on stays and more
  • $250 airline fee credits
  • $250 Hilton resort credits for incidentals
  • Up to two weekend rewards nights per cardmember year
  • 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months since account opening 
  • $450 annual fee
  • Variable 15.74% to 24.74% APR

Pros

  • Airline and hotel credits

  • Complimentary top elite status with Hilton Hotels

  • Welcome offer

  • Priority Pass membership

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Rewards are geared towards Hilton only

Additional Card Details

In addition to the perks outlined above, the Hilton Aspire Card has a few more benefits up its sleeve.

For starters, the card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership. With it, you’ll get unlimited access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the globe that participate in the Priority Pass network. You can also take up to two guests with you per visit.

In addition to the aforementioned $250 in resort statement credits, you can get up to $100 in on-property credits at participating Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties on two-night minimum stays. These hotels can be quite pricey, and this credit can help offset the cost of incidentals and other resort activities.

The card is certainly geared towards frequent travelers and its perks reflect that, but it does have some perks not related to travel, as well. Cardholders get return protection, meaning American Express will reimburse you for items that the retailer won’t take back, within 90 days of purchase. You’ll also get complimentary access to American Express’ concierge service, which can help you make arrangements for dinner, concerts, shows or even to help you find gifts. I’ve personally used this service and highly recommend it.

While the card comes with a $450 annual fee, it does not charge any foreign transaction fees. You’ll also get baggage insurance, with up to $3,000 per checked and carry-on bag — if you pay for the luggage with the card and it is later lost, damaged or stolen.

Should You Get This Card?

When safe travel returns, this card will be a strong contender for frequent travelers who prefer to stay at Hilton hotels, since it offers a lot of perks that can offset the high annual fee and focus on saving at Hilton properties. But if you don’t plan to stay at any hotels in the Hilton portfolio, you likely won’t get a lot of value out of this card. If you tend to stay at rival hotel chains like Marriott or Hyatt, or if you prefer boutique hotels or Airbnbs, this card is not a good choice for you.

You should also consider whether you travel enough to maximize this card’s many benefits and offset the cost. If you prefer Hilton properties, but you only travel occasionally, a general travel rewards card, or lower-cost Hilton card like the Hilton Honors American Express Card, may be a better fit.

That said, if you have some upcoming Hilton stays on your radar, this card may end up paying for itself. You’ll get a $250 airline fee credit for incidental charges from an airline of your choosing (such as Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, or United Airlines) and $250 for incidentals at Hilton hotels — those perks alone may offset the cost of the $450 annual fee. You’ll also get Hilton Diamond elite status, which can score you free room upgrades, waived resort fees, bonus points on stays, complimentary breakfast, and more. 

How to Use the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Maximize your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card, by using it for any future Hilton bookings. You won’t get much value out of this card if you’re using it for anything other than travel, particularly at Hilton hotels.

The card currently features a welcome offer of 150,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of membership. Plan your application so you can score this welcome bonus (and pay off your purchases) within three month from the time you open your account. A 150,000-point welcome offer is valuable, but can quickly lose value if you take on high-interest debt with this card. 

And don’t forget to maximize the numerous added benefits of this card. Use your $250 airline fee credit on airline incidentals, such as checked baggage, on your preferred airline, the $250 resort credit on incidentals at Hilton resorts, and $100 property credit on two-night minimum stays at select Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties. You can also take advantage of one free weekend night at virtually any Hilton property each cardmember year, plus a second one when you spend $60,000 or more on this card in a calendar year. These perks can significantly decrease the price of future travel.

You should  charge any purchases incurred on future bookings or stays at Hilton hotels to earn 14x Hilton Honors points per dollar. You’ll also get 7x Hilton Honors points per dollar on select travel and in-restaurant dining, takeout and delivery purchases. It’s definitely worthwhile to use this card for those charges, as long as you don’t have another card with a better rewards rate on dining or travel.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Compared to Other Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • Intro bonus:
    150,000 Points
  • Annual fee:
    $450
  • Regular APR:
    15.74% – 24.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Intro bonus:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $550
  • Regular APR:
    16.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Bottom Line

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card is a premium travel card that’s especially appealing for people who frequently stay at Hilton hotels. Despite the high $450 annual fee, it comes with travel perks that can offset that price, and help you knock down the cost of your future vacation at Hilton hotels.

*All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card have an annual fee?

Yes, this card has a $450 annual fee.

Do you get elite status with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card?

Yes, you’ll receive top-tier Hilton Diamond status.

What credit score do you need to get approved for the American Express Hilton Aspire card?

You’ll need good to excellent credit, between 670-850, for the best chances of approval for this card.