The new American Express Aspire credit card brings a host of benefits for the avid Hilton fan. Don’t be turned avoid by the high $450 annual fee – its is well worth it.
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American Express Aspire credit card – Benefits
- earn 150,000 Hilton Honors points after $4,000 in spend within the first 3 months
This is a great sign up bonus worth $750 or more depending on how you can redeem your points.
- earn 14x Hilton point when paying at Hilton properties, 7x for flights booked on amextravel.com, US restaurants and car rentals and 3x on anything else
The 7x bonus categories appear a bit random to me. 14x for any Hilton charges are quite solid – they are of course on top of what you earn for your stay.
- annual $250 incidental airline credit
This works similar to the credit when using an American Express Platinum card (where it is $200 per calendar year).
- once per membership year a $250 resort fee credit when staying at a Hilton Resort
The list of ‘resorts’ is bigger than you think.
- Priority Pass membership with unlimited visits for you and two guests
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond Status
I have that anyways but this is great if you want suites and or have breakfast at the property.
- One Weekend night certificate plus another after card renewal
- $450 annual fee, not waived in the first year
American Express Aspire credit card – $250 Airline Credit
If you have an American Express Platinum card you will be familiar with this benefit. It is meant to re-imburse you for airline incidental charges that excludes tickets. However it is a ‘common bug’ that many other charges are actually getting the credit.
You do have to choose one airline though before any credits will post.
American Express Aspire credit card – $250 Resort Credit
The list of eligible properties is long and includes a number that do not charge a resort fee. The only condition really is that the property needs to charge you. It CAN NOT be a prepaid rate.
Since many Hilton Resorts also participate in Virtuoso you can get an additional $100 property credit that way. The American Express Aspire credit card has a similar dedicated booking channel as Virtuoso (with similar benefits such as breakfast and VIP status but it requires a two night minimum).
American Express Aspire credit card – Best redemptions
Hilton has been tweaking their redemption algorithm many times the last few years. Up until 2013 you would get the most value at most luxurious hotel and after that low-end hotels would be extraordinary cheap. One of my favorite redemptions was the Doubletree Kuala Lumpur that would be available at 10,000 points (or $100 for a paid rate). The rate is now 20,000 instead of 10,000.
Hilton Honors allows members to book five nights for the price of four – this includes redemptions!
In general you’ll end up with 0.5-0.6 cents per points in redemption value. This should make your sign-up bonus worth up to $900.
The Hilton Dubrovnik is now a good redemption as you can use 70,000 points to offset a rate of $550 plus taxes and fees in summer.
American Express Aspire credit card – How to get approved?
Since this card only came upon last year most of us never had this card. American Express allows one sign-up bonus per credit card product and social security number. So most likely nothing but bad credit can stop you from a sign-up bonus for this card.
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