AmEx Hilton Aspire Credit Card Review (2024.5 Update: 175k Offer)

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Review

2024.5 Update2: The new offer is 175k. Offer ends on 2024/07/31.

2024.5 Update: The welcome offer is changed back to 150k.

2024.3 Update: The new offer is 175k. It’s close to the best ever offer (180k). Offer ends on 4/17/2024.

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Application Link

Benefits

  1. 175k offer: earn 175,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 within the first 6 months. The recent best offer is 180k.
  2. We value Hilton Honors Points at 0.4 cents/point (Hotel Points Value), click here to see how many points are required for a free night. So the 180k highest welcome offer is worth about $720!
  3. Earn 14x Hilton Honors points per $1 spent on hotel stays within Hilton Portfolio; 7x points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants; 3x points on other purchases.
  4. One Free Night (FN) Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio with your new Card and each year of Card Membership. Another Free Night (FN) Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $30,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year. Another FN after spending $60,000.
  5. Complimentary Hilton Diamond status for cardholder.
  6. [New] $200 flight credit: get up to $50 in statement credits each quarter, for a total of up to $200 back each year, on flight purchases made directly with an airline or through amextravel.com using this card. Note that this is very different from the usual AmEx air incidental credit: this flight credit explicitly covers the flight ticket itself! Also you don’t need to specify a specific airline beforehand.
  7. [New] $400 Hilton resort credit: get up to $200 in statement credits semi-annually for eligible purchases made directly with participating Hilton Resorts on this card. That’s up to $400 back annually. The room rate itself is also included when you stay in a Hilton resort!
  8. [New] Clear credit: You can cover the cost of a CLEAR Plus Membership (Excluding any applicable taxes and fees and subject to auto-renewal) with up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year after you pay for CLEAR Plus with this card.
  9. Complimentary Priority Pass Select (PPS) card for the primary cardholder (enroll here). You can bring 2 guests for free. Note that AmEx issued PPS cards no longer give restaurant credit (they can only be used in PPS airport lounges). [Update] This benefit is no longer available after 2023/10/19.
  10. $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package (not sure about the details yet).
  11. $800 Cell phone protection: get up to $800 per claim and 2 claims per year in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for phones listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your eligible credit card. Deductible $50.
  12. With this credit card, you can get access to Amex Offers, which often offers very good discounts at some stores. In the past we have seen offers like: Spend $15 or more and get $5 back at Walmart; Spend $75 or more and get $25 back on Amazon.com.
  13. Refer a friend: You can earn 20,000 bonus Hilton points for every approved account you refer, up to 80,000 Hilton Points per calendar year.
  14. No foreign transaction fee.

Disadvantages

  1. [New] $550 annual fee, NOT waived for the first year. ($450 annual fee before 2023/10/19.)

Recommended Application Time

  1. Note that AmEx has the following policy: If you currently or have previously held a specific AmEx credit card, you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus offer. So if you want to squeeze out the highest rewards from credit cards, you should apply for the welcome offer first, and then take the upgrade offer, and then possibly go on upgrading/downgrading.
  2. You can only get the welcome bonus once in a lifetime, so be sure to apply when the historical highest offer appears.
  3. AmEx doesn’t care about the number of hard pulls.
  4. You can try to apply for it when you have a credit history of 6 months.
  5. Only 2 AmEx credit cards can be approved within 90 days, but this rule does not apply to charge cards. Multiple cards approved in the same day will only have one Hard Pull.
  6. You can keep at most 5 AmEx credit cards, but this rule does not apply to charge cards.

Summary

One of the highlight of this card is the complimentary Diamond status! Compared to accumulate nights and stays, this is really the most easy way to get this top tier status. Although the annual fee seems to be high at $550, you earn the $200 flight credit per year and the $400 resort credit (both are very easy to get), and plus an annual free night! This card is absolutely recommended to keep for long time if you stay with Hilton frequently! Although the welcome offer on paper is only 180k Hilton points, don’t forget the annual free night starts from the card opening, you don’t need to wait for a year for that!

Benefits before 2023/10/19
  1. 150k offer: earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months. This is the recent best offer, so get it now if you need this card.
  2. We value Hilton Honors Points at 0.4 cents/point (Hotel Points Value), click here to see how many points are required for a free night. So the 150k highest welcome offer is worth about $600!
  3. Earn 14x Hilton Honors points per $1 spent on hotel stays within Hilton Portfolio; 7x points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants; 3x points on other purchases.
  4. One Free Night (FN) Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio with your new Card and each year of Card Membership. A second Free Night (FN) Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year.
  5. Complimentary Hilton Diamond status for cardholder.
  6. $250 airline fee credit for incidental charges such as checked bags per calendar year. Because this benefit resets according to calendar year and not when you opened the card, you can actually get the airline fee credit TWICE during the first year! Note that this benefit is not automatically enrolled, you need to enroll and specify an airline by clicking here.
  7. The airline credit is actually easy to get: although AmEx terms & conditions says airline gift cards are excluded, data points show that they actually can trigger the credit.
  8. $250 Hilton resort statement credit per card membership year. The room rate itself is also included when you stay in a Hilton resort!
  9. Complimentary Priority Pass Select (PPS) card for the primary cardholder (enroll here). You can bring 2 guests for free. Note that AmEx issued PPS cards no longer give restaurant credit (they can only be used in PPS airport lounges).
  10. $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package (not sure about the details yet).
  11. With this credit card, you can get access to Amex Offers, which often offers very good discounts at some stores. In the past we have seen offers like: Spend $15 or more and get $5 back at Walmart; Spend $75 or more and get $25 back on Amazon.com.
  12. Refer a friend: You can earn 20,000 bonus Hilton points for every approved account you refer, up to 80,000 Hilton Points per calendar year.
  13. No foreign transaction fee.
  14. $450 annual fee, NOT waived for the first year.

One of the highlight of this card is the complimentary Diamond status! Compared to accumulate nights and stays, this is really the most easy way to get this top tier status. Although the annual fee seems to be high at $450, you earn the $250 airline incident credit per year and the $250 resort credit (both are very easy to get), and plus an annual free night! This card is absolutely recommended to keep for long time if you stay with Hilton frequently! Although the welcome offer on paper is only 100k Hilton points, don’t forget the annual free night starts from the card opening, you don’t need to wait for a year for that! So actually the total value you get from the first year is approximately: $600 from points + $250 from the free night + $250*2 from the air credit per calendar year + $250 resort credit – $450 first year annual fee = $1150!

Related Credit Cards

Recommended Downgrade Options

After Applying

  • Click here to check AmEx application status.
  • AmEx reconsideration backdoor number: 877-399-3083. The “real” backdoor number of Amex is well protected. Different from Chase, the representatives from this AmEx reconsideration backdoor number only have the right to help you submit requests.

Historical Offers Chart

Application Link


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