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Hotel credit cards are, as I often say to my friends, underrated. Even if you don't intend to spend much on them, these cards are worth keeping.
I have written about the World of Hyatt Credit Card (review), how it is great. The card comes with a $95 annual cost, but I believe the free Category 1-4 night certificate that the card offers more than justifies that annual fee.
There is an even better hotel credit card I consider to be just as valuable. This card has been my personal card for several years and I have always gotten a great deal from it. I am specifically referring to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. This card is eligible even if your other card is in the Hilton Honors portfolio.
Although the card's annual fee of $450 is high for a hotel credit, it is extremely rewarding.
Hilton Honors points are available as a welcome bonus on the Hilton Aspire Card. This is after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. But the best thing about this card is its long-term benefits. The card's annual fee is justified by the four benefits listed below, in no particular order.
Hilton Honors Diamond status
Hilton Honors Diamond status is available to anyone who has the Hilton Aspire Card. This status is Hilton's highest tier hotel status and it's valid as long as the card is kept. You get this status because you have a credit card.
You get bonus points, breakfast or club access (or food & drink credit within the US), upgrade options subject to availability, premium Wi Fi, and many other benefits.
Although I don't consider Hilton Diamond the most valuable top-tier status, it is worth getting just for the card, especially since Hilton has such a large global reach. I have been impressed with Hilton's growth in luxury, with more Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties opening all over the world.
Hilton Honors Diamond status - Enjoy complimentary breakfast
Annual weekend night reward
The Hilton Aspire Card gives you an annual weekend night reward. This is available for your first year as well as every subsequent year. You can redeem this at any Hilton Honors property around the globe where there is a standard room on a weekend night. (here's a list of exclusions).
Cardmembers can enjoy a great deal of value by purchasing Hilton properties for as low as 150,000 points per night.
Here are two examples of where I have used these free night certificates.
They were redeemed at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills where the nightly rate was over $700
I have redeemed them at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal where the nightly rate was over $1,800
These are some incredible uses for the certificates. I cannot wait to see where they will be used next.
I have used my Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos nightly certificate
You have two additional reasons to apply for this card right away:
The new weekend night rewards that were issued on December 31, 2021 are applicable to any night of the week and not just weekends
The new weekend night rewards that were issued after December 31, 2021 are valid until December 31, 2022. Depending on the date of issue, there might be some additional time.
Hilton Resort Credit $250 per Year
Each cardmember year, you can receive up to $250 in credit for eligible purchases made directly at participating Hilton resorts with your Hilton Aspire Card. This link will take you to a list of all participating resorts.
It is great that almost any type of spending at these resorts will be eligible, regardless of whether we are talking about room rates, dining, spa treatments or activities. You should be able make full use of the benefit as long as your annual Hilton resorts card spend is less than $250.
Even better, you could redeem your anniversary certificate for a free night at a top Conrad and Waldorf Astoria resort, then use the $250 to enjoy massages, dinner, or other amenities. We used our Conrad Bora Bora credit to pay for some incidentals when we stayed on points at the Conrad Bora Bora. Credits can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks to post.
You can use your resort credit to book a treatment at Conrad Bora Bora
$250 credit towards your annual airline fees
Hilton Aspire Card provides a $250 credit for airline fees each calendar year. To be eligible for reimbursement, you must first designate an airline. These fees are usually reimbursed within four weeks of a purchase. However, in practice they often post sooner than this.
Similar to the Amex Platinum Card benefit, this works in a similar way. These terms specify what purchases are not eligible.
These fees do not include airfare tickets, upgrades, mileage point purchases, mileage transfer fees, gift card fees, duty-free purchases and award tickets.
You can save money on major US airlines by using your airline fee credit
Many things about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card are too good to be true. I have gotten so much from it. You get a free weekend night reward, $250 airline fee credit and a $250 Hilton resort credit for a $450 annual cost. The best part is that you can also earn top-tier Hilton Diamond status.
Personally, I receive more than $450 in value from the free night certificate. The rest of the benefits are just the frosting.
I'm not even talking about all the benefits that the card offers. The Hilton Aspire Card also includes Priority Pass membership and access to Amex Offers. For more information on the benefits of this card, see this post. This post also contains a thorough review of the Hilton Aspire Card.
Do you love the Hilton Aspire Card as much or more than I do?