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The newest credit card in our household is the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card and I am very excited to have what a lot consider the best premium credit card out there because of the card’s ongoing benefits.  For most of the benefits you simply have to just use your Aspire card, but there are a few that require you to enroll first.  Let’s dig into the card’s benefits.

After logging into AmericanExpress.com, click on the ‘More’ menu item, then click on ‘Benefits’.

 

 

This will take you to the Aspire’s benefits page that lists all 29 benefits this card has to offer.  Let’s take a look at my favorites that you don’t have to do anything special to receive:

 

 

Bonus Points

Get 14X points when you use your card at Hilton hotels and resorts.  You also earn 7X points when you use your card to book flights, car rentals, and at U.S. restaurants.  Everyday spend on the card receives 3X points.

Complimentary Diamond Status

This benefit is unbelievable!  There is no other hotel loyalty program that gives you their highest status just by having a credit card.  You would have to stay 60 nights at Hyatt to earn their top Globalist status.  Diamond status gets you a 100% points bonus when you earn points on a Hilton stay.

It also gets you a better chance at a complimentary room upgrade along with complimentary breakfast.  Finally if gives you executive floor lounge access at select properties.

Annual Weekend Night Reward

Yes that’s right – a FREE weekend night reward certificate each year you renew your card.  Hilton defines weekend as Friday, Saturday, or Sunday nights.  You can use the free weekend night certificate on just about any Hilton property (there is a small list of excluded hotels)

Earn a Weekend Night Reward

Amex will also give you another free weekend night reward certificate after you spend $60,000 in a calendar year.  This may be worth it for some since you would also get a minimum of 180,000 Hilton points with the $60,000 in spend.  180,000 Hilton points should almost get you 2 more free nights at a high end Hilton (typically 95,000 points) in addition to the free weekend night reward.

Others may prefer to put $60,000 in spend on a 2% cash back credit card to earn $1200.  What do you prefer – $1200 in cash or 3 nights in a high end Hilton?

$250 Hilton Resort Credit

Be careful of this benefit as the $250 credit is only received when you use your Aspire card at Hilton Resorts and not just any Hilton Hotel.  You can find the list of Hilton Resorts here.  A $250 credit is a pretty amazing benefit which helps offset the card’s annual fee.

$100 Property Credit

Be careful of this credit also as it is only good when you book a 2 night minimum stay at HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard to get a $100 credit for qualifying charges at participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts.  I love Hilton’s higher end Conrad and Waldorf Astoria brands so I will easily get use of this property credit.

 

 

For the next few benefits, you have to Enroll before you can take advantage of them.

$250 Airline Fee Credit 

Before you can take advantage of $250 in airline incidental fees charged to your Aspire card, you first need to enroll and choice an airline (United, Hawaiian, Frontier, Spirit, American, JetBlue, Southwest, Delta, or Alaska).

If you aren’t sure what counts as an incidental fee, check out the threads on flyertalk where the community reports what fees were and were not reimbursed (here is a link to the Southwest thread – links to other airlines are at the top of the thread also).

Don’t forget this is a calendar year benefit meaning if you apply and are approved for the card in July, you can use the $250 credit until December 31st of the year and then receive another $250 credit starting January 1st of the following year.

Priority Pass Select 

Just like so many other premium travel credit cards, the Aspire card also includes a Priority Pass Select membership which will get you into over 1000 lounges in over 120 countries for FREE.  The Aspire card’s version of Priority Pass Select also gets 2 of your guests into the lounge free of charge.

Don’t forget you have to enroll to get this benefit and they will mail you a welcome package and membership card that should arrive in 10-14 days.

 

ShopRunner

The only other benefit you have to enroll in before you can use is the ShopRunner benefit.  I was asked if I wanted to enroll when I was confirming my card (americanexpress.com/confirmcard) immediately after I received it.  If you skipped it during the confirmation process, you can enroll on the benefits section of the website.

While not the greatest benefit in the world, it has come in handy a few times by offering free 2-day shipping and returns when shopping online at 140+ stores.

Other Benefits

I only touched on 9 of the most valuable benefits of this, but there are many, many more such as no foreign transaction fees, roadside assistance, return protection, extended warranties, baggage insurance, and purchase protection just to name a few

 

First Year Benefits Value

Let’s calculate the value of the card’s benefits the first year to see if the card’s $450 annual fee is worth it.  I’ll assume Hilton points are valued at 0.6¢ per point.

$900150,000 Hilton Honor points welcome offer when you spend $4000 on the card in the first 3 months
$570Free Weekend Night Reward (assume 95,000 points)
$500$250 Airline credit per CALENDAR year (assume use twice)
$250$250 Resort credit
$100$100 Property credit (if used at Waldorf Astoria or Conrad)
$420Diamond Status Breakfast (assume free breakfast for 2 during 7 night stay)
?Diamond Status Room Upgrade(subject to availability)
$60Priority Pass Membership (assume 1 visit for 2)
$2800TOTAL Value of Benefits the first year

WOW – $2800 worth of benefits for a $450 annual fee.  I’ll be keeping this card for a very long time if not indefinitely.   

Thank you if you use my referral link to apply for the American Express Hilton Honors Ascend card – I’ll get some Hilton Honors points and you’ll get the same great public welcome offer.

 

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