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AMEX Hilton Aspire Card for Casual Travelers?

AMEX Hilton Aspire Card for Casual Travelers?

Old Sep 27, 22, 9:35 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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In my view, at inception I thought this was bar none one of the best CC value propositions I'd have ever seen, especially taking into consideration the SUB. It's almost as if they're paying the cardmember to enjoy Diamond status. Of course, I do spend a minimum of "X" dollars per year on travel and will always use the benefits, but I assume that's the targeted demographic? Matter of fact, I'm both pleasantly surprised and thankful Amex hasn't nerfed this thing, which I was almost certain would've happened by now.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 9:37 am
  #17  
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In short, yes. I am a leisure traveler - when I had an employer who paid for the occasional business trip, I had to use my corporate card anyway. For international travel it is really nice to have Diamond status since properties abroad usually still offer substantial benefits to elites (breakfast, lounge, maybe room upgrades). The free night and airline credit are easy to use. There are a lot of resorts, so it shouldn’t be too hard to use the resort credit naturally, but there are also ways to fudge it. I have not used a Conrad/WA credit because it has been many years since I had the opportunity to stay at one. Just no opportunity - I don’t travel with a credit in mind. One day I am sure it will happen, but even without it the card is profitable for me.

Would be good to know more about your travel style. International or domestic? Resorts or roadside Hampton Inn?

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Old Sep 27, 22, 10:26 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
United is simple and reliable. Delta requires a few steps, but is also reliable.

If you open an Aspire now, you can receive an airline reimbursement in 2022, and again in early 2023. There is no net cost to hold the card for the first 12 months, and that's the best way to learn if it is useful for you.
Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
You must stay at a resort (on their resort list) to utilize the resort fee reimbursement (fudging nothwithstanding). Do you go to an actual resort every year? We do, but $250 is merely the tip of the iceberg of what we end up spending out of pocket (unless you have one nearby that you go to for just one night).

I have found the airline credit extremely difficult to use on Alaska, I might switch to Southwest next year (fudging nothwithstanding).

I use the free night every year, and get considerable value from that.

Priority Pass is great since we don't have status/passes for any other airport lounges. But it was waaaay better when certain restaurants were included.

Plus the Diamond status which translates to more points earned on each stay, and the very high multiples on many categories, I think it is well worth it, and we are also purely leisure travelers.
Originally Posted by Super Mario View Post
Tough to say if it's worth it or not. A lot of people hate to admit that they hold cards on the principle of huge financial returns, but don't actually pull the value they thought they would. However, some people will pay for an experience they feel is a more premium one.

Honestly, if you travel with Hilton somewhat regularly, it's rarely a terrible value. However, even though it isn't hard to exceed $450 in value, it causes some people to spend more than they would. I'd say my starting point for the Aspire is the resort credit. Besides the obvious $250 amount, I think that's the point if you are bought in enough to pull in significant value. I know the free night has its allure because it could easily exceed a $450 room, but it may not always work as intended either. Diamond F&B credit is a good addition, no matter how many people scream and cry that it isn't steak and eggs in new york.

Some people are better off not staying loyal, and/or looking for the best hotel for the price.
I find myself in the middle - happy to stick to a brand that's available and worth it. I don't spend more than 2k a year on hotels, though, right now. however I could use the $250 credit at a resort near me easily for a nice staycation.

Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
In short, yes. I am a leisure traveler - when I had an employer who paid for the occasional business trip, I had to use my corporate card anyway. For international travel it is really nice to have Diamond status since properties abroad usually still offer substantial benefits to elites (breakfast, lounge, maybe room upgrades). The free night and airline credit are easy to use. There are a lot of resorts, so it shouldnt be too hard to use the resort credit naturally, but there are also ways to fudge it. I have not used a Conrad/WA credit because it has been many years since I had the opportunity to stay at one. Just no opportunity - I dont travel with a credit in mind. One day I am sure it will happen, but even without it the card is profitable for me.

Would be good to know more about your travel style. International or domestic? Resorts or roadside Hampton Inn?

Welcome to Flyertalk!
Hello! I'd say a mix of both. A few domestic trips a year, something international every 2-3 years. 5-10 nights a year typically. Maybe one of those trips is a Hampton inn, another two are probably a resort/embassy suites type place. Never travel for work, we make an OK income, nothing like most of the users on here. So I want to make sure what we do gets us some travel back - I think I am between the Aspire and the venture one X.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 10:48 am
  #19  
 
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Diamond status got us a nice upgrade last month in Hawaii. Using points for a regular room we ended up in a Cottage Suite. It was very nice.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 10:49 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
… (fudging nothwithstanding). ...
Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
… "tricks" …
Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
… saps …
Whether the maneuvers some of us do to take advantage of the various credits for this card are “fudging” and/or “tricks” is semantics (and debatable). Regardless of where one is on that debate, those maneuvers are not unethical or amoral or illegal. Certainly those maneuvers are not nearly as questionable as some of the MS (manufactured spend) maneuvers posted here (covering the word “debit” or "gift" with a finger when asked to show the card, using someone else’s SSN, etc.). Certainly one is NOT a sap if one chooses to not do these maneuvers.

It's not been mentioned on this thread yet but Hilton Diamond status (and hence the Aspire card) had significantly greater value just a short while ago. Hilton in the past couple of years has replaced complimentary breakfast(s) for Diamonds with a breakfast credit (which usually pales in comparison to the actual cost of breakfast).

Even with that recent “devaluation”, consensus of opinions expressed on this and other threads is that the Aspire card, particularly in this age of (relative) unchurnability, is a keeper and well worth the annual fee even for infrequent and/or leisure and/or casual travelers.

Originally Posted by godawgs View Post
… between the Aspire and the venture one X.
Why not both?
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Old Sep 27, 22, 11:05 am
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
It's not been mentioned on this thread yet but Hilton Diamond status (and hence the Aspire card) had significantly greater value just a short while ago. Hilton in the past couple of years has replaced complimentary breakfast(s) for Diamonds with a breakfast credit (which usually pales in comparison to the actual cost of breakfast).
That change was for US properties only, as far as I know.

For me it has been somewhat of a mixed impact. While the credit probably generally is less than what we would consume for breakfast, there are times when we visit friends/family and actually dont use the free breakfast benefit because we want to go out for breakfast with them somewhere else. In the past we are forgoing the free breakfast and paying for the outside breakfast. Now we can use the daily credit to stock up the room with snacks and drinks or have lunch or dinner instead. All things considered, as would prefer a choice (even a couple thousand points as an option would be nice).
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Old Sep 27, 22, 11:39 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
Whether the maneuvers some of us do to take advantage of the various credits for this card are fudging and/or tricks is semantics (and debatable). Regardless of where one is on that debate, those maneuvers are not unethical or amoral or illegal. Certainly those maneuvers are not nearly as questionable as some of the MS (manufactured spend) maneuvers posted here (covering the word debit or "gift" with a finger when asked to show the card, using someone elses SSN, etc.). Certainly one is NOT a sap if one chooses to not do these maneuvers.

It's not been mentioned on this thread yet but Hilton Diamond status (and hence the Aspire card) had significantly greater value just a short while ago. Hilton in the past couple of years has replaced complimentary breakfast(s) for Diamonds with a breakfast credit (which usually pales in comparison to the actual cost of breakfast).

Even with that recent devaluation, consensus of opinions expressed on this and other threads is that the Aspire card, particularly in this age of (relative) unchurnability, is a keeper and well worth the annual fee even for infrequent and/or leisure and/or casual travelers.

Why not both?
First of all, I said that *I* was the sap. But I'm ok with that.

If I have to book a flight with upgraded seats, that I know I'll never take and plan on cancelling...or book a resort that I know I will never stay at...then while you might say there's nothing wrong with that, I would say....I really don't need this pricey credit card.

But I do get more than $450 worth of value every year....I could get more by not being a sap, but I'm ok with that.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 2:56 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
I wish they would just make it similar to the resort credit - $250 off any airline purchase - the resort can be room, or restaurant, or spa, or cabana, etc...just any money spent at a resort.

Restricting the airline credit to just peripheral spend (upgraded seats, baggage fees, etc.) makes it very difficult to use
I'm pretty sure this is the point -- it's "breakage."
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Old Sep 27, 22, 3:02 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
Whether the maneuvers some of us do to take advantage of the various credits for this card are fudging and/or tricks is semantics (and debatable). Regardless of where one is on that debate, those maneuvers are not unethical or amoral or illegal. Certainly those maneuvers are not nearly as questionable as some of the MS (manufactured spend) maneuvers posted here (covering the word debit or "gift" with a finger when asked to show the card, using someone elses SSN, etc.). Certainly one is NOT a sap if one chooses to not do these maneuvers.

It's not been mentioned on this thread yet but Hilton Diamond status (and hence the Aspire card) had significantly greater value just a short while ago. Hilton in the past couple of years has replaced complimentary breakfast(s) for Diamonds with a breakfast credit (which usually pales in comparison to the actual cost of breakfast).

Even with that recent devaluation, consensus of opinions expressed on this and other threads is that the Aspire card, particularly in this age of (relative) unchurnability, is a keeper and well worth the annual fee even for infrequent and/or leisure and/or casual travelers.

Why not both?
Honestly the AF's -seems like the venture x pays for itself easily without work. The Aspire, you have to definitely take a flight or Jimmy the system to get that AF return. With that said I do think the reward return on the Aspire is higher, but the Venture X is more flexible. Not sure what is best for the casual traveler like myself.
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Old Oct 2, 22, 12:55 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
I wish they would just make it similar to the resort credit - $250 off any airline purchase - the resort can be room, or restaurant, or spa, or cabana, etc...just any money spent at a resort.

Restricting the airline credit to just peripheral spend (upgraded seats, baggage fees, etc.) makes it very difficult to use for those of us who primarily fly one airline but already get the seats they want and checked bags for free. It forces people to do "tricks" to get the credit, and for saps like me who don't want to do that, I leave some credit on the table almost every year. Why not just make it $250 off any airline purchase....sure, most will end up with a free flight or two, but they're already giving us a free hotel room, what's so terrible about a free or close to free flight, or a small chunk out of a very expensive flight?
Be careful what you wish for. If they changed it to any airline purchase, they'd also probably change it to $25 off, not $250 off, because they would know everyone would get it. The whole reason it's $250 is because it's not so easy to get.

But the bigger risk is that they'll get rid of the airline "incidental" credit rather than changing it. They already got rid of the airline "incidental" credit on the Amex Gold card.

And, btw, it's not any money spent at a resort that counts, it's only money billed to the resort (whether spent in person or spent online). If there's someplace within the resort that does their own billing, that won't trigger the resort credit. And prepaid online doesn't work in the USA, because USA prepaid rates are billed to Hilton central, not to the individual hotel/resort.

Remember, it's Amex that's giving the airline "incidental" credit, but it's Hilton that's giving the resort credit. So it's not the same "they" in both cases.

Card benefits on partner cards are co-designed between the credit card company and the partner, and you shouldn't assume that all the benefits are coming from the same place.
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Old Oct 3, 22, 11:28 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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IMO, if you can use the benefits its absolutely worth trying it out.

In year one you will get:
  • 150,000 points - I value this at $750 ($.005 per point)
  • 1 Free Night (uncapped value) - I value this at about $250-300. Although you can offset a $1,000 a night hotel, would you pay that much without the certificate? If not, value it at what you would pay
  • $250 resort credit
  • $250 airline credit
You will also get Diamond status. Up to you after year 1 if you think you got enough benefit from that. If you decide after year 1 to downgrade, keep in mind that the airline credit is calendar year, so use that twice before downgrading.

The Aspire card can very easily pay for itself, much quicker than the new Bonvoy Brilliant can
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Old Oct 3, 22, 1:15 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Schnit View Post
IMO, if you can use the benefits its absolutely worth trying it out.

In year one you will get:
  • 150,000 points - I value this at $750 ($.005 per point)
  • 1 Free Night (uncapped value) - I value this at about $250-300. Although you can offset a $1,000 a night hotel, would you pay that much without the certificate? If not, value it at what you would pay
  • $250 resort credit
  • $250 airline credit
You will also get Diamond status. Up to you after year 1 if you think you got enough benefit from that. If you decide after year 1 to downgrade, keep in mind that the airline credit is calendar year, so use that twice before downgrading.

The Aspire card can very easily pay for itself, much quicker than the new Bonvoy Brilliant can
Thanks - ended up getting approved for it with a 25k CL. I am excited to reap the benefits. Already bought two cheap SW tix to get the credits on hopefully.
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Old Oct 5, 22, 3:48 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by Schnit View Post
IMO, if you can use the benefits its absolutely worth trying it out.

In year one you will get:
  • 150,000 points - I value this at $750 ($.005 per point)
  • 1 Free Night (uncapped value) - I value this at about $250-300. Although you can offset a $1,000 a night hotel, would you pay that much without the certificate? If not, value it at what you would pay
  • $250 resort credit
  • $250 airline credit
You will also get Diamond status. Up to you after year 1 if you think you got enough benefit from that. If you decide after year 1 to downgrade, keep in mind that the airline credit is calendar year, so use that twice before downgrading.

The Aspire card can very easily pay for itself, much quicker than the new Bonvoy Brilliant can
Yes thanks to the changes the Bonvoy Brilliant is a way worse value proposition.
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Old Oct 10, 22, 5:43 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Can someone confirm if this card is available for UK residents
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Old Oct 10, 22, 8:27 pm
  #30  
mia
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Aspire is not offered to markets outside the USA. This doesn't mean it is "impossible" to apply, but you will need some connection to the United States to be approved. See here:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...periences.html
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