AMEX Hilton Aspire Card for Casual Travelers?

Old Sep 26, 22, 10:15 am
  #1  
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AMEX Hilton Aspire Card for Casual Travelers?

Hello everyone. I am just getting into the reward game and trying to decide on a hotel rewards card. I know the Aspire is extremely valuable. However, is it valuable for someone who never travels for work? We travel for leisure a few times a year, and fly to visit family a few times a year. The annual fee is a steep price, but seems like we can get a free trip out of it every few years, and essentially pay $250 a year once you deduct the $250 resort credit that can be applied to your room. So basically we are paying $250 for a really nice hotel room for a night. Anyone in a similar boat who decided to get the card?
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Old Sep 26, 22, 10:36 am
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mia
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Originally Posted by godawgs View Post
....essentially pay $250 a year once you deduct the $250 resort credit ....
You seem to be calculating a net annual cost of $250. Please clarify your arithmetic. The annual fee is $450. There are two annual credits: $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit, $250 Airline Fee Credit, and there is a $100 On-Property Credit.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
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You seem to be calculating a net annual cost of $250. Please clarify your arithmetic. The annual fee is $450. There are two annual credits: $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit, $250 Airline Fee Credit, and there is a $100 On-Property Credit.
My bad. It would be $200 then. I'd say $450 AF, and I am sure I'd use the $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit. I see that the Airline Credit can be a little iffy as far as the reimbursement goes. Of course you can throw the free night in, but many hotel cards get you that. Albeit at a very expensive hotel, I am just thinking in pure tangible cash value.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 11:04 am
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mia
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Originally Posted by godawgs View Post
....Airline Credit can be a little iffy as far as the reimbursement goes....
Which domestic USA based airline(s) do you fly?
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Old Sep 26, 22, 11:08 am
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The unlimited visit (no restaurant but 2 guests) Priority Pass is nice too.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Which domestic USA based airline(s) do you fly?
Usually Southwest or American. I was thinking of grabbing the card for each because we tend to fly them each 2-3x a year, for about 10 round trip tickets.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by 8MiHi View Post
The unlimited visit (no restaurant but 2 guests) Priority Pass is nice too.
Agreed. Could utilize that at DFW here.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by godawgs View Post
Usually Southwest or American.
Southwest reimbursements are reliable and straightforward because American Express' systems mistakes inexpensive Southwest tickets for reimbursable fees. Start by reading the Wilipost at the top of the thread:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...ly-2022-a.html
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Old Sep 26, 22, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Southwest reimbursements are reliable and straightforward because American Express' systems mistakes inexpensive Southwest tickets for reimbursable fees. Start by reading the Wilipost at the top of the thread:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...ly-2022-a.html
Wow. That seems great. Thanks for sharing. Browsing some other threads it looks like some airlines aren't too doable with that. Do you anticipate AMEX cracking down? Thanks for sharing!
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Old Sep 26, 22, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by godawgs View Post
....some airlines aren't too doable with that....
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.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by godawgs View Post
Hello everyone. … Aspire …, is it valuable for someone who never travels for work? …
Please accept my welcome greetings also. Yes, absolutely, even more so for someone who travels infrequnetly. The Aspire card can easily be viewed as getting Diamond status (with its attendant perks) plus $50 in your pocket plus a free night (worth several hundreds of $$$) EVERY year.

Originally Posted by mia View Post
… There are two annual credits: $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit, $250 Airline Fee Credit, and there is a $100 On-Property Credit.
With all due respect for our esteemed Mod, I agree with the first 2, they’re essentially automatic no-brainers each year. The 3rd on my list is the annual free night which I’ve (as a person who does NOT usually patronize expensive hotels) very easily leveraged to ~$350-400 each the past few years at either a US ski resort or a London hotel walkable to Paddington train station. Priority Pass is also sweet. I’ve never stated at a Waldorf Astoria or Conrad so I’ve never received the $100 On-Property Credit.

mia linked several helpful pertinent threads. OP might also find Hilton Aspire Card, Moneymaker? helpful.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 6:35 pm
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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.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
You seem to be calculating a net annual cost of $250. Please clarify your arithmetic. The annual fee is $450. There are two annual credits: $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit, $250 Airline Fee Credit, and there is a $100 On-Property Credit.
Do be aware that you have to designate an airline for that year, so you can't spread it across multiple airlines, unfortunately.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by nall View Post
Do be aware that you have to designate an airline for that year, so you can't spread it across multiple airlines, unfortunately.
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?
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Old Sep 27, 22, 9:30 am
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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.
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