How Long Does the Aspire Free Night Take to Arrive? Spoiler Alert! Longer then you Would Expect

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Aspire Free Night

How Long Does the Aspire Free Night Take to Arrive?

I have written about the Aspire quite a bit since it’s launch.  That is probably because I think it is hands down the best premium card on the market, in terms of perks.  I had written about my experience using all of the cards perks so far, except for the yearly free night.  That is because I had not received it yet. You would think you would get it right after signing up (it isn’t minimum spend dependent) but that isn’t the way American Express set it up.

Details

American Express lists in their terms that the free night should be delivered within 6-8 weeks after opening your account.  I thought that there was no way it will take that long…I mean it is just an email.  And then I waited and waited and waited.

I was sent a teaser email last week telling me I would get it in 6-8 weeks.  It was an email that probably should have been sent out days after I signed up and the title made it seem like it was the certificate.  False alarm! But I did receive the email earlier this week, finally!

Here are the actual dates for everything:

  • 2/5/18   – Applied
  • 2/6/18   – Approved – had to close some accounts for approval
  • 4/16/18 – Free night emailed

So it actually took about 10 weeks to get to me.  So not only did they not do it earlier than promised like I thought; they actually took 2 weeks longer than their preposterous time frame to send an email.

This could have been an issue since I signed up shortly after the launch and maybe the timeline is better these days?  Let me know in the comments if you have had a different experience.

Aspire Free Night

Using the Free Night

The free night works just like the old Citi Hilton Reserve card’s free nights.  You get a year from issuance to use the free night.  I am not sure if it needs to be booked by that date or if the certificate just needs to be used by that date.

The email has a phone number and a certificate/reward id number.  You need to call in to book the free night.  I mean if IHG has figured out how to make them bookable online you would think Hilton could but I digress. You also need to find a hotel with a standard room award.

That is hard to do these days with Hilton’s dynamic pricing and lack of a award chart. Look for 60-80,000 type of numbers.  If they are right on one of those numbers you should be good.

I plan on using mine for an upcoming trip to NYC which should save me 70-80,000 Hilton Honors points.

Conclusion

Even though the free night takes a long time to arrive it is still an amazing yearly perk.  If used properly it can offset a large chunk of the card’s annual fee.

If you are signing up for the card and plan to use the free night for and upcoming trip just be sure that you give yourself enough time for the certificate to be sent to you.

 

Let me know if you had the same experience, or a different one, in the comments section!


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12 COMMENTS

  1. And AMEX is using the exact same terms for anniversary nights on the SPG personal/biz cards (after August), according to their “Your Benefits are Getting a Takeover (uh Makeover)” email.

    I called AMEX since this was sent to me on Friday on the heels of my $95 AFs. Come August I’ll get less point value + a night I couldn’t use for maybe 15 mths (as you are experiencing). They are giving me 7k SPG points w $500 spend in next 30 days which, coincidentally(?) equals in value my $190 cumulative AFs. The AMEZ biz folks (on their own) did nothing.

  2. lol gonna stick it out til 7.28 & post as many 3x SPG points as I can before the 8.1 conversion. otherwise that would feel really good after the week we just had 😉

    My hubs did get approved for the 3x CUF on Fri tho which was a nice soothing ointment from the MR beat down.

  3. It also took my free “weekend” night cert about 10 weeks to arrive. I called AMEX about 6 weeks in and asked the when I would get the cert and the rep told me “Its not given the 1st year and I will receive it on my renewal” I gave up then just last week I received the free weekend cert by email and I can see ot on my AMEX account.

  4. I would be real curious to know if the free weekend cert will waive any resort fees. I was planning to book Conrad Fort Lauderdale sometime in July with the free cert. When you book with points standard room is 79k + $35 resort fee + 12% tax + $45 for parking. So even your free points room will cost you $90 a night.

    • I would imagine that you would only have to pay that terrible parking fee. Probably tax on that $45 as well.

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