Why I Applied for the Amex Hilton Aspire & How I Found One of the Card’s Perks Instantly Rewarding!

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Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Application Experience & Instant Perk
Hilton Nassau Beach

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Application Experience & Instant Perk

A few years ago Hilton did an amazing status match where I was able to lock in Diamond status for a year and then able to re-match that status for another year. It was fantastic and I sort of got used to having my Hilton Honors account displaying “Diamond”. But alas nothing good lasts forever and recently I finally dropped to the dreaded Hilton Honors “Gold” level.

To be honest, I have been either Gold or Diamond in Hilton Honors for close to a decade and in the United States I don’t notice a huge difference, but internationally I do find Diamonds are treated a bit better. You are technically guaranteed a better upgrade as a Diamond as well, so maybe it will result in better rooms overall.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Application Experience & Instant Perk
Millenium Hilton NYC View

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire – First Year Value

Okay, so yeah Diamond status is nice, but I am generally a Hyatt guy. So why apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card now? The answer is timing and value. Let’s start with value.

Here is what I will get the first year with the Hilton Aspire card in exchange for my $450 annual fee:

  • 150,000 Hilton Honors points after $4K spend in the first 3 months
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • 14X points at Hilton properties, 7X other categories, 3X everyday spend
  • $250 airline fee credit each calendar year
  • Priority Pass Membership with 2 guests
  • $250 Hilton Resort property credit
  • A free weekend night

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Application Link (Personal referral)

Even More Info!

Mark broke down in detail all of the value of this card in the first year and its tremendous. Make sure to check it out!

The American Express Hilton Aspire is HANDS DOWN the Most Valuable Premium Card on the Market!

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire – Application Experience

I am really loving American Express lately when it comes to applications. Yes, I am a long time customer and I have a lot of their cards, but that means I tend to get easy approvals without any hard credit inquiries. Indeed that happened here as well. I applied (last night) and it went to pending. I called, but was told I needed to wait for a call from a specific department. That call came the next morning (today) where I was told I needed to close one of my other 5 accounts and I was approved!

Instant Hilton Honors Status Perk

While I applied for this card in order to use it on an upcoming trip, there was one instant surprise that will benefit me tonight! After logging into my account post-approval I noticed I had already been instantly upgraded to Hilton Honors Diamond status.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Application Experience & Instant Perk

That’s right, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card gives you an INSTANT upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond status. 

Putting Hilton Honors Diamond Status to Use

While I hopefully will get good use out of my Hilton Honors Diamond status from the Hilton Honors Amex Aspire card in the future, I don’t need to wait a long time for that to happen. Tonight I’ll be attending a Hilton function at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas and staying at the property. The hotel is sold out, so who knows maybe that Diamond status will give me the edge on a better room over my old sad Gold?!?

Related: My Experience Using the American Express Aspire Perks

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Application Experience & Instant Perk
Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea Maui

Conclusion

Mark has been a long time fan of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and has covered all of its interesting features and perks many times on the site. After a lot of nagging he finally got me on board and I agree this is one of the most compelling products on the market. It delivers with value from several different angles and I’m just glad that I’m finally back on my perch as a Hilton Honors Diamond member again.

Do you have the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card? What do you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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20 COMMENTS

  1. If you made the reservation while being a Gold member, your new Diamond status won’t be automatically reflected in your reservation. Mine wasn’t reflected when I stayed at Grand Wailea in early December. I do have a reservation in Las Vegas in May so I’ll be curious as to if you were upgraded or not.

  2. Debbie. You can contact the resort’s reservations department and let them know you now have Diamond elite. I did this a couple of weeks ago for my upcoming reservation at the Grand Wailea. They confirmed an upgrade by email. And also let me know the Diamond benefits at the resort. I booked on points.

    • Instead of a suite uograde at the regular hotel, ask for a room in the Napua Tower. It is a separate boutique hotel within the main GW complex. Their regilar rooms are much larger than the regular hotel.

      Includes free (full) breakfast, snacks/sodas/bottled water during the day, cocktails & heavy apps at happy hour, & even a late evening chocolate service. The Napua lounge also has beautiful views & its own concierge. Cafe Kula in the hotel’s retail area sells many of the snacks you can get for free in the lounge pretty much all day.

      The $40 resort fee is waived using points, & includes:
      1. Lei greeting
      2. 2 btls water on arrival
      3. 45 min photo session with Pacific Dreams photography
      4. WiFi & local calls
      5. 2x daily SCUBA clinics
      6. Beach Cruiser Bikes
      7. Beach Umbrellas
      8. Weekly scheduled tours

      Diamond status gets you 2 for 1 at the main restaurant’s Grand Dining Room for a great Sunday brunch.

  3. My wife and I both have the Hilton Aspire Card. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas last year. The property qualifies for the $250 Hilton resort credit (If you don’t see it listed under Nevada, look under California). We combined that with last year’s Amex Offer for spend $350 at Waldorf Astoria/Conrad and save $70 (A new one just came out today for spend $500 and save $100). After taxes and fees, the rate was just over $400 per night. So all total, the bill was $800 we spent $100 out of pocket. We would go back there in a heartbeat! Also, their complimentary breakfast is fantastic and they make all the pastries in house.

  4. One big problem with the card is the airline credits. I wanted to purchase AA gift cards and get the Amex credits. Out of luck! No more. The other big problem is the high annual fee and poor earning for spend on this credit card.

    But I agree, the benefit of Diamond and the free night credit, priority pass, and the resort credit make the card an OK keeper.

    • Southwest still works (for now at least) for the airline credit. I know that doesn’t help everyone but it is an option.

    • Delta GC still works as long as you keep each one to $50.

      Not sure why you say the poor earning for spend as I use this card for dining out 7X so at least 3.5cents per $. Also the earn rate on Hilton spend at 14X which is in addition to the 20X as a Diamond.

  5. The Aspire is a great card. Depending on how you use the weekend night certificate, Aspire benefits should easily be worth $1K annually. And that’s not counting the potential perks of Diamond status.

  6. I would like to have Aspire card, but I refuse to jump through the hoops AMEX makes you do to use the airline credit and the resort credit. My suggestion to AMEX is the following: Give people the option to select the restrictive $250 airline credit or a $125 airline credit for any airline and any purchase, including tickets. Give people the option to select the $250 resort credit or a $125 credit for any Hilton Hotel.

    Personally, I would select both $125 credits, when combined with the yearly free weekend night, Diamond status and Priority Pass access, the cost of the card would be more than covered and would be a winner.

    • Paul the resort credit is so simple. Charge anything while staying at one of the designated resorts and you get a statement credit immediately.

      The airline credit is a bit of a pain but many (myself included) are making it work.

  7. Easily a keeper!

    Got upgraded to Napua lounge at GW, Maui and that alone saved us a few hundred by not having to pay for breakfast, and some nights we just didn’t dinner in the lounge.

    Airline credit, the resort credit added with an Amex offer! Can’t beat it!

  8. Shawn – Nice that you finally recognize the value of this card. This is honestly my favorite card along with my AX Platinum. I also have the Ascend card which is use primarily for groceries and gas due to the 6X points.

    At this point both my wife and I have our own Aspire accounts and honestly in the past year we have accrued roughly 400K just from referral and signup/upgrade bonuses.

    My experience so far that I have actually used on each one of the Aspire cards. As you can see I’m not even including the free breakfast and upgrades and additional point earning.
    $250 Airline credit
    $250 Resort credit
    $300 Free weekend night
    $800 in real $$$$ vs. the $450 Annual Fee per card.

  9. about a free wknd night, if the Aspire is downgraded to a basic card after the anniv on the 2nd yr, any chance the certificate still be issued? Thx

    • Cert usually doesn’t get sent out for several weeks and I think that is the reason they do it that way.

      • thx Mark, as a downgrade, after AF is posted, has a prorated charge, i guess no perks/ benefits other than maintaining a credit history & relationship with Amex RAT’s team…

  10. I upgraded today from the Ascend to the Aspire. Even though I had nothing on my account page, the Amex Rep said I would get the 150,000 points after the 4,000 spend. However, she said “it will take 8-10 weeks for your account to show that you are diamond”. I mentioned a London trip in a month, she said “I’ve never seen it take as short as 4 weeks for the account to change to diamond”. That seems odd to me. What should I expect as far as my Hilton account showing diamond vs. gold? Also, is there anything I can do to ensure diamond status in London? Would love to have access to the executive lounge.

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