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The AMEX Hilton Aspire Card

Hilton Aspire Card Review for Military

The Hilton Aspire card. Or is it the Ascend card? No, I’m pretty sure the Aspire is the good one.  Is it?  What mnemonic did I come up with for this? Gosh, I can’t even remember the mnemonic. This alliteration trend in card names needs to die. (Update: It did. See the Surpass post for more)

Instead of putting “Aspire” anywhere on the card, Hilton decided to make the design practically identical to the Ascend for ease of telling them apart

Top Tier Card Offerings

In all seriousness, it took me the better part of a year to remember that the Aspire is the good one.  By good one, I, of course, mean the $450/year one. Right off the bat, without even needing to mention your active duty annual fee waiver, this card pays you to own it.  It does this by way of 2 major annual statement credits that total OVER the annual fee.  Unheard of until the Hilton Ascend.

The first being a hefty $250 airline credit, working in the same fashion as the Amex Plat, just $50 higher. The second is a $250 Hilton resort credit, working in the same fashion as the Bonvoy Brilliant hotel credit, except that it isn’t across all Hilton’s, just the resorts.

There’s even a $100 statement credit at the Waldorf and Conrad resorts PER BOOKING (slightly complicated, probably not very used).  That’s $500 reimbursed per year at minimum, $600 if you get your fancy Hilton on.  For a $450 annual fee that YOU DONT PAY. Just stop reading now and get the card and then come back and check out what else you get. I’ll wait.

Hilton Diamond Status AND A Free Night

Back? Good. Now that you have the Aspire, you have Hilton Diamond status.  Bam, highest tier Hilton as long as you have the card. Need an excuse to use that sweet new status now?  Hilton Aspire has you covered with a free weekend night, every year, including the first year! Are you hearing this? $500 in reimbursable credits, a free weekend night, and diamond status, every year! Gosh, this game is fun.


Do you have the Surpass or plain jane Hilton card? Make those upgrades at the 366-day mark and enjoy the vast bennies of Aspire life.  Be sure to get the Aspire before you upgrade and then you can double, or even triple, dip the Aspire bennies.  Remember Amex has a 5 credit card limit and the astute TDWise traveler will have a plan to fill those 5 slots according to their travel needs.

Other not as cool, but still sort of cool, card perks: 14x points for Hilton purchases, 7x points for restaurants, flights, and car rentals, 3x points for everything else (is it any wonder Hilton points are experiencing dramatic inflation?), another priority pass (same as Amex Plat), and all the insurances expected.

As always, please consider using our referral link to get yours.


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