Putting the Hilton Aspire Card's Benefits to Use on a Trip to Puerto Rico - The Points Guy (2024)

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After talking about it for months, my wife and I recently took a trip to Puerto Rico. It was perfect timing, as we arrived during the San Sebastián Festival in San Juan. It just so happened to be a great opportunity to put the perks of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card to use.

Hotel selection for our travel dates was limited due to the festival. We decided to go with the Hilton Ponce on the south side of Puerto Rico, and I was able to book 7 nights for 240,000 points, with the fifth night being complimentary. The booking would have cost roughly $1,700 out of pocket with taxes and resort fees included, so the value was pretty decent on this redemption: 0.7 cents per point, slightly higher than TPG's valuation of Hilton points at 0.6 cents per point.

At the time of booking, I had Hilton Gold status through my Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card. However, I had been eyeing the Hilton Aspire for some time. I was waiting for the right time to strike. It has a $450 annual fee (See Rates & Fees), but it can be a no-brainer if you can put its various statement credits to use — not to mention the complimentary top-tier Diamond status — to use. As of publish time, it's offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months, worth $900 based on TPG's valuations.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

My wife's tuition for the University of Utah (Go Utes!) was right around the corner. Luckily, the University of Utah does not charge extra to pay with a credit card. So this was the perfect opportunity to earn a welcome bonus and take advantage of the card perks for stays at a Hilton property. I applied and was approved.

Here's how I maximized my Hilton Aspire perks on our Puerto Rico trip.

Hilton Resort Statement Credit

With the Hilton Aspire, card holders get a $250 credit each card member year toward eligible purchases at Hilton resorts. While there's a plethora of ways to use this statement credit, including the actual room cost, my wife and I treated ourselves to massages and a nice dinner.

The nuance to this statement credit is that the charges must be billed to the room, and the room must be paid for with the Aspire. When I booked the room, I used my Ascend to hold the room. When I learned of this rule, I quickly went to my Hilton Honors account and was able to swap out the cards with no issue. Plus, with the Aspire, I earned 14x points on my stay.

Putting the Hilton Aspire Card's Benefits to Use on a Trip to Puerto Rico - The Points Guy (2)

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Airline Fee Credit

This is one of my favorite features of Amex credit cards. The Hilton Aspire comes with a $250 annual airline fee credit. This can be used in many ways, including for checked bag fees and upgrades, but I used them to simply purchase five $50 Delta gift cards, and had no issue getting reimbursed. However, I would advise to use this with caution — gift cards aren't one of the official uses for this fee credit, so your mileage may vary.

Putting the Hilton Aspire Card's Benefits to Use on a Trip to Puerto Rico - The Points Guy (3)

While we weren't able to use these gift cards directly for this trip, I consider it a springboard of sorts for our next trip we just booked: to Australia. We used part of these gift cards to offset the cost.

Complimentary Diamond Status

Putting the Hilton Aspire Card's Benefits to Use on a Trip to Puerto Rico - The Points Guy (4)

Hilton Diamond status comes with a long list of benefits, with upgrades being one of the biggest perks. I had luck getting upgrades with Gold status from the Ascend card, so I wasn't surprised to get an upgrade on this trip with my Diamond status through the Aspire card. We were upgraded to an Oceanview Balcony Room.

As mentioned earlier, our fifth night was free thanks to elite status, saving us 40,000 points or roughly $240 on this trip. TPG values Hilton Diamond Status at $2,275, so it is definitely a treat to have.

Priority Pass Select

With the Hilton Aspire comes a Priority Pass Select membership for unlimited visits for the card holder and 2 guests.

We visited the Avianca operated by Global Lounge at San Juan Airport (SJU), and were severely disappointed. It was super-packed and the food selection was lackluster. However, there are some much nicer lounges in the Priority Pass network.

Bottom Line

Putting the Hilton Aspire Card's Benefits to Use on a Trip to Puerto Rico - The Points Guy (5)

After this trip, I tallied up the savings from the Hilton Aspire Card. From the complimentary upgrade, to the complimentary breakfasts and the $250 resort credit, we saved roughly $800 over the span of the trip.

The Hilton Aspire Card is not only great for its 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, but also for the perks that can enhance your stay at a Hilton Resort.

For rates and fees of the Honors Aspire Card, please click here.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Putting the Hilton Aspire Card's Benefits to Use on a Trip to Puerto Rico - The Points Guy (2024)


Does Hilton Aspire have foreign transaction fees? ›

No Foreign Transaction Fees | Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Benefits | American Express.

How many points per dollar on Hilton Aspire card? ›

Use it for travel and dining

The card offers 14 points per dollar spent directly at participating Hilton hotels or resorts, 7 points per dollar on flights, car rentals and restaurants in the United States, and 3 points per dollar on all other purchases. Terms apply.

How many Hilton points do you get with aspire? ›

With the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you'll earn the following: 14 points for every $1 spent at a Hilton property. 7 points for every $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines, travel booked on amextravel.com, on select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants.

Does Hilton Aspire have global entry? ›

Other perks that come with the card's $95 annual fee include Hertz Five Star elite status and an application fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA membership. That said, you won't get elite status with any hotel rewards programs.

Can aspire credit card be used internationally? ›

Absolutely! You may use your Aspire physical card for digital and in-store purchases overseas. P.S. Remember to activate your physical card and set your card PIN in the Aspire App before using it.

How do you avoid foreign transaction fees? ›

The following steps will help you avoid foreign transaction fees:
  1. Open a Credit Card Without a Foreign Transaction Fee. ...
  2. Open a Bank Account Without a Foreign Transaction Fee. ...
  3. Exchange Currency Before Traveling. ...
  4. Avoid Foreign ATMs. ...
  5. Ask Your Bank About Foreign Partners.

How many Hilton points is needed for a free night? ›

Free nights can be redeemed for as few as 5,000 Points per night and no more than 95,000 Points per night for a standard room. Select properties with specialty accommodations may require up to 120,000 Points per night for a standard room.

Does the Hilton Aspire card have lounge access? ›

There is no membership fee for Hilton Honors Aspire Card Members. All lounge visits are complimentary, with up to 2 guests free of charge. For any additional guest, the enrolled card will be charged an amount equal to the Priority Pass Standard membership plan guest fee.

What does 80 000 Hilton points get you? ›

80,000 Hilton Honors points are worth an average of $480, according to WalletHub data. You will get the best value for your Hilton Honors points when you redeem them for Travel, but there are multiple redemption options.

What airlines work with Hilton? ›

Airlines available for exchanging your Hilton points include: Aeromexico, Aeroplan, AirAsia BIG, ANA All Nippon, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, Delta Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Flying Blue (Air France/KLM), Hainan Airlines, JAL Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, ...

What countries are included in Global Entry? ›

Be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States or be a citizen of one of the following countries:
  • Citizens of Argentina.
  • Citizens of Brazil.
  • Citizens of Bahrain.
  • Citizens of Dominican Republic.
  • Citizens of India.
  • Citizens of Colombia.
  • Citizens of United Kingdom.
  • Citizens of Germany.

Does the Hilton Aspire card give you diamond status? ›

Diamond status is the highest level within the Hilton Honors loyalty program, and it's automatically bestowed to all Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card cardholders. Otherwise, you'd need to stay 60 nights per year at Hilton properties to earn this elite status.

Which credit cards don't charge foreign transaction fees? ›

NerdWallet's Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards of June 2024
  • Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card: Best for Bonus rewards + no annual fee.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for Simple travel rewards.
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: Best for Simple rewards + no annual fee.

Does Bonvoy Visa have foreign transaction fees? ›

No foreign transaction fees

You will pay no foreign transaction fees when you use your card for purchases made outside the United States.

Does my card have a foreign transaction fee? ›

Your credit card will likely have a foreign transaction fee of around 3% if it is from Chase, PNC, Bank of America, Barclays or U.S. Bank, which charge foreign fees on most (but not all) of their cards. Your credit card will not have a foreign transaction fee if it is from Capital One, Discover, USAA, PenFed or HSBC.

Does the Hilton Honors business card have foreign transaction fees? ›

This means you won't be charged extra anytime you use The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card outside of the United States. Whether it's a purchase at a physical location in a foreign country or an online transaction through an internationally-based merchant, you won't have to pay extra.

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