A Benefit Which May Not Be a Benefit With the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

When Hilton and American Express announced four new co-branded credit cards for 2018 on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, one card which seemed to offer a promising array of benefits was the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. You get to enjoy Diamond elite level status, unlimited passes to Priority Pass lounges, and 14 Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at hotel and resort properties which are part of the Hilton portfolio worldwide — amongst other benefits — for an annual fee of $450.00.

A Benefit Which May Not Be a Benefit With the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Although one interesting potential unadvertised benefit of the card is that the Diamond elite level status through which you earn from the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card counts towards lifetime Diamond status, there is also one potential benefit which may not be a benefit after all, according to this experience which was posted by FlyerTalk member Fly2Where:

“I tested the $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package. It’s essential $100 more (~$50 per night including tax) than the lowest price on dates I selected. Then, suite seems even higher. So, this is NOT a ‘true’ benefit. The rate probably work for those paying for rack rate (aspire card rate is same as rack rate), ONLY. Most advance purchase or promotional rate is better off.”

Helping to dispel the possibility that this was simply an anomaly, that experience was confirmed by FlyerTalk member sdix: “I noticed that also. Looked at rates with the required aspire link vs std rates and they are higher. So this really isn’t a $100 benefit.”

Summary

Two accounts of an experience does not exactly denote a trend; but to offer a benefit which may not be a benefit can potentially call to question the veracity of some of the other benefits listed for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.

Unfortunately, the travel industry is fraught with promotions which offer little to no benefit. For example, Seth Miller of Wandering Aramean illustrates in this article how earning 30 American Airlines AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on flowers from Florists’ Transworld Delivery — which is more popularly known as FTD — is little more than what he calls “false allure”, as he alleged that you would have had to pay $20.00 more for the exact same bouquet of flowers than if you simply purchased them without the chance to earn 30 American Airlines AAdvantage miles per dollar spent — plus you had a chance to use a coupon good for a discount of five additional dollars on the bouquet which was supposedly not available when attempting to earn those 30 American Airlines AAdvantage miles per dollar spent.

Is a premium of as much as $25.00 with the coupon — which equates to almost 67 percent on a bouquet of flowers which could cost as little as $35.99 instead of $59.99 — worth 1,800 American Airlines AAdvantage miles, which amounts to almost 1.4 cents per mile? Perhaps — or maybe not — but under the guise of getting what the consumer believes is a better deal is deceptive at best.

Similarly, offering a $100.00 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts properties — but only when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package, which apparently costs approximately $100.00 more anyway — is no benefit at all. People who initially read the wording of that benefit could not be faulted if they automatically thought that it implied that they could save $100.00 at participating hotel and resort properties of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts brands. This needs to be corrected by Hilton Honors if this benefit is to truly be a benefit to card members.

In my opinion — despite its hefty annual fee of $450.00 — the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is still worth considering; but if you do decide to apply for that card, do not do it because of the $100.00 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts properties.

Source: Hilton Honors.

3 thoughts on “A Benefit Which May Not Be a Benefit With the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card”

  1. Daniel says:

    I found this with the Aspire package too. Tried for the Waldorf Dubai Palm. Was at least $100 more expensive. Really false advertising.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for the confirmation, Daniel.

      As I do not have the card at this time — I am still considering it — I could not confirm it for myself.

      Anyone else?

  2. Kevin xie says:

    I found that conrad bali is only one of few properties benefits benefit from this package since its rack rate is only around $8 usd more expensive than prepaid advance rate, and conrad bali is also a resort hotel which it should trigger the resort credits with the card as well

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