This Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Benefit is Not Always a Good Deal

One of the benefits of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is that you can take advantage of a credit of up to $100.00 while you stay for a minimum of two consecutive nights at a participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts or Conrad Hotels & Resorts property when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package.

This Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Benefit is Not Always a Good Deal

The credit is not valid for use on the room rate itself — nor is it valid on taxes, gratuities, or any fees which are charged by the hotel property. Furthermore, the credit may not apply towards purchases through a third party merchant within the hotel or resort property.

The way it works is that you will be eligible to receive a hotel credit equal to one United States dollar for each dollar of qualifying charges spent at the Hilton hotel or resort property under your booking a room package eligible for the property credit benefit — up to $100.00. Then, the property credit will be applied as hotel credit on your final bill when you check out of the hotel or resort property, rather than on your American Express billing statement. The property credit cannot be carried over to another stay, cannot be redeemed for cash, and expires upon checking out of the hotel or resort property if it is not used.

Testing Booking a Reservation

As an example, I thought I would test this on the least expensive eligible hotel property which I could find. At the time this article was written, that turned out to be The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel property, which was offering a room rate of as low as $135.00 per night exclusively for members of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program for a room with a queen bed when checking in on Sunday, December 27, 2020 and checking out on Tuesday, December 29, 2020…

Click on the image for an enlarged version. Source: Hilton.

…and the Aspire Card Benefit room rate was $169.00 per night for the same two nights.

What would I actually pay if I included taxes in the room rates?

Click on the image for an enlarged version. Source: Hilton.

If I booked the room rate exclusively for members of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program, the total cost for the two nights would be $318.20…

Click on the image for an enlarged version. Source: Hilton.

…but the total cost for the Aspire Card Benefit room rate would be $396.76 for the same exact room with one queen bed.

Assuming that the reservation which I booked qualifies for the full $100.00 credit benefit, this means that I would be paying $78.56 extra for that $100.00 credit — or put another way, I would save $21.44 on incidental charges at the hotel property.

The value of the credit benefit worsens as the room rate increases…

Click on the image for an enlarged version. Source: Hilton.

…as the rates for suites do not include taxes and therefore negate the benefit of the credit — not that someone would book a presidential suite for approximately $400.00 more with the Aspire Card Benefit room rate just to save up to $100.00 in incidental charges.

Summary

I enjoy many of the benefits of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — no, you will not find affiliate links in this article — to the point at which I believe that it is worth paying the annual fee of $450.00…

…and I am not saying that the credit of up to $100.00 while you stay for a minimum of two consecutive nights at a participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts or Conrad Hotels & Resorts property when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package will always be a minimal to bad deal, as you may find examples of hotel and resort properties where this credit benefit is actually a good deal — especially if you plan on incidental purchases at the hotel or resort property. I am simply saying that you should compare other existing room rates at the time you are searching for an eligible property at which to stay prior to booking your reservation.

Source: Hilton Honors.

2 thoughts on “This Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Benefit is Not Always a Good Deal”

  1. Mike says:

    Another benefit to look at is the fine hotel & resort with the Plat card. Many of the mentioned hotels are offered and it also offers a $100 credit (+ other perks) for min of 1 night stay. I found it to be hit and miss sometime the FHR hotels can be way over priced but other times I found it to be same or slightly more then offered direct thru the hotel. You could also combo if you have a 2+ night stay book 1 night FHR and 1+ through Hilton if it makes sense etc.. Just something worth taking a look at when booking.
    In the past I got lucky at hotel in AZ with FHR I stayed 1 night loved the hotel ended up booking 2 more nights separate bookings and received $100 credit per day (normally it should not work like that as its 1 credit per stay which cant be back to back) If you dont have lots of baggage and dont mind check-in/out some areas like ATL over a 6 night stay I bounced back & fourth in Buckhead between Intercontinental & Lowes hotels (booked for around $130-160 a night) each night receiving a $100 credit. Does not always make sense but for this case we were going to spend the money anyway so why not get something back for it.

  2. Jacob says:

    Yup, I did what you did when the credit first became a “benefit” and immediately saw that it was a bogus benefit. It is only a real benefit if it applies for any room that you can get through their normal website. I knew instantly that it was a con job as soon as I read that you had to book a “special rate”. This is similar to what Intercontinental does with their Ambassador free second weekend night benefit. You can only get the free 2nd weekend night by booking through a special account/site that is much more expensive than the regular rates you would pay through their normal hotel website. I calculated that because of the higher rate, I would only save around $30 for the two weekend nights by getting one “free” night versus just booking it through the normal channels.
    Games like this show how you can’t trust the companies when they try to trick you to think that you are getting a good deal when in reality you are not.

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