My second favorite credit card, with a close argument to be my number one, is the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card. This card is a branded card for the Hilton Hotel Brand but is also an amazing travel credit card due to free perks.
Hilton and Amex actually offer 3 cards but the Top Tier Aspire Card is by far the best option. These cards don't earn traditional Amex points but rather Hilton Honors Points to be used for free rooms. These points can be tremendously valuable especially if you wish of enjoying some of their most luxurious resorts. Check out all of their cards for their current maximum sign up bonuses.
The Aspire Card has the highest Annual Fee at $550 but that cost can easily be offset without even needing to spend a night at a hotel. This card has increased from $450 to $550 as of October 2023 but they have greatly added tons of more perks to offset the cost and then some.
The card comes with a HUGE 180,000 Sign Up Bonus which is the largest bonus ever. (Be sure to use my referral code to get the maximum sign up bonus!) The sign up bonus alone can get you nearly 2 nights for free at some of the best Hilton properties in the world like the Conrad Maldives or Waldorf Cabo San Lucas which easily go for $1,000-$2,000 per night.
But the best of this card is the annual perks.
A free annual weekend night certificate - which can be used at their top end resorts and can easily give you a room well over $1,000+
$400 Resort Credit - two bi annual credits for $200 each 6 months. This is essentially free money that can be used to offset resort costs like meals, drinks, spa services etc.
$200 Airline Fee Credit - $50 credits every quarter to use offset your seat upgrades and fees with this credit. (Pro Tip: book the cheapest seat on a flight and use this credit to upgrade you to a better seat)
Hilton Honors Diamond Status - enjoy instant top tier status to Hilton which will allow you to earn 100% more points per paid stay and get you upgrades, late check out, priority service, and so much more
Ability to earn 1 or 2 additional Free Night Awards based on meeting yearly spending thresholds ($30,000 and $60,000 per year). These free nights come on top of the points earned per dollar spent. The $60,000 is at a minimum 180,000 points with there but can be easily over 200,000 or 300,000 points when spending on the higher categories like 14 points per Dollar at Hotels, 7 points per Dollar on Travel, 7 points per Dollar on Dining etc.
With a little bit of spending once I got this card, I was able to book a 5 night stay at one of the best Hilton properties in their portfolio, The Conrad Maldives. Combining the sign up bonus, free room certificate, diamond status, and booking utilizing Hilton’s 5th night free program (book 5 nights on pointsand get one night free), I got over $10,000+ in resort value for FREE. This is such a great card and I will use it every year to plan a special trip to the best Hilton properties. And with the free top tier elite status, Diamond Status, I got upgraded to a better and more expensive room category for even more savings and benefits.
Use my referral code and sign up to enjoy one of the best credit cards