Frequent readers of this blog may have noticed that I primarily book most of my hotel stays with Hilton. Hilton has been my primary hotel brand of choice over the last decade or so. While the program has some drawbacks, it still offers some fantastic opportunities to extract great value. Even since its launch, I’ve signed up for and carried the Hilton Aspire Card in my wallet. In my opinion, it gives Hilton loyalists some amazing value, way above and beyond its $450 annual fee. One of the most popular benefits with the Hilton Aspire credit card is the $250 resort credit. Here’s a detailed guide with FAQs on how the resort credit works along with examples of how I’ve used it over the years.
Hilton Aspire $250 Resort Credit
Here’s what the official terms and conditions say:
During each year of your Card Membership (“reward year”), you are eligible to receive up to $250 total in statement credits on your Card Account for eligible purchases made directly with participating Hilton Resorts with your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card during that reward year. Your first reward year begins on your account opening date. Each subsequent reward year begins on the anniversary of your account opening date.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I activate this benefit?
You do not need to activate this benefit as it’s automatic.
Is the $250 resort credit applicable only at resorts in the US?
No, you can use this benefit at Hilton Hotels anywhere in the world, as long as Hilton classifies the property as a resort property. I’ve used this credit at resorts in Mexico and India with no issue whatsoever.
I have an authorized user on this card, will his/her card also be eligible?
Yes, if your authorized user makes a purchase, that will also trigger the credit. However, you’ll only get a combined total of $250 in credits, irrespective of how many authorized users you add.
How do I find properties that are eligible?
Visit hilton.com/resorts in order to find properties that are eligible.
How often can I use this credit?
Unlike the Airline Fee Credit which is calendar year based, this credit is only available once per account anniversary year. For example, if your account anniversary date is December 12, 2021, you can use the credit once between December 12, 2021 and December 11, 2022.
Which charges qualify as a credit?
You must make charges directly with the qualifying resort property in order for it to qualify as a credit. In practical terms, here’s how I’ve done it. While checking in, I usually place the Hilton Aspire Card as a card on file for incidental charges. While checking out, I confirm that all the amounts billed to my room have been charged to the card.
Here’s what the official terms and conditions say:
Eligible Hilton Resort purchases must be made directly with the participating Hilton Resort and charged to your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card account for the benefit to apply. Advance Purchase Rates/Non-Refundable Rates are not eligible for the resort credit. Incidental charges (including charges made at restaurants, spas, and other establishments within the hotel property) must be charged to your room and paid for with your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card at checkout in order for them to be recognized as Hilton Resort purchases.
In my experience, I’ve successfully used the credit to pay for airport pick up/drop, meals at on-property restaurants/bars, in-room dining as well as Spa services. In each of these cases, I’d explicitly asked the hotel to bill all the charges to my room and I paid for them with my Hilton Aspire card during check out.
How long do the charges take to post?
As per the official terms and conditions, the credit takes around 8-12 weeks to post.
Please allow 8-12 weeks after the eligible Hilton purchase is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account. Please call the number on the back of your Card if statement credits have not posted after 12 weeks from the date of purchase.
However, I’ve usually seen this credit post in less than a week after making a qualifying purchases. In some cases, it has also posted in 2-3 days.
Does this credit apply if my stay is booked entirely with points or free night certificates?
Yes, it does! I’ve used my credit on award stays and the credit has posted without any issues.
Can I use this credit to pay for booking the actual room?
As per the terms and conditions, advance purchase rates aren’t eligible for the $250 resort credit. However, certain data points indicate that people have had success calling a hotel prior to a stay and putting a $250 deposit on their card, only to later adjust it during check out. However, the success of this workaround largely depends on how the property codes the transaction and may not always trigger the credit.
Advance Purchase Rates/Non-Refundable Rates are not eligible for the resort credit.
The Pundit’s Mantra
In addition to the $250 resort credit, the Hilton Aspire card is packed with a ton of value. It also offers a $250 airline fee credit, which can be used on a per calendar year basis. Moreover, you get an annual free weekend night at any Hilton hotel worldwide for just renewing the card. To make things even better, you get top tier Hilton Diamond status just for keeping your card active!
If you sign up for the card now, you’ll get a welcome bonus of 150,000 points and a free annual weekend night after you meet minimum spend, in addition to the recurring benefits outlined in the previous paragraph. Even if you try the card out in the first year, you can easily get value way above and beyond the annual fee of $450.
How do you use the $250 credit each year on your Hilton Aspire credit card? Tell us in the comments section.
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