How to Maximize Amex Hilton Aspire $200 Flight Credit?

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American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card has a high $550 annual fee. However, one of the cash value benefits to offset the annual fee is the annual $200 flight statement credits.

It’s up to you to decide whether to keep or close your American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card. If you keep the card, here are a few ways to maximize that $200 flight credit yearly.

Amex Hilton Aspire $200 Flight Credit

Here’s a quick rundown on the Amex Hilton Aspire $200 flight credit benefit:

  • You do not need to enroll in the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card for the benefit.
  • You receive up to $50 in statement credits each quarter up to $200 per calendar year.
    • January – March
    • April – June
    • July – September
    • October – December
  • Eligible purchases include airfare directly from the airline or through Amex Travel.
    • Purchases made with third-party travel agents or websites may be eligible for this benefit if the airline charges the airfare directly to your card account.
  • Also, eligible purchases do not include charter flights, private jet flights, flights that are part of tours, cruises, travel packages or ticketing or similar service fees, ticket cancellation or change fees, interest charges, or purchases of cash equivalents.
  • Lastly, you use the Aspire card to pay for the airfare directly with the airlines or through Amex Travel; Amex issues the statement credit within 8-12 weeks per the benefit term. However, the statement credit takes sooner than that to post to your card account.

Amex Hilton Aspire $200 Flight Credit Terms & Conditions

Below are the official Amex Hilton Aspire $200 flight credit benefit terms and conditions:

Basic Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Members can receive up to a total of $50 in statement credits each calendar quarter (January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December), for up to $200 annually for eligible purchases of airfare made directly with an airline or through amextravel.com. To be eligible for this benefit, an airfare purchase must be for a scheduled flight on a passenger carrier and purchased directly from the airline or through amextravel.com.

Eligible purchases do not include: charter flights, private jet flights, flights that are part of tours, cruises, or travel packages or ticketing or similar service fees, ticket cancellation or change fees, interest charges, or purchases of cash equivalents. Purchases of scheduled flights made with third party travel agents or websites may be eligible for this benefit if the airfare is charged directly to your Card account by the airline. Please visit americanexpress.com/rewards-info for more information.

Eligible purchases can be made by both the Basic and any Additional Card Members on the Card Account. However, the total amount of statement credits for eligible purchases will not exceed $200 per Card Account per calendar year. Please allow 8-12 weeks after the eligible purchase is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account. To receive this benefit, your Card account must not be cancelled or past due at the time of statement credit fulfillment. Statement credit(s) may not be received or may be reversed if the purchase is cancelled or modified, or if you engage in abuse or misuse in connection with the benefit.

Amex Hilton Aspire $200 Flight Credit Terms

Maximizing Amex Hilton Aspire $200 Flight Credit

You receive a $50 flight credit per quarter, up to $200 per calendar year.

The challenging part here is if you don’t fly every quarter, you will forfeit the Hilton Aspire $50 flight credit. The good news is that most U.S. airlines offer flexible fares because if you cancel the ticket, you receive the travel voucher in your account available for use in the future, typically one year from the original booking date.

Use The Flight Credits For Travel Vouchers

Here’s what you would do:

  • Each quarter, purchase a flight ticket with U.S. airlines, such as American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, Delta Air Lines, etc., for around $50.
    • It is crucial to avoid booking Saver or Basic economy fares because those fares will not work for this.
  • After 24 hours, if you are not going to fly, you can cancel the ticket and then receive the travel voucher credit in your account for future flights. Alternatively, you can change the ticket and pay the difference if the new ticket fare is higher.
    • Do not cancel the ticket within 24 hours because the refund will go back to the card and, thus, is not eligible for the Amex statement credit.
  • Amex will then issue the $50 statement credit to cover the eligible charge, and you can successfully use the quarterly $50 flight credit on your Aspire card.

I suggest that if you are booking speculatively to use the Aspire $50 flight credit each quarter, then choose an airline you most likely fly with or an airline that does not expire the travel voucher credits after cancellation.

The following is a chart I made to help you out regarding the travel voucher expiry policies and rules by the major U.S. airlines:

AirlinesVoucher Expiry PolicyVoucher Transferable?
AlaskaWallet funds expire one year from the date of purchase.Yes, the fund can be used for anyone.
AmericanFlight credits expire one year from the date of purchase.No, it must match the same passenger name.
DeltaeCredits expire one year from the date of purchase.No, it must match the same passenger name.
HawaiianTravel credits expire one year from the date of purchase.No, it must match the same passenger name.
JetBlueTravel bank credits expire one year from the date of purchase.Yes, the credit can be used for anyone.
SouthwestTravel funds do not expireYes and No, read this post:
How to Transfer Southwest Travel Funds to Another Person
UnitedFlight credits expire one year from the date of purchase.No, it must match the same passenger name.

Use The Flight Credits For Award Taxes and Fees

When you redeem an award flight ticket, you still need to pay for the taxes and fees, such as fuel surcharges. Therefore, I put this to the test with British Airways by using the Aspire card to pay for the tax/fee charge, and I received the $50 statement credit from Amex.

Use The Flight Credits For Seat Assignment Fees

Some airlines charge to select a seat, and in some instances, you may want to upgrade your seat. In the case of any seat assignment-related fees, you can use your Hilton Aspire card to pay for those fees and expect to receive the Amex statement credit accordingly. This is because airlines charge and process those seat assignment fees as if you were purchasing an airfare.

Use The Flight Credits For Airline Baggage Fees

Likewise, Airlines process the checked baggage fees directly, and therefore, the charge will be eligible for Hilton Aspire flight credit.

Use The Flight Credits For Change or Cancellation Fees

In the event you must pay for airline change or cancellation fees for revenue or an award ticket, you can use the Hilton Aspire card to pay for those incidental fees and receive the Amex statement credit after that. However, it is vital to know that all change and cancellation fees must be processed directly by the airline; third-party travel agencies are not eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions and my answers regarding the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card flight credit benefit. Meanwhile, if you have any other questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Do you need to enroll in Amex Hilton Aspire flight credit?

No.

Do you need to select a specific airline for the Amex Hilton Aspire flight credit benefit?

No, any airlines qualify, both U.S. and International airlines, including bookings made through Amex Travel.

Is the Hilton Aspire Card flight credit per calendar year or account anniversary year?

The benefit is per calendar year. You receive $50 quarterly, up to $200 credit in a calendar year. See the following quarter months:

  • January – March
  • April – June
  • July – September
  • October – December

Does the quarterly $50 flight credit rollover?

No. If you do not use the $50 flight credit by the end of each quarter, the credit will not roll over to the next quarter. In other words, you use it or lose it.

How long does the Hilton Aspire flight credit take to post?

The benefit term states that 8-12 weeks. However, in practice, it only takes 3-5 days after the eligible charge is posted to your credit card account. In some instances, you may need to wait up to 7-10 days. However, if you ask the Amex customer service representative, you will receive the standard 8-12 weeks reply.

Can you use the Hilton Aspire flight credit for someone else?

Yes, as long as the airline charges the airfare or when you book through Amex Travel. The passenger’s name does not matter.

Does Amex claw back the statement credits on refunds?

Yes. If the refunds go back to the original payment Aspire card, Amex may claw back the statement credits later.

Can you use the Hilton Aspire flight credit for a refundable airfare?

Yes, you can. However, if you cancel the ticket and refund to the original payment Aspire card, Amex may claw back the statement credits later.

How do you keep track of the Hilton Aspire flight credit?

Using the computer’s web browser on a desktop:

  • Firstly, Log into your Amex Hilton Aspire card account online.
  • Then, click the Rewards & Benefits tab on the top.
  • After that, scroll down until you see Track Your Progress.
  • Finally, the flight credit tracker appears there. See the screenshot below.
keep track of the Hilton Aspire flight credit

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