Is the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?

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Is the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?

Andrew WIs the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?Million Mile Secrets Team

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The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

But with an annual fee of $95 which is NOT waived for the first year, you may be wondering if paying the annual fee is worth it for you!

The great news is that you can easily get at least $625 in value from the intro bonus alone.  And you could possibly get more depending on how you use your points!  Beyond just the welcome bonus though, the card also comes with quite a few perks that you may find useful depending on your travel preferences.

Earning the Welcome Bonus on the AMEX Hilton Ascend Could Get You ~$1,000 in Value at Hilton Hotels!

We’ll go through some of the card’s benefits to help you figure out if it’s worth it for you to pay the annual fee depending on your situation!

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend 125,000 Point Offer 

Apply Here:   Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card 

Our Review of the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card has an intro bonus of 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the account.  For most folks, it should be relatively easy to get at least $500 worth of hotel stays from the welcome bonus.  But depending on how you use your points, you could get much more in value!

For instance, during peak travel season at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, you could save more than $1,000 in cash by booking with 95,000 Hilton points instead!  Similarly, you could also use 95,000 Hilton points to save ~$900 at the Waldorf Astoria Park City!

So for an annual fee of $95, you can easily come out way ahead in your first year.  And as a card member you’ll also get the following benefits:

  • 12 Hilton points per $1 spent at a Hilton hotel or resort
  • 6 Hilton points per $1 of eligible purchases at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations
  • 3 Hilton points for all other eligible purchases on your card
  • weekend night after spending $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year
  • Access to statement credits when taking advantage of an AMEX Offer
  • Complimentary Hilton Gold status
  • Earn Hilton Diamond status if you spend $40,000 in a calendar year (valid through the end of the next calendar year after it’s earned)
  • 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • Terms and limitations apply

Who Should Get This Card?

The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card has an annual fee of $95 which is not waived for the first year, so you won’t be able to try the card out fee-free for ~11 months as you sometimes can with other credit cards.  If you decide the annual fee is no longer worth it, perhaps your travel preferences have changed, then you always have the option of cancelling the card.

If you fall into any of the following categories though, chances are you’ll be able to get much more than $95 in value, and you should consider applying for the card!

Do You Frequently Stay at Hilton Hotels?  

If you stay at Hilton hotels frequently, this could be a great addition to your wallet!  That’s because the welcome bonus alone, worth ~$625 or possibly more depending on how you use it, is enough to cover the annual fee several times over!  So even if you decide after 1 year that it’s not worth the fee or your hotel preferences have changed, you’ll still have come out ahead on this card with just the intro bonus.

You’ll also earn Hilton Honors Gold status just by being a cardmember.  It comes with perks like room upgrades, free breakfast, 5th night free on award stays, and more!

Team member Jasmin stayed at the Conrad Tokyo and was able to get a ~$140 breakfast for free thanks to her Hilton Honors Gold status!

Are You a Big Spender? 

If you put a lot of charges through your credit card, and stay at Hilton hotels even a small handful of times throughout the year, you could also get great value from the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend card’s annual fee!  That’s because you’ll earn Hilton Honors Diamond status if you spend $40,000 or more in a calendar year!

Hilton Honors Diamond status comes with all of the perks as Hilton Gold.  But you’ll also get a 48-hour room guarantee, executive floor lounge access, and a welcome amenity unique to each hotel!

Dont Use Our Links Better Offers Available For Some Of The Hilton Cards
You Could Earn Extra Perks as a Hilton Diamond Member if You Put More Than $40,000 a Year in Spend on Your AMEX Hilton Ascend Card!

Plus, when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, you’ll earn a weekend night certificate to use at just about any Hilton hotel!

Do You Use Airport Lounges Frequently?

Even if you don’t frequently stay at Hilton hotels, you might be able to make good use of the card’s $95 annual fee, because the card allows you 10 free airport lounge visits per year!

I love airport lounges because they’re a great place to relax and grab some food and drinks before my flight.  And some lounges even have a shower you can use to freshen up!

With 10 free airport lounge visits per year, you can more than make up for the annual fee by saving money on expensive airport meals and drinks.

Bottom Line

The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Even though the $95 annual fee is not waived for the first year, many folks will be able to get a significant amount of value from the card, especially when considering the intro bonus alone.  The card also comes with plenty of other perks, like Hilton Honors Gold status (free breakfast and upgrades!) and 10 free visits to airport lounges per year that should make it easy to justify the annual fee.

So if you frequently stay at Hilton hotels, visit airport lounges, or typically put a lot of spend on your credit card, the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card could be a great addition to your wallet.

Do you have the AMEX Hilton Ascend card?  Let us know what you enjoy most about the card!

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Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

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I upgraded to the card when they targeted me to get 75,000 points after spending $2,000. Then the day I got the card, I applied for the Priority Pass. Got that the day I left on a trip and used it in Portland for a $40 meal for my husband and myself that very night. With the ten lounge passes, valued at $20-$27 each, it makes it worth it to me.

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Awesome, thanks for sharing Camilla! Good point about the Priority Pass perks you’ll get for dining. I feel it’s an often forgotten benefit for those new to the Priority Pass network!

What do you think of the Aspire card. I don’t see it mentioned much in blogs anymore.

Hi Dave – it’s worth considering if you value the automatic Hilton Diamond Status and frequently stay at Hilton hotels. But there are other popular premium cards that earn more flexible points such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Platinum.