Benefits of a Hotel Loyalty Program

I’ve written before on how travel branded credit cards have landed us free flights and sweet lounge experiences. One missing piece of the travel puzzle is using a hotel branded credit card.

When we were home last summer, I racked up tons of points on my Hilton Ascend card that gave 6x points at US gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets. My wife upgraded to the Hilton Aspire Credit card which gave us a nice upgrade at the Hilton Conrad in Singapore two weeks ago and will allow us to get points just through everyday spending on our big trip starting in June and put the points to a 3 night free stay at the Conrad Bora Bora in French Polynesia in summer of 2021.

Credit cards are like nukes. Use, don’t abuse them.

Our Accommodation Budget

To travel the world for a whole year, we had to be thrifty. I pegged our average nightly accommodation at $70 which we’d realize through staying mostly at Airbnbs to save money. However, it’s nice to treat ones self and after a slew of bookings in the $50-$60 range, knew that we could have a few nights at upscale hotels here and there.

The Hilton Aspire Benefits Breakdown

The Aspire card’s $450 annual fee seems like a real deal breaker for many people, but the benefits outweigh the hefty price of membership. Consider this:

  • 100,000 sign up bonus after $4,000 initial spend.
  • Free diamond status and upgrades pending availability.
  • Complimentary breakfast for you and a guest.
  • 14 times points on Hilton stays or resort purchases.
  • Executive lounge access.
  • Free anniversary night redemption.
  • $250 credit at Conrad or Waldorf properties.
  • 7 times points booked through amex travel and car rentals.
  • 3 times points on all other purchases.

Although I like the Chase Sapphire Reserve for the flexibility of where you can transfer your points to, we have been using our Hilton Aspire more and more. As it doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees, we’ll spend thousands of dollars per month and earn multiple times that which we can put towards a future trip.

For long periods of time, it’s nice to ‘treat yo-self’.

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