[Expired] Aspire w/ first-year fee waived!

It’s dead, Jim. The waived fee offer is gone.

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A reader in our Frequent Miler Insiders group has shared with us an offer for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card that has the standard welcome bonus but waives the annual fee for the first year. That’s huge since the benefits on this card already outweigh the annual fee. Saving $450 in year 1 is icing on the cake. Note the caution section below for a couple of key things to consider.

The beach at the Conrad Bora Bora, where I used an Aspire free weekend night this year.

 

The Offer

Click the card information below to go to our dedicated Frequent Miler page for the card, where you can find more information and an application link for the current offer.

Key Card Details

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

FM Mini Review: This card is loaded with valuable perks that are more than worth the card's annual fee if you stay in Hilton resorts at least once per year, and other Hilton properties a few times a year..


Annual Fee: $450

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 14X Hilton spend ⚬ 7X US restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, select car rental companies ⚬ 3X everywhere else ⚬ Terms & Limitations Apply.

Big spend bonus: Second free weekend night after $60K spend in calendar year

Noteworthy perks: ⚬Annual Weekend Night Reward upon approval and every year upon renewal ⚬ Free Diamond Status ⚬ Priority Pass w/ 2 free guests ⚬ $250 Hilton Resort Credit per membership year ⚬ $250 Airline Incidental Fee Credit per calendar year ⚬ $100 on-property credit w/ Aspire Card package ⚬ Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees

See also: Amex Hilton Aspire In-Depth Review

Quick Thoughts

Update: As noted at the top of the post, the offer with the fee waived in the first year is no longer available.

In last week’s Frequent Miler on the Air broadcast/podcast, Greg and I discussed the recent major devaluation to the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite that changed it from having benefits that far outweigh the annual fee to a card that isn’t worth keeping. In that discussion, Greg asked whether there are any other ultra-premium cards with benefits that far outweigh the annual fee. The clear answer was the American Express Hilton Aspire card. With its annual $250 airline incidental credit, $250 Hilton resort credit, free weekend night at almost any Hilton property in the world, and automatic Hilton Diamond status, one can easily get far more than $450 in value out of the card, making it well worth keeping in my opinion.

Picking up all of those benefits with no annual fee in year one looks like an amazing offer to me. Add the welcome offer on top of all that and I think this offer becomes such a good deal as to even be worth a 5/24 slot. As I said in our broadcast last week, I think this card is worth $450. I think it would still be worth it if Amex charged another hundred bucks. I’d be thrilled to test drive it for a year with no fee.

Grounds at the Conrad Bora Bora, bookable with your free weekend night certificate.

Cautions

However, to temper your excitement a bit, I’ll note a couple of things: First, on the application landing page, the card shows an annual fee of $450 — the waived fee is not noted in the marketing lingo on the landing page. However, if you click the “rates & fees” link under “More information”, you’ll see that the rates and fees page clearly lists a fee of $0 for the first year, then $450.

If you decide to apply, I recommend taking a screen shot / printing those rates and fees to a PDF so you have them saved to show down the road that the offer clearly said $0 for the first year. I think it’s reasonable to expect that the first year fee will indeed be $0, though I’d rather have copies to make my argument later in case Amex tries to say that the fee is not waived.

Second, the reader who shared this with us found it on reddit, where many people are reporting getting the Amex no-bonus-for-you popup for the first time and quite a few folks have had applications go pending. However, there are also people reporting approval. YMMV.

Bottom line

This is a terrific offer. I wouldn’t expect it to last long. If you’ve had this card on your radar, I think this is hard to pass up. See our dedicated card page for this card by clicking the card information under “The Deal” to find more information about this card and a direct link to the application. Note that you will be prompted to log in to your Amex account to apply, but you can hit “continue without logging in” to apply without logging in if you prefer and/or don’t have an Amex account.

H/T: Reader Mauro

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Ldtam
Guest
Ldtam

Just got it, thanks for the tip! Had to go incognito to see the no annual fee for the first year offer.

Colleen
Guest
Colleen

Got it! Thank you for sharing.

Neil S
Guest
Neil S

Not seeing the $0 first year offer even in incognito mode. Link to landing page?

Steve
Guest
Steve

Worked for me. Saved the $0 fee first year page just in case. Thanks. Will come in handy for Moorea and Bora Bora next year.

debit
Guest
debit

Jesus. Just got the green card. How soon can i take a hit of the bing again?

Gabe
Guest
Gabe

Anybody try upgrading a Surpass card?

Charles W Fastner
Guest
Charles W Fastner

OUCH! To good to be true – My wife applied since I already have the card, got a message saying she wouldn’t qualify for the offer based on balance transfers, new card offers, cards opened, cards closed, and one other thing.

At least it’s pre credit pull so no hit to 5/24 as she’s still under.

Crazy thing is she has only EVER had 2 amex cards (none opened in last 90 days), and has only closed 1 the Amex Plat (she got 100K) –> I’m guessing those who hit the 100k and bailed in Y2 might not be eligable.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Add a data point. I was denied and didn’t carry my MB Platinum all the way through year 1 after they offered the prorated refund in January.

Matt
Guest
Matt

being an amex card means that the PP from this card excludes reasturants i assume..?

Paula Walker
Guest
Paula Walker

Thank you Nick, Was able to get the offer with no annual fee for first year. I was debating about this card anyway, this sealed the deal.

Matthew@airsicktravel
Guest
Matthew@airsicktravel

I’m seeing the I won’t get the welcome bonus pop-up. The exact wording is:
MATTHEW, based on your history with credit card balance transfers, American Express welcome offers, introductory APR offers, or the number of Cards you have opened and closed, you are not eligible to receive the welcome offer.

I can’t find the reddit link where they’re discussing this message. I opened a Chase business card within about 2 months ago but no new Amex card for a long time.

YoniPDX
Guest
YoniPDX

Don’t feel bad – both me and P#2 got the same message – but we have opened 7 AmEx cards since 7.1.19 – so I was’nt surprised at the pop-up. If I had to guess since this wasn’t a public link that it was more targeted to AmEx virgins.

Matthew@airsicktravel
Guest
Matthew@airsicktravel

My player 2 just got approved with no message about not getting the bonus. And the thing is she applied for a personal platinum way after I did (and cancelled more recently). The last application I had with Amex was maybe 2 years ago. Oh well, at least 1 of us got it.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Been Busy I see ..
CHEERs

YoniPDX
Guest
YoniPDX

LOL, CaveDweller, nah were just two ducks floating on a pond but the water is kinda of muddy – 😉 but our little webbed feet are churning away – 30+ cards past 30 months but we’ve stayed at 5/24 or below.

Almost freaked out after seeing the AmEx shutdowns post from Reddit that coincidence with today Aspire link. Thinking it was a Honeypot – but the Pop-up eliminates a great majority of Churner’s

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

YoniPDX
My waters are really Muddy 10 years doing this !! Chase loves and Hates me Amex loves everything living BUT a one niter only deal . Citi and Barclay”s are True Love for this week..
Keep Going But Be Careful !!
LOL
CHEERs

AlexL
Guest
AlexL

I got pop-up, too. >_<

zwz002
Guest
zwz002

Got the pop-up… So if I apply today with no SUB, would I be eligible for the SUB later if I’ve had the card before without SUB? Or would I likely never qualify for the card’s SUB again anyways?

mowogo
Guest
mowogo

Thanks, I’d been debating a Hilton card for a while and this pushed me over the edge to get it. Looking forward to the benefits, and this probably will re-align my stays for next year.

Erika Hamilton
Guest
Erika Hamilton

Are people still getting the free night certificate on sign up or only after the first year now?

Donny
Guest
Donny

Does the not eligible pop up appear after you apply or when you first navigate to the page? I was able to get to the offer via my Amex login, just trying to figure out if I could get burned after I submit the application.

miafll
Guest
miafll

on the final step if you are subj to that penalty, the site gives you an option whether you still want to proceed. You can stop the process at that point.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Can I refer my wife to get this card and get referral in addition to her card bonus?

CCW
Guest
CCW

I already have the card and the annual fee just posted. Can I close the existing card and open this one, just to save the $450 fee? (Obviously I won’t get the welcome bonus)

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

CCW
Call and ask if u want to keep the card .
Do a Deal Deal !!!

CHEERs

Brands
Guest
Brands

Interesting datapoint, I have an upgrade offer from my Surpass card for 150,000 points, and I was logged in to my Amex account when I clicked through the link to apply. It told me I was pre-approved for this offer with the annual fee waived, but when I actually applied, I got the popup box many others have gotten telling me I am not eligible for the sign-up bonus.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Same here. Wonder if it would work if I cancel the Surpass first? I’ll probably just take the upgrade offer, since I missed it the last time and it won’t take a spot, but would have been nice to save the $450.

Viv
Guest
Viv

I applied for the Aspire, and when I was approved, I canceled the Surpass. I just got my card in the mail and the first year waived language is on the cardmember agreement.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Wife’s said preapproved, showed the no annual fee, but she got the message “Thank you for applyong, we’ll get back to you within 14 days”. Weird, because she always gets instantly approved. Anyone else getting that message? If so, are you waiting or calling?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Same for me. Normally get approved, saw “pre-approved”, got the 14-days message. Going to wait.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Watch your email. She got hers within a couple hours.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hah, I checked my email and right on cue… approval!

Movie Mikey
Guest
Movie Mikey

Approved for the 150k points and the first year $450 fee waived. Thanks Nick!

James
Guest
James

Thanks for the heads up! I’m a Hyatt guy, but with a $0 AF for the first year, agree this is a no brainer. Even at lol/24 (I know it’s not specifically an AmEx thing) I was approved instantly.

Chad
Guest
Chad

Alot of people throw out the term “deal of the year”…this may have been it. Crazy good deal for absolutely zero fee. Thanks for the heads up.

trackback

[…] a notice came in from Nick Reyes at Frequent Miler: Aspire w/ first-year fee waived! Next, Miles To Memories shared: Hilton Aspire Card, 150K Offer with Waived Annual Fee. If you […]

Joel smith
Guest
Joel smith

For those of us who are stuck in 2/90 and who applied anyways… application said rejected, but obviously we can recon once one of our cards falls off. Do you think we will be able to keep the waived AF T&Cs or would you think the “correct” T&Cs get applied?

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

People who got denied and had to recon due to 5CC rule are still showing the waived AF, if that’s any indication.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Saw this too late unfortunately. Nor sure if this is useful, but I checked a couple times this morning and it appears that the Aspire card has been completely removed from the Amex website (the other 2 personal Hilton cards are still there). I assume card takedown was their quick solution to stopping this. Since this was such a good offer, it’s a long shot but probably worth giving the links another try after the Aspire is back online. A card takedown might also be the reason people with upgrade offers saw them disappear or not work properly or got the popup.

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

True, but there are other links still available to apply for the Aspire… i.e. the Hilton website. No AF waiver though 🙁

Mike
Guest
Mike

OK, but what’s the point if there is no AF waiver? If I wanted the Aspire with the fee, I’d just wait for Amex to bring it back online.

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

I’m just saying that the card wasn’t taken down completely

kayexelate
Guest
kayexelate

Since I missed the boat on this one, I’m wondering how I can be “targeted” for an upgrade on my Amex Hilton Surpass Card. I’m at the end of year 2 and my AF just posted a week ago. I have until 11/24 (30 days after) to cancel/downgrade and get a refund of that AF. I’d love to upgrade to the Aspire card, but don’t want to pay the $450 AF. When I login my AMEX account, I don’t see any offers for an upgrade with an AF waiver. Just an upgrade but it still shows the AF of $450. I’m thinking of downgrading to the regular Hilton Card (no AF), but then I’d also miss out on the 80k SUB with that card (I had it once, back in 2005 and closed it 2 ya when I opened my Surpass card).

If I can’t get any targeted upgrades to the Aspire card with no AF, can I just downgrade my Surpass card to the No fee version AND open up a no fee AMEX (on the same day) to get the 80k SUB? I have about 7k in Hilton points on this last statement of my Surpass card, so don’t want to just close it completely or I’ll lose those points (to my understanding). If I downgrade, I believe I won’t lose those points.

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

Unless you use a NLL application, there’s a good chance Amex will reject you for the SUB on the $0 AF Hilton card due to lifetime rules, since it’s only been 2 years since you cancelled the card.

kayexelate
Guest
kayexelate

what’s an NLL application? When I login my AMex account, I do see the 80k SUB offered for the $0AF card. not sure if that just shows up for everyone or if that means I am eligible for the SUB. Not sure what happens if I apply through that. it’s not like I can get that and “downgrade”. So I presume it would be a brand new card, independent and unrelated to my current surpass Card

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

Just because you see the offer, doesn’t necessarily mean you are eligible for the SUB. NLL=no lifetime language.

By the way, you will not automatically lose your HH points if you do not hold a Hilton card. Typically HH points expire after 12 months of inactivity.

kayexelate
Guest
kayexelate

Re: NLL thanks for clarifying. re: losing my hilton points, I was referring to the points I would earn on this last months statement from my Surpass Card. I have about 6k points pending. I understand if I cancel my Surpass card, those points would be forfeited and not credited to my HIlton Honors account. (not the points I already have in my Hilton Honors account)

Re: Offers I see, how far will it let me go if I’m not eligible for the SUB? Will it go so far as approving me for the card and then later saying, “here’s your card, but sorry, you didn’t get the SUB b/c xyz reason”.. Or will it actually make it clear before I finalize my application that I’m not eligible? Don’t want to waste a CC application and approval if I don’t get the SUB

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

Amex will give you a popup to let you know if you’re ineligible for the bonus.

YoniPDX
Guest
YoniPDX

No Lifetime Language

Jose
Guest
Jose

Just got my card ups overnight, a little surprised, paperwork with card shows af 0 first year, 450 second year.. now to get to the spend requirement, which will be done in a week.

Jacob
Guest
Jacob

Just an FYI, statement got cut to December 6. So you can triple dip travel credits as well, assuming they don’t change it to card member year before next year.

Okay
Guest
Okay

By when would we have to use the airline fee credits for this year? By the November statement that gets published let’s say Dec 6th? What happens to airline fees between Dec 6th and Dec 31st? Are they applied for next year’s benefits?