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Struggling To Use The Aspire Resort Credit? Try This Trick!

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Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Links in this post may provide us with a commission.
British Colonial Hilton Nassau Which Is Included On The Resorts List

How To Use Your Aspire Resort Credit Without An Upcoming Stay

Many people signed up for the amazing Aspire card about 12 months ago.  The card comes with an insane amount of perks and one of the better ones is the $250 resort credit.  This should be an easy perk to use but American Express added in the caveat that it can only be used at their designated resorts.  They did this because you know they love their rules and they love to cause breakage.  This has lead some to think that their credit will go unused because they don’t have any stays at the qualified resorts before their cardmember year resets.  Don’t let it expire, this is how to use your Aspire Resort credit in that situation.

RELATED: How Long Does The Aspire Free Night Take To Show Up? 


I can not take credit for this idea.  It comes from reader Stephen, one of the regulars at our Detroit area meet ups.  He was kind enough to share this tip with me.

His $250 resort credit was set to expire in a few months and he knew he wasn’t going to use it for this cardmember year.  He does have an upcoming trip to the Conrad Maldives scheduled for later in 2019. He knew he would be able to use the second cardmember year’s credit but didn’t want to lose out on using the first year’s credit too.

So he decided to give the hotel a call to see if they would be willing to make a deposit that he could attach to his room for his stay.  Basically he would have money on his account to use on property when he gets there.  They emailed him a form to fill out and had him send a copy of his passport back with the filled out form.  They charged his card for $250 and the credit appeared on his account a few days later.  Now he will have $500 to spend on property in the very expensive Maldives when he goes on his trip.

Waldorf Astoria Casa Marina Key West Where I Used My Resort Credit Last Year

Other Ideas

This trick inspired me to think of a couple other options that may work.

If you can find a hotel on the resort list that will charge you for an advanced booking that should work.  Room rates work towards the credit so if you pay for the room in advance you will get the credit. UPDATE – Looks like Nick at Frequent Miler did a similar post in the past and cited Flyertalk DP’s that this only works for overseas bookings unless things have changed. UPDATE 2 – Comments by Daniel and Lenny have confirmed that some advanced bookings in Florida have triggered the credit.

If you are near one of the resorts on the list during your travels or one is in your town you could try to buy a gift card at the front desk.  I am not sure if this would trigger the credit or not or if they would even sell them.  Something to consider and hopefully someone can share their data point in the comments if they have tried it.


Hopefully I gave you a few ideas that you could use to avoid letting the Aspire resort credit go to waste.  Thanks again to Stephen for sharing his idea.  Have you used any of these methods?  Let us know in the comments section.


Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. No go at the Hawaiian village Waikiki. The “new” gift shop at the anuenue logo store with new management (as of last week) does not sell Hilton giftcards anymore. Hotel staff directed me to that shop but they don’t have any to sell.

    • JC yes I actually tried to buy them again same day you posted and the gift shop also told me the same. New management and they stopped selling, what a shame that was a great loop hole while it lasted. May have to try the book in advance and cancel that some others said has worked in the past.

      When I originally posted I made my rounds and checked every Hilton resort in Oahu x 8 but that gift shop was only place I found to sell the gift cards. Double Tree resort even has an in-house restaurant I went during happy hour good food but that did not trigger the resort credit. I think ill try the prepaid book & cancel trick myself.

  2. […] But I applied for the card, and I’m happy to say, it paid off handsomely. I’ll let you read the linked post if you want the details. Ironically, Covid-19 was actually one of the reasons. Something I wanted to try was prepaying a resort credit for a future stay so I could take advantage of this perk again before canceling the card. I didn’t come up with this idea on my own, and I first saw it  last year on Miles to Memories […]

  3. I booked Hilton Grand Vacation on Paradise in Las Vegas for two nights this summer, and deposited $133 as required. The $133 was credited one day after the charge was made and posted. By the way, I used price match guarantee and successfully reduce the total from $267 to $199. Now I have to buy $50 gift card or shop in the hotel to get full $250 credit.

  4. This was a really good article. I’m going to be able to use mine on this upcoming trip but you really gave me some ideas.

  5. I called to prepay my stay at WA Grand Wailea in Maui which is on the resort list, the charges posted on 1/3/2019 but still have not seen the credit post yet

    • Weird – I wonder if only certain properties code properly on prepaid stays. I think mine posted in a week or so but Amex could be backed up from everyone hitting their credits early in the year? Let us know if it posts in a week or so or if you ask Amex to manually credit it.

          • the room rate charge of $9700+ on Jan 3 still didnt get credited w the full $250 resort credit. i chatted w Amex, and they gave me the wait 8-12 weeks even though a $19.12 charge (convenience store charge at the resort) got credited the next day.

          • Weird. I hate when they just won’t process it when it is clear something is off. I am sure they will at the end of 12 weeks but let us know. Racking up a lot of points on $9700 🙂

          • Update on my Grand Wailea resort credit request from January 2019 stay:

            Amex rep says that they did a research on why it didnt trigger automatically was that because the Grand Wailea was NOT added and included on the resort list until late January. BS! I checked the list before I even booked it.

            Rep ended up doing a manual credit. will post in 3-5 days. Hate having to do these requests, took me 3 times asking for this credit.

  6. I booked at Conrad Fort Lauderdale on the cheapest rate I could find (HONORS SEMI-FLEX) a few months in advance and I was charged immediately by the hotel, followed by the Aspire resort credit kicking in one or two weeks later. What’s even better is that the semi-flex rate is still refundable (I think it required cancellation 9 days in advance) in case I changed my mind on where to use the resort credit.

    • I belive if you cancel their is a chance AMEX will recoup the resort credit. Earlier in the year I was at a hotel using an AMEX offer (spend $200 get $50). Same situation I paid prior to my stay, receive the AMEX credit a week later. I completed th stay about 6 weeks after. During my stay I had a bad fall in the stairwell due to spilled soapy mop water. I reported it to the hotel they treated me and advised me to see a doctor and they would cover the charges (although I did not). The hotel also refunded my stay back to my card. When they did that AMEX also recouped the $50 credit that was put on my card 2 months prior.

      Worth a try if you have time but risky move if your credit is about to expire, if you cancel and they recoup after it expires then it will be lost.

    • I had the same experience at Hilton Buena Vista Palace – using semi-flex. I think because a night gets billed immediately, it triggers the credit. But now I’m stuck, I wasn’t expecting the credit to post. And I might want to stay a different night, which sounds like it’ll screw up things quite a bit. Oh, Amex.

  7. How do you find out when the credit resets? Is it the date the annual fee is billed? Amex told me another date so I’m not sure what is correct.

    • I believe it would be the date you signed up for the card since they say cardmember year but I don’t know for sure. They may wanna collect the annual fee before allowing it to be used…the way Amex is going I would be surprised if they didn’t release it until 30 days after the annual fee posts so people don’t game them and shut it down and ask for an AF refund. Which I totally get just put it in the terms if that is the case.

  8. I attempted to buy a gift card at the Hilton Marco Island resort recently. I was told they do not sell Hilton gift cards, only gift certificates which are only good at that particular hotel.

    • I think gift cards are very YMMV depending on the individual hotel and even the brand. I know people always try with the Amex offers and struggle to find places to sell them.

    • I purchased my GC from Hilton Hawaiian Villiage at a very small independent gift shop located on the resort property. They have a website and looks like they ship but I do not see GC on the site Walking in the shop I would have no idea they sell GCs, I was lucky to ask a front desk staff that happen to know.
      Maybe you can call them ask if they ship but even will ship a GC it may code different from online Vs hard swipe.
      Disclaimer: my GC charge coded well but charge is still pending and im waiting for the resort credit.

        • Yes it worked!! Success.
          Sorry for late reply I had trouble find the thread.
          The gift card from Hilton did trigger the credit about 4-5 after the charge posted but the doubletree food purchase did not, although the charge does show as doubletree resort, which is on the resort list.
          Not sure why maybe because both charges were on the same day…. I doubt it but who knows, maybe I should contact AMEX dispute the credit.

  9. I just checked there are 8 Hilton resorts here on Oahu, HI. I’ll try to pick up a $50 gift card at Embassy suites or one of the many Hiltons resorts and/or stop at the DoubleTree resort for happy hour they have great poke there.

    Oddly enough I though I had already used that credit but I just chatted with AMEX support they said I still have $227 remaining until 8 Aug 2019. I’ll try some tricks this weekend and report back.

    • Sounds good – thanks Mike. I think the charges have to be billed to the room for restaurant charges to work but it would be good to know for sure if you are willing to give it a try!

    • So far so good. Out of the 8 Hilton resorts in Honolulu, HI I only found the Hilton Hawaiian Villiage to sell actually Hilton gift cards. I purchased 1 for $50 and the charge shows as “Hilton Hotel Resort”. They even put the gift card in a fancy card envelope that 10 different restaurants accepting Hilton gift cards.

      In additon I also spent $30 during happy hour at Double Tree the charge shows as “DoubleTree by Hilton” which is on the list of Hilton Resorts. Hopefully I’ll receive the credit soon and I’ll report back if the trick worked.

        • JC it was a a couple of years ago not sure what changed since COVID but there was a small gift shop located in the walk way behind the front desk. If you walk around the left side of front desk you should see it. Within that gift shop you could buy the GC’s. Thanks for the refresher, I have not used my credits this year so I will try to drive by and check if they are still selling them.

          • You are awesome Mike! I’ll give it a try with a small amount as well but won’t be there till a month from now. Would update back later.
            If you happen to get it working sooner it’d be great to see your update!

  10. We managed to use both of ours, but it was challenging. Frankly so much so, that maybe we will just keep one Aspire for next year. But in terms of not running afoul of Amex, maybe we should each keep our card for two years?
    Also after five weeks the credit still not had appeared, so I did the online chat and the rep was able to get it posted within a few days.

    • If one of you have already had the Ascend card you could downgrade one to that and then shoot for the 15K free night bonus. An option if you are worried about an Amex crackdown.


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