1 Million Hilton Honors Points

How We Did It - the Inside Scoop

Before we jump into how we earned 1 million Hilton Honors points we’d like to say that we are not associated with Hilton or American Express in any way and we do not get compensated in any way for writing this article. If you click on a Hilton ad on our page we could get affiliate compensation only if you actually book a stay.

Since we like to travel we carry credit cards that offer travel related points. Up until seventeen months ago we carried two United Airlines Visa cards. Those cards allow us to gather enough miles to fly business class using miles when we fly on long trips - such as to Europe. As we get older it’s become extremely uncomfortable to sit in coach on long overnight flights and we are wrecked when changing time zones and not getting enough sleep so we look for ways to try to fly on business class when flying overseas. We have some tips on how to fly business class (on United Airlines) for fewer miles here.

About seventeen months ago we started looking at hotel chain credit cards since we were flying less due to COVID, and we expected to travel more in the United States and expected that to continue for a while. We have been Hilton Honors members for quite some time but never focused on gathering points. I stumbled upon the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Perks

They were offering the following perks for an annual fee of $450;

  • 150k sign up miles
  • Immediate diamond status
  • 14x points on spending at participating Hilton hotels
  • 7x points on restaurants
  • 3x points on other expenditures
  • One free weekend night annually
  • $250 airline credit (at an airline of your choice)
  • $250 Hilton resort hotel credit
  • $100 credit when staying at Waldorf or Conrad Hotels
  • Free upgrades upon availability

Doing some quick math, we figured with the free night stay, diamond status and resort credits it would be worth the annual fee. We had an old green American Express card but had stopped using it due to our focusing on airline miles so it was an easy decision to replace the old green card with this one. I don’t like having too many cards but like to have a variety in case there is an issue with one card or a merchant doesn't accept a certain type, etc.

Hilton Honors Points Breakdown (over 17 months)

We obtained the card in October of 2020 and decided to make this card our primary card for everything we typically purchase including; gas, groceries, clothes, restaurants, gifts, travel and anything else that came up. We didn’t start out with a goal of earning a million points but the points added up so quickly when we got to about 600k points we thought we would see how long it would take to get to a million as a milestone before we started using the points.

Over a period of seventeen months we spent about $65k on our American Express Aspire card. We took two major trips during that period of time; one to New England and one to California. We also spent some time in Orlando and traveled back and forth from Florida to Virginia. We chose to stay at Hilton properties when it was viable but not in every location. Of our total expenditures, we spent 35 nights at Hilton properties totaling $9,831.

This chart (left) shows the points that we earned in each category for the money that we spent along with bonus points we received. You will notice that it doesn’t add up to exactly one million. The interesting thing is that I went through the numbers several times. There are a few months where I can’t get the real data from the Hilton Honors site because it only goes back twelve months. In any case, Hilton says we have over 90k more miles than I calculate - however - I’m not complaining… More points are good points.