Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: Travelers, Techies and Luxury-Lovers Rejoice
The Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card has it all: rewards, perks, travel technology and guaranteed luxury. It starts of with a hard-hitting signup bonus: Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio after $2,500 in eligible purchases within 4 months of account opening*, with a bonus weekend night every year. This can be worth several hundred dollars per night if you redeem for a Tier 7 hotel – that’s one of the best sign-up bonuses in the business, and more than enough to offset the $95 annual fee. And we haven’t even gotten to the ongoing rewards yet. If you’re a Hilton guest, sit up, take note and act soon because the special offer won’t be around forever!
International travel and elite status made easy
Designed to compete with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass, the Citi Hilton Reserve puts its best foot forward. Let’s start with rewards:
- 10 HHonors points per $1 spent at Hilton hotels
- 5 points per $1 spent on airline and car rentals
- 3 points per $1 spent elsewhere
Now, we value HHonors points at about 0.5 cents apiece, so your effective rewards rate is 5%, 2.5% and 1.5% for the above categories. But you receive a host of perks beyond that:
- EMV chip-and-signature compatibility, making the card easier to use abroad;
- No foreign transaction fee, a claim that the Amex Hilton cards can’t make; and
- Complimentary Gold elite status for the lifetime of the card, and Diamond status if you spend more than $40k a year.
As mentioned above, you do receive an anniversary gift of a free weekend night in a standard room with double occupancy. But there is a caveat: you must spend $10,000 a year to get the bonus. Remember also that you must spend $2,500 in the first 4 months to get the signup bonus of 2 free nights.
How does the Citi Hilton card compare with the best-in-class American Express hotel cards? It offers a better signup bonus and elite status than the Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass; it also has no foreign transaction fee – key for travelers. So yeah – the Reserve takes the gold.