Hilton Credit Card Review

The Citi versions of this card are now closed to new applicants and will be permanently retired in January 2018. After that, only the American Express versions of the card will exist. The information below on the Citi cards is for reference purposes.


An unusual aspect of the Hilton Honors cards is that they are provided by two different issuers – Citi and American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner) – and have a total of four variations. Below is a brief review of each offer…

Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature card

The offer for the Hilton Honors Visa Signature is unavailable. The following information is for comparison purposes only.

This card has no annual fee and the best acceptance, since it’s a Visa.

Rewards:

  • 2 Hilton Honors points per dollar on regular spending
  • 3 points per dollar at all grocery stores, drugstores and gas stations
  • 6 points per dollar at Hilton Hotels

Noteworthy benefits: Complimentary Honors Silver status; Gold status if you spend $20,000 in a calendar year. Annual 10,000-point bonus if you spend $1,000 annually on Hilton stays.

American Express Hilton Honors card

The offer for the Hilton Honors Card is unavailable. The following information is for comparison purposes only.

This card has no annual fee.

Rewards:

  • 3 Hilton Honors points per dollar on regular spending
  • 5 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, US gas stations, US supermarkets
  • 7 points per dollar at Hilton Hotels

Noteworthy Benefits: Complimentary Honors Silver status

American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card (no longer available on CreditCardForum)

This card has a $75 annual fee.

Rewards:

  • 3 Hilton Honors points per dollar on regular spending
  • 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations
  • 12 points per dollar at Hilton Hotels
  • Terms Apply

Noteworthy Benefits:
Complimentary Gold status, an annual Priority Pass membership for airport lounge access (the membership is a $99 value, but you still have to pay $27 per person, per visit)

Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card

The offer for the Hilton Honors Reserve is unavailable. The following information is for comparison purposes only.

This card has a $95 annual fee.

Rewards:

  • 10 points per dollar at Hilton Hotels worldwide
  • 5 points per dollar for airlines and car rental agencies
  • 3 Hilton Honors points per dollar on regular spending

Noteworthy Benefits:
Complimentary Gold VIP status as long as you have the card, no foreign transaction fees, EMV chip.

Which Hilton card is best for me?

Between the no-annual-fee cards, the American Express Hilton Honors credit card appears is a better choice because it gives more rewards on regular spending and on gas/grocery/drugstores. Of course a possible downside is that American Express is less accepted than Visa (so at the end of the day, you may earn fewer points with the AmEx, depending on where you shop).

The most lucrative Hilton credit card offer in terms of rewards would have to be the new Reserve card from Citi. Its annual fee is $20 more than the AmEx Hilton Honors Surpass. However, considering that Citi lets you earn a free weekend night every year, so you can be the judges as to whether that justifies the hgiher fee or not.

Are there alternatives I should consider?

At first glance all of the offers sound great, but you have to determine the redemption value of the Honors points, which are often less than half a cent – sometimes significantly less. This is why they can justify awarding so many points on spending.

While Hilton is a great hotel brand, before applying one of their reward cards it is recommended that you review our listing of hotel reward cards, as there are others that might give you more earning or redemption value, depending on your spending habits and hotel brand preferences.

Compare hotel credit card offers


Updated February 2016

 
Comments
The responses below 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.

I recently signed up for HiltonHonors American Express card after making a reservation at a HH property. The deal was a $50 credit off my bill for the night and 50,000 points after purchasing $750 with the AE card.
To my surprise AE refused the 50,000 points offer, no $50 off my bill. I had a HH AE several years ago & closed the account. AE very misleading with your offer.

With either Hilton Amex card do you still get the Amex points you do with any regular Amex card? Or do you waive the Amex points for the Hilton points?

You would get Hilton HHonors points instead of Amex MR points.

Here is what happens to your points….my father passed away two weeks ago. He and my mother had cards, he was the primary holder. They cancelled her card (had her name on it) and TOOK BACK ALL THE POINTS THEY HAD EARNED TOGETHER!

Tracey that is horrible! How insensitive is that.

Hello,

How is the elite status transferred – if you’re receiving silver status, is it 10 nights are deposited into your hhonors account? Thank you.

Kristen

The Citibank Hilton Honors travel insurance doesn’t offer much. The only thing that is covered is transportation if you were physically unable to take it. So if you have an accident and have to cancel or interrupt your trip, you get reimbursed only for travel where you can prove you are physically unable to take. Not really ‘trip interruption’ coverage as they advertise…

As a Marriott Rewards Gold member, I have executive lounge access at all Marriott properties with a lounge. It isn’t clear that Gold status with Hilton Honors gives the same access. It’s seems a little fuzzy in their literature.

Hilton Honors Gold status is good but it doesn’t automatically provide access to exec level/lounge. That said, I’ve never been turned down when I’ve requested access when checking into a Hilton property. I like the Hilton program better than Marriott but have not had Marriott Rewards program in many years.

Your information is not up-to-date. AMEX has changed its policy and now offers lifetime Gold membership as long as you have the card.

But you have to spend a certain amount of money each year to retain the gold status after the first year. I believe it is 20K a year on the card.

Eric. No spend limit required.

I have been an AX Hilton Honors Card holder for many years. I have done my research and based on my situation (retired and a few trips a year) this is the best card. However, for it to work, you must use it for everything possible.

I want a Hilton card that offers me security in case of theft and fraudulent use. I have recently been a victim .I already have gold Hilton membership.

American Express is the way to go in that situation.