Hilton Credit Card Review 2014

Posted by CreditCardGuru

There are actually four different Hilton HHonors credit cards but which one is best … if any? (updated for 2014)

An unusual aspect of the Hilton HHonors 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 HHonors Visa Signature card

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

Rewards:

  • 2 Hilton HHonors 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 HHonors Silver status. Special promo to earn 40,000 bonus points.

American Express Hilton HHonors card

hilton amex cardThis card has no annual fee.

Rewards:

  • 3 Hilton HHonors 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 HHonors Silver status

American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass card

amex hilton surpass cardThis card has a $75 annual fee.

Rewards:

  • 3 Hilton HHonors 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

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 HHonors Reserve Card

Citi HHonors ReserveThis card has a $95 annual fee.

Rewards:

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

Noteworthy Benefits:
Complimentary Gold VIP status as long as you have the card, anniversary bonus of one free weekend night every membership year you spend at least $10,000 on the card, no foreign transaction fees, EMV chip. And if you apply using this offer, you get two weekend night certificates (each certificate is good for one weekend night) when you spend $2,500 within your first four months of cardmembership.

Which Hilton card is best?

Between the no-annual-fee cards, the American Express Hilton HHonors 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 best Hilton credit card offer when it comes to rewards would have to be the new Reserve card from Citi. Its annual fee is $20 more than the AmEx Hilton HHonors Surpass. However, considering that Citi lets you earn a free weekend night every year, that more than justifies the higher cover charge.

Is There a Better Alternative?

At first glance all of the offers sound great, but you have to determine the redemption value of the HHonors 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 chain, before committing to one of their reward cards it is recommended that you review our sponsored listing of hotel reward cards, as there are others that might give you more redemption value, depending on your spending habits and hotel preferences.

Compare hotel credit card offers



Updated Oct. 2, 2014


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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

10 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Kristen September 18, 2014 at 3:40PM

    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

  2. Mohami June 26, 2014 at 11:58AM

    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…

  3. Ifly4free January 14, 2014 at 1:41PM

    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.

    • Randy B March 9, 2014 at 2:29PM

      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.

  4. Robert December 13, 2013 at 8:32AM

    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.

    • Eric January 25, 2014 at 11:29AM

      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.

      • James March 28, 2014 at 8:26AM

        Eric. No spend limit required.

  5. Brusher July 10, 2013 at 4:07PM

    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.

  6. david akerob May 5, 2013 at 12:06PM

    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.

    • Amex Guy June 26, 2013 at 12:14PM

      American Express is the way to go in that situation.

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