The high-end travel credit card market keeps getting more competitive, as Citi and Hilton just introduced the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card aimed towards the affluent traveler. The brand new card offers a generous sign up bonus: when you spend $2,500 within 4 months of opening your account, you’ll earn 2 weekend night certificates, each valid for a weekend night standard accommodation at category 1-7 hotel or select Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, subject to availability. (Note that some Waldorf Astoria hotels and all All-Inclusive and Hilton Grand Vacation properties are excluded.) If the certificates are used at Hilton’s highest-end properties, this is a bonus that could easily be worth four figures.
The card earns 10 HHonors points per $1 spent at Hilton, 5 HHonors points per $1 spent on airlines and car rental purchases and 3 HHonors points on everything else.
Other features of the card include: no foreign purchase transaction fees, smart chip technology, and an anniversary bonus of one weekend night certificate each year after you spend at least $10,000 in a year.
You’ll also earn elite Hilton HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember. Gold status confers special benefits, such as point bonuses, free high-speed wireless, complimentary food and beverages and room ugprades when available, and executive lounge access. You’ll also receive an automatic upgrade to HHonors Diamond status when you spend at least $40,000 in a calendar year.
There is an annual fee of $95.
It’s worthwhile to compare the Reserve card with the other Hilton offerings (with apologies for the squished formatting):
|Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card||Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card||Hilton HHonors™ Amex||Hilton Surpass Amex|
|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*||Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within 4 months of account opening*||Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after spending $750 within 90 days||Earn 40,000 points after first purchase, plus another 20,000 points after your first $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days|
|Bonus points earned at Hilton||10/dollar spent||6/dollar spent||6/dollar spent||9/dollar spent|
|Other bonus points earned||5 points/$1 spent on airline and car rentals; 3 points/$1 spent on all other eligible purchases*||3 points/$1 spent at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations; 2 points/$1 spent on all other eligible purchases*||6 points/$1 spent at grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, wireless and home phone, internet, cable and satellite TV; 3 points/$1 spent on all other eligible purchases*||6 points/$1 spent at gas stations, drugstores and wireless and home phone, internet, cable and satellite TV; 3 points/$1 on all other eligible purchases*|
|Elite status||Gold as long as you have the card. Diamond when you reach $40,000 or more during the calendar year||Silver as long as you have the card.||Silver as long as you have the card. Gold when you spend at least $20,000 in the calendar year||Silver as long as you have the card. Gold for free for your first year and all subsequent years in which you spend at least $20,000. Diamond when you reach $40,000 or more|
*GLON Awards – available to HHonors elite members and HHonors credit cardholders, GLON awards offer discounts off the standard reward rate. For instance, GLON awards offer a 15% discount off 4-night awards, 20% off 5-night awards and 25% off 6-and-more night awards.
**AXON Awards – Available exclusively to American Express cardholders, they are discounted awards for 4 nights. Sometimes they offer a better deal than GLON awards.
For a comprehensive overview of the arcane details of Hilton awards, this FT thread details your options.
The new HHonors Reserve card replaces the Surpass as Hilton’s top-tier card, with a more generous sign up bonus, while also earning more points at Hilton properties and granting higher Elite status. It’s a card that Hilton loyalists should strongly consider.
To apply or for more info, see this link.
Want to keep up with the latest credit card deals?
- Hilton to Introduce New HHonors American Express Surpass Card - February 5, 2009
- Hilton HHonors Surpass Card: Up to 60,000 Bonus Points - February 17, 2012
- Visa Signature Cardholders: Free Gold Hilton HHonors Status + 5000 Points - June 9, 2011