[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.
[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners once they become available here — Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card]
Many hotels offer their own credit cards, which are useful for travelers who are loyal to a particular chain when they travel. These cards often feature a fast track to elite status, complimentary upgrades and other perks. Some will even give you free night stays. So, if you’re someone who is often on-the-go, a hotel rewards credit card may be worth considering.
The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card is an excellent option for travelers with a preference for Hilton properties. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) If you’re considering this card, it’s important to do your research ahead of time to make sure it’s right for you.
Part of that research is knowing what types of cards you’ll qualify for, which often comes down to your credit scores. (You can check your credit scores for free on Credit.com to see where you stand.) Many rewards credit cards require you have a good or excellent credit score. That said, it’s a good idea to know where your credit stands before you apply so you don’t have to take the ding to your scores simply to get denied.
What Do I Get with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card?
There is a lot that comes with a Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card, but let’s break down the basics. Cardholders earn 10 HHonors bonus points per dollar spent on hotel stays within the Hilton portfolio, five points per dollar on airline and car rental purchases and three points per dollar on all other purchases. On your cardmember anniversary, you will earn a bonus of one weekend night certificate after spending $10,000 in purchases each year, starting from the date your annual fee is due. This card has a $95 annual fee. There is also a sign-on bonus associated with this card, which we will get to in a moment.
Beyond spending points, you will also receive automatic HHonors Gold Status as long as the card is open. Gold Status gives guests extra benefits, including a 25% bonus on all the HHonors base points you earn, a fifth night free when you stay for four or more nights in a row, and complimentary internet in your room during your stay at select hotels. You can rest easy with express and late check-out, as well.
Cardholders can upgrade to top tier HHonors Diamond Status after spending $40,000 or more each calendar year. Diamond members are guaranteed a room (as long as the reservation is made at least 48 hours before check-in) and 50% bonus points on all earned base points.
How Can I Earn Bonus Hilton HHonors Points?
To receive 10 bonus points per dollar, you must use your Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card for purchases at hotel restaurants, lounges, retail stores or spas, along with booking reservations at Hilton properties. To receive five bonus points per dollar, you must use your card directly with airlines or car rental companies. All other purchases, less returns and credits, will earn three bonus points per dollar. Bonus points will appear in your Hilton HHonors account about four to six weeks after your purchase.
What’s the Current Sign-On Bonus?
Many credit cards offer a bonus for spending a given amount of money on the card in the first few months of having the card. With the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card, new cardholders can earn two weekend night certificates for use at any Hilton property when they spend $2,500 within the first four months of opening the account. (Note: Sign-up bonuses are subject to change, so it’s important you read the finer print before you apply for the card to see what the bonus is.)
The Advantages of the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
Cardholders can use their Hilton HHonors Reserve card to make their everyday purchases and then enjoy earning bonus points and free nights from their favorite hotel chain. The new applicant sign-on bonus will appeal to cardholders who want an immediate reward, as well. When booking at Hilton, you can also pay with both points and cash, so if you don’t have quite enough points to cover your trip, you can use the points you do have and then simply pay the difference. And if you have Gold status, you can treat your traveling companion to a free stay at participating Hilton properties.
The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card comes with a variety of services and benefits to make shopping and traveling experiences smoother and less stressful. This card also works with Apple Pay, helping make payments quick and easy.
But the perks go beyond just what you earn with the card. Citi Price Rewind, which applies to the Hilton HHonors Reserve card, will track prices of items you bought using the card. If a lower price is found within 60 days of purchase, you can request a refund of the difference, up to $300 per item and $1,200 per year. Talk about saving you money in more than one way.
And this credit card is also part of the Visa Signature family. What this means is that you’ll enjoy complimentary concierge service at any time of day or night. The concierge will help book tickets to shows, make restaurant reservations or help make travel arrangements. You will have exclusive access to discounts to museums and special events. You can read more about what having a Visa Signature card gets you.
And, as this is a hotel rewards card, chances are you plan to do some traveling. This card can help make your vacation just a bit more relaxing, thanks to carrying no foreign transaction fees and travel protections. This means you have access to travel and emergency services around the clock. Did you bags get lost, stolen or damaged? No problem — Your card will cover you for up to $3,000 per person, per trip, that you paid with your Citi card. You can even use your card for car rental purchases and receive theft and damage coverage so you can enjoy your travels without worrying about one more added expense.
The Disadvantages of the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
While this card may be a good option for frequent Hilton guests, it may not be right for everyone. For example, travelers who aren’t loyal to a particular hotel chain and typically prefer to find the room with the lowest rate, may not want this card, as it offers the the most rewards points at Hilton properties. Consumers who are not high spenders may also find other credit cards a better option, especially if they won’t earn enough points back to make the annual fee worthwhile. If you prefer to redeem points for airline miles, this card will not be a good fit, as points cannot be transferred to airlines or other hotels.
Gold status members still pay for certain services, including rollaway beds and breakfast, depending on the location. Elite status does not automatically waive fees, so you would need to call ahead in order to determine what services and benefits are complimentary.
Who Is This Card Right For?
If you are a frequent traveler who stays primarily at properties within the Hilton portfolio, this card could be a good addition to your wallet. This card is also good for people with a strong credit profile, as this helps make them eligible for the good terms and conditions.
It’s important to consider if the annual fee associated with this card is going to fit into your budget and, even if it does, if it will be worthwhile. After all, there are rewards credit cards that don’t carry annual fees that may be worth considering. Another budget consideration: Those travelers who want Gold status will get it automatically, with the ability to reach Diamond status once hitting a specific spending threshold.
At publishing time, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
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