Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Reserve Card Review | CreditShout

Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Reserve Card Review

By Christine Layton / August 23, 2012
Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card Review

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CREDITSHOUT RATING:
Very Good

The Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Reserve is a new credit card that offers elite benefits and new bonuses for spending. If you stay at Hilton hotels often, you may find this card to be a very good value.

The new Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card offers a great sign-on bonus (2 free bonus weekend-nights, after $2,500 in spending) as well as a host of rewards and travel benefits for the fairly modest annual fee.

Key Features & Benefits

The key features and benefits of this card are:

  • Special sign up bonus. Get 2 weekend-night stay certificates if you spend at least $2,500 during the first 4 months after you open your account. This great bonus can be worth anywhere from 15,000 to 100,000 points, depending on where you redeem it.
  • Receive up to 10 points per $1 spent. Get 10 points per $1 on Hilton stays, 5 points per $1 on airline and car rental purchases and 3 points per $1 on everything else.
  • Earn bonus points. Reach Diamond status after $40,000 in annual spending and earn 50% more points.
  • 1 complimentary weekend-night stay, which is awarded when you reach your account anniversary and spend at least $10,000 in one year.
  • HHonors Gold Status. You’ll receive automatic Gold status and upgrade to Diamond if you spend at least $40,000 in one year.
  • No pre-set spending limit. Charges over your revolving limit will be evaluated based on your account history but must be paid in full each month.
  • 24//7 Visa Signature Concierge. Get help with travel information, making reservations or finding gifts with Visa’s 24 hour concierge.
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection. Get extended warranties up to 1 year on most items you buy with your Citi card. Purchase protection covers you against theft and accidental damage up to $500 on purchases you made with your card for up to 90 days from date of purchase.
  • Travel accident and auto rental insurance. You’ll receive compensation for accidental death or dismemberment while traveling on a common carrier if you charge your fare to your card. Auto rental insurance pays for all covered damages to your rental car when you use your Citi card and you decline the rental agency’s collision and loss/damage waiver.
  • Lost luggage coverage and trip cancellation coverage. Up to $3,000 in lost luggage coverage if you and your dependants charged all of the carrier fare to your Citi card. If you aren’t able to take or continue a trip you’ve billed to your card, you can receive up to $1,500 in trip cancellation or interruption coverage.
  • Travel and emergency assistance. Get help with medical or legal referrals, emergency transportation and lost luggage in the United States and elsewhere.

Not a bad list.

Special Sign Up Bonus: Two Weekend-Nights

Unlike most rewards credit cards that offer a sign-up bonus of additional points, you’ll receive a two weekend-night (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) certificates for any Hilton property in the world if you spend at least $2,500 during the first 4 months.

Because you can use these certificates at any Hilton location, including the Waldorf Astoria, the value will vary. The bonus may be worth only 15,000 points if you choose a category 1 property or up to 100,000 points if you choose a category 7 property, like the Grand Wailea in Hawaii.

Is this welcome offer too good to last?

Maybe.

After all, this sign-up bonus is much better than the one currently offered by the Hilton American Express, the Hilton American Express Surpass and the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature cards, with sign-up bonuses of only 40,000 to 60,000 points.

Hilton Honors Rewards Program: Automatic Gold Status

For travelers who stay at Hilton properties on a regular basis and want to earn travel rewards, there is no better rewards program than this. The rewards for the new Citi Hilton HHonors Signature Reserve are aimed at Hilton’s frequent stayers.

You earn 10 HHonors points for every $1 you spend on Hilton hotel stays, 5 points per $1 spent on car rental and airline purchases and 3 points per $1 on all other purchases.

The only other card on the market that compares is the Hilton AmEx Surpass, which only offers up to 9 points per $1.

Very Important: The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Reserve also includes automatic Hilton HHonors Gold status.

This gives you a 25% bonus on all base points earned, as well as complimentary room upgrades, free internet access, GLON reduced-rate redemption and the choice between 1,000 bonus points when you sign in or complimentary continental breakfast for 2.

If you spend $40,000 or more annually you’ll be upgraded to Diamond Status, which gives you a 50% bonus on all base points earned, access to executive club lounges, 1,000 bonus points upon check-in, dedicated reservations and more.

The fine print, however, states that any bonus points you earn on top of base points won’t count towards qualifying for the next Elite status.

Here’s a recap:

  • 10 points/$1 on Hilton hotel stays
  • 5 points/$1 on car rental and airline purchases
  • 3 points/$1 on everything else
  • Automatic Gold Status earns you an extra 25% on base points
  • Diamond Status (after $40,000 in annual spending) earns you an extra 50%
  • Gold and Diamond Status include complimentary room upgrades, free internet, bonus points upon check in and more

The Big Question.. Is Hilton Honors Reserve The Annual Fee?

While the $95 annual fee may seem a bit high, it’s actually a great deal for all of the perks and benefits of this card.

If Hilton is your main hotel and you travel frequently, you won’t beat the rewards from this card. With a fantastic rewards program, instant Gold status, no pre-set spending and a host of other travel rewards, the Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card comes highly recommended.

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone.Additionally, the opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site

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