Hilton Cardholders: Consider Your Options ASAP


For a while Hilton has offered all of the following co-branded credit cards:

  • Hilton Honors Card from American Express with no annual fee
  • Citi Hilton Honors Card with no annual fee
  • Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express with a $75 annual fee
  • Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card with a $95 annual fee

But that’s changing tomorrow. We’ve known for a while that Hilton dropped its partnership with Citi in favor of an exclusive co-branding partnership with Amex. Tomorrow the following Amex Hilton cards hit the market:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Card with no annual fee (this isn’t be advertised as a new product, yet a change in benefit structure from the prior version–this one has no foreign transaction fees)
  • Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card with a $95 annual fee

What’s Replacing What

If you already have a Hilton co-branded credit card, your card will be converted to one of these two new products either tomorrow, January 18, or next Tuesday, January 30.

The Hilton Honors American Express Card will replace both the old Citi and Amex Hilton no annual fee cards. The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card will replace the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express and the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card.

  • Hilton Honors Card from American Express is expected to convert January 18.
  • Citi Hilton Honors is expected to convert January 30.
  • Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express is expected to convert January 18.
  • Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card is expected to convert January 30.

So, what should existing cardholders do if they want to maximize potential benefit from these new products? Cancel? Downgrade? Hold?

There are different circumstances you each will find yourselves in depending on which card you already have, how long ago you opened it, how close you are to meeting the spend requirement for the Citi Hilton Reserve annual free night, etc. that influence how you should handle the conversion.

For example, if you have a Citi Hilton Reserve Card, there is a chance you might still be eligible for the sign up bonus (whatever it may be, we won’t know until tomorrow) on the new Ascend card if you’ve never held an Amex Hilton Surpass card before. You’d just want to cancel your Citi Hilton Reserve card before January 30 to give yourself a better shot, as that is the day cardholders are converted to the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card.

Frequent Miler wrote a thorough round-up with links for further reading that vary depending on which circumstance you may find yourself in. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel–and the clock is ticking–so check out Frequent Miler ASAP to see if you should make a move tonight.

Tomorrow will be too late for Hilton Honors Card from American Express and Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express cardholders–if you have one of those cards, make a decision tonight. The rest of you who have a Citi Hilton Honors Card or a Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card, make a decision before January 30.

The feature image is a picture of the Boca Beach Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, a member of the Hilton chain.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is 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 questions are answered.

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  1. I wrote about this impending situation back in November, and when the day finally came I still didn’t know what to do. In my opinion this is one of the most confusing and uncertain card situations since I’ve been in this game. My wife and I both have had the Citi Hilton Reserve and I currently have the no fee Amex Hilton card, which I’m keeping around for account longevity until I need to boot it out to make room for more Amex cards. Ultimately we did nothing. I’m sure we left some points on the table somewhere but with all of the restrictions on new accounts and bonuses nowadays, it was just too much to calculate! We’re currently both either just at or just above 5/24 for Chase purposes, so that factors in too.

    This hobby is definitely much more complicated than when I started a mere 5 years ago!!

  2. Same situation here not sure what to do will call AMEX today and ask what options are since it appears they now have a breadth of choices may chgange to one of the better value ones if it exists

  3. […] If you keep track of other points and miles blogs you may have noticed there’s a distinct lack of credit card news lately.  There just aren’t many good offers out there right now.  I think it’s somewhat due to the post-holiday slump.  The most noteworthy card news in recent weeks is the Citi/Amex/Hilton mess.  It’s hard to even summarize this situation, so I won’t try.  If you want to read about it, check out my post on the topic or read MileValue’s recent comments. […]

  4. I just tried to cancel my citi hilton reserve… they said “amex has details now so they need to cancel.” I called amex and they said the details don’t show up until after Jan 30th so THEY can’t cancel either.

    My card is in limbo and I’m unable to cancel. Anyone else have similar experiences?

  5. We canceled our Citi Hilton card in late December yet received a new Amex Hilton card in the mail. We have not yet activated it ( don’t want to as we might want to get it later for a bonus) and absolutely don’t want to have it count against 5/24. Planning on calling Amex to see how they could send us a card that we had canceled.

  6. I got new card automatically in the mail. I called to ask if this had the bonus and I was told no, I had previously received bonus. Which is true I have had the Hilton Surpass for couple of years. So I did not activate the card that came in mail. I turned around and applied for Ascend on their website with potential for 100k points and was instantly approved. Now waiting for that card in mail.

  7. After speaking to both AMEX and Hilton, I was told the credit agencies will consider it a transfer not a new account by the credit agencies, but I hear you. You cannot be sure it will not count against 5 24.


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