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Citi has sent out flyers notifying cardholders that the Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature has added some new benefits.
Annual Loyalty Bonus
You’ll now earn a bonus of 10,000 Hilton Honors points when you spend $1,000 or more annually on stays within the Hilton Portfolio, and pay with your Citi Hilton Visa. In my latest monthly valuations I list Honors points at 0.5 cents apiece, so the 10,000 bonus points is worth about $50. This bonus essentially gives you an extra 10 points per dollar if you spend exactly $1,000 at Hilton properties each year. It’s not a reason to get the card, but it’s a nice benefit for those who can use it.
Gold Status Upgrade
Cardholders will now earn Hilton Honors Gold status after making $20,000 of eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year. Honors Gold status is perhaps the best mid-tier hotel status out there, and can be highly lucrative, as explained by TPG Contributor Nick Ewen in his recent post about the value of Hilton elite status. However, spending $20,000 to get it is a pretty poor value proposition, considering that the premium Hilton cards (such as the Citi Hilton Reserve and Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express offer complimentary Gold Status as a benefit. Those cards have annual fees ($95 and $75, respectively), but you could apply your $20,000 in spending to another card that earns more valuable points and come out way ahead.
The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in your first four months as a cardholder. You can earn 6 points per dollar spent on hotel stays within the Hilton portfolio, 3 points per dollar at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations, and 2 points per dollar elsewhere. You’ll also receive complimentary Silver status, and get a fast track to Gold status after four stays within your first 90 days of card membership.
Overall I don’t think the new benefits improve the card much, but they certainly don’t hurt. I think this card is useful for those who stay at Hilton occasionally and can take advantage of the Silver status, but don’t stay often enough to justify paying the annual fee for one of the premium cards.
For more info on the various Hilton credit card offerings, check out Nick Ewen’s review of four co-branded Hilton cards currently on the market.
Know before you go.
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