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Back in July, we wrote about an increased sign-up bonus on the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card, offering new applicants 75,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first three months.
According to TPG’s most recent valuations, 75,000 Hilton points are worth $375, though they can easily be worth more if you put them towards one of the program’s most popular properties for award redemptions. I’ve used points at incredible properties like the Conrad Bali (50,000-60,000 points per night) and the Hilton Seychelles Labriz (70,000-80,000 points per night), so even though the program underwent a significant devaluation back in 2013, there’s still a lot of value to be had.
Other key benefits include:
- Complimentary Silver status as long as you have the card open (no spend requirement)
- Hilton Gold status with $20,000 in spend per year (plus a fast track to Gold offer if you complete four stays in your first 90 days of account opening)
- Annual 10,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points each calendar year after spending $1,000 on the card within the Hilton portfolio
- Visa Signature perks (like concierge service and travel protection)
Is it worth it?
If I wasn’t already disqualified from applying due to Citi’s relatively strict application rules (only one application every 8 days and no more than two every 65 days), I would likely be pulling the trigger on this card. I recently redeemed a decent number of Hilton points for a stay at The Arctic Club in Seattle for my trip that I booked with the companion ticket benefit on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card, so I could use a jolt of points in my account.
However, the sign-up bonus is really the only reason I (personally) would use this card. I also hold the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, which equals or surpasses the regular Citi Hilton Visa in earning rates (10 points per dollar at Hilton properties; 5 points per dollar on airfare and car rentals; and 3 points per dollar everywhere else) and benefits (including automatic Gold status and no foreign transaction fees). I’m also a big fan of the free night certificates offered through the sign-up bonus and after spending $10,000 in a cardmembership year.
That being said, if you’re looking for a card with a solid sign-up bonus and no annual fee, this could be a great option for a couple of reasons. For starters, the sign-up bonus is quite high for a card without an annual fee, and 75,000 points can put you well on your way to a valuable free stay at a Hilton property. In addition, the automatic Silver status will unlock the program’s 5th night free benefit on award redemptions, one that is restricted to Hilton HHonors elite members. You’ll also receive additional benefits like bonus points and late check-out on your Hilton stays, both of which are quite nice for a casual traveler.
This card isn’t the most rewarding card in the points and miles universe, but its increased sign-up bonus did earn it a spot on TPG’s top travel reward card offers list for September 2015. If you’re thinking about applying, be sure to pull the trigger before it’s too late!
For more information on maximizing the Hilton HHonors program, check out the following posts:
The Award Traveler’s Guide to Hilton HHonors
Earn Double and Triple Points with Hilton Fall Promotion
Planning a Hawaiian Vacation with Hilton HHonors Points
8 Hilton Properties that Make for Awesome Award Redemptions
8 Low-Level Hilton Properties that Make for Awesome Awards
Experiences With Points: Hilton HHonors Auction Platform
Hilton Latest Hotel Chain to Offer Free WiFi
How would you use 75,000 HHonors points?
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards