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Hilton to Drop Citi, Make Amex Its Exclusive Card Issuer

June 01, 2017
3 min read
Hilton to Drop Citi, Make Amex Its Exclusive Card Issuer
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

Update 6/1/17 9:13am: Citi has confirmed that cardholders will eventually be moved to a new account:

Accounts will be moved to a new card account and Citi will communicate the new credit card information – including anticipated delivery dates and any other pertinent details – to cardmembers prior to the end of this year. Until a replacement card is provided, cardmembers can continue to make purchases on their current card. Spend will continue to earn Points until the end of this year and Points earned on the program will be credited to the cardmember’s Hilton Honors account.

Additionally, the issuer shared the following statement from Jud Linville, CEO, Citi Global Cards:

For over 15 years, Citi and Hilton enjoyed a terrific co-brand credit card partnership however during negotiations, it became clear that terms of exclusivity given the relatively small size of the portfolio were not economically viable. As we drive growth in the U.S. Cards business, our focus is on core co-brand partners, like Costco, American Airlines and AT&T, and we are committed to serving our existing Hilton cardmembers.

The Hilton portfolio represents roughly 1% of US card accounts.

Hilton announced today that it's dropping Citi and sticking with Amex. Beginning January 1, 2018, Amex will be the exclusive issuer for Hilton Honors co-branded cards in the US.

What does this news mean for Honors members and co-branded credit card holders? Nothing in the short-term. In fact, Hilton says there will be no immediate changes for existing US cardholders, and purchases that you make on your co-branded Hilton card — regardless if it's issued by Amex or Citi — will continue to earn you Honors points.

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There aren't any further details at this point, and a representative from Hilton told TPG that we can expect to hear more details about the changes in the coming months.

Amex has long been the face of Hilton credit cards — it's the chain's longest co-brand relationship, beginning in 1995. In 2000, Citi began offering Hilton co-branded cards as well.

This news comes just one day after the record high 100,000-point sign-up bonus for the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express ended. At this point it's not clear if there will be any new card offerings from Amex and Hilton, and it's not yet clear if Citi Hilton co-branded cardholders will be granted Amex cards.

As a reminder, together Hilton and Amex currently offer a total of two credit cards — the Hilton Honors Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express. In addition, Hilton is a 1:1 transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards points.

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