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We’ve known since June that Hilton chose to drop Citi in favor of an exclusive co-brand credit card relationship with American Express. On Wednesday, Hilton and American Express announced the biggest news we’ve heard since the June decision to drop Citi — there will soon be three new Hilton co-branded Amex cards. Now, we also know when Hilton will phase out its Citi co-branded cards.
Hilton is emailing Honors members who have a Citi co-branded card, either the Citi Hilton Honors Card or the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card. Here’s what you need to know about both of the Citi cards, and what the switch to an Amex-only agreement means for you as of January 2018:
- If you currently have the no-fee Citi Hilton Honors Card, it will be replaced by the no-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card.
- If you currently have the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card ($95 annual fee), it will be replaced by the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (also a $95 annual fee).
If you currently have a Citi Hilton card as mentioned above, you’ll get your new Amex-branded card in the mail in mid-January. You’ll be able to start using the new Amex card on January 30, 2018. Until January 30, you’ll continue to earn Hilton Honors points as normal with your Citi-branded credit card, but as of January 30, the Citi card will no longer be active.
If your Citi account is eligible and open, Hilton will automatically transfer and link to your Hilton Honors account on January 30. There’s no need to reapply for an Amex card, and no additional credit check will be performed.
The transfers appear to be about equal — at least as far as the annual fees are concerned. The new Ascend Card, which Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card holders will be getting, will also be distributed to current Hilton Honors Surpass cardholders, and earns 12x points on Hilton purchases, 6x points at US grocery stores, US restaurants and US gas stations and 3x points on everything else.