The best Hilton Rewards credit card – Citibank Visa Reserve!

The Hilton chain of hotels is one of the largest in the world with more than 4,200 hotels in 93 countries. And the Hilton rewards program is one of the easiest to earn points via creidt cards – there are a total of 4 cards from American Express and Citibank. Today, I’m reviewing the Citibank Hilton HHonors Reserve card, the top offering of Citibank! With two free nights for signing up, it’s one of the best sign-up bonuses in the business! Read more for all the details.

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The HiltonHHonors Reserve card from Citibank offers one of the best sign-up bonuses in the business – here is a summary of all the other key facts

  • CitiHiltonReserveTableSign-up bonus of two free weekend night certificates, valid at any Hilton property, worth 190,000 points at the top category or about US$760, after spending $2,500 in four months after signing up plus a $100 statement credit after your first stay at a Hilton property within 3 months – that bonus is vastly more valuable than any other Hilton card from AmEx or Citibank!
  • Earn Points for Spend
    You earn 10 points per US$ spent at Hilton, 5 points/$ spent on airlines and car rentals and 3 points/$ on everything else. At a value of 0.4 cents/point, that’s an earnings rate of 1.2 to 4 cents – that’s a good earning rate all around
  • HHonors Gold status; very valuable with free breakfast and upgrades!
  • Upgrade to HHonors Diamond after spending $40,000/year
  • Anniversary bonus of 1 free weekend night certificate after spending $10,000/year
  • HHonors points can be redeemed for stays at Hilton hotels or transferred to a long list of partners, including airlines, car rental companies and railroads.
  • HHonors points can be transferred to other members, making it great for couples, families and friends
  • Visa Signature travel and shopping protection (better than average)
  • $95 annual fee, no foreign exchange fee, EMV chip & signature

The signup bonus of two free weekend nights at any property is the headliner here – while the points bonus on the other 3 Hilton cards is great, it won’t get you into the best properties, like the Conrad Rangali (reviewed here) – but these certificates will, making it worth the card sign up all on its own! The statement credit is offered when booking a hotel night online on step 4 (before completing the booking)! The anniversary bonus of an extra night each year makes it worth spending $10,000 on this card and the annual fee (I value the 95,000 points for a top category hotel at $380).
The EMV chip and no foreign exchange fee makes this card great for traveling abroad – saving 3% over the regular Citi Hilton card!
HHonors Gold status is the mid-tier level and very valuable. In addition to the silver benefits (of the regular Citi Hilton card), you get a 25% bonus on earning points, upgrades and free breakfast (or lounge access) – that’s a benefit not even higher elite levels at IHG Rewards, Accor LeClub or Club Carlson will get you!
The Visa card has excellent worldwide acceptance and my experience with Citibank customer service in general is good – I’d rank it just below AmEx, but ahead of Chase or Capital One.

If you don’t mind the annual fee and are looking for the best Hilton Rewards card, this is it! While the American Express Surpass card has slightly higher earn ratios, the sign-up and anniversary bonus are hard to beat – the certificates are the best way to score a free night at the top-end Hilton properties!

If you don’t like the annual fee, you can check out the Citibank Hilton Visa Signature card (reviewed here) or the American Express Hilton HHonors card (reviewed here). If you plan on staying at low and mid-range properties, the American Express Surpass card might be a better fit (reviewed here)!


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