Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card Improved Sign-Up Bonus Ending

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Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

I’ve written in the past about the increased sign-up bonus on the Citi Hilton Reserve Card, which is one of my favorite hotel credit cards. The increased sign-up bonus has offered an additional $100 statement credit after spending $100 or more on your first hotel stay at any Hilton HHonors property within three months of account opening. That’s in addition to the “standard” sign-up bonus.

Well, today (Thursday) is apparently the last full day to take advantage of the increased offer, as the links are supposed to be pulled during the day on Friday.

To recap:

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card sign-up bonus

The current sign-up bonus on the card offers:

  • Two free weekend nights at most Hilton family properties after spending $2,500 within four months of account opening
  • Plus for a limited time receive a $100 statement credit after spending $100 or more on your first hotel stay in the Hilton HHonors portfolio within the first three months of account opening

So the two free weekend nights are the standard sign-up bonus, while the $100 statement credit after your first Hilton stay within three months is an added perk.

The standard sign-up bonus is already incredibly valuable. Hilton devalued their award chart substantially last year, whereby top hotels went from 50,000 points per night to up to 95,000 points per night.

Conrad-Koh-Samui-Award-Rate

So this sign-up bonus can potentially cover two free nights at a property which goes for 95,000 points per night — that’s potentially a 190,000 point value!

Conrad-Koh-Samui-100
Redeem free night certificates for villa at Conrad Koh Samui

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card points earnings structure

The card offers the following rewards on everyday spend:

  • 10x points per dollar spent at Hilton properties
  • 5x points per dollar spent on airline and car rental purchases
  • 3x points per dollar spent on everything else

In and of itself that’s not especially compelling, given that Hilton points aren’t all that valuable. The reasons to spend on this card involve the threshold bonuses they offer, which I’ll cover below.

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card annual fee

The annual fee on the card is $95, which isn’t waived for the first year.

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card foreign transaction fees

The card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, so is a great option for international travel

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card card perks

Not only does the card offer a lucrative sign-up bonus, but it has some awesome perks as well, which make the card worth keeping long term, in my opinion:

  • Hilton HHonors Gold status for as long as you have the card, which gets you complimentary breakfast, lounge access, and internet (which I consider to be the most valuable elite hotel perks)
  • A complimentary weekend night certificate for any cardmember year (different than calendar year) in which you spend $10,000 on the card
  • Hilton HHonors Diamond status for any year in which you spend $40,000 on the card

Hilton HHonors Gold status is the most valuable easily attainable mid-tier hotel status, in my opinion, so that alone more than justifies the annual fee after just a couple of stays, in my opinion.

Conrad-HK-100
View from Conrad Hong Kong

If you have the card, I think it’s well worth it to spend $10,000 on the card for a free night certificate. Assuming you can redeem it for a property that would otherwise go for 95,000 points per night, think of it as getting 12.5 Hilton HHonors points per dollar spent on base spend (factoring in the free night and 3x points per dollar you’d usually earn for non-bonused spend).

As far as Diamond status goes, it definitely can be worth it. $40,000 is very little to spend on a credit card for top tier hotel status. I did this last year, and to be honest haven’t been blown away by Hilton Diamond status. I find there to be very little difference between Gold and Diamond status. Still, if you frequently stay at Hiltons — and especially frequently stay outside of the US — it can be well worth it.

Hilton-Diamond-Status

Bottom line

There are cards that offer great sign-up bonuses and cards that are worth keeping long term. A minority of cards fall into both categories, though I think this one does:

  • The sign-up bonus is generous and can be redeemed for up to 190,000 HHonors points worth of value, not even factoring in the $100 statement credit after a Hilton stay
  • Gold status in and of itself justifies the annual fee after just a couple of Hilton stays, in my opinion
  • The annual free weekend night certificate makes it worth spending $10,000 on the card, in my opinion, and Diamond status can be worth spending $40,000 on the card as well, depending on your travel patterns

Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

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Comments

  1. I had feeling you would post about this since I sent you a question regarding the free night certs few hours ago or its just Coincidence.
    Anyways, u mention on this post Conrad Koh Samui but thats on the exclusion list.

  2. If you make the 10k spend for the free night cert in the first couple months, do you still not get the cert until your anniversary date (potentially 10 months later, after you pay the year 2 annual fee)?

  3. To qualify for the $100 statement credit, does the spend have to be a hotel stay or can it be a restaurant spend at Hilton without any stay? Thanks!

  4. Do you know if the expiration on the certificate is the date they must be used by or can you book by then for a date in the future?

  5. @ Erin — As long as it’s charged by the Hilton it should qualify, even if you’re not staying.

  6. @ Mike — The Conrad Koh Samui Residences are on the exclusion list, not the Conrad Koh Samui as such, though.

  7. I already have the Amex HH Surpass card and use it mainly for all my hotel stays due to the high points (12x). There are FTFs on it and I’m already a Diamond member because of all my stays. I like this card for the free weekend certs but I imagine it’s pretty silly to get this in addition to have and paying for the AMEX surpass card as well.

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