This June it was announced that Hilton would be entering into an exclusive credit card agreement with American Express as of January 2018. Previously Hilton was in a unique position, as they had co-brand cards issued by both American Express and Citi. It seems American Express was willing to pay the price for exclusivity, meaning that Citi no longer has the right to issue Hilton cards.
Earlier we learned about huge changes that are being made to the American Express Hilton portfolio — the two existing cards are being improved, and two additional cards are being introduced, including a small business card, as well as a premium card that offers Diamond status. Maintaining top tier hotel status just for having a credit card is pretty incredible.
Up until now we didn’t know what would happen to those with Citi Hilton cards. In general I suspected it would go in one of two directions:
- Citi would convert those Hilton cards into other Citi cards
- Citi would sell their cardmembers to American Express, and allow them to convert their products to Hilton American Express cards
There are pros and cons to both. On one hand you don’t want to lose cardmembers, while at the same time if a competitor is willing to pay the right price, it could make sense to sell. Well, we now know what will happen with these cards.
As of January 30, 2018, Citi Hilton cards will be converted into American Express Hilton cards:
- Those with the no-fee Citi Hilton Honors Card will receive the no-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card
- Those with the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card will receive the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (formerly known as the Surpass Card)
You can find the full FAQs about this change here. Having these cards converted into American Express cards is good news for most, since the average consumer doesn’t want to have to apply for a new card. However, do keep in mind that you won’t be eligible for a new cardmember bonus if you’re an existing cardmember, so some will likely be canceling their cards before they’re converted.
What do you make of Citi’s decision to sell their cardmembers to American Express?
(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)