Big News: Citi Hilton Cards Going Away in 2018!

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Big news in the co-branded credit card space this morning as American Express has won the right to be the exclusive issuer of Hilton cards beginning January 1, 2018. For years both Citi and Amex issued their own Hilton cards, with each¬†offering one Hilton card with no annual fee and one with an annual fee, for a total of four personal Citi cards on the market. That’s sort of a lot of Hilton cards, though that is a great things for folks like you and me.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

However, after 1/1/2018 the number of different Hilton cards is likely to drop as Citi will transition their Hilton credit card customers to a different yet unannounced Citi product¬†and stop issuing new Hilton cards. So what does this mean for you? Well, if you don’t have a Citi Hilton card and you want one, that will need to be a priority this year or you won’t ever be able to get one.

Personally, I have never had the Citi Hilton Reserve card and its bonus of two weekend award nights awarded after you spend $2,500 on the card in the first 4 months, so I hope to get that before the card disappears. That card has a $95 annual fee, though Citi also has the Citi Hilton Visa Signature card that has no annual fee and awards anywhere from 40,000 – 75,000 – ish Hilton points as a sign-up bonus after you hit the spending requirement. There is a link still advertising the 75,000 point version of the Hilton Visa Signature bonus, but the application doesn’t seem to be working at the moment.

If you are considering getting a Citi Hilton cards sooner rather than later, be aware that the Citi terms indicate that the sign-up bonus is not available if you have had any Citi Hilton Honors card opened or closed in the last 24 months, so consult your credit report to see both when you opened and closed a Citi Hilton card. It would be great if they dropped that term before the cards disappear, but as for now that is the posted rule.

How will this big change impact your credit card strategy this year?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

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  1. I called Citi and they admitted (after asking the supervisor) that something was going to happen. I went ahead and changed my Citi Hilton no-fee card to the Citi Costco no-fee card (which I have planned on getting some day). They promised me there would be no credit report activity, that it’s all internal for converting a card (no-fee to no-fee). I rarely used the Citi Hilton esp since I have the new Amex (100K offer) Hilton Surpass.

  2. Bummer, wife & I just got the surpass last month. I was planning on getting the no-fee Citi the next time they increased it and start churning it every 2 years. Was going to get the no fee AMEX last.

    Guessing it is unlikely we will see anymore increased offers.

    • It is impossible to know at this point. We did in the final year of the US Airways card, though that wasn’t Citi.

  3. Will I lose my points for Hilton earned with the Citi Hilton since they are combined with the AMEX Hilton points?

    • They all funnel into your hilton account, so they are safe there as long as you earn or redeem Hilton points at least once every 12 months.

  4. I was about to cancel my Surpass, as I have the no-fee Hilton AMEX to refresh points periodically. Any good reason to keep the Surpass?

  5. I currently have the Hilton Honors card opened with Citibank. I have had the card longer than 2 years but again, it is still open and active. Can I apply for the Hilton Reserve card and get the bonus? I guess what I’m asking is does having an open, active card qualify as “opening” or does “opening” refer to the actual date you opened and actives the card?

    • My understanding is yes you should be good if you are going for a different Hilton card than you had and you haven’t opened or closed a Citi Hilton card in the last 24 months.

      • I am in the same situation as Diana. I have had the Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature card with no annual fee opened for a few years now. Can I keep that card open and apply for the Citi Reserve card? Now I already got the Reserve card and 2 free night bonus a few years ago. It’s been closed for more than 2 years.

  6. Oh man, this is a bummer – my wife’s Hilton Honors Reserve card is our preferred hotel card. Honors Gold status has gotten us some amazing upgrades to executive floors, free breakfasts, meal vouchers, etc. I can’t think of any other card in the Citi ranks that we’d want other than maybe the American Airlines card. Think they’ll allow a product change to this card?

  7. I’m replying “late in the game” but I was searching for some more information concerning the switch from Citi to Amex. Any chance you’ll address this in a future blog? I know the email we received from Citi said we’ll receive more info this month from Amex, so I’m waiting to read what they send. Right now, it seems like the best thing to do would be to just cancel the Citi card so we would be eligible for sign up bonuses with Amex but I”m sure there are other things we need to consider- like will the loss of a credit line affect our overall credit score, etc. I’d love to hear from you about the pros and cons of this, as well as what we should consider when making the decision. Thank you!

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