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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.
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.