Credit cards tend to have a give and take relationship with their cardholders: They’ll give you rewards as long as you pay for annual fees, balance transfer fees, and/or a steep APR. Citi® has reinvigorated our credit card senses by offering a card with a little less take. The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee, and offers significant long term value (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser). Let's review:
Once you have all these points, there is a lot you can do with them. Accrued points can be used in a variety of ways, including:
Bonus Points Won’t Expire Easily and No Cap on Points Earned As long as you have some HHonors™ activity at least once every 12 months, bonus points won’t expire. That activity can include staying at a hotel within the Hilton portfolio, earning points through a participating partner, purchasing HHonors™ Points or donating HHonors™ Points. With the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card there is no cap on how many points you can earn meaning the sky's the limit when it comes to point earning activity.
Price Rewind As with other Citi® products, Hilton HHonors™ cardholders have access to the unique Price Rewind service. Price Rewind helps customers get lower prices after purchasing an item. If you register a purchase through the Rewind program, Citi® will track the product for 60 days to find a lower price. If they find one, you can request a refund for the price difference.
Complimentary HHonors Silver Status and Fast-Track to Gold Status All Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® card members have complimentary HHonors™ Silver Status allowing them to automatically receive a 15% bonus on all HHonors Base Points earned, receive a fifth night stay free on Standard Room Reward stays when staying five nights or more, as well as complimentary in-room internet access, express check-out, late check-out and complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs while staying at a Hilton property. Compared to other guest loyalty programs, this credit card allows cardholders to quickly achieve elite status, too. The more you stay at a hotel within Hilton's portfolio, the quicker you can go from blue to silver to gold and then diamond status.
Perks for Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences/Everyday Benefits The Visa Signature® Perks give cardholders instant access to everyday benefits like roadside assistance, lost luggage reimbursement and emergency card replacement. It also offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like the opportunity to stay in some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, fine wine and food events, as well as a complimentary 24-hour Visa Signature® Concierge to help you book those tickets, make reservations and more.
Redemption Values for Points Vary The value of your points vary depending on how you are using them. Whether it's for a hotel room or flights, car rentals or other rewards, cardmembers need to pay attention to the fine print to know how many points each will cost them. For example, points needed for one free night at one of 26 properties in New York City anytime from December through February range from 40,000 to 70,000 points.
This Card May not be Ideal for Overseas Travelers The point redemption rate isn’t great for airline miles, in fact, you will lose significant point value by redeeming your points for miles. This card also has a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you foresee your travels requiring a significant amount of abroad airline travel, it may be worth considering a credit card with better perks.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card is a solid travel reward card for travelers who aren't brand loyal. Capital One® Venture® Rewards offers 50,000 bonus points (equal to $500 in travel), but you have to spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership (Citi gives 75,000 points when making $2,000 in purchases within three months of opening an account). Capital One® Venture® Rewards offers cardholders unlimited two miles for every $1 spent on every purchase whereas Citi’s point structure is tiered varying from 2 bonus points per $1 to 6 bonus points per $1. With that said, Venture’s point redemption with airlines exceeds the opportunity with this Citi card. There are no foreign transaction fees with Capital One. The last item to consider is the annual fee, Citi® Hilton HHonors™ card does not have an annual fee, the Capital One® card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.
Both cards offer rewards for staying at company properties, but Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card cardholders enjoy a unique benefit – one free night stay in a Category 1-5 hotel every year after their account's anniversary date. When it comes to earning points, Marriott Premier® Rewards Credit Card cardholders can quickly earn more with an introductory offer of 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership. Citi, however, wins when it comes to earning bonus points on hotel stays. The Citi card offers six bonus points for every dollar spent on hotel stays. Marriott Premier® Rewards Credit Card cardholders earn only five points in this category, but also two points on every $1 spent on airfare purchased directly from an airline, car rentals and restaurants as well as one point on all other purchases. This card has an annual fee of $85 (waived the first year). It also has no foreign transaction fees.
Both cards, again, are brand loyal. Unlike the Citi® card with no annual fee, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers no annual fee the first year and then charges $95 annually. With this annual fee also comes a higher redemption rate with points. And while Citi® Hilton HHonors™has a 3% foreign transaction fee, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express does not.
If you're an avid traveler, this card may be just what you need, especially if you enjoy staying at Hilton properties. If travel abroad is more your thing, you may want to look at a card without or with lower foreign transaction fees.