For credit card shoppers looking to get the most for their money, there is always a trade-off when it comes to luxury rewards credit cards. Most travel credit cards that offer tempting perks like free hotel stays, room upgrades, frequent flyer miles, VIP status and concierge service come with annual fees and higher-than-average APRs. If the card member doesn’t take full advantage of the rewards offered by the card, it doesn’t make much sense for them to shell out for the annual fee and higher interest rate.
The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card is one of the more popular hotel rewards cards out there, and not just because it offers free stays at Hilton properties worldwide and the VIP services that come with the Visa Signature label. This luxury card has no set spending limit and a plethora of options for those looking to earn amazing rewards.
Racking Up Rewards:
When you spend $1,000 in the first four months of opening your account, you’ll earn 40,000 HHonors Bonus Points, which is enough for one night at a Category 6 hotel, a $179 value, or three nights at a Category 2 hotel, a package value of $297. If you wait for the rest of the year, you can actually accumulate an enormous amount of points. Here is how:
Besides the bonus, check out how many points you’ll earn on purchases:
- The Hilton card gives you six HHonors Bonus points for every dollar you spend at a Hilton property. Looking to spend the Fourth of July in style at a Miami resort? Stay at the Hilton Bentley Miami South Beach – Rewards Category 7 – in the best room, with all the amenities, from June 29 through July 7. It’ll set you back about $3,145 and earn you about 18,855 HHonors Points.
- You’ll get three points per dollar spent at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations, and two points for each dollar spent anywhere else. According to Consumer Expenditure Survey by Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spends $20,400 a year on purchases and $16,963 of that is on grocery, drugstore and gas purchases that could be made with a Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card. That will earn you 50,889 points, and the remaining $3,437 of purchases in other categories will give you additional 6,874 points, for a grand total of 57,763 HHonors Points.
Cashing in Points:
There are seven different categories of Hilton properties, from Category One, the most basic, to Category Seven, the most elite. Free nights cost between 7,500 and 50,000 points per night.
You’ll be able to use your reward points at any of the hotel brands under the Hilton umbrella:
- Waldorf Astoria
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Home2 Suites
- Embassy Suites
- Hampton Inn:
- Hampton Inn & Suites
Here’s what free nights cost for the different categories of hotels:
Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton,
Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites,
Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton
|Points for One Free Night (Standard)||7,500||12,500||25,000||30,000||35,000||40,000||50,00|
|Average Cost Per Night*||$89||$99||$109||$119||$129||$179||$194|
*Average Cost per Night is an average price per one night stay, surveyed from Hilton properties. Prices are subject to availability. Check with a hotel of your choosing for precise cost.
So, what can 116,618 HH Points be redeemed for? You could spend almost two weeks at a Category 1 hotel – maybe a family vacation in a basic room sounds nice – or you could spend a weekend at a posh Category 7 hotel. It’s up to you!
Beyond Hotel Rewards
HHonors Points can be redeemed for non-hotel rewards, too – you can use your points to go on a cruise (480,000 points gets you a $1,000 certificate from CruisesOnly). You can also redeem them for airline miles –10,000 HHonors points gets you 850 US Airways miles or 1,000 JetBlue TrueBlue points. If you’d like an Amtrak ticket instead, 26,000 points can be redeemed for one economy class train fare.
Other redemption offers include donations to charity, motorcycle rentals, skiing and snowboarding adventures in Vermont and Colorado, or conversion to Hilton Hawaii Dollars, if you’re planning a trip to the islands.
With more than 3,750 hotels and resorts in the Hilton network, there will be no shortage of places to stay, no matter where you travel and what accommodation you’re looking for – from economy room to luxury suite.
Oh, and also – with HHonors Points there are no blackout dates, there’s no limit on how many you can earn, and they never expire. You can even give your points away as a gift if you choose! With so many easy ways to earn HHonors Points, you might just feel like being generous.
The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has an APR on purchases of 15.24% - 19.24%26 (Variable), and although that might seem a bit high, it’s actually on the low end for a luxury rewards credit card. Rewards credit cards tend to carry higher APRs and justify them by offering big rewards. The Hilton card is targeted to the traveler who plans to pay off the balance in full every month, and the 23 days grace period at the close of each billing cycle gives you plenty of time to pay the full balance and avoid any interest charges.
There is no annual fee for the card, but world travelers should be aware that there is a foreign transaction fee of 3% when making purchases overseas – which you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do, since the Hilton has 540 locations in 78 countries, spread over six continents.
The card carries the Visa Signature label, meaning that it comes with 24/7 concierge service as well as travel insurance, priority check-in and other elite perks. Visa Signature service is offered by many platinum credit cards and it can save you time as well as money. If you need restaurant recommendations or reservations, help planning a vacation or assistance finding any service or product, Visa’s concierge service will come to your aid, doing research for you and delivering answers and solutions when you need them.
Visa’s zero fraud liability policy protects you from any unauthorized use of your card, and their Purchase Security program means that eligible purchases will be replaced, repaired or reimbursed in case of damage or theft within 90 days of purchasing them with your Visa Signature card.