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Through February 8, 2016, you can buy Hilton HHonors points with an 80% bonus.Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.17.46 AM

 

Hilton points normally cost 1 cent each. With the 80% bonus, the price drops to 0.56 cents per point.

If you buy the maximum 80,000 Hilton points today, you’ll receive 144,000 points for $800. With the bonus, you can buy any amount of points from 1,800 to 144,000 in 1,800 point increments.

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This is not the best promotion we’ve seen to buy Hilton points. In June 2015, we saw a 100% bonus on buy Hilton points brining the price down to 0.5 cents.

When to Buy (Math)

Is buying Hilton points for 0.56 cents each a good deal?

Here is the Hilton award chart.

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I would not buy Hilton points speculatively for 0.56 cents each because I value them at 0.4 cents each. But if you have an immediate high value redemption in mind, buying points can be a good deal.

For instance, at these prices, Category 1 properties would be $28 per night. Category 2 properties would be $56. Top tier Category 10 properties would be $389 to $528 per night. For all these categories, you can get a big discount off the retail nightly rate if you travel at a peak time.

Check out: Free Spreadsheet to Download of Category 1, 2, 9, and 10 Hilton Properties Plus the Only Two Good Hilton Strategies

Consult the Hilton award chart to see how many points you’d need to book the hotel you want for a night. Search the dates you’d like to stay to see the paid price. If buying the points makes sense, there is award space on your dates, and you are ready to redeem now, buy the points.

Also keep in mind, that you don’t need to buy points when you can just open Hilton branded credit cards for free stays.

Right now, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card comes with Two Free Weekend Nights (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months. The card also comes with free Hilton Gold Status (upgraded internet, breakfast) as long as you hold the card. All that more than offsets the $95 annual fee.

Buy Hilton Points with These Credit Cards

Hilton points purchases are processed by points.com, so the purchases will not code as a bonus “travel” or “hotel” purchase on any credit card. You will not earn category bonuses from the purchase of Hilton points.

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That means you should make the purchase with whatever card you need to meet a minimum spending requirement on.

Bottom Line

You can buy 1,800 to 144,000 Hilton points for 0.56 cents each. That’s too high to buy speculatively, but there are a lot of immediate awards you can book where that price offers great value.

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card with Two Free Nights worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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Hilton Gold Status is now a standard benefit of the American Express Platinum Card, Platinum Business Card, and (I assume) Mercedes-Benz and Ameriprise Platinum cards. That’s great news for me, since I just got the”regular” Platinum Card with a 100,000 point sign up bonus two months ago.

Hilton Gold Status is not automatic just by holding one of these cards. To get the status, click this link.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.03.28 PM Enter your Hilton number, and you will get a pop up saying the status should appear in 72 hours.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.04.36 PMIf you have additional cardholders, they can get Hilton Gold Status too, just not online.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.06.57 PM

 

I’ve updated Get the Most Out of Your American Express Platinum Card to include this benefit. If you have a Platinum card, you have to read that post.

What Is Hilton Gold Status?

Hilton Gold Status is the middle of three tiers of elite status and normally requires 20 stays or 40 nights in a year to earn.

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Here are the benefits:

25% ELITE STATUS BONUS

With Gold elite status, you automatically receive a 25% bonus on all the HHonors Base Points you earn.

5TH NIGHT FREE

Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free4 on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.

HOTEL BENEFITS1

Members with Gold status receive all the benefits in the lower tiers:

  • Digital Check-In: choose your room, and customize your stay from your mobile device up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Canopy™ by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™
  • Quick reservations and check-ins based on your room preferences
  • Late check-out2
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free3
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs5
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay (at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Embassy Suites Hotels™, Hilton Garden Inn™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™ hotels)1

MY WAY GOLD MEMBERSHIP HOTEL BENEFITS:6

Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or one in-room movie1 per stay

Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Embassy Suites Hotels™

  • 500 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay

Hilton Garden Inn™

  • 750 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary Hot Cooked-to-Order Breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Hampton™

  • 250 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and non-alcoholic beverage

Homewood Suites by Hilton™

  • 250 HHonors bonus points per stay or two bottles of water and Pepperidge Farm cookies per stay

Home2 Suites by Hilton™

  • 100 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and bottled water per stay

Hilton Grand Vacations™

  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay

Hat Tip Doctor of Credit

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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This offer has expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

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At 5 PM ET today (September 28, 2015), the 75,000 point sign up bonus on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card expires. For almost three months, the card has offered 75,000 bonus HHonors points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. This is enough points for 15-18 free nights at Hilton Category 1 hotels.

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The normal offer on this card has historically been 40,000 points, so I do expect the sign up bonus to drop 47% today, but that’s just my speculation based on history.

How Can You Use the 75,000 Bonus Points?

Hilton points can be redeemed at all of the following brands.

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This is the biggest sign up bonus ever offered on a no-annual-fee Hilton card.

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The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card comes with automatic Hilton Silver status, which earns a 15% points bonus on Hilton stays, late checkout, free access to fitness centers, and the 5th night free on award stays.

Better yet, if you complete four Hilton stays in the first 90 days of card membership, you get bumped up to Hilton Gold status, which earns a 25% points bonus on Hilton stays and maybe a little better treatment at the front desk.

And any year in which you spend $1,000 at Hilton hotels, you will get 10,000 more Hilton points.

After meeting the minimum spending requirement, you’ll have at least 79,000 Hilton points (more if you use the card’s category bonuses discussed below.) Eighty thousand points are enough for 20 free nights in a Hilton Category 1 hotel10 free nights in Category 2 Hiltons, or 5 free nights in Category 3 Hiltons. I stayed at an awesome DoubleTree in Kuala Lumpur that was a Category 2 Hilton.

The last big benefit of the card is that it has no annual fee. Very few rewards cards with no annual fee offer so much.

Sign Up Bonus

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has a sign up bonus of 75,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in three months on the card.

Seventy-five thousand points won’t get you even one night at a top tier Hilton, but it will get you up to 18 nights at the bottom categories, which have some gems. Super reader Jeremy has created the most valuable spreadsheet imaginable for the Hilton HHonors program that you can download for free here.

The spreadsheet lists:

  • all 34 Category 1 hotels: 5,000 points per night
  • all 131 Category 2 hotels: 10,000 points per night

His spreadsheet is sortable by city, state, country, or hotel name (which often starts with the hotel brand.) This can be very useful if you want to know if there is a Category 1 or 2 Hilton on the route of your next trip.

If you want to book higher category hotels, I recommend Points & Money awards. By paying some cash for award nights, you can get a steep reduction in the points needed, which would stretch your 75,000 point sign up bonus much farther.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 2.08.53 AM

Here is a full post on Hilton Points & Money awards.

Perks

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card comes with Silver Status and the chance to earn Gold Status with four paid Hilton stays in the first 90 days.

Spending

There are category bonuses for Hilton stays, supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations though none of them impress me much.

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  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio.*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*

Plus you get 10,000 bonus points any year in which you spend $1,000 or more at Hilton hotels.

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Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee ever. For a card that gives you ongoing status, that’s unbeatable.

The card does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, so never use it abroad.

Full Offer

The Hilton card is not for everyone. It should not be the card onto which you put all your spending. It shouldn’t be the card you get for the biggest sign up bonus.

It is ideal for folks who want a no-annual-fee card that rewards their loyalty to Hilton.

  • Limited Time: Earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the HiltonPortfolio.*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Silver status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No annual fee.*

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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This offer has expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

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The 75,000 point bonus offer on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card ends tomorrow, September 28, 2015. I don’t know what the new offer will be, but historically it has been 40,000 points.

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 75,000 bonus HHonors points after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months. You can turn $2,500 or less of spending on the card into 20 free hotel nights, worth over $1,500.

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How to Get 20 Free Nights

Here’s the card’s earning rates and category bonuses:

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If you spend $2,500 on the card in the first three months, you’ll have at least 5,000 points from that spending plus you’ll unlock the 75,000 point sign up bonus for at least 80,000 points total. Eighty thousand Hilton points is enough for four 5-night stays (20 nights total) at Hilton Category 1 hotels.

75,000 point bonus + 5,000 points from spending = 80,000 points, enough for 20 free nights

Here’s a map of Hilton Category 1 and 2 properties, though there have been some changes and additions to the categories since those were made. Here’s an updated list from hilton.com of Category 1 hotels.

Category 1 hotels cost only 5,000 points per night, so while 80,000 points isn’t even enough for one night in a Category 10 hotel on some nights, it is enough for 16+ nights in Category 1 hotels.

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The “+” in 16+ comes from the fact that elite members get the 5th night free on award stays, and the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card confers automatic Hilton Silver Status. That means that with 80,000 points, you can book 16 one-night stays or 4 five-night stays to get 20 free nights.

Where to Get 20 Free Nights

Here are some of the Category 1 hotels that caught my eye

Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

20 nights free with 80,000 points from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $1,544

You can explore the Borneo jungle in Malaysia in a Category 1 Hilton that costs just 5,000 points per night instead of 250 ringgit plus tax.
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The hotel’s location is stunning.

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The rooms are elegant.
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And a number of reviews rave about the pool.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.45.31 PMFive nights would cost $386 or only 20,000 points with the fifth night free.
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Here are some other properties that caught my eye in Category 1 because they are resorts or in interesting locations:

  • Hilton Alexandria Corniche (Egypt)
  • Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport (Indonesia)
  • Hilton Hurghada Resort (Egypt)
  • Hampton by Hilton Krakow (Poland)
  • Hampton by Hilton Panama
  • Hilton Salalah Resort (Oman)
  • Hilton Garden Inn Tucuman (Argentina)
  • Hilton Sharm Dreams Resort (Egypt)
  • Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort (Egypt)
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Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort

There are also a number of Category 1 properties in Mexico, Turkey, Colombia, and China with a few in the Unites States. Check out the full Category 1 list.

Bottom Line

The limited time offer on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card that began on Tuesday offers 75,000 bonus Hilton Points after spending $2,000 in the first three months.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 2.12.34 PM

The card earns at least 2 points per dollar, so spending $2,500 on the card in the first three months would give you at least 80,000 points between the normal points for spending and the sign up bonus.

The card’s automatic Hilton Silver status means you get the fifth night free on award stays.

That stretches 80,000 points to 20 free nights at Category 1 hotels when you book four five-night stays.

Check out this (slightly out of date) spreadsheet and map of Hilton Category 1 and 2 properties to see if any excite you because theC iti® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card is a great no annual fee card to consider if you use the points at low category hotels.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

4

This offer has expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

—————————————–

The 75,000 point bonus offer on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card ends this Monday, September 28, 2015. I don’t know what the new offer will be, but historically it has been 40,000 points.

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 75,000 bonus HHonors points after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months. You can turn $2,500 or less of spending on the card into 20 free hotel nights, worth over $1,500.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 2.12.24 PM

Here’s the card’s earning rates and category bonuses:

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 2.12.48 PM

If you spend $2,500 on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card in the first three months, you’ll have at least 5,000 points from that spending plus you’ll unlock the 75,000 point sign up bonus for at least 80,000 points total. Eighty thousand Hilton points is enough for a 5-night stay at Hilton Category 3 hotels. Hilton Category 3 hotels cost 20,000 points per night, but you get the fifth night free on award bookings as a cardholder of the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card.

There are 393 Hilton Category 3 properties. The complete list is here. A ton of the properties caught my eye, so I searched their award availability and normal price to see where the best place for a five night stay would be.

Cool Locations, Nice Hotels, But Too Cheap

There were a lot of hotels that are in amazing cities and have great reviews, but I wouldn’t use Hilton points for an award because they are much cheaper than some other Category 3 properties. These include:

My Top Picks

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Phuket – Surin Beach

5 nights free with 80,000 points from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $1,308

You can stay on the beautiful Thai island of Phuket for five nights for only 80,000 points. I stayed in Phuket in September 2013, and this afternoon/evening sea cave tour is the best tour I’ve ever been on.

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The hotel’s location is stunning.

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The rooms are elegant.

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And a number of reviews rave about the pool.

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Five nights would cost $1,308 or only 80,000 points with the fifth night free.

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Hilton Cairo World Trade Center Residences

5 nights free with 80,000 points from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $1,349

I recently had to cancel a trip to Cairo. I would love to go to see the Pyramids, Sphinx, and Egyptian Museum. Somehow the Hilton Cairo World Trade Center Resiedences, where the base room is a two-bedroom suite, is only a Category 3.

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Book the two-bedroom, 1,900 square ft suite for five nights for 80,000 Hilton points or $1,349.

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Goa – Arpora – Baga

5 nights free with 80,000 points from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $1,541

Goa is a resort destination in India.

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The basic room at the Hilton Goa comes with a lagoon view for 20,000 points per night.

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 11.56.46 PMBook the Hilton Goa for five nights for 80,000 Hilton points or $1,541.Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 11.57.02 PM

Other Expensive Properties

Bottom Line

I think Category 1–where 80k points is 20 free nights–and Category 2 Hiltons–where 80k points is 10 free nights–offer better value with Hilton points than Category 3 hotels where 80k points is only enough for one five-night stay.

But there are great Category 3 properties worldwide that can go for over $1,500 for a five-night stay during high season.

There are 393 Hilton Category 3 properties. The complete list is here.

If you spend $2,500 on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card in the first three months, you’ll have at least 5,000 points from that spending plus you’ll unlock the 75,000 point sign up bonus for at least 80,000 points total. Eighty thousand Hilton points is enough for a 5-night stay at Hilton Category 3 hotels. (Hilton Category 3 hotels cost 20,000 points per night, but you get the fifth night free on award bookings as a cardholder of the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card.)

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card comes with Two Free Weekend Nights worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 on the card in the first four months.

As a retention bonus, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card offers an additional free weekend night certificate after spending $10,000 within a cardmember year.

Since any new cardholder will spend $2,500 on the card to get the first two free night certificates, that means that spending $7,500 more on the card during the first 12 months will entitle you to a third free night certificate, in addition to the Hilton points you’d normally earn on that extra $7,500 in spending.

This extra free night certificate is an incredible benefit for many people who highly value a free night at a top-tier hotel.

In fact, the benefit compares favorably to spending the same $7,500 on most other cards.

  • How much is a third free night certificate worth?
  • How does spending $7,500 extra on the Hilton Reserve card compare to spending $7,500 on another card?
  • Can you use all three weekend certificates for one stay?

How Do We Compare Spending on Different Credit Cards?

I use the idea of “rebate percentage” to compare spending on different credit cards.

Rebate percentage is simply the value of the miles, points, free night certificates, etc that we earn from spending on a card divided by how much spending we do on that card.

For instance, I value one SPG Starpoint at 2.5 cents. I get one Starpoint per dollar on my SPG card, so I get 2.5 cents per dollar rebated to me in the form of Starpoints when I use the card. That’s a rebate percentage of 2.5%.

In general, meeting minimum spending requirements to unlock sign up bonuses has the biggest rebate percentage, followed by category bonuses, followed by non-bonused spending.

Rebate Percentage Example for Citi Hilton Reserve

When spending on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card, we earn Hilton points and free night certificates.

We need to value both in dollars in order to calculate a rebate percentage for the spending. What we’d like to determine here is whether or not spending an extra $7,500 on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card is a good idea. The quick answer is: it depends!

That extra $7,500 in spending gets you one Hilton free night certificate. Hilton free night certificates can be used at all but a a few Hilton properties worldwide for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night check ins. Some of the hotels at which you can use a free night certificate go for $1,000 or more per night like the Conrad Koh Samui.

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That $7,500 in spending also gets you at least 22,500 Hilton points since the card earns:

  • Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton HHonors portfolio
  • Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

Hilton points can be redeemed for free nights, starting at 5,000 points per night.

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While the value in a free night certificate is staying at a Category 9 or 10 property, the value with points is a Category 1 or 2 property. I stayed at an awesome Category 2 in Kuala Lumpur. (Here’s a map and spreadsheet of all Hilton Category 1, 2, 9, and 10 properties.)

If you value all hotel stays at their retail value, you can get one cent of value per Hilton point at some properties. Most people will get half that value or less.

I’ve made a table of reasonable valuations for Hilton points and free night certificates below. Each column represents a person. I’m probably like Person 3, which means that my rebate percentage on an extra $7,500 of spending on the Hilton Reserve is 5.2%. Person 6, who values top-tier hotels at their retail value, gets a massive 16.3% rebate on his $7,500 in spending.

Rebate Percentage 2.23%3.72%5.2%6.69%8.17%16.33%
Free Night Cert Valuation$100$200$300$400$500$1,000
Hilton Point Valuation (cents)0.30.350.40.450.51.0

How Does Spending on the Hilton Reserve Stack Up Against Other Reward Cards?

Now let’s compare that rebate percentage to the rebate percentage you would get by spending the same $7,500 on another card.

Versus Non-Bonused Spending

The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express gives you 1 point per dollar on all purchases, and I value one Starpoint at 2.5 cents. That means a rebate percentage of 2.5%.

My rebate percentage would be 5.2% on the last $7,500 of spending to get my annual free night certificate from the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card, so I’m better off putting non-bonused spending on the Hilton Reserve.

Versus Category Bonuses

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card earns 3x ThankYou Points on travel including gas, 2x ThankYou Points on dining out and entertainment, and 1x on other purchases.

I value ThankYou Points at 1.9 cents each, so travel/gas has a rebate percentage of 5.7%, and restaurants/entertainment have a 3.8% rebate percentage.

My rebate percentage would be 5.2% on the last $7,500 of spending to get my annual free night certificate from the Hilton Reserve, so I am better off putting travel and gas purchases on the ThankYou Premier but restaurant purchases on the Hilton Reserve.

Bottom Line

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card has a great sign up bonus of two free weekend nights at top-tier hotels worldwide. It also comes with free Gold Status, which more than cancels out the $95 annual fee for me.

You need to spend $2,500 to get the sign up bonus of two free weekend night certificates.

If you spend another $7,500, you will get a third certificate on your cardmember anniversary.

Spending that extra $7,500 will also get you at least 22,500 Hilton points.

The total value of the Hilton points and free night certificate vary by person, but at reasonable valuations, most people will see a rebate of 5%+ on that $7,500 in spending, which is a better rebate than you’d get putting that spending on most cards.

For more info on the free nights, and the $1,000-a-night hotels see:

Bonus

You can use your three free weekend night certificates for one stay. Each is good for a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night, so the stay would be from Friday until Monday.

Each certificate is good for one year from issuance, so you’d want to take as much of the four months as possible to meet the minimum spending requirement to get those certificates as late as possible. You’ll get the third certificate on your cardmember anniversary, giving you about four months in which all three are valid.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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This 75k Hilton and 50k ThankYou Premier offers have expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

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Fred asks:

“Hey Scott, I see that the Hilton card is offering 75k points, and the ThankYou Premier is offering 50k points which transfer to 75k Hilton points. Is there a reason I should choose one over the other?”

We are rolling in the huge sign up bonuses at the moment.

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card with 75,000 bonus Hilton points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. For most of the last few years, this no annual fee card has offered only 40,000 bonus points.

Read my review of the Hilton 75k Offer

 

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Until April of this year, you had to wait two years to get the full 50,000 bonus points. ThankYou Points transfer to 11 airline plus Hilton. All the airline transfers are 1:1, but the Hilton transfers are 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton points.

Read my review of the Citi ThankYou Premier

 

That means either card’s sign up bonus could be worth 75,000 Hilton points. So which card is better for you?

Why the Citi ThankYou Premier is Better in This Case

Here are the category bonuses on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card:

  • Earn 3x ThankYou Points on Travel including Gas
  • 2x ThankYou Points on Dining Out and Entertainment
  • 1x ThankYou Points on Other Purchases

1,000 ThankYou Points transfers to 1,500 Hilton Points, so that’s really like 4.5x, 3x, and 1.5x if you plan on transferring to Hilton points.

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You will earn Hilton points faster on travel (other than at Hilton hotels), gas, restaurant, and entertainment purchases with a Citi ThankYou® Premier Card than with a Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card. 

That’s really the only reason to get the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card for Hilton points because everything else is stacked toward the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card.

Why the Hilton HHonors Card is Better in This Case

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee ever. The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has no fee for 12 months, and then $95 per year.

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card comes with automatic Hilton Silver Status as long as you hold the card.

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 6x points on Hilton stays and at least 2x Hilton points on all purchases. The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers only 4.5x Hilton points on Hilton stays and only 1.5x Hilton points on all non-bonus purchases.

But the main reason the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card is the better card to get Hilton points is that you should save your Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and its ThankYou Points for more valuable purposes.

I value ThankYou Points at 1.9 cents each and Hilton points at 0.4 cents each. I would much rather transfer my ThankYou Points to Singapore miles to book these awesome awards or use my ThankYou Points like cash to buy flights on 20 airlines with no blackouts at a rate of 1.6 cents each than transfer them to 1.5 Hilton points.

Get the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card for Hilton points and use 80,000 Hilton points for 20 free nights at these great hotels. Get the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card to transfer the ThankYou Points as needed among the 12 partners for high value awards.

Bottom Line

While the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 75,000 bonus Hilton points and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points that can transfer to 75,000 Hilton points, the two cards are very different.

If you just want Hilton points, get the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card. You’ll never pay an annual fee, and you’ll get Hilton status.

Get the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card when you want to take full advantage of all of its transfer partners.

If you want to get both, remember Citi’s application rules. You can get no more than one Citi card in a week and no more than two in two months. That means if you want three Citi cards, you should apply on Day 0, Day 8, and Day 65.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

2

This 75k Hilton offer has expired. Check out the best current travel credit card sign up offers here.

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Today (August 31, 2015 until 11:59 PM ET) is the last day to buy Hilton HHonors points with an 80% bonus.

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Hilton points normally cost 1 cent each. With the 80% bonus, the price drops to 0.56 cents per point.

If you buy the maximum 80,000 Hilton points today, you’ll receive 144,000 points for $800. With the bonus, you can buy any amount of points from 1,800 to 144,000 in 1,800 point increments.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.23.08 PM

In June, we saw a 100% bonus on buy Hilton points brining the price down to 0.5 cents. Since July 7, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has offered 75,000 bonus Hilton points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

When to Buy (Math)

Is buying Hilton points for 0.56 cents each a good deal?

Here is the Hilton award chart.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.26.13 PM

I would not buy Hilton points speculatively for 0.56 cents each because I value them at 0.4 cents each. But if you have an immediate high value redemption in mind, buying points can be a good deal.

For instance, at these prices, Category 1 properties would be $28 per night. Category 2 properties would be $56. Top tier Category 10 properties would be $389 to $528 per night. For all these categories, you can get a big discount off the retail nightly rate if you travel at a peak time.

Check out: Free Spreadsheet to Download of Category 1, 2, 9, and 10 Hilton Properties Plus the Only Two Good Hilton Strategies

Consult the Hilton award chart to see how many points you’d need to book the hotel you want for a night. Search the dates you’d like to stay to see the paid price. If buying the points makes sense, there is award space on your dates, and you are ready to redeem now, buy the points.

Also keep in mind, that you don’t need to buy points when you can just open Hilton branded credit cards for free stays.

Right now, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card comes with Two Free Weekend Nights (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months. The card also comes with free Hilton Gold Status (upgraded internet, breakfast) as long as you hold the card. All that more than offsets the $95 annual fee.

Instead of free nights, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card comes with 75,000 bonus Hilton points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Check out my review of the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card, which explains how the sign up bonus is worth 18 free nights at Category 1 hotels. The card also comes with automatic Hilton Silver Status and no annual fee ever.

 

Buy Hilton Points with These Credit Cards

Hilton points purchases are processed by points.com, so the purchases will not code as a bonus “travel” or “hotel” purchase on any credit card. You will not earn category bonuses from the purchase of Hilton points.

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That means you should make the purchase with whatever card you need to meet a minimum spending requirement on.

Bottom Line

You can buy 1,800 to 144,000 Hilton points for 0.56 cents each. That’s too high to buy speculatively, but there are a lot of immediate awards you can book where that price offers great value.

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card with Two Free Nights worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card with 75,000 bonus Hilton points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

1

This 75k Hilton offer has expired. Check out the best current travel credit card sign up offers here.

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Hilton offers the chance to combine points and money to book hotel rooms, which can be a way to stretch both your points and money further. But are these Points and Money awards a better value than free night awards?

I’m digging deep into the Hilton program because right now the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 75,000 bonus Hilton points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Check out my review of the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card, which explains how the sign up bonus is worth 18 free nights at Category 1 hotels.

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What are Points and Money Awards?

Points and Money awards allow you to book a room with 40% of the number of points that a free room costs plus a cash co-pay.

Of course, if you’re familiar with the Hilton chart, most categories have a range of points for a free night. The 40% is always of the maximum number of points needed for that category. So Category 7 Points and Money Rewards require 24,000 points (40% of 60,000) plus a cash co-pay.

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While free night awards are available whenever a standard room is for sale, Points and Money awards are capacity controlled and only available at the discretion of the hotel.

Points and Money awards do not offer the fifth night free like free night awards booked by elites do. (The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card confers Silver elite status.)

How to Think about Points and Money Awards

I think about Points and Money awards two ways.

“Price” to “Buy” Points

I think about them like I am booking a free room and then simultaneously being offered the chance to buy back some of my Hilton points.

For instance, a free night at a Category 1 hotel costs 5,000 points. The Points and Money option at Category 1 hotels costs 2,000 points + $30. If I booked the Points and Money option, I’d think about it like “buying” the 3,000 points I was saving compared to a free night for $30. That is like buying Hilton points for 1 cent each. That’s a terrible deal, since Hilton points are worth 0.4 cents each to me.

But many categories offer a better deal for “buying” back the points you save compared to a free night. Below is a chart showing the prices of free nights, Points and Money nights, and the “price” you are paying to “buy” points in each category. The last two columns show the “price” of “buying” points depending on whether the free night is the the minimum number or maximum number of points in its range.

For instance, if a Category 4 hotel offers a free night for 20k points, and you pay 12k + $50, you just bought 8k points for $50 or 0.625 cents each. Bad deal! But if the free night was 30k points and you pay 12k + $50, you just bought 18k points for $50 or 0.28 cents each. Good deal!

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 2.08.53 AM

The big thing to notice is that Points and Money awards are a much better deal when a free night costs the maximum number of points allowed by its category. For instance, a Category 6 hotel that costs 50,000 points is a much better Points and Money candidate than a Category 6 hotel charging only 30,000 points for the night.

Total Value Expended

The other way I think about Points and Money awards is how much total value I am expending for the night. I value Hilton points at 0.4 cents each, so a free nights costs me the number of points needed times 0.4 cents. A Points and Money night costs me the number of points needed times 0.4 cents plus the cash co-pay.

Below is a chart showing the value I’m expending for free nights and Points and Money nights in each category.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 2.09.03 AM

Notice that Category 1 and 2 properties are always a better deal as free nights. Category 3 properties are always a better deal as Points and Money nights. Categories 4-10 can be a better deal with either. It depends on exactly how many points a free night costs, since that is variable in Categories 4-10.

How to Search Points and Money Availability

Each hotel decides whether to open Points and Money availability. To search for it, perform a normal search with “Use flexible dates” and “Use HHonors Points” checked. I like to perform my search for only a single night to get exact results on which nights have Points and Money space.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.43.14 AM

For the hotel that interests you, click “View available dates.”Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.44.45 AM

You’ll get a list of dates with the number of points required for a free night, not a Points and Money night. Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.44.55 AM

To get the Points and Money availability, change the dropdown menu to “Points and Money Rewards” and click Update.Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.45.52 AM

Now you can see which nights have availability. This allows you to go back and search for a date range you already know has space.Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.46.24 AM

Bottom Line

Points and Money awards from Hilton can be a great way to stretch your points farther. They are particularly attractive for great Category 3 hotels (here are my favorite Category 3 Hiltons), and Category 4-10 hotels that are charging the highest number of points for a free night.

Do the math between paying for a stay with with cash, with points, or as a Points and Money award to determine the best deal for each stay.

Right now the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 75,000 bonus Hilton points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Those points can be the basis of a lot of Points and Money nights.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

1

This 75k Hilton offer has expired. Check out the best current travel credit card sign up offers here.

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The Hampton by Hilton Warsaw City Centre is listed as a Category 3 hotel but prices as a Category 2 hotel. That means you can book it for 10,000 Hilton points per night instead of 20,000. Or if you are an elite, you can book the hotel for 40,000 points for five nights instead of 80,000.

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I noticed this as I was researching ways to spend points earned from the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card with 75,000 bonus Hilton points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The card comes with automatic Silver elite status.

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Warsaw is an awesome city, and far less touristy than Krakow, and the hotel is well situated in the center.

What Category is the Hotel?

In 2013, the hotel was a Category 4 hotel requiring 20,000 to 30,000 points per night.

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I do not see when its category was changed, but it is now listed on hilton.com as a Category 3 hotel, meaning it would cost 20,000 points per night year round.

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But if you run an award search, the hotel prices at 10,000 points per night, the Category 2 price.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 5.39.49 PM I don’t know if listing it as Category 3 is a typo or pricing it at 10,000 points per night is an error. It’s not a very expensive hotel, going for about $71 per night in August on the EASY CANCELLATION rate.Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 5.40.52 PM But paying 40,000 points for five nights instead of 1,250 zloty ($330) is a very good 0.825 cents per Hilton point. At that rate, the 75,000 point bonus on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card would be worth $619.Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 5.41.50 PM

Bottom Line

If you’re looking at a trip to Poland, you can book the Hampton by Hilton Warsaw City Centre for 10,000 points per night or 40,000 points for five nights.

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card with 75,000 bonus Hilton points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The card comes with automatic Silver elite status. It has no annual fee ever.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

I don’t spend much time in hotels (here’s a breakdown of where I’m sleeping as I travel 365 days this year), but I’ve been looking at booking some upcoming hotel stays. I carry several co-branded credit cards, but as I’ve crunched the numbers, my Citi Prestige® Card has come out as a better option for paying the hotel stay in almost all cases.

That’s especially true if I’m looking at a four night hotel stay, since the Citi Prestige® Card offers the fourth night free on paid hotel stays, which is an ~25% rebate (more if you’re doing it right.)

But even on a one night stay at a chain hotel where I have the hotel’s credit card, the Citi Prestige® Card‘s 3x hotel category bonus is usually a better option. Since I value ThankYou Points at 1.8 cents each, getting three points per dollar is like a 5.4% return for me. I can either use the points for 1.6 cents off American Airlines and partner flights or transfer them to 11 types of miles.

Let’s take a look at some major chain and non-chain hotels to see the return from using a co-branded card versus the Citi Prestige® Card. In parentheses is the card I’d use for a stay at that hotel chain. If there is nothing in parentheses, I’d use the Prestige. Here are there rankings by number of affiliated hotels according to Wikipedia:

1. Wyndham (Wyndham card for American properties)
2. Choice (Choice card for American properties)
3. IHG
4. Hilton
5. Marriott
9. Club Carlson
10. Starwood (maybe SPG Card for American properties depending on how you use ThankYou Points)
15. Hyatt (SPG Business Card for American properties)
Non-chain hotels

1. Wyndham

The Wyndham card offers 5x points per dollar on Wyndham stays at the following brands:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.26.25 PM

I value Wyndham points at 1.33 cents each now that you can book any Wyndham property for 15,000 points per night. That’s a 6.65 cents per dollar return from the Wyndham card versus 5.4% from the Prestige.

But the Wyndham card has a 3% foreign transaction fee that the Prestige doesn’t have, so only use the Wyndham card at American properties, not abroad where the Prestige offers more value.

2. Choice

The Choice card offers 15x points per dollar on Choice stays at the following brands:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.32.26 PM

I value Choice points at 0.5 cents each. That’s 7.5% back.

But the Choice card has a 3% foreign transaction fee that the Prestige doesn’t have, so only use the Choice card at American properties, not abroad where the Prestige offers more value.

3. IHG

The IHG card offers 5x points per dollar on IHG stays at the following brands:

  • Candlewood Suites
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Hotel Indigo
  • InterContinental
  • Staybridge Suites

I value IHG points at 0.7 cents each. That’s 3.5% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

4. Hilton

The Hilton Reserve offers 10x points per dollar on Hilton stays at the following brands:

  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Embassy Suites
  • Curio, A Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hampton Inn
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Hilton Grand Vacations

I value Hilton points at 0.4 cents each. That’s 4% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

5. Marriott

The Marriott card offers 5x points per dollar on Marriott stays at 18 brands including Marriotts and Ritz-Carltons.

I value Marriott points at 0.4 cents each. That’s 2% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

9. Club Carlson

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 10x points per dollar on Club Carlson stays at the following brands:

  • Country Inns & Suites
  • Hotel Missoni
  • Park Inn
  • Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts
  • Quorvus Collection
  • Radisson Hotels
  • Radisson Blu
  • Radisson Red

I value Club Carlson points at 0.4 cents each. That’s 4% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

10. Starwood

The SPG card offers 2x points per dollar on SPG stays at the following brands:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.47.17 PM

I value Starpoints at 2.5 cents each. That’s 5% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back. But if you use ThankYou Points like cash toward American Airlines flights, they are worth 1.6 cents each, so you’d only get 4.8% back.

In any case, the SPG card has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, so definitely use the Prestige at Starwood properties aborad.

15. Hyatt

The Hyatt card offers 3x points per dollar on stays at the following brands:

  • Park Hyatt
  • Andaz
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Hyatt Regency
  • Hyatt
  • HYATT CENTRIC
  • Hyatt Place
  • Hyatt House
  • Hyatt Zilara
  • Hyatt Ziva
  • Hyatt Residence Club

I value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each. That’s 4.5% back.

However you can actually do better by using any American Express OPEN Business card, which offers 5% off Hyatt stays. The best would be the SPG Business card because you’d get 5% off plus 1 Starpoint per dollar (another 2.5%) for 7.5% back total.

Non-Chain Hotels

Definitely get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

Bottom Line

The Citi Prestige® Card is always the best card to book hotel stays of four nights with the fourth night free, and is often the best hotel card to book any stay.

The only hotel credit cards that offer a better return at their own hotels are the Wyndham and Choice cards, and those only offer a better return at American properties because of their foreign transaction fees.

Check out my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like $250 in airfare or airline fee credits per calendar year, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

 

  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year
  • Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
  • Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

24

This offer has expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

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For a limited time, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 75,000 bonus HHonors points after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months. This is enough points for 15-18 free nights at Hilton Category 1 hotels.

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Hilton points can be redeemed at all of the following brands.

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This is the biggest sign up bonus ever offered on a no-annual-fee Hilton card.

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The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card comes with automatic Hilton Silver status, which earns a 15% points bonus on Hilton stays, late checkout, and free access to fitness centers. Plus only folks with Hilton status get the 5th night free on award stays.

Better yet, if you complete four Hilton stays in the first 90 days of card membership, you get bumped up to Hilton Gold status, which earns a 25% points bonus on Hilton stays and maybe a little better treatment at the front desk.

And any year in which you spend $1,000 at Hilton hotels, you will get 10,000 more Hilton points.

After meeting the minimum spending requirement, you’ll have at least 79,000 Hilton points (more if you use the card’s category bonuses discussed below.) Eighty thousand points are enough for 20 free nights in a Hilton Category 1 hotel10 free nights in Category 2 Hiltons, or 5 free nights in Category 3 Hiltons. I stayed at an awesome DoubleTree in Kuala Lumpur that was a Category 2 Hilton.

The last big benefit of the card is that it has no annual fee. Very few rewards cards with no annual fee offer so much.

Sign Up Bonus

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has a sign up bonus of 75,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in three months on the card.

Seventy-five thousand points won’t get you even one night at a top tier Hilton, but it will get you up to 20 nights at the bottom categories, which have some gems. Super reader Jeremy has created the most valuable spreadsheet imaginable for the Hilton HHonors program that you can download for free here.

The spreadsheet lists:

  • all 34 Category 1 hotels: 5,000 points per night
  • all 131 Category 2 hotels: 10,000 points per night

His spreadsheet is sortable by city, state, country, or hotel name (which often starts with the hotel brand.) This can be very useful if you want to know if there is a Category 1 or 2 Hilton on the route of your next trip.

Perks

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card comes with Silver Status and the chance to earn Gold Status with four paid Hilton stays in the first 90 days.

Spending

There are category bonuses for Hilton stays, supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations though none of them impress me much.

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  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio.*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*

Plus you get 10,000 bonus points any year in which you spend $1,000 or more at Hilton hotels.

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Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee ever. For a card that gives you ongoing status, that’s unbeatable.

The card does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, so never use it abroad.

Full Offer

The “regular” Hilton card is not for everyone. It should not be the card onto which you put all your spending. It shouldn’t be the card you get for the biggest sign up bonus.

It is ideal for folks who want a no-annual-fee card that rewards their loyalty to Hilton.

  • Limited Time: Earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio.*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Silver status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No annual fee.*

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Update 7/9/15: All these deals are dead. The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has come out with an even better offer! 75,000 bonus points after spending $2k in the first three months.

Today (June 30) the 60k and 50k Delta credit card offers expire, the 50k Hilton credit card offer expires, and the ability to buy IHG points for 0.575 cents ends. It’s a big day for procrastinators.

I do not know the exact times the credit card offers end. If you click a link, and the offer is still there, it is still valid.

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card with 50,000 Hilton Points after spending $1k in the first four months

Current Offer: 50,000 bonus Hilton points + $50 statement credit
Best Guess for Offer Tomorrow: 40,000 bonus Hilton points and no statement credit
Don’t Miss This Deal If: Some of the Category 1 (12 free nights) or Category 2 (6 free nights) Hilton properties appeal to you
Skip This Deal If: You want to stay at Category 3+ Hiltons (0-2 free nights)
Further Reading: How to Get 6 to 12 Free Nights from the Citi Hilton HHonors Card

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 50,000 Hilton Points after spending $1k in the first four months and a $50 statement credit after spending $50 on your first stay at any hotel within the Hilton Portfolio during the first 3 months of account opening.

 

This card is designed for people who want to pursue the many-free-nights strategy with Hilton, taking advantage of underpriced 5,000 and 10,000 point hotels and the fifth-night-free benefit that cardholders get on all awards.

This card is terrible for people who want to stay at the fanciest Hiltons, which cost 95,000 points for a single night. They should get the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card with two free weekend nights worldwide at any Hilton after spending $2,500 in four months.

Check out How to Get 6 to 12 Free Nights from the Citi Hilton HHonors Card for an explanation of maximizing the card and examples of getting more than $1,000 in free hotel nights from the card’s sign up bonus.

Delta Platinum with 60k Bonus Miles + 10k MQM, Delta Golds with 50k Bonus Miles

Current Offer: Platinum offers 60k Bonus Miles + 10k MQMs, Delta Golds offer 50k Bonus Miles
Best Guess for Offer Tomorrow: 30k all three cards
Don’t Miss This Deal If: You want to fly to Australia, Central America, or South America or you want MQMs
Skip This Deal If: You’re planning a trip to Europe or within the United States or you’ve already had the Delta Gold personal or Delta Platinum
Further Reading: Delta 50k and 60k Offers End Tuesday, Get Them Now

The Platinum card is the card for people who want to earn Delta elite status with their purchases:

  • 60,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • 10,000 MQM after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • 15,000 MQM after spending $30,000 in a calendar year
  • Another 15,000 MQM after reaching $60,000 in a calendar year
  • 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
  • Free checked bag on Delta flights for you plus eight companions on the same reservation
  • $100 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase in the first three months
  • Priority Boarding on Delta
  • 20% off Delta onboard purchases
  • $195 annual fee, NOT waived

The Gold personal and business cards are the “standard” airline credit card:

  • 50,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
  • Free checked bag on Delta flights for you plus eight companions on the same reservation
  • $50 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase in the first three months
  • Priority Boarding on Delta
  • 20% off Delta onboard purchases
  • $95 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months

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These cards are really fantastically easy ways to get Delta miles, which are especially valuable to Australia on Virgin Australia and throughout the Americas on AeroMexico. There are generally better miles to other places, so skip these cards if you’re new to miles and want a trip somewhere else.

Check out Delta 50k and 60k Offers End 6/30, Get Them Now for an explanation of maximizing the cards.

Buy IHG Points for 0.575 Cents

Current Offer: Buy IHG Points for 0.575 cents
Best Guess for Offer Tomorrow: Buy IHG Points for 1.15 cents
Don’t Miss This Deal If: You need to get your balance to 5,000 points to prepare for PointBreaks lists
Skip This Deal If: You don’t have a hotel stay in mind that is cheaper this way than just paying for the hotel with cash
Further Reading: Buy IHG Rewards Points for 0.575 Cents Each, $29 Hotel Rooms

There is a 100% bonus on purchasing IHG Rewards points, so that the effective price is 0.575 cents per point. That’s great news if you want to get in on 5,000 point per night ($29) PointBreaks hotels. That’s not nearly as fantastic if you want to book 50,000 point per night ($288) hotels.

For full analysis, check out Buy IHG Rewards Points for 0.575 Cents Each, $29 Hotel Rooms.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

8

This 50k Hilton offer has expired. Check out the best current travel credit card sign up offers here.

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Until Tuesday June 30, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 50,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $1,000 in the first four months plus a $50 statement credit after spending $50 on your first stay at any hotel within the Hilton Portfolio during the first 3 months of account opening.

That’s an unmatched sign up bonus for a card with no annual fee ever.

Those 50,000 bonus points can be used for 12 free nights at Category 1 Hilton Hotels and six free nights at Category 2 Hiltons.

Here’s a spreadsheet and map of Hilton Category 1 and 2 properties, though there have been some changes and additions to the categories since those were made. Some new Category 1 hotels that intrigue me are the Hampton by Hilton Krakow (Poland, Category 1) and Hotel Vienna South (Austria, Category 2).

Category 1 hotels cost only 5,000 points per night, and Category 2 hotels are only 10,000 points. After that, prices rise sharply, so I advocate using points at the lowest Category properties.

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You can stretch the 50,000 points even further if you take advantage of the fifth night free on award stays that is available to all Hilton elite members. (The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card confers automatic Silver status.) With the fifth night free, 50,000 points are enough for:

  • 2 five-night stays and 1 two-night stay at Category 1 properties (12 nights)
  • 1 five-night stay and 1 one-night stay at Category 2 properties (6 nights)
  • Plus if one of the stays in the first three months, you can use the $50 statement credit for dining or other services

Here are some that look fantastic Category 1 and 2 hotels that look fantastic, including one where I’ve stayed:

DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing

Six nights free with bonus from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $1,100

Many low category hotels don’t have great locations, but the DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing is centrally located and near several sites.

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The hotels goes for 990 yuan plus tax per night or 10,000 Hilton points as a Category 2 hotel.

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A five-night cash stay would by $917 after taxes or 40,000 Hilton points, since the fifth nights is free.Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.35.35 PM

Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

12 nights free with bonus from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $926

You can explore the Borneo jungle in Malaysia in a Category 1 Hilton that costs just 5,000 points per night instead of 250 ringgit plus tax.
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The hotel’s location is stunning.

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The rooms are elegant.
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And a number of reviews rave about the pool.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.45.31 PMFive nights would cost $386 or only 20,000 points with the fifth night free.
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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Six nights free with bonus from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $916

I stayed at the DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur in August 2013 and really enjoyed myself. Every stay starts with a warm chocolate chip cookie.

The room was spacious and had an office area and big couch in addition to the bed.

The hotel was in the heart of KL and made a great base to explore the city.

Right now the room goes for 495 ringgits plus tax or 10,000 points per night.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.43.14 PM

A five-night stay is $763 or 40,000 points with the fifth night free.

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Bottom Line

The limited time offer on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card ends Tuesday.

 

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 50,000 bonus Hilton Points after spending $1,000 in the first four months plus a $50 statement credit after spending $50 on your first stay at any hotel within the Hilton Portfolio during the first 3 months of account opening.

The card’s automatic Hilton Silver status means you get the fifth night free on award stays. That stretches the bonus to 12 free nights at Category 1 hotels or six free nights at Category 2 hotels. Those free nights can be worth over $1,000. Plus you can use the card’s $50 statement credit for free food or spa services while you’re enjoying a free night.

Check out this (slightly out of datespreadsheet and map of Hilton Category 1 and 2 properties to see if any excite you because the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card is a great no annual fee card to consider if you use the points at low category hotels.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

3

This 50k Hilton offer has expired. Check out the best current travel credit card sign up offers here.

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Hilton is increasing the category of 18 hotels and decreasing the category of two hotels for bookings effective July 8, 2015.

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If the hotel you want is going up in category in two weeks, book the hotel now to lock in the lower, current rate. Your stay can be through July 7, 2016 at current rates.

These are the hotels getting cheaper. The DoubleTree in the Islington neighborhood of London will soon drop to 30,000 points per night on certain nights.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 7.11.09 PM

These are the hotels getting more expensive.Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 7.11.19 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 7.11.31 PMI especially hate to see the increases from Category 1 to Category 2 and Category 2 to Category 3, which are each a doubling of the number of points needed.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 7.18.37 PM

 

There are only two ways to get value from Hilton hotels.

You can get the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card, which currently offers 50,000 bonus points after $1,000 in spending and has no annual fee ever. Then you can use those points for stays at low category hotels. I particularly recommend Category 1 and 2 hotels, and here’s a spreadsheet of those properties.

Category 1 hotels cost 5,000 points, and elite Hilton members get the 5th night free on awards. The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card grants Silver status, so cardholders all get the 5th night free on awards. That means you can book 12 free nights at Category 1 hotels or six free nights at Category 2 hotels with the sign up bonus on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card.

The other way to get value from Hilton hotels is to go for the top end. The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card comes with two free weekend nights worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months.

Some of these Category 9 and 10 hotels (see map of their locations) cost over $3,000 for a weekend!

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.42.10 PM
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card also comes with Gold Status.

Bottom Line

About 0.5% of the 4,000 Hilton properties are changing category on July 8. If your hotel is going up in price book for a stay through July 2016 at its current price. category changes don’t affect people who use the Hilton Reserve card to get top tier hotel nights, but it somewhat hurts people who use the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card to book Category 1 and 2 hotels.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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