Was the Citi Hilton Reserve Just Majorly Devalued?

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An example of the number one question I’ve gotten in the last few weeks:

Scott,

Should I use the free night certificates from my Hilton Reserve card by 3/28? After Hilton’s major devaluation (don’t get me started…), there will be 10 categories after 3/28 and the free nights are good at category 1-7 according to the terms.

Sam

Sam is asking about the two free weekend nights you earn by spending $2,500 within four months on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card credit card. What makes the nights so valuable is that they are valid at almost every Hilton in the world including insanely fancy and expensive properties like the Conrad Koh Samui, which is going for $633+ per night in June.

18,920 Baht = $633

The Conrad Koh Samui is a category 7 hotel currently, the top category, which costs 50,000 points a night. So two free nights there is currently like getting 100,000 HHonors points worth of value from one credit card.

Starting March 28, the Conrad Koh Samui will be a category 10 hotel, the new top category, according to the new hotel categories list. Category 10 hotels will cost 70,000 to 95,000 points per night based on the season.

So Hilton points are seeing a major devaluation, especially at the top end. Two nights at the best Hiltons in the world at peak times was 100,000 points; now it will be 190,000 points.

But is the Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card seeing the same type of devaluation? That’s what Sam wants to know. The card’s terms and conditions say that the free nights are good for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night stays at category 1-7 properties.

If these terms remained unchanged, it would be a huge devaluation. No longer would the free nights be good at the top tier properties like the $633+ Conrad Koh Samui. Instead they would only be good up to the new tier 7, which surely includes nice hotels, but not the kind that make you drool.

According to Mommy Points, the free nights from the Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card will still be good at all the same hotels they are good at now.

Translation: the award chart devaluation is not a Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card devaluation. You will now be able to use the free nights at the new Categories 1-10.

I’m working to independently verify this, but it is fantastic news for all of us–perhaps most of all Rookie Alli, who just got the Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card. I’m planning to get the card soon, and I want to make sure I can get two nights at a hotel that I could never afford (or even if I could, I wouldn’t stay at because I’d feel guilty about the price.)

Two nights of the base room.

In recent weeks the Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card has shot up the list of best Citi card offers. Unfortunately this isn’t because the offer has improved–just because all the other Citi offers have gotten worse.

Namely the two-browser trick that allowed us to get 100k American Airlines miles for one credit pull is dead (or very near.) And the other Citi cards that offer Hilton points are worth less as those points are worth less under the new award chart.

Here are the bullet points on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card.

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card

• Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio after $2,500 in eligible purchases within 4 months of account opening*
• 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*
• Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
• No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
• Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card
• Earn an anniversary bonus of 1 weekend night certificate at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio each cardmembership year with qualifying purchases*

The good news is that you don’t have to burn your Hilton award nights in the next month for maximum value. The bad news is that you do have to burn your Hilton points in the next month for maximum value.


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14 COMMENTS

  1. Scott,

    love your site and love your post, but what’s up with misleading title???

    this is sort of journalism that TMZ puts out. don’t give readers heartattack by making it look like even the citi hilton reserve was devaluded, right after hilton devalued its award chart.

  2. It’s interesting how Citi suddenly has such a good card due to lack of other good alternatives to get free nights. It’s not quite as good as the Chase Hyatt card, which gives two free nights at any Hyatt since the Hyatt card doesn’t have the weekend restriction and getting enough Hyatt points to extend the two nights to a longer vacation will be easier than getting enough Hilton points. This is for top-end hotels. However, since the Citi card does not take away the opportunity cost of so many other good cards (United, Chase Freedom, BA, Chase Sapphire preferred), it’s up there in terms of application priority now.

    It remains to be seen whether I can churn the Citi Hilton Reserve card!

  3. Interesting that this is the hotel that is continually being mentioned. I thought about using my points to go here in late 2014. After reading the reviews we decided to pass. From what I understand this place is pretty isolated, and you pretty much have to eat every mean in the hotel unless you want to drive a significant distance. If that is the case, it is a deal-breaker for us, personal infinity pool or not 😉

  4. Let me get this straight… You are using a 3rd party who can’t name their source for your information? Why not wait till you confirm it for yourself? Was this just an excuse to post a referral link… confused..

  5. I think you mean that the card is “chip and signature” abroad. If it was chip n pin that would be big news. Chip n sig is good too though.

    Otherwise good post. I think it’s lame that they haven’t officially answered this question but it sounds like mommy points has it from a pretty good source. Now, Hilton or Citi, could you please post it directly somewhere to confirm?

    • It looks like Citi has shut down the two browser trick. But you can try, and if you only get approved for one, you’re in the same position as if you just applied for one.

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