Goodbye To The Citi Hilton Cards And A Comparison Chart Of The 4 Hilton Cards That AMEX Will Offer In 2018

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AMEX has won exclusivity for Hilton cards and Citi Hilton cardholders will have their cards converted to AMEX cards on 1/30/18. Citi Hilton cards will become AMEX Hilton cards and Citi Hilton Reserve cards will become AMEX Hilton Ascend cards, the new moniker for the AMEX Hilton Surpass card. Your Citi card will be deactivated and you will be issued a new AMEX card with a new account number. Here is the FAQ on that change.

As AMEX cards have a limit of 1 bonus per lifetime (more like once every 6-7 years, but the exact timeframe is unpublished), you may want to cancel your Citi Hilton card before it converts into an AMEX Hilton card. You won’t get a signup bonus for a converted card and you won’t be eligible for a signup bonus for the flavor of AMEX Hilton card that you get converted to in the future.

Currently AMEX only offers the AMEX Hilton card and the AMEX Hilton Surpass card. The Hilton Surpass card will become the Hilton Ascend card, but the Hilton Aspire and Hilton Business are new card offerings.

Hilton pulled a Delta when they devalued and removed their award charts, but a top-tier hotel like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem or Conrad Maldives will go for 95K points per night or 76K points per night for elite members/cardholders on a 5 night stay.

Here is a chart comparing the 4 AMEX Hilton cards that they will offer starting in January:

Hilton AMEXHilton AMEX Surpass Hilton AMEX BusinessHilton AMEX Aspire
Annual Fee$0$150$95$550
Welcome bonus100K points for spending $2,000 in 6 months170K points for spending $3,000 in 6 months130K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months180K points for spending $6,000 in 6 months
Points Per Dollar on Everyday Purchases3333
Points Per Dollar on Hilton Purchases7121214
Points Per Dollar on Airlines/Car Rentals3367
Points Per Dollar on Wireless Phone Service and Shipping3363
Points Per Dollar on US Supermarkets5633
Points Per Dollar on US Restaurants5667
Points Per Dollar on US Gas5663
Points Per Dollar on US online retail purchases3433
Foreign Transaction FeesNoneNoneNoneNone
Elite status for being a cardholderSilverGoldGoldDiamond
Elite status with spendingGold if you spend $20K/yearDiamond if you spend $40K/yearDiamond if you spend $40K/year-
Free nightsNone1 after spending $15K/year1 after spending $15K/year, a 2nd night after spending $60K/year1 free annual night, a 2nd night after spending $30K/year, a 3rd night after spending $60K/year
Priority Pass Lounge AccessNone10 annual uses, ends 1/31/2410 annual usesUnlimited uses, ends 1/31/24
Airline fee creditNoneNoneNone$250 annual credit, ends 12/31/23
Hilton Resort CreditNoneNoneNoneThrough 12/31/23, $250 annual credit at select Hilton resorts. Effective now or 1/1/24 for existing cardholders, $200 semi-annual credit at Hilton resorts, up to $400 per year.
Hilton CreditNone$50 quarterly, up to $200 per yearNone$100 off 2+ night stays at Waldorf and Conrad
Airfare CreditNoneNoneNone$50 quarterly, up to $200 per year

The Aspire card is an amazing card if you will take advantage of the annual free night, the annual $250 airline fee credit, and the annual $250 Hilton resort credit.

Here are the ways you can use the AMEX airline fee credit.

Here is a list of Hilton Resorts where you can get a $250 spend credit.

Diamond status comes with the Aspire card and is Hilton’s top-tier status. It comes with benefits like free breakfast, free bottled water, free premium WiFi, upgrades, late checkout, and more. Here’s hoping it also comes with a sweet signup bonus!

What Hilton cards do you currently have? Will you close your Citi Hilton cards before conversion? Will you signup for an AMEX Hilton Aspire card when it becomes available? Hit the comments!

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62 Comments On "Goodbye To The Citi Hilton Cards And A Comparison Chart Of The 4 Hilton Cards That AMEX Will Offer In 2018"

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Will i be able to get a signup bonus if i upgrade my current Amex Surpass card to the Aspire?


Dan – cool. Any news in SPG amex changes to arrive as per the merger ?


I think there is a mistake in the chart: Doesn’t the Surpass card entitle a free weekend stay after the first anniversary? (It’s advertised too in this post: )


Should I transfer my Hilton points to United?


If I have Hilton Surpass and close it soon. will I be eligible for new sign up on the Ascend?


Will i lose my current points if I close the citi card ?


i have a hilton amex and my wife has a citi hilton. what would the bonus be for her to sign up for a hilton amex? also, if she has a secondary card on my account, would that kill a signup bonus for her?


Thanks as always for the post. I’ve got a couple of questions here:

I got the Hilton Surpass just recently in July/August under that special offer for a free anniversary night after one year. Would you keep the Surpass for the free anniversary night or cancel it before 1/18 to be eligible for the potential new bonus?

Other question is I have the Citi Hilton Reserve I got in June. Same question as above. Just trying to see what someone else may do in this position.


should I apply for the existing Amex cards so i can at least cash in on current offers as they seem better than upcoming amex cards. For example no AF amex offers now 75,000 points better than future offer for the No AF card


I’m wondering if anyone has had any luck pcing the citi hilton to something else?


Foreign transaction fees?


Right dan but still to close the citi Hilton when citi doesn’t allow credit line transfers to another citi card hurts your credit .? Also what happens if I can’t get approved for a Amex because I underwent f/r am I going to have problems when my Citi converts over to Amex? And if not could that potentially be beneficial to rebuild my relationship back up with Amex to get more cards in the future without having to undergo fr? Thank you for taking the your time to read and respond to my questions.

Joseph K.

Any idea how this will affect someone who was shut down by amex?

Daniel Rostenne

Thanks Dan! When do you advise we close the CITI cards by?


Citi offers a annual free night after spending 10K Will that stand after its changed to Amex?


Should I get the surpass now, or wait until January. Best offer I found currently is 90k, but no free night. But annual fee now is $75 (which would become $95 in January). Thoughts?


Even if Hilton pulled off a delta as you call it they still over three points per dollar 30k spend on any Hilton cc gets you a night in a top tier hotel Waldorf etc if you have gold statues then even more and Hyatt that has 30k spend to get one night in their top hotels ? Not sure why you call that devaluation ?? And they give ten points per dollar to Hilton honors members per night without even using your Amex Hilton to pay? Which can potentially give you 20 ppd what does Hyatt give 10 ppd total? Counting if you use the chase Hyatt to spend? Ty


Does it make sense to cancel our Citi cards before the transfer? To not take up another another Amex slot or lose out on the once per lifetime bonus?


Currently have the AMEX Hilton free card and the citi free card. Come January what happens to us. Two identical cards or ?????


If we cancel now do we get a pro rated return of annual fees? I am about 6months into the year?


How do the 10 annual lounge passes work? Are they actual passes that you get or do they swipe your card. Will you get them immediately with the card? Are they transferrable?


Does the annual free night work for Waldorf as well?


no centurion lounge access?


amex platinum vs hilton aspire?

Moishe B. Singer

So here is the question – as someone who has today both the hilton amex and hilton visa. As they close the visa, which visa card would you recommend for those stores that don’t take amex?


Apologies if this has already been covered. If I have the Citi Hilton Reserve and the Amex Hilton Surpass is there any potential benefit to have the Hilton Reserve convert at all or should I simply cancel the Reserve card to get my prorated fee back?


i presently have the citi reserve should i cancel it now so i will be eligible for the new amex 1


I already have the Amex maximum – 5 Amex credit cards, will they transfer my Citi Hilton card to the #6 Amex credit card?


Question: I currently have the Hilton Surpass and I understand that I will be moving to the Hilton Ascend card. Will AMEX allow me to move from the Ascend to the Aspire card when they become available? I am willing to make that move ($95.00 to $450.00 annual fee), but I do not want/need 2 AMEX cards.
Anyone else giving this a thought?


When the citi card transfers Into the Amex card, in relevant to the chase 5/24 will it show on my credit report as a new card from Amex


Do you get bonus points for signing up?


Hi Dan. I cancelled my Citi Hilton card 2 weeks ago, but just received an Amex Ascend card with a message to call to activate it January 30? Is there any way I can still get a signup bonus by not activating this card? I did cancel the citi card before this one is even in effect.