Sign-Up Bonus, Categories, and Elite Gold Status
The current sign-up bonus for the Hilton Reserve card is detailed in the card summary table above.
Then earn 10 points for every $1 you spend on hotels in the Hilton Portfolio, 5 points for every $1 you spend on airline and car rental purchases, and 3 points for every $1 you spend on other purchases!
Best of all, you automatically achieve Elite Gold Status in the Hilton Honors loyalty program just for being a card member. With Gold status, you get a whopping 25% bonus on the Honors base points you earn!
Bottom Line: The Hilton Reserve card earns 3-10x points and gives you Gold Elite status, which allows you to earn 25% more bonus points while staying at Hiltons!
Other Gold Status Benefits
Your Hilton Honors Gold status is a permanent perk for as long as you have the card. It also gets additional features, such as a 5th-night free when you stay a minimum of 5 nights with a Standard Room Reward.
Additionally, enjoy free in-room and lobby internet access, late-night check-out, and complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs where available.
Gold status usually requires 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 base points, making this a huge benefit.
Why not keep going to reach Diamond status? It takes 30 stays, 60 nights, or 120,000 bonus points, so you’ve got a great head start. Stay at Hilton hotels frequently and it will add up!
Another way to reach the Diamond tier is by spending $40,000 with the card. Use the card to charge all your monthly expenses, and this may be easier than you think.
At this level, you’ll get a 50% points bonus on Hilton Honors points as well as other perks!
Bottom Line: Earn permanent Hilton Honors Gold status plus the chance to earn Diamond if you spend $40,000 in a calendar year with the Hilton Reserve card.
International Travel With the Card and More
Bring the Hilton Reserve card when you travel internationally and enjoy no foreign transaction fees. Plus, because the card comes with an EMV chip, you can make global purchases hassle-free.
Because it’s a Citi card, you get all of those benefits too, as well as a host of Visa Signature travel, purchase, and shopping benefits. See the Gritty Details section for more information.
Be sure not to overlook the value of these “simple” benefits, as many airline credit cards actually have a foreign transaction fee of 2% to 3%, which would negate any points you earn while overseas!
One additional benefit that doesn’t fit in with the others is an extra free night certificate every year you spend $10,000 or more on the card. This free certificate is awarded on your anniversary date each year.
Bottom Line: With the Hilton Reserve card, you have no foreign transaction fees and also earn an additional free night per year when you spend $10,000 or more on the card!
Drawbacks of the Hilton Reserve Card
The biggest drawback of this card is the $95 annual fee. However, compared to other cards the cost is competitive.
Another thing to consider is that you are required to redeem more points for a Hilton Honors reward than in other loyalty programs. Fortunately, you earn points quickly at 3-10 points per $1. But it’s still important to be aware of their value!
For example, the Standard Reward value is $4.00-$6.00 per 1,000 points. While you can get a one-night stay for 5,000 points, you will be limited to rooms in Category 1. You’ll need 20,000-60,000 points per night to get a mid-level room.
Hotel Category 10 is the highest tier and requires 70,000-95,000 points for 1 night, more than 12 times the amount of a Category 1 room.
Of course, with the sign-up bonus you get 2 weekend nights automatically!
Bottom Line: There aren’t many benefits to the Hilton Reserve card beside the high points earning potential. The $95 fee can be intimidating, and you need to understand that Hilton Honors awards cost many more points than other programs.