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Citi® Hilton Honors™ Visa Signature® Card — Full Review [2023]

Brian Graham's image
Brian Graham
Brian Graham's image

Brian Graham

Former Content Contributor

Countries Visited: U.S. States Visited:

After leveraging employee travel benefits from a previous corporate job, Brian set sail with his buddy around the world and has become a seasoned traveler who maximizes points and miles wherever possi...
Edited by: Kellie Jez
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Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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Citi® Hilton Honors™ Visa Signature® Card

Citi® Hilton Honors™ Visa Signature® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.
4
  • $0

  • 15.99% - 19.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness

Citi® Hilton Honors™ Visa Signature® Card

A high-earning card that comes with a lot of benefits, you won’t have trouble finding value if you frequent hotels in the Hilton Brand Portfolio.

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.
4

Update: This card is no longer available. Existing accounts were transitioned in January 2018 to the Hilton Honors Card from American Express.


Room service, king sized beds, and cable TV: hallmarks of the hotel world. Travel isn’t always about flying, and many people enjoy the hotel much more than the flight! This card is for those people.

Do you travel and stay in hotels regularly for longer periods of time? Whether you’re a heavy traveler for work or for pleasure, you’ll find the Citi® Hilton Honors™ Visa Signature® Card earns in your favor.

Card Snapshot

Welcome Bonus & Info

  • Earn 40,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
  • Earn 6 Honors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 3 Honors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.
  • Earn 2 Honors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy Honors Silver status immediately, and fast-track to Honors Gold status after 4 stays within your first 90 days of account opening OR when you make $20,000+ in purchases each calendar year.
  • Earn an annual loyalty bonus of 10,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points at the end of each calendar year in which you spend $1,000 or more on stays within the Hilton Portfolio.

Customer Service Number

1- 888-248-4226 (Available 24/7)

Great Card If

  • You love Hilton hotels and want a card to help you quickly earn more points
  • You want a card with no annual fee that still offers decent benefits
  • You plan on purchasing everything on the card, which will allow you to earn the additional bonuses offered
  • You want to boost yourself to Gold status quickly to take advantage of the added benefits

Don’t Get If

  • Hilton is not your go-to hotel chain and you have a different preference some of the time
  • Transferring airline points is part of your strategy

Sign-Up Bonus, Points, and Silver Elite Status

With the Hilton Signature card, you’ll be earning points at 6x for all Hilton portfolio stays; 3x for gas stations, supermarkets and drugstores; and 2x everywhere else.

When using your card to earn points, you earn them as bonus points and they accrue in your Honors account. Unfortunately, these don’t go toward your elite status.

However, as another bonus of owning the card, you automatically earn Silver Status for being a card holder.

Silver members get a 15% bonus on points earned for your stay (not from your Hilton credit card), as well as some other perks like 5th night free (on standard 5-night redemptions) and late check out.

Bottom Line:  The Hilton Signature card earns 6x points at Hilton; 3x points for gas, supermarkets, and drugstores; and 2x everywhere else.

More Elite Status Benefits

Earning status in the loyalty program is made easier using the Hilton Signature card. You automatically get Silver status as discussed above, and you have the opportunity to fast track to Gold status.

To do this, just complete 4 stays in Hilton brand hotels within the first 90 days (instead of the typical 20 stays in a year). Not too difficult for a frequent traveler!

Gold status can also be earned by spending $20,000 or more on the card in a given year. If you’re using this as your main card, after a year you would likely hit this threshold.

With Gold status, your bonus point earnings increase to 25%, you get all the other benefits of the previous tiers, and you get additional upgrades and points depending on which hotel you’re staying at.

If you stay enough times to make Diamond, you’ll get even sweeter deals!

Bottom Line: Gain automatic Silver status when you own the Hilton Signature cardFast track to Gold by completing 4 stays within the first 90 days!

Other Perks of the Hilton Signature Card

One great thing about the Hilton Signature card is it does not have an annual fee. Most cards that earn toward partnered programs like hotels and airlines have annual fees, so it is refreshing to see one that doesn’t!

This makes it a lot easier when deciding whether or not to open the card since it doesn’t have much of a downside.

Additionally, if you spend $1,000 or more at Hilton portfolio hotels in a given year, you will automatically earn 10,000 bonus points.

Finally, it’s worth noting that as a Visa Signature cardholder, you get access to all the benefits of that program. These include a free concierge service; discounts on events, museums, transportation; and a host of other things.

The Visa Signature page is like a discount coupon site, so search through it to find things that might be of value to you.

Bottom Line:  There is no annual fee on the Hilton Signature cardAlso, if you spend $1,000 or more in a year, you will automatically earn 10,000 bonus Hilton Honors points!

Drawbacks of the Hilton Credit Card and Honors

While you do earn points at a higher rate on the Hilton Signature card, one caveat is that the program uses a larger scale points system.

Hilton claims that rewards can be redeemed for a room with as little as 5,000 points a night, but more commonly seen are rooms from 20,000-50,000 points per night.

This is a large difference, and some rooms cost as much as 70,000 points. It will be up to you to determine how to use them. You could potentially earn many redemptions, as long as the places you want to travel are in areas with cheaper rewards rates.

A room at 40,000 points may typically cost $185, which values each point at around $0.0046. That’s about half the amount a typical rewards point is worth.

You can also use points to get room upgrades, but this is more confusing and not very standardized, so you’ll have to check what rates you can get for the room you are looking for.

However, Gold and Diamond members already receive complimentary room upgrades when available, so this may not be necessary!

Bottom Line: Hilton’s scale is different than that of other programs, so while you earn a lot of points with the Hilton Signature card, that doesn’t always translate into a ton of redemptions.

Best Way To Redeem Hilton Honors Points

Because the Honors system is very complex, it is difficult to determine the best way to redeem your points once you’ve gone through the trouble of earning them. Hopefully this section helps sort some of that confusion out:

Tip #1: Look for redemptions at the lowest amount of points (it starts at 5,000). Although you may have a minimum standard of expectation for room quality, it can vary drastically between chains and even hotels within the same chain.

Look for reviews and ask the hotel about their rooms to see if staying at a cheaper rewards rate room might hold the same quality as a more expensive one.

Tip #2: Consider both the split pay option as well as the normal points option for rewards. Sometimes the value can be better in one or the other.

For example, a room at a Hampton Inn that would cost $124 for a Friday night in Austin, TX could be redeemed for 30,000 points (a value of $0.004 per point). The split pay option costs $50 and 12,000 points, which in this case is almost the same value.

Checking similar deals, another room had a better value per point if you just redeemed the whole room with points ($0.006 versus $0.004).

Tip #3: Use the 5th night free option and book in multiples of 5 to get the best value. Booking a five night redemption will get you a discount equal to one night.

You can do this for 4 free nights on up to a 20-night consecutive stay, and it will be automatically credited during your redemption.

Tip #4: While there are Premium Room Rewards available, they are usually much lower value than a normal redemption. One calculation we did came in at around $0.003 versus $0.004+ in the examples above.

If you’re interested in redeeming for a Premium Room, be sure to calculate a comparison for a normal room reward.

Best Way To Maximize Honors Points

There are a bunch of different ways to earn Hilton points with your Hilton Signature card. You’ll do best by implementing multiple strategies, as many Honors rewards require a higher number of points:

Tip #1: Use your card whenever you stay at Hilton Hotels. This ensures you earn 6x points on the card and 10-15x points through the program (depending on your status).

Tip #2: Go into your Honors profile right away and sign up for the bonus earning style; you’ll get either 5 extra bonus points per stay, or 1+ airline miles (depending on the airline you choose).

Tip #3: Once you hit Gold or Diamond status, be sure to ask the hotel for the bonus point offerings for each stay. You can earn between 100-2,000 extra bonus points on top of your regular points just for staying at certain hotel chains.

Tip #4: Watch for deals from Hilton, as they often offer double or triple points for stays. This means your 10-15 points could go up to 20-45 points per stay for the Honors earned points.

Tip #5: You can only earn base points on up to 2 rooms at a time, as well as bonus points on normal rates. Bonus points from other offers are only available on a single room.

Tip #6: Make any purchases through the hotel on your room bill to ensure they get counted as a hotel. Sometimes, the restaurants and other services do not get counted in the hotel category when paying separately.

Tip #7: Transfer points earned through other cards or programs to your Hilton Honors account if they are a partner. This way you earn maximum points in multiple card categories rather than just the 2-3x on the card.

Tip #8: Find ways to reach status more quickly, such as staying in a hotel only one night if your travel is flexible. Sometimes earning status can be quicker if you earn it through stays. Higher status equals more points!

Bonus Tip:  Earn lots of extra points when you sign up to the dining program and head out to eat for the night!

Alternative to the Hilton Signature Card

If after reading this, you don’t feel the Hilton Signature card is the card for you, then you might want to try another rewards card.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card

The Marriott Boundless card is a great hotel card alternative. It earns 6x points at Marriott properties. These points transfer to lots of great travel partners.

You also get elite status benefits and the card typically comes with a good sign-up bonus.

LIMITED TIME OFFER
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
Earn 5 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!
Earn 5 Free Night Awards
$1,750
$95
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.

Pros

  • Earn big when you use your card at thousands of participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Earn big at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status
  • 1 Free Night Award each cardmember anniversary (valued up to 35,000 points)
  • One year complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Marriott Silver status is the lowest status tier
  • Limited time offer! Earn 5 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite status, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Your points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your card every 24 months.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

American Express® Gold Card

Finally, a popular flexible point travel rewards card is the Amex Gold card, which earns 3x points for airfare booked directly with the airline and comes with a ton of great benefits and perks.

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

American Express® Gold Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

American Express® Gold Card

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros

  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at Amex Travel
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit: up to $10 monthly statement credit when you pay with the Amex Gold card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: get $10 monthly in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. when you add your Gold Card to your Uber account
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection
  • Access to American Express transfer partners

Cons

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

The information regarding the Citi® Hilton Honors™ Visa Signature® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Hilton Signature card worth it?

The card offers a variety of benefits, the ability to earn tons of Hilton Honors points, and has a pretty good sign-up bonus. And the card is free each year!

You get complimentary Silver Status, the ability to fast-track to Gold status in the first 3 months, a variety of insurances, and other Visa Signature fringe benefits.

There is really no downside to owning this card other than the steps you’ll have to take to manage your credit opening it.

One thing to note, however: the card does come with a foreign transaction fee, so international travelers may not find this the most valuable option.

What is the Hilton Signature card sign in?

The login for the card is through Citibank. You can check your statements, purchases, and points from there.

To log in and check your Honors account information, including the points deposited into your account, you need to use the Honors sign in page.

What are the benefits of the Hilton Signature card?

The Hilton Signature card gives you complimentary Silver status in the Honors program, as well as the ability to fast track to Gold status within 90 days by staying 4 nights at any Hilton hotel.

Alternatively, you’ll earn Gold if you spend more than $20,000 on the card in a year.

You’ll earn 2-6 points per dollar spent plus 10,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 or more on Hilton hotels in a year. Hilton Honors also comes with a variety of partners.

Finally, you’ll have access to Visa Signature benefits such as a concierge, additional premium shopping portals, and insurances: car rental, travel emergency, and extended warranty.

Does the Hilton Signature card offer 0% APR?

No, there is no 0% APR offer at this time for the card.

What is the foreign transaction fee for the Hilton Signature card?

The card comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Do points expire if I have the Hilton Signature card?

As long as you have activity on your account every 12 months, your points will not expire. This means that you need to earn points, redeem points, or stay at a hotel within the 12 months.

What is the annual fee for the Hilton Signature card?

This credit card does not have an annual fee ($0).

Where is my Honors number located?

You can find your number in a few different ways. First, if you have a Honors loyalty program card, your number will be on the front.

Next, you can check for the email you received when signing up for the program, or check the marketing emails they send out; your number will be in there.

If you can’t find any of those, you can use the “forgot my password” tool to send an email with your information. Finally, you can call the customer service line and ask them. Your number will not be on your card.

What is Hilton Honors Silver status?

This is the second tier of four in the Honors status system. Blue is the starting tier, Silver the second, Gold the third, and Diamond is the fourth.

You automatically earn Silver status for being a member of the card.

As a Silver member (which typically takes 10 nights or 4 stays to achieve), you earn bonus points for staying at Hilton, get digital check-in, complimentary internet access, room preferences, late check-out, express check-out, and a second guest to stay for free.

You’ll also get your fifth night free if you redeem points for 5 nights at a standard rate. Finally, you get complimentary access to fitness clubs when available, and 2 bottles of water per stay.

When does Honors status expire?

As a Hilton Signature card member, you will always have Silver status in the club.

If you earn a higher status (Gold or Diamond), then your status is good through the entire year you earned it as well as the next full year, and up through March 31st of the year after.

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About Brian Graham

Brian’s first ever airplane ride was in a private turbo-prop jet. He was merely an intern boy trying to make a good impression, but it turns out the plane made an impression on him.

It wasn’t until Brian relocated to Dallas, TX, and moved in with an American Airlines employee that he truly discovered how incredible travel could be.

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