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Old Jan 21, 12, 3:59 pm   #1
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Citi Hilton Honors vs. Amex Hilton Honors?

So I'm thinking about getting a Hilton card (for the points) and I see that both Citi and Amex offer them. What's the diff?
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Old Jan 21, 12, 4:03 pm   #2
 
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The difference is that you can apply for them both at the same time!
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Old Jan 21, 12, 6:36 pm   #3
 
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You should get both for the bonuses. Here is the quick comparison:

AMEX
6 pts/$ - Hilton
6 pts/$ - grocery, drugstores, gas, wireless, cable TV, and ISP
3 pts/$ - Everything else

CITI
6 pts/$ - Hilton
3 pts/$ - grocery, drugstores, gas
2 pts/$ - Everything else

I personally only use the AMEX version, but its handy to have the visa version in case the grocery store you go to (such as asian markets) don't take AMEX.

Last edited by cyin; Jan 21, 12 at 6:44 pm.
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Old Jan 21, 12, 6:55 pm   #4
 
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I would apply for both and just use the citi visa at merchants who don't accept Am Ex since you get more points with the am ex.

I am pretty sure both will give you silver if you don't have status with Hilton. The am ex gives you gold with $20K in spending but not sure about the visa.
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Old Jan 21, 12, 6:57 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
I would apply for both and just use the citi visa at merchants who don't accept Am Ex since you get more points with the am ex.

I am pretty sure both will give you silver if you don't have status with Hilton. The am ex gives you gold with $20K in spending but not sure about the visa.
You are correct sir. Both will give silver, but only amex will give you a chance for gold.
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Old Jan 21, 12, 6:58 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by jjkpartsman View Post
You are correct sir. Both will give silver, but only amex will give you a chance for gold.
And if you are willing to pay the $75 for the surpass, also Diamond
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Old Jan 21, 12, 7:37 pm   #7
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AMEX SURPASS
9 pts/$ - Hilton
6 pts/$ - grocery, drugstores, gas, wireless, cable TV, and ISP
3 pts/$ - Everything else
● Earn 9 HHonors Bonus Points for every eligible U.S. dollar charged at participating properties within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio.

● Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for every eligible U.S. dollar charged in the following everyday spend categories: grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, home and wireless phone, cable and satellite TV, and Internet service providers (less returns).

● Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for every eligible U.S. dollar charged for all other purchases anywhere American Express Cards are accepted (less returns).

● Complimentary Gold status for the first year, with the opportunity to earn Gold and Diamond status each year after.
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Old Jan 21, 12, 8:20 pm   #8
 
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Old Jul 21, 12, 9:51 pm   #9
 
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i have a quick question. But what does "drug stores" mean for Amex Hilton? Does it mean CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, Walgreens etc? If so, do non-drug purchases (candies, water, gift card) at these stores qualify?
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Old Jul 22, 12, 11:00 am   #10
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Originally Posted by gtu2004 View Post
i have a quick question. But what does "drug stores" mean for Amex Hilton? Does it mean CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, Walgreens etc? If so, do non-drug purchases (candies, water, gift card) at these stores qualify?
For all cards that give extra points/miles/whatever at certain types of stores (including the Hilton cards):

The card can't tell what you bought at the store. As long as it's rung up as a "purchase", it'll count, and yes, all those brands count (except I've never heard of Duane Reade, but I'd add Good Neighbor Phramacies).

There might specific items at some stores (maybe some gift cards, and usually lotto tickets) that don't count as purhcases. But in those cases, you probably couldn't purchase them on the same transaction. (In fact, lotto is often cash only to keep it simple.)

And if they don't qualify as purchases, you have a lot bigger problem than not getting bonus points: There are only two options on credit cards, purchases and cash advances, and a cash advance starts charing interest from the moment of purchase.

But you can't mix a purchase and cash advance on one transaction. So, for example, with gifrt cards, if you can buy the gift card on the same transaction as some candy (they don't tell you "well have to run your card separately for this") then if the candy is a purchase so is the gift card.

(It's actual generic MC or generic Visa or generic Amex gift cards that might be an issue sometimes. Branded gift cards -- that you can only redeem with that brand -- are hardly ever an issue.)
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Old Jul 22, 12, 4:03 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
For all cards that give extra points/miles/whatever at certain types of stores (including the Hilton cards):

The card can't tell what you bought at the store. As long as it's rung up as a "purchase", it'll count, and yes, all those brands count (except I've never heard of Duane Reade, but I'd add Good Neighbor Phramacies).

There might specific items at some stores (maybe some gift cards, and usually lotto tickets) that don't count as purhcases. But in those cases, you probably couldn't purchase them on the same transaction. (In fact, lotto is often cash only to keep it simple.)

And if they don't qualify as purchases, you have a lot bigger problem than not getting bonus points: There are only two options on credit cards, purchases and cash advances, and a cash advance starts charing interest from the moment of purchase.

But you can't mix a purchase and cash advance on one transaction. So, for example, with gifrt cards, if you can buy the gift card on the same transaction as some candy (they don't tell you "well have to run your card separately for this") then if the candy is a purchase so is the gift card.

(It's actual generic MC or generic Visa or generic Amex gift cards that might be an issue sometimes. Branded gift cards -- that you can only redeem with that brand -- are hardly ever an issue.)
Duane Reade is a popular Drug Store chain in NYC (they might be other places but NYC is the only place I have seen them at) and purchases there are 6 pts/$.

I have never bought other stores gift cards at a drug store before, but have at Kroger many times (also use my Chase freedom and discover card to buy other merchants gift cards when they are giving 5% cash back promos at grocery stores) and have always gotten the 6 pts/$ on those carrds (another advantage to buying cards at a grocery store is that some will give you bonus fuel points).
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Old Jul 23, 12, 6:28 am   #12
 
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Take a look at this new card from Citibank as posted by View from the Wing!
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Old Jul 23, 12, 7:21 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by lcpteck View Post
Take a look at this new card from Citibank as posted by View from the Wing!
This is great! I started a thread about a year ago where I got a survey from Citi asking me all these questions about a card and what fee I would be willng to pay for what benefits.

I may downgrade my surpass card to a free card if I can figure out how to apply or get my current citi card upgraded. More places take visa than Am Ex so it wouldn't be any harder to get my $40k spend in and for the people that can't get $20 a year in spending this will be a cheap way for Gold status.

Only problem I see is for people who get gold the traditional way, this could mean a lot more gold HH members to compete for upgrades with. The no foreign transaction fee is a nice benefit as well

Last edited by jamesteroh; Jul 23, 12 at 7:36 am.
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Old Jul 23, 12, 10:18 am   #14
 
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This is very opportune for me. Going to Europe for 3 weeks in September. Already booked 2 stays, Rome Cavalieri and Paris ADT using points. Have to pay for stays in Istanbul, Athens and London to the tune of $ 4,200. I was going to use my Amex Surpass card to accumulate the points and absorb the FTFees of about $113. I am already Gold from my Amex spend but this seems like a no brainer. Pay the $95 fee and save $113 in FTFees, then downgrade the Surpass to the no fee Amex upon renewal. Keep this card and get gold status without spending $20,000 on Amex. Let me know if there are any holes in my logic.
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Old Jul 23, 12, 1:28 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtu2004 View Post
i have a quick question. But what does "drug stores" mean for Amex Hilton? Does it mean CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, Walgreens etc? If so, do non-drug purchases (candies, water, gift card) at these stores qualify?
Using my HH AMEX the "drug stores" CVS and Rite Aid counted for 6 pts/$ (we don't have Duane Reade here, and I don't shop at Walgreens). And regarding what's consider a grocery, Smart & Final store purchases received the 6 pts - which I had thought wouldn't since they're a warehouse/bulk item store.

And every item that I purchased received the 6 pts at these stores. Also, I regularly bought GCs at the drugstores and markets for Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Crate and Barrell, Pottery Barn, Itunes, Nordstroms, Starbucks, Macys, Barnes and Noble because I shop regularly at these stores - which resulted in earning 6 pts/$ for all of these non-drugstore/grocery items.

Regarding using your card for cash advances: years ago I changed my cards to have a zero limit for cash advances - on the advice of fellow FTers - so I've never had to worry if a purchase would end up as a cash advance.

All this is very old news (using HH AMEX to purchase GCs for other retailers at drugstores/grocery stores) but thought I should post for the unaware.
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