AMEX exclusive USA issuer of Hilton Cards [2018]

Old Jun 1, 17, 7:09 am
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AMEX exclusive USA issuer of Hilton Cards [2018]

With the loss of Costco, Jetblue, and uncertainty of SPG, AMEX secured exclusive rights to issue Hilton cards starting in 2018. What was not mentioned in the press release is if AMEX will purchase the back book from Citi. However, Gary from VFTW spoke with a Citi representative noting that Citi card holders will be product changed during this year (not a definite statement on whether the back book will be sold).

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced that American Express (NYSE: AXP) has been selected as the exclusive issuer for Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards in the United States, beginning January 1, 2018. The announcement follows a comprehensive and competitive bidding process aimed at creating long-term value for both companies, hotel owners, guests and Hilton Honors members. The terms of the new multi-year partnership remain confidential.
Hilton Press Release

AMEX Press Release

Citi will communicate the new credit card information – including anticipated delivery dates and any other pertinent details – to cardmembers prior to the end of this year. Until a replacement card is provided, cardmembers can continue to make purchases on their current card. Spend will continue to earn Points until the end of this year and Points earned on the program will be credited to the cardmember’s Hilton Honors account.
And in fact I’ve since learned that Citi does not have a final decision on what will happen with its Hilton cardmember portfolio. Everything in the vague statement is accurate, which is to say that Citi plans to communicate to cardmembers ‘prior to the end of the year’ and that existing Citi Hilton co-brand cardmembers will get a new card. But it seems like Citi still might either sell its portfolio or product change.
View From The Wing Follow Up Article

Last edited by JHake10; Jun 1, 17 at 9:00 am
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Old Jun 2, 17, 2:20 pm
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There are a lot of us who already have both a Citi and an Amex version of HH. I hope they don't sell the Citi portfolio to Amex. I'd rather they convert the Citi cards to another Citi card. Although I already have a TY Preferred and TY Premier that I downgraded to from the Prestige card. So, what is left: maybe the Double Cash card?

Last edited by eajusa; Jun 4, 17 at 6:34 am
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Old Jun 2, 17, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
There are a kit of us who already have both a Citi and an Amex version of HH. I hope they don't sell the Citi portfolio to Amex. I'd rather they convert the Citi cards to another Citi card. Although I already have a TY Preferred and TY Premier that I downgraded to from the Prestige card. So, what is left: maybe the Double Cash card?
If I had to guess I would say the portfolio is being sold to AMEX, but don't quote me on that. One idea of making a deal with a specific co-brand is to gain the benefits of the potential new customers involved with the merger.

You could always opt in for the AT&T card or the Citi Dividend. With the AT&T you can combine your points with your TY Premier and TY Preferred and earn 2x on retail and AT&T purchases including your bill every month.
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Old Jun 3, 17, 1:16 pm
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Sorry if this is a basic question, but what would be the result of the Citi portfolio being sold to AMEX? I got the Citi HH card specifically for Hilton (stays), and am not interested in a different Citi product at all. Annual fee with FTF would be annoying, but I'd consider it.
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Old Jun 3, 17, 1:32 pm
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If Citi were to sell the Honors accounts to American Express your Citi account would be closed and American Express would automatically send you an Honors card to replace it. There are several what if scenarios that Hilton and American Express will need to answer involving customers who already have cards from both issuers, or who have a Citi Reserve card which offers a certificate based on anniversary year spending.

I would follow this thread in the Hilton forum where there is an an official Honors representative who can explain when these details are decided:

Hilton Honors and American Express Co-brand Credit Cards
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Old Jun 3, 17, 4:55 pm
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The Hilton rep has made it clear that the free night or 10K Hilton points spending bonus, depending on one's Citi card, for 2017 spending will be honored (by Hilton), rather than retroactively canceled.
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Old Jun 4, 17, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
Annual fee with FTF would be annoying, but I'd consider it.
Like Citi, AmEx issues two Hilton cards: one with no AF and one with AF but earning points at a higher rate and with other benefits. Both have FTF=2.7% though.
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Old Jun 4, 17, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by othermike27 View Post
Like Citi, AmEx issues two Hilton cards: one with no AF and one with AF but earning points at a higher rate and with other benefits. Both have FTF=2.7% though.
With zero advance notice, in the past month of so, Amex introduced the Blue Business Plus card and virtually simultaneously discontinued the Blue for Business card.

It's only early June 2017. I see no reason to assume that the structure and benefits of the Amex Hilton cards will remain the same for 2018 as they are now, just because that's less than 7 months away.

All we for sure is that Amex (and no one else) will be issuing Hilton cards in 2018. I don't think we know very much beyond that for sure.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
If Citi were to sell the Honors accounts to American Express your Citi account would be closed and American Express would automatically send you an Honors card to replace it.
For those who are at the 4-5 card limit with AmEx, that may be a potential way to exceed that limit.
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Old Jun 27, 17, 12:46 am
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Now that I have a Citi Hhonors card on my way, will be interesting to see how this evolves. If it is transferred to AMEX, that means I'll have 3 AMEX Hilton cards
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Old Jul 12, 17, 7:32 pm
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There are still a couple of pretty good Amex HHPoints offers posted here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28553472-post584.html

Of course, things will be different next year, for better or worse!
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Old Jul 14, 17, 12:33 pm
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I'm wondering if AMEX will "beef up" their Surpass card a bit after the takeover of Citi's cardholders.

Perhaps along the lines of getting rid of the foreign transaction fee, offering 6x on Uber purchases, and offering one free night a year at a Hilton, while upping the signup bonus to 125,000 points or something like that.
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Old Jul 14, 17, 5:56 pm
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those tracking might keep an eye on investor relations and coverage for all 3 companies
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Old Jul 15, 17, 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
those tracking might keep an eye on investor relations and coverage for all 3 companies
And FT
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Old Jul 18, 17, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by mikesyr18 View Post
I'm wondering if AMEX will "beef up" their Surpass card a bit after the takeover of Citi's cardholders.

Perhaps along the lines of getting rid of the foreign transaction fee, offering 6x on Uber purchases, and offering one free night a year at a Hilton, while upping the signup bonus to 125,000 points or something like that.
Doubtful as competition has been eliminated. Yes, they will still need to compete against other hotel chain credit cards, but this kind of competition is not as fierce as competing with another large bank within the same brand partner.

I suspect getting rid of foreign transaction fee will happen for the Surpass in 2018 (more of something Hilton probably will push them on).

Surpass is already closely comparable to the Reserve, so any changes to benefits aside from forex fee waivers will be minimal. I could see the card losing priority pass though which is kind of a weak benefit since you'd have to pay $27 per visit and I already get comp PP access through a premium credit card.

If they want to add free night certificate I think they would need to increase the annual fee to $99 or something. They are unique in that they offer a decent mid-tier hotel status while the other cards only offer entry level status but comes with a free night (IHG, Marriott).

Last edited by mia; Jul 28, 17 at 10:39 am Reason: Post copied from Citi forum and edited to remove content left in another thread.
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