Citi HHonors reserve v. Citi HHonors Visa Signature card

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by TravelBear, Mar 23, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    I have reviewed these two cards and want to apply for one. I am a slow and steady points builder that doesn't do a lot of hotel stays annually. I am also not a cc churner. Other than the obvious differences listed between the two cards can anyone shed any light why I would chose the Reserve over the Visa Signature? Any input appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Signature has no annual fee. You get points (however many the current offer is) when you complete minimum spend.

    Reserve has $95 annual fee, comes with Hilton Gold status as long as you hold the card, gives you two free weekend night certificates after you complete your minimum spend, gives one free weekend night certificate in every subsequent year that you spend $10k or more, and gives Hilton Diamond status if you spend $40k+ in a year. The weekend night certificates are good at almost any Hilton property, regardless of category, but only on a weekend night.
     
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  3. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    Have you also considered the two AMEX Hilton offerings? Similar to the Citi pair, one is no annual fee and earns HHonors points at a lower rate. The Hilton Surpass is $75 per year, gets you Hilton Gold like the Citi Reserve, and earns a bit more in HHonors points in the preferred categories (e.g., 12 points per dollar spent at Hilton for the AMEX, versus 10 points for the Citi card).
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    For folks who travel mostly domestically, this is a no brainer: AMEX, baby! The AF for the AMEX Surpass is $20 less than for the Citi Reserve, but the Surpass awards 12 points/$ (vs 10/$), which it does without missing a beat, while one has to jump through hoops to get Citi to credit correctly the number of bonus points earned for stays at Hilton family properties. In addition, if one books with the AMEX, there is a 500-point booking bonus. Although one of the initial distinct advantages of the Citi over the Surpass was that the former came with automatic HHonors Gold status, that changed when AMEX also started to award the auto HHonors Gold status. The only drawback of the AMEX is that it charges a foreign transaction fee, which can be substantial for extended overseas stays. The one free weekend night certificate on the anniversary of the Citi Reserve is nice, but for mostly domestic travelers, the AMEX is still the better card, IME.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  5. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    I just applied and was approved for the Reserve card. What did it for me was the Gold Status, and the weekend certificates with relatively few restrictions. Also, although I do not travel internationally often, when I do, I didnt have a good option to use. This fills that gap. Also the additional point per dollar spent on everything helps.
     
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  6. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    I looked at the AE versions however I already manufacture spend on an AE product and didn't want to have two AE products I was spending a few thousand on each month in fear of a review. I was looking at the Citi versions primarily to manufacture. Since I don't churn cards my plan would be to keep the product. Remember, I am a slow but steady points earner. I am not shooting for the holy grail.
     
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  7. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    If you are MSing, then the weekend night for 10k is likely a good reason to go for the reserve. Also, if your planning on spending the 40k for Diamond it puts you 25% there.

    Basically unless you're MSing at a grocery store or gas station you're going to get 3x at the 'VS across the board on these cards (Surpass/Reserve/Signature) so $2000 a month is 72000 points a year. The Reserve Card will also give you that weekend night.

    Other thing to note is that those cert expire 1 year from issue. So thats worth considering.

    Again, it depends on the Categories of your MS, but for non bonused spending I think that the Reserve is the way to go.

    That being said I diamonded on MS on my Surpass last year, but only really in the first half.
     
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  8. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    That's a great perspective. I was unaware that Citi failed to credit HH points properly as it appears that's the ONE stroke of luck I'm allowed in this game. ;-)

    For year one, though, I think the Reserve is a no-brainer as well.
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    So was I...for a full year of using the card! I suggest you go back and check carefully because Citi botching the bonus point crediting nearly 70% of the time over a one year period strongly suggests that it was not a random bug but a feature. Just download your monthly statements and see whether your were awarded 3 rather than 10 points for stays at HHonors properties...
     
  10. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Will do, but in my case it's probably no big deal ... only incidentals.

    I mean, ... pffft, who uses money to stay at a Hilton property? ;-)
     
  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I take it that you do not have the Citi Reserve for its added value for stays at Hilton properties, but even incidentals at Hilton properties get 10 rather than 3 points/$.

    Who uses money for Hilton stays? Business travelers -- I am one of them -- spend real money to stay at Hilton properties... For me it is a great gig because the business travel is reimbursed but I get to also keep the loads of HHonors points that I then use for personal travel.;)
     
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  12. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Wow, my Gold Status was updated yesterday. That was fast.
     
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  13. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Depends what you want. The nice thing about the points is that they last forever. The bad thing about the points is they get devalued over time. The good thing about the free weekend nights is they work at any property so they can be worth a LOT of points. The bad thing about them is they expire and you may not find it that valuable to get one free weekend night that you have to reserve separately and might even end up in a different room than other nights you book. Its also a bit of a hassle to redeem these free night certificates, since I've had some support people do it incorrectly and had to call and fix it.
     

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