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UPDATE: Hilton has launched 4 new Amex co-brand cards. The cards replace the old Citi and Amex Hilton cards. We’ve covered all the changes in detail, along with earn rates and benefits for the new cards.

Hilton has signed on with American Express to be their exclusive credit card Issuer. Currently, Hilton Cards are issued by American Express and Citibank. As of January 1, 2018, American Express will be the sole issuer of Hilton co-branded cards.

One thing with the new deal is that that it may have been expensive for American Express, not just to renew their partnership with Hilton, but to gain exclusivity. But you could see this as a way for American Express to solidify their position and strike back at Citi for taking over the Costco account from American Express.

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What Happens to Current Cardholders

While initially it was not perfectly clear whether American Express will buy out the Citi cardholders book and just transition members to the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express or the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express, or would Citi just transition cardholders to another Citi Issued Card, it is now clear that cardholders will not be automatically transferred to Amex cards. In fact, Citi will be transferring card members to another one of their products, although it is not clear which one it will be. Per a Citi statement:

“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.”


While it is an inconvenience when an institution discontinues a product you are happy with, there is a lot to be said for the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors Card from American Express. While in an ideal world it would have been perfect if the transition was seamless and people were just issued new Amex cards, it seems that those wanting to keep their association with Hilton will have to apply for a new Amex issued card.

Source: View from the Wing (1, 2)

Hilton Goes with American Express for New Credit Card Deal
5 (100%) 4 votes
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  • It’s all about the points, don’t care who issues my card 🙂

  • everyone should apply for the citi ones before they go away

  • I have had an American Express Hilton for many years. I also have a Citi Hilton that I have not used since I got the bonus. I wonder if it might be worth it to get a Hilton Surpass this year?

  • This really could be an inconvenience. I’ve had the Citi Hilton Card for ages. I wonder if Citi will transfer users to a different hotel card, a similar travel rewards card or use the opportunity to beef up one of their more lackluster cards. I wish they would offer a choice of card transferred but I doubt it. I also hope I won’t lose my signature visa platinum status with the transfer.

    • Unfortunately in my experience when a card loses a partner, generally they replace it with either a card offering nothing or at best very little. It would be good if they replaced it with something decent or a choice from their other range of cards.

  • Jacqueline parsons says:

    Got to agree with first post, aslong as one provider is serving Hilton via cc fir points then I’m happy. I take it the free weekend Certs will still be offered etc?

  • The only thing I don’t like is monopolies eliminate competition options. It’s certainly not that simple, but bonus offers, etc could be hit. Maybe not, but who knows.

  • I wonder if Citi will offer me a bonus to stick with them on my ex-Hilton card?

  • I like it, but won’t have time to grab the Citi cards before they go unfortunately

  • The Surpass card is one of the better products out there…

  • Jon Karol says:

    I’ll probably cancel whatever generic card Citi moves me to next year when it gets rid of the Citi Hilton Honors card. But now I need to decide whether to get the Reserve before it’s gone.

  • Rob Arias says:

    Hope everyone can pick up the Citi version before they disappear

  • As long as they don’t go with chase and their stupid 5/24 rule I am okay. Although I will not be redeeming Hilton as much with this year’s devaluation.

  • I know the Citi Hilton non annual fee card is pretty good with a bonus but having just applied and gotten a bonus with another card this would be too much. I can see the benfits of having the Amex Hilton though. I wonder how long the bonuses and sign up will last. Do you think Amex will be offering big sign benefits once Citi is totally out of the picture?

  • AmEx will need to remove ForEx fees, at the very least from the Surpass card, going forward to remain competitive.

  • I got the citi 75k bonus last fall. Signed up AMEX Hilton 80k last month. Wife did the same. Plan is build enough for 5 night redemption @ Grand Wailea Maui. Any other property suggestions?

  • Ouch, no notification yet from Citi on this – thanks for the update.

  • Good win for Amex. Lots of business travelers that I know swear by Hilton, despite the generally less rewarding program compared to the other big ones.

  • I was hoping it would be the other way around so Citi could keep the Hilton deal instead of AmEx.
    The biggest pain with AmEx cards is that there are so few merchants that will accept them.

    • Where do you typically run into problems using Amex?

      • JonKarol says:

        I just had a problem with paying my insurance on AMEX. I thought more merchants were accepting them now than ever before, but I still occasionally run into problems with “VISA, Mastercard or Discover only”.

    • Although Amex acceptability isn’t as good as Visa or Mastercard, I’ve found the majority of places I use accept it.

  • That’s too bad. It’s nice to have multiple issuers.

  • Paul Milligan says:

    Hope this deal is extended to Europe. Amex and SPG have a branded card but Hilton use visa and its a pretty poor product

  • Having taken a look at the Citi offerings. There really are none similar or worthy of changing to. I may very well cancel whatever they choose. I hope maybe they use the opportunity to launch a good travel card.

  • Amex finally wins one. Perhaps SPG/Marriott will be number two for them.

  • Thought this would happen. Looks like AMEX got a big one back since losing Costco.

  • Let’s hope Amex eliminates those pesky foreign transaction fees on their Hilton cards.

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