Posted by William Charles on January 16, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on January 16th, 2018 | by William Charles


Citi Hilton Cards Will Become American Express Cards [New Cards Shipping]

Update January 16th, 2018: New cards are starting to ship. From now until January 30th you need to continue to use your Citi card. On January 30th you can begin to use your American Express card. You also can’t confirm receipt of the new American Express card until January 30th. Don’t forget to consider the possibility of double dipping the free night certificates on the Hilton Surpass/Reserve changeover. Hat tip to reader PT. Update 2: Lots of cardholders that cancelled their Citi Hilton no annual fee cards are reporting receiving a new American Express card as well. This is addressed in the F.A.Q. here.

Hot off the heels of the announcement of two new American Express Hilton cards is the announcement that American Express has purchased the Hilton back book from Citi. This means that existing Citi Hilton cardholders will be converted to American Express Hilton cards. Update: Citi now has a full F.A.Q found here regarding the change. The change will officially happen on January 30th, 2018. If you’re a Reserve cardholder then American Express will give you the full 12 months to meet the $10,000 spending requirement for the free night certificate. The product changes will be as follows:

  • Citi No Annual Fee Hilton becomes American Express No Annual Fee Hilton
  • Citi Hilton Reserve becomes American Express Hilton Ascend (replacing the Surpass)

It might make sense to cancel your Citi Hilton cards if you don’t want the product changes to go through. I suspect we will see new bonuses on both cards when they are released in 2018. According to this you will need to keep your Reserve/Ascend card open until you receive the free night certificate (for spending $10,000).

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Aditya Shrivastava
Aditya Shrivastava

Any idea what will happen if I already have the American Express No Annual Fee Hilton?

Haha. Great minds think alike, I suppose.

Plus 1!!

Same. And maxed out number of amex cards too.

From the FAQ:

Q: What if I already have the Hilton Honors Card from American Express and/or the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express?
A: If you already have a Hilton Honors American Express Card, you will still receive an additional Hilton Honors American Express Card if your Citi Hilton Honors Card transfers to American Express. Please contact American Express after your account transfers to discuss options for your accounts.

What happens if I currently have both the Citi and AmEx no fee versions? Will I have two of the same AmEx card come 2018? I realize you/others may not know definitively, but any experience with past precedent of a similar nature would be helpful. Thanks!

Just as a related point, I have two of the same Amex card (one that I applied for and one that I upgraded to), so you can have more than one of the same Amex card. I wouldn’t expect this to be different.

Oh, I wonder how this affects Amex’s 4/5 card limit? Hopefully they don’t close cards.

This is an interesting situation. I have 5 Amex credit cards. Would the Citi card(s) still be converted?

My biggest concern is what happens to spend $10K get a free night Citi Reserve benefit. I hope they follow Chase footsteps and reduce the spending requirement for those who did not have a full year of spending but it also might be the opposite and they refuse to award the night even if the spending is complete because they’re selling the portfolio and will not care as much.

I have a 3 Citi Hilton basic cards. Two were downgraded from Reserve. I guess i will try quickly to product change them to DC or close them. If they get converted to Amex it will give me too many Amex cards to get approved for another Amex and be within the 5 cards limit.
Its interesting though if Amex matches credit limits.

I can’t convert yet as it’s been less than 1 year, but I’m almost a the 1 year mark if Citi will let me convert. Otherwise, maybe I can steal the credit line during an application.

I wonder if Citi might offer a waiver on the 12 mo conversion requirement. Just to keep you “in the family”. Ill have to ask.

I called and asked during a recent retention call – nothing I can convert to 🙁

I have a Citi hilton card, but never applied for a Amex hilton card. Will this conversion make me ineligible for the opening bonus from Amex?

Probably. Good reason to close the Citi account, and apply next year for the Amex card to get the bonus.

Me too. I’m thinking of closing the Citi Hilton so I have the option of opening and receiving the bonus with Amex in the future.

I am also curious about this approach.

Crazy talk. This is AMEX hitting back Citi for Costco. I hope the book of business was HUGE. Probably not as crazy as Costco, but I hope the transition is not a disaster like Costco. I was included in that transition and I will go thru this headache again with Hilton. Gonna cancel so I can apply fresh. Floodgates have now been opened. No sense to keep Citi to go to Amex when Amex will let you on even with 5 CC. Almost certain Amex has a lot riding on this.

hmm the most pertitnent Q is if them PC’ing your existing Citi Hilton to an equivalent AMEX will preclude you from getting a bonus on the AMEX side?

I dont wanna yet cancel my Citi Hiltons cause this presents unique opportunities for holding 6-7 cards with AMEX for possible leverage purposes later on.

the answer is simple:

1) given how amex is with all other CC, PC will NOT get you another bonus if you app fresh later. that wouldnt even make sense and IF, you get the bonus, its a glitch and the locust swarm of reddit will make sure it closes ASAP. Do you not know about the RAT and the PC Special Operations Command (SOCOM) headed by the FBI CIA and Russia? so you need to close ALL your Citi HH CC and make sure nothing goes to Amex. No reason to risk not getting the insane bonus. What insane bonus? I have no clue but im sure it will be good given where Amex is now.

2) you think the risk of forgoing the bonus allows you “unique opportunities for holding 6-7 cards with AMEX”? no man. say u have 5 CC with amex and none are HH. then you will have 7 AMEX CC after PC. then what? u think you can PC to OBC or EDP or whatever? no. but maybe you really want to keep the 5 CC that you already have and no room for HH so giving up the bonus is actually OK since you will at least get the 7 amex CC when u couldnt before? if thats the case then I agree with you, but let me ask you this. if you EVER cancel one of your original 5 CC, then you wont be able to app for another CC again cuz ur still over the max. is that OK? if u churn then no. thats not OK.

It will be interesting to see what happens to those with Citi Hilton cards that are on the Amex blacklist.

I already have 5 AMEX cards. Do you think that will push me into having a 6th card

probably; will likely cancel citi hilton cc to get almost full refund of AF; mine 2nd yr AF has een for 2 months; had to pay the AF while waiting for the conf of the free night cert

I have six AMEX credit cards now. I’m sure you’ll be joining the “AMEX over 5” club soon.

Please Help: If I get the Surpass card now.. then later get Ascend after it comes out? would I be able to get this card based on the once in a lifetime?… Since this is a complete New Product that replaced the Surpass? Thx.

I’m confused. I’m on track to hit the $10K on HIlton Reserve by something like 6 January, my traditional renewal date. I usually qualify by skin of my teeth near that date, and certificate shows up late February or beginning of March.

But let’s assume I cancel my HIlton Reserve just after 6 January, because I don’t want the new Amex product and/or would rather get a bonus with it when I do get it.

Who — Citi? Amex? Hilton? — is going to produce that certificate? Or no one, since I will no longer be a cardholder?

There’s a potential sweet spot with a Reserve to Ascend conversions. You should still be eligible to get your Reserve free weekend night after $10k spend next year (cardmember year) along with the free night for $15k spend on the Ascend (calendar year). So $15k spend should get you two free nights next year.

I think I will finish my $10k spend before January 31 to be safe. I’ll have two Ascend cards, so I’ll probably cancel the converted card after I receive my weekend certificate and keep the Surpass card I just received (since I get an anniversary free night). I assume the certificate will remain valid if I cancel that card after I receive the certificate?

As for the conversion, the $15k threshold is definitely a major downgrade, especially since merchants hesitate to accept AMEX. I don’t think I’ll be going for that anymore as I used to (when I would put general spend on the Reserve Visa, even if I gave up extra rewards).

yes. that is one strategy that could work. cert after issue is fine if u close the CC. i will also have many Amex HH CC. i need to think about next steps.

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