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Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎06-08-2012
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Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors

I'm pretty sure I've decided on Hilton backed card as part of my next app spree. The two choices I'm considering are the Amex surpass card or Citi Hilton Honors reserved. What are y'all's thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of these two respective cards?


Starting Score: EQ 551 TU 548 CK 607on 6/8/12, EX 542(AMEX pull 3/4/12)
Current Score: EQ 710 TU 727 EX 704 CK 719(FAKO-EX 697, EQ 697, TU 697)
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Super Contributor
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Registered: ‎02-27-2013
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors

You might want to check out some travel blogs such as thepointsguy. They did a really nice breakdown.

From what I can vaguely remember:

1. Citi's version include gold status. Amex doesn't.

2. Amex's has bonus points for dining, groceries and drug store spending, so if you spend quite a bit in those areas (or just do a lot of manufactured spending), you can churn a lot of points.

JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Valued Contributor
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors

I was thinking about True Earnings instead of surpass. Need to read more.


Starting Score: EQ 551 TU 548 CK 607on 6/8/12, EX 542(AMEX pull 3/4/12)
Current Score: EQ 710 TU 727 EX 704 CK 719(FAKO-EX 697, EQ 697, TU 697)
Goal Score: 750

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Super Contributor
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Registered: ‎09-22-2012
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors

Just hit my minimum spend on Citi HHonors...50k points posted quickly.  Good card to churn.  

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Registered: ‎06-05-2013
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors


Duncanrr wrote:
I'm pretty sure I've decided on Hilton backed card as part of my next app spree. The two choices I'm considering are the Amex surpass card or Citi Hilton Honors reserved. What are y'all's thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of these two respective cards?

I am assuming you want this card, because you are staying at Hiltons. If that is the case then the Citi card is the way I would go for the gold status. The Amex used to have some good features for discounted pricing but Hilton killed that. 


Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 730 6/27/14, Last App 1/3/15
Goal Score: 800 In garden until 4/2015
Valued Contributor
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors

I'm going to be staying at either Marriott or Hilton for about 70 days this upcoming year. I'm leaning towards hilton and I don't want to app for any other chase card until after I've gotten my CSP.


Starting Score: EQ 551 TU 548 CK 607on 6/8/12, EX 542(AMEX pull 3/4/12)
Current Score: EQ 710 TU 727 EX 704 CK 719(FAKO-EX 697, EQ 697, TU 697)
Goal Score: 750

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Valued Contributor
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors


Duncanrr wrote:
I'm going to be staying at either Marriott or Hilton for about 70 days this upcoming year. I'm leaning towards hilton and I don't want to app for any other chase card until after I've gotten my CSP.

70 nights is a significant number. If its to the same area over and over I would base it on which property you like best. Do you have status with either chain right now?  


Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 730 6/27/14, Last App 1/3/15
Goal Score: 800 In garden until 4/2015
Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎06-08-2012
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors

I don't. Did with Marriott but its lapsed.


Starting Score: EQ 551 TU 548 CK 607on 6/8/12, EX 542(AMEX pull 3/4/12)
Current Score: EQ 710 TU 727 EX 704 CK 719(FAKO-EX 697, EQ 697, TU 697)
Goal Score: 750

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Super Contributor
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Registered: ‎02-27-2013
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors

Is there a reason why you are not considering SPG properties as well?

I think you should really base it upon which hotel chain you prefer staying with most, rather than which bank is backing their cards and the perks of the credit card. No point staying in a horrible property just because you chose Hilton over Marriott. I'm not saying Hilton is horrible, but what the quality of each property varies on the location.
JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Amex Surpass vs Citi Hilton Honors

As a summary between the 2 cards:

 

Citi Reserve:

 

10x at Hilton, 5x on airfare and car rentals, 3x on general spending. Gold status as long as you hold the card, Diamond after 40k. Annual Free weekend night at any property (no category restriction) after 10k spend. No FTF and EMV Chip.

 

 

Amex Surpass:

 

12x Hilton, 6x groceries, 6x gas, 6x dining, 3x general spending. Gold status for first year only, retain for 20k annual spend. Diamond after 40k annual spend. 500 points per online Hilton booking. 2.7% forex fee. Lounge Club standard membership included ($27 per visit, per person).

 

 

As a general rule, most people are better off with the Citi card unless you have tons of Hilton stays so the 12x on the Surpass starts to eclipse the 10x on the Reserve. This is doubly true once you count the 500 points per booking. You get the most value out of this if you have lots of short stays, so 70x 1-night stays will get you an extra 35k points for example.

 

However if you have international stays, or if you have fewer but longer stays, the edge starts to go to the Reserve card. Status is clearly easier to maintain with the Reserve as well.

 

You'll have to do the math here, but I have a feeling with 70 nights it'll be close to break-even. The Amex online booking bonuses plus the extra 2x per dollar (12 vs 10) will be roughly offset by the annual free night (which could be worth 50-95k points by itself).

 

 

As for Marriott vs. Hilton:

 

Marriott has nicer FS properties IMO, while Hilton has nicer SS properties than Marriott (HGI > CY).

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL

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