All the bloggers rant and rave about how the Citi Hilton Reserve credit card is a much better option over the American Express Hilton Surpass credit card. I had been going back and forth between both cards for the past month. Don’t get me wrong, up until earlier this week I had my mind set on the Citi card. However, after thinking about what I wanted out of the card and what would be better for me in the long run, I decided the Amex Hiltion Surpass will be a better fit for me.


Here are the two big reasons why the other bloggers think the Citi card is better than the Amex card:

  • 2 Free weekend nights as a sign-up bonus offer
  • Annual free night (if you spend $10,000 a year on the card)


Here is why the Amex Hilton Surpass card is better for me vs. the Citi Reserve card:

  • 6 points per $1 spend at grocery stores and gas stations (Citi is only 3 points!! That’s huge to me. Giving up 50% of your points in the grocery category is too big for me. This is where 60 – 75% of my spending is going to come from.)
  • Cheaper annual fee
  • I don’t get an annual free night like the Citi card gives. However, by earning double the points at grocery stores, I will easily earn points faster on this card that the free night won’t matter.


So let’s break it down. If you’re spending $40,000 a year on the cards to earn Diamond status with Hilton, you’re going to earn way more Hilton points with Amex than the Citi card. Here is an example:

  • $40,000 spent annually on Citi would provide you with 120,000 Hilton HHonor points (this excludes the 5 points category spent on airfare and car rentals since I don’t book these type of purchases on a Hilton card.)
  • $40,000 spent annually on the Amex Hilton card would provide you with roughly 150,000 Hilton HHonor points (if you spend $10,000 annually in the grocery/gas station categories.) This is being modest for me. I’ll probably be spending $20,000 a year in the grocery/gas categories. Therefore, I’ll end up with 200,000 Hilton HHonor points a year! Now you see why I choose the Amex Hilton card over the Citi Hilton Reserve.


Just because other bloggers rant and rave about the Citi card being better, take a step back and really think about what your spending habits are going to be like on the card. You might be surprised to find out that You’ll earn more points with Amex vs. Citi. If the points are going to be much more significant, then getting that annual free night isn’t going to be that big of a deal, because you’ll have earned enough points for a free night to use on your own terms.