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VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of Citi Premier® Credit Card and
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire® Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Concierge Services
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Earns Transferable Points
Free Annual Hotel Night
Annual Statement Credits
Grants Hotel Status
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Return Protection
Grants Car Rental Status
Cell Phone Protection
Trip Protections
No Fees for Authorized Users
Amex Offers
Annual Fee
$95
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.24%-29.24% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Best Multiplier
3x Airfare
3x Gas Stations
3x Dining Out / Food Delivery
3x Hotels
3x Groceries
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.01 - $0.016
Bonus Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou(R) Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou(R) Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel(SM) portal through June 30, 2024.

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.45) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

Thanks to its long list of bonus categories and a generous sign-up bonus, the Citi Premier is one of the most lucrative points-earning cards at the $95 price point.

You can earn ThankYou® points through a variety of means, but one of the best aspects of the Premier is the broad array of bonus categories. You’ll get 3X points on five categories including air travel and hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations.

On the redemption side, the airline and hotel travel partners can unlock some incredible opportunities. One such sweet spot is redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points for partners such as Delta or ANA (although that latter redemption isn’t as good as it once was).

virgin atlantic flying club, citi thankyou points, transferable points, partners, citi premier

Two of the Citi Premier card’s main competitors include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Those cards also offer transferable points — Chase Ultimate Rewards and Capital One Miles — as well as the same $95 annual fee.

However, one significant downside to the Citi Premier is the lack of travel protections, including trip insurance, baggage coverage, and more — perks that other cards in its category offer.

Double up by Transferring Points from the Citi Double Cash Card to the Citi Premier Card

The single biggest “weak spot” with the Citi Premier Credit Card is that certain non-bonus categories only earn one point per dollar spent. The best credit cards give you two points per dollar spent in any category. Citi recently responded to the complaints by allowing customers to transfer points from the Citi® Double Cash Card to their ThankYou® Point balances.

What is the Citi Double Cash Card?

The Citi Double Cash Card is possibly the most user-friendly credit card out there. The Double Cash earns two ThankYou® points per dollar spent on every purchase, one cent when you make a purchase and another when you pay for the purchase.

There is no annual fee and no sign-up bonus for the Double Cash. It was created to be simple.

These points can be easily setup to be in the same ThankYou® account as your Premier card.

How To Double Up With Citi Double Cash and Citi Premier

The “double up” is easy. All you need is a Citi Double Cash Card and a Citi Premier card. Since the Double Cash has no annual fee, there’s no downside to having it.

Remember, the Citi Premier Card pays 3X in certain categories (Air/Hotel, Gas, Restaurants and Supermarkets) and 1X in everything else. The Citi Double Cash card pays 2X on everything.

If your purchase is in a Citi Premier card bonus category, go ahead and make the purchase with your Citi Premier card.

If it’s in any other category, make the purchase with your Double Cash card. That way, you’ll get one percent when you make the purchase and another percent when you pay it.

The Citi Trifecta: Add a Citi Rewards+ Card for a 10% Points Rebate

If you want to take full advantage of the Citicards family, add in a no-annual fee Citi Rewards+ card. While the 15,000 ThankYou® Points that you’ll receive when you sign up (and spend $1,000 in the first three months) are nice, the real bonus comes from the redemption discount.

Every calendar year, Citi will rebate 10% of the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points that you spend. It’s a 10,000 annual TYP bonus! Best of all, you don’t ever need to spend on the card. Just having it in your profile and linked to the same ThankYou® account will ensure that you get the rebate.

Alternate Citi Trifecta

Add a Citi Custom Cash card, which earns 5% on your top bonus category each month, up to $500 in spend, and features some unique bonus categories like Home Improvement Stores, Drugstores, and Live Entertainment (Concerts and Shows). It also comes with a 20,000 point signup bonus worth at least $200.

Citi Application Limits (a.k.a. Citi Velocity Rules)

Citi will not approve more than two cards in a 60-day period, although we recommend 65 days, just to be safe. So if you want a Citi Premier, Double Cash and Rewards+ card, you’ll have to pick one to wait and apply for on Day 66. We’d recommend waiting on the Rewards+, since the benefits are back-ended.

Each of these cards are limited to one signup bonus per 48 months.

Best Ways to Use Citi ThankYou® Points

There are several ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou® Points and, not surprisingly, some are better than others. Here are the most popular options.

Best: Transfer Points to an Airline Partner

The best use of ThankYou® Points is to transfer them to one of Citi’s airline or hotel partners.

Citi ThankYou Transfer PartnersTransfer RatioApproximate Transfer Time *
AeroMexico1:1Generally instant
Air France Flying Blue1:1Instant
Avianca LifeMiles1:1Instant.
Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles1:1Instant
Etihad Guest1:1Instant
Emirates1:!Instant
Eva Air1:1~1-3 days
Jet Airways InterMiles1:1Instant
JetBlue TrueBlue1:1Instant
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1:1~1-7 days
Qantas1:1Instant to 1 day
Qatar Privilege Club1:1~2 days
Singapore Airlines1:1~1-2 days
Thai Orchid Plus1:1~3-7 days
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles1:11-2 days
Virgin Atlantic1:1Instant to 2 days
Hotels
Choice Hotels1:2 (Citi Prestige / Premier / Chairman cards)

1:1.5 (No fee Citi ThankYou cards)
Instant
Wyndham Rewards1:1 (Citi Prestige / Premier / Chairman cards)

1:0.8 (No fee Citi ThankYou cards)
TBD
Accor Live Limitless1:0.5TBD

All points transfer at a rate of 1:1 from ThankYou® Points into the partner miles. ThankYou® Points are particularly useful for international travel, since many of the partners are non-US airlines. You can, of course, use international airline miles to fly on domestic partners.

Some examples include: transfering to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program to fly their famous Singapore Suites, transferring to Turkish Miles&Smiles to get the absolute best award pricing for Star Alliance flights (hello, 12,500 mile one way flights from the mainland to Hawaii!), transferring to Virgin Atlantic for deals on flights from the US to Europe on Delta-metal and flights within North America on Delta as well as great rates on ANA flights to Japan and beyond.

Prefer spending points for hotels?

Citi transfers to Choice Hotels where some amazing bargains lie, especially at premium hotels.

If you have a Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, you will get 2 Choice Privileges points per 1 Citi ThankYou® point transferred.

You can use this to book Choice Hotels properties, which include Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, Ascend, and Cambria, among others. And there is solid value on the discount side of its hotel offerings.

But if you like a bit more upscale…. that is where the Choice Hotels partnership with Preferred Hotels and Resorts comes into play.

You can search the above link to see all of the options, but here’s one example.

The Excelsior Palace Hotel on the Portofino Coast in Italy can easily exceed 400 Euros per night. Or it can be booked for 55,000 Choice Privileges points equal to is just 27,500 Citi ThankYou points. That’s ~ 2 cents per point in value.

Use for Travel or Gift Cards

It’s not our preferred way to use ThankYou® points, but if you don’t want to transfer your points to miles, you have the option to use them for gift cards. Citi offers gift card rewards from more than 100 partners, so you’re not going to be at a loss for options.

You can also book travel through Citi’s dedicated Travel℠ portal. There’s no real advantage in doing it this way other than that you can use your points to do so.

The downside to these options is that the per point value is not particularly good. You’ll receive a penny per point, which is generally less than the value of a mile in the “best use” scenario above.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Concierge Services
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Free Annual Hotel Night
no
Annual Statement Credits
no
Grants Hotel Status
no
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Return Protection
no
Grants Car Rental Status
no
Cell Phone Protection
no
Trip Protections
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
Amex Offers
no
Annual Fee
$550 (Rates and fees)
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
-
Balance transfers fees
-
Best Multiplier
14x Hotels

At Hilton portfolio properties when you book direct with Hilton or the hotel. Otherwise, earn 3X points

7x Airfare
7x Car Rentals
7x Dining Out / Food Delivery

U.S. dining, including takeout and delivery

3x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.005
Bonus Offer
There is no bonus offer at this time
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.38) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

I’ve long said at MilesTalk that I think the Hilton Aspire is the best hotel credit card on the market.

Setting aside the welcome bonus, here are your yearly benefits:

Hilton Resort Credits – $400: If you stay at Hilton resorts twice annually (although it must be one time January to June and one time July to December, this is as good as cash.

Airline credits – $200 ($50 per calendar quarter): Easy to use if you fly once per quarter

Hilton Honors Diamond status – $950: This could technically be worth a couple thousand if you stay frequently at Hilton properties (and a certain site I won’t name would say it’s worth over $3,000), but that would also likely mean you don’t need this card to earn it, since you’d earn it from nights stayed.

Even if you only stay 10 nights a year, the free breakfast or daily food credits and lounge access for two would be conservatively worth ~$70 a day. Room upgrades are never guaranteed, but they are frequent in my experience. Let’s call those ~$25 a stay even though that’s very light as a value given that some upgrades are likely to be suites.  If you stay 10 nights a year, Diamond status is worth $950 using the calculations above.

Annual Free Night Certificates $500: Valid any night of the week and good at any Hilton properties in the Hilton portfolio. with no points limit. It’s not going to be hard to pick and choose where to use that for maximum value and at any Conrad or Waldorf-Astoria at a busy time, $500 is easy. I recently redeemed my own for the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal in Cabo for a $1,500 night room!

I won’t value the potential free second or third weekend night since those do require $30,000 and $60,000 in spend.

I also won’t value the $189 CLEAR+ credit as that is available on so many other Amex cards.

Total Tangible Benefits from your $550 in annual spend? $2,050

I mean, that is NUTS. And I hope you can tell that if anything I tried to assign lower values to perks than they are probably worth! If anything, I undervalued them. The only thing is that you obviously need to stay at Hilton hotels or resorts a handful of times a year to enjoy the benefits. And really, if you don’t, then you likely don’t need a Hilton credit card.

Rates and Fees for the Hilton Honors Aspire® Credit Card

All information about the Hilton Honors Aspire® Credit Card has been collected independently by Your Best Credit Cards.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Concierge Services
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Earns Transferable Points
no
Free Annual Hotel Night
yes
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Return Protection
yes
Grants Car Rental Status
yes
Cell Phone Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Amex Offers
yes

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