Should you cancel your Hilton card before January 18th?

53

cancel hilton cardHilton has ditched their credit card relationship with Citibank and has signed on exclusively with American Express.  And Amex is preparing to roll out a new lineup of Hilton cards.  On January 18th 2018, existing Amex Hilton cardholder accounts will be converted to similar cards within the new lineup.  And, by January 30th, Citi Hilton cardholders will be transitioned to similar new Amex Hilton cards.  Here are the details of the conversions:

Current Card
New Card
Hilton Honors Card from American Express (no annual fee)

Hilton Honors American Express Card (no annual fee). The new version will have no foreign transaction fees.

Conversion expected Jan 18 2018

Citi Hilton Honors (no annual fee)

Hilton Honors American Express Card (no annual fee). The new version will have no foreign transaction fees.

Conversion expected Jan 30 2018

Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express ($75 annual fee)

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card ($95 annual fee). The new version will have no foreign transaction fees and new benefits.

Conversion expected Jan 18 2018

Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card ($95 annual fee)

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card ($95 annual fee). If you were putting spend on the card to earn a weekend night award after $10K membership year spend, and your membership year ends after the transition, your spend to-date will transition to Amex and they will honor the free night after $10K spend.

Conversion expected Jan 30 2018

For complete details of the new cards, please see: Hilton Amex Cards. Everything you need to know.

Should you cancel before January 18th? Or before January 30th?

If you currently have any Hilton cards, time is running out to cancel the cards before the conversions.  Whether or not it is a good idea to cancel the cards before the conversion depends on many factors.  The primary advantage of canceling is to maybe make it possible to get a welcome offer for the equivalent new card in the future.  There are many reasons, though, to consider keeping your cards instead.  I covered these topics in-depth in the following posts:

Here are my summarized recommendations (please read the original posts for full details):

  • If you currently have a no-fee Amex Hilton card, keep it.  Chances are that the lifetime exclusion will apply despite the slight product change.
  • If you have the Amex Hilton Surpass card, consider downgrading it to the no-fee card in the off chance that this will make you eligible for a bonus with the new Ascend card (as long as you’ve already earned the full welcome offer for the Surpass card, including the end of membership year free night)
  • If you have never had the no-fee Hilton card before, there’s no reason to hurry to get it.  I recommend waiting to see what Amex offers when they introduce the new cards.
  • If you sign up for an Amex card before the new cards roll out, do not cancel the card before January 18th.  Instead, wait until you’ve had the card a year to decide whether it is worth keeping or cancelling.
  • If you’ve made significant progress towards spend for the Citi Hilton Reserve annual free night and haven’t received the certificate yet, then keep the card.
  • If your Citi Hilton Reserve card anniversary is late in the year, then consider keeping the card so that you can double-up: After the conversion, spend $10K before your original card anniversary date in order to get one free weekend night, and spend another $5K before the end of the calendar year to get a second free weekend night.
  • If you’ve never had the Amex no-fee Hilton card before, then cancel your no-fee Citi Hilton card so that you’ll (hopefully) be eligible for the new Amex no-fee Hilton welcome offer (we don’t yet know what the bonus will be).
  • If you’ve never had the Amex Hilton Surpass card before, then cancel your Citi Hilton Reserve card so that you’ll (hopefully) be eligible for the new Ascend Card singup bonus (we don’t yet know what the bonus will be).
  • If you’re worried about your 5/24 status, then cancelling your Citi cards may make sense. There’s a good chance that the converted cards will appear as new accounts on your credit report.

Is it too late already?

In November, Amex mailed notices about the upcoming transition to Citi Hilton cardholders along with the new cardmember agreements.  Those notices included the last 5 digits of our new Amex account numbers.  That’s concerning because it appears that in the Amex computers we may already have the new cards.  And since Amex new cardmember offers usually state “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product” it’s possible that those who cancel their Citi Hilton cards still won’t get the bonus for the new cards.  To be clear, if this happened, you would have a solid argument for calling Amex to insist on the welcome offer.  But no one wants that headache.

Those with current Amex Hilton cards are even more likely to be out of luck since Amex has been describing the product change as a change in benefits rather than as new products.

My take: Closing your current Hilton cards before January 18th gives you a chance to get a new welcome offer with the new cards, but it doesn’t at all guarantee it.

More Info from Frequent Miler regarding the Hilton card transition:

More info from official sources:

Email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

53 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments