The Citi HHonors Reserve Upgrade Offer
A few years ago Hilton HHonors points weren’t great, but they were somewhat valuable. During that time the Citi HHonors Visa Signature card was churnable and it was giving 50,000 bonus points at sign-up. It was pretty easy. Sign-up, collect points, sign-up again, etc.
Eventually Hilton had a huge devaluation and their points weren’t as desirable for me, so I stopped applying for new cards. Since the cards I have don’t carry an annual fee, I have kept them in my card binder for the past couple of years.
As you may know, Citi also has their HHonors Reserve card which gives Gold status and 2 free weekend nights at sign-up. While my wife has signed up for the Reserve card, I have never done it. It is on my list, but the Executive cards last year and ThankYou cards this year have taken priority.
I talked briefly in my Q&A about the implications of upgrading/downgrading cards on your credit report. Then Citi sent me a
“Special Invitation” solicitation to upgrade my regular HHonors Visa Signature to a Reserve card. I carefully read over the entire advertisement and there is no mention of 2 free weekend nights. So the question then becomes, “Why should I upgrade?”
Well perhaps Citi thinks I want to earn 10 HHonors points per dollar on Hilton stays and 5 HHonors points on airline and car rental purchases. (I don’t.) Maybe they think I want the Gold status which comes with free breakfast. (I actually already have that.) While I don’t know what they are thinking, this is a terrible deal.
Why I Am Not Going to Upgrade
There is one huge reason for me NOT to upgrade. They aren’t giving me anything to do it. Additionally, by upgrading to the HHonors Reserve card, I am diqualifying myself from getting a bonus on that card for the next 18 months. Here is the language on the card application:
Weekend Night Certificates offer is not available if you have had a Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card account that was opened or closed in the past 18 months.
So in addition to not offering me anything to do the upgrade, Citi is taking away my ability to earn a very valuable bonus on this card for 18 months. Upgrading would be a terrible decision. I wonder how many people took them up on their “Special Invitation”.
When receiving an offer from a credit card company it is always important to try to look at the situation from all angles. In this case upgrading wouldn’t give me anything, but it would cost me 2 free weekend nights at almost any Hilton property. I really enjoyed the Grand Wailea when we used my wife’s two free nights and wouldn’t mind going back, so I’ll pass.
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