Business travelers want the most for their money and they want options. One way to get the most bang for the travel buck is to be a savvy credit card holder. Hilton HHonors is a card that offers lots of perks. Both CitiBank and American Express offer the Hilton HHoners Card.
American Express, an old hand at finance, gets off to a fast start by offering 10,000 bonus points with your first purchase. Don't be too impressed yet, CitiBank offers a cool 15,000 bonus points if your first purchase is within 2 months of opening your account.
This is beginning to sound like an old fashioned gas war. Today, it is difficult to imagine gas stations vying for your business and giving you bargain basement prices if you chose their station. Sadly, one look at today's gas prices is enough to generate major trauma reactions. While we are discussing gas, CitiBank offers 3 bonus points for every dollar you spend at gas stations (also, supermarkets and drugstores). This is great news, because these are highly serious sticker shock locations. In this game of credit card chess, CitiBank has check.
Checkmate from American Express
Wait, I see checkmate coming. Not to be outdone, American Express offers five bonus points for those high end purchases plus they also include, restaurants, US Postal costs, and wireless phone bills. American Express goes for the jugular with one point for every dollar you spend using your card, no matter what you buy. This is a deal you won't see often, if at all, with other credit cards. AMEX also rewards you with a generous 500 extra bonus points whenever you book your Hilton stay through any Hilton website and charge it to your Hilton HHonors card. CitiBank strikes boldly with 6 bonus points for every dollar you spend at one of the Hilton Hotels.
The Hilton Hotel family includes:
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Homewood Suites by Hilton
- The Waldorf-Astoria Collection
- Hampton Inn and Suites
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Embassy Suites
- Hampton Inn
American Express is beginning to fall behind a bit; they offer 5 bonus points for every dollar spent at the above hotels and inns. However, do not fear, AMEX awards 2,500 rewards points for each of your first four Hilton stays if you pay using their HHonors card.
Tallying the Points
Let's add up the points and compare. AMEX allows 10,000 bonus points with your first purchase and 2,500 each for your first four Hilton Hotel stays. That it quite a handsome number of bonus points, in fact, 20,000 to be precise. The most you can accrue with the defender, CitiBank, is the 15,000 bonus points you receive after the first purchase.
These financial institutions are head to head on annual fee (none), and introductory interest rates. There is little deviation in the prime rate plus category between these banks.
Summary of Perks
Let's summarize. American Express wins hands down in the early bonus points and the number and types of common (and robust) purchases for which you receive bonus points. At this point, should you decide to choose a HHonors card for your very own, to use on business trips, at home and on holidays apply on-line with complete confidence. We value your security.
Bonus Traveling Hints
Travel and business expenses are rising. The US dollar is weakening. That means we are all looking for a more cost effective way to travel. Also, we want to be comfortable away from home. Here are some hints that will have you traveling with a smile on your face.
- Look at negotiating discounts at hotels, you have nothing to lose
- Loss of productivity (you may want to use your laptop while waiting at airports)
- Bring copies of all your important identification and credit cards with you (just in case)
- Carry a phone that does it all (GPS navigation system, stereo speakers and a 3.2-megapixel camera). You won't get lost and you can take pictures of yourself to prove you attended meetings.
- If you are going to areas without modern conveniences think about a solar laptop bag (yes, solar).
- Carry healthful snacks in your computer bag. You could starve on those tiny bags of peanuts. Raisins, sunflower seeds, grapes, walnuts, multigrain crackers, protein bars (check fat and calories), hard candy, and dried cranberries are acceptable choices.
- Pack to impress. Clothes may not make the man or woman, but they most definitely affect first impressions. Make that first impression outstanding.
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