MSing (not to be confused with PMSing) is one of my specialties. When I tell people that I have to spend $2,000, $5,000, or $10,000 on credit cards, they look at me funny. “Wow, that is a lot of money, how are you going to do that?” I do a quick calculation in my head; 4 stops at CVS, a quick trip to Albertson’s or Ralph’s, 2 visits to Walmart, carry the thousand, “I’ll be done with that later this week.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks like that. Since I do not have any real bills to pay (no mortgage, student loans, auto payments, etc.) I would say 95% of my spending is MS, and the other 5% comes from restaurants (I <3 food).
Anyway, enough about me. My Hilton HHonors account has been dwindling as of late thanks to stays at the Hilton San Francisco Airport and Hilton Vienna in January, the Hilton Copenhagen Airport and the Hilton Seattle Airport in April, the Hilton Los Cabos Resort and the Hilton Portland next month, and my DoubleTree Scottsdale reservation for #westcoastdo in November. Needless to say, it is time to replenish my stash of Hilton Honors Points.
Over the weekend, I compared the perks and category bonuses of my Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card and my Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express. After I finished analyzing those credit cards, I decided that I would also include the other 2 Hilton HHonors credit cards that have no annual fee. It is unfortunate that the transfers from Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are no longer 1:2 (they are now 1:1.5). That was a quick way to get a ton of easy Hilton HHonors Points.
With that said, here is the master chart (please let me know if you spot any mistakes and I will fix them right away). The yellow boxes represent the information given on the credit card information pages. The white boxes are inferred values based on the “Everything Else” category. The red font represent the best deal(s) for each type of transaction. For example, the best credit card to use for stays at a Hilton property depends on whether the hotel is in the United States or abroad. Since only the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card has no foreign transaction (FOREX) fees, that is my go to card for international stays. If I am staying in the United States, I use the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express.
One of my favorite perks of having the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card or the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express is the free Hilton HHonors Gold Elite Status. You get free room upgrade (if available), free breakfast (if there is a restaurant), free lounge access (if there is a lounge), free WiFi, and access to early check-in and late check out (if available).
The Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card also earns a free weekend night each cardmember year you spend at least $10,000 on the credit card, on top of any Hilton HHonors Points you earned from the spending.
My go-to MSing locations are supermarkets and drugstores. I plan on using my Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express at supermarkets to earns 6x on all my “grocery” purchases. Meanwhile, I will use my Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card at both supermarkets and drugstores even though those purchases only earn 3x.
Let’s assume I will spend $10,000 on each credit card at the above locations, I will earn 60,000 Hilton HHonors Points with my Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express, but only 30,000 Hilton HHonors Points with my Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card. Let’s not forget that I will also get a free weekend night certificate worth up to 95,000 Hilton HHonors Points (assuming I stayed at a Category 10 Hilton property during peak season).
Since I probably have less than $500 in Hilton purchases this year (past and future), I plan on MSing the remaining $9,500 to receive the free weekend night and then stop using that card until after my next year’s annual fee comes around. $10,000 / $500 = 20 gift cards x $5 activation fee = $100 out of pocket.
I will also use my Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express to rack up a few thousand Hilton HHonors Points throughout the months when I am not currently working toward any minimum spending requirements.
Let’s fast forward to next spring/summer. I am trying to plan a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland. According to Trip Advisor, these are some of the nicest hotels in the city. They also happen to be a part of the Hilton and Club Carlson family of properties, my 2 favorite hotel chains.
The Hilton Reykjavik Nordica has a very good price with Hilton HHonors Points. I love international Hilton properties so this hotel is right at the top of my list.
Not to be outdone, but the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel also has a very good price with Club Carlson Points and I could definitely cash in some Club Carlson points from my personal and business Club Carlson accounts. It is a tough decision, which one should I go with? Has anyone stayed at either hotel?
That’s it for me. Good night everyone! If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.