9

The Citi Prestige® Card comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. It also offers a $250 Air Travel Credit per calendar year.

$250 Prestige Air Travel Credit

The Air Travel Credit can be used to offset the first $250 you spend on any airline (or at any online travel agency) on airfare, award taxes and fees, baggage fees, seat selection fees, upgrade fees, change fees, onboard fees, the purchase of miles, or pretty much any other charge that is processed by an airline. Here is how I spent mine in the first month of having the card.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.36.26 AM

Although I generally say the $250 credit is “per calendar year,” technically the credit is for all statements that close within a calendar year. That’s a little different, and it means you need to spend the $250 credit a little bit quicker than you might realize.

From the terms of the Citi Prestige:

“This statement credit is an annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December. Pending transactions that do not post in your December billing cycle will count towards the next year’s Air Travel Credit.”

So if your statement closes on December 15, 2015, your purchase needs to appear on that statement to count toward your 2015 credit. That means you may only have a few days left to max out the credit, depending on when exactly your December 2015 statement closes.

As a corollary, your 2016 credit is going to offset any purchases made after your December 2015 statement closes, even if those purchases are in 2015.

American Express Air Travel Credits

The Prestige Air Travel Credit was a response to American Express credits. All versions of the American Express Platinum offer a $200 annual Air Travel Credit and the Premier Rewards Gold offers a $100 Air Travel Credit. The American Express credits are worse because:

  1. They are smaller than the Prestige’s $250 credit.
  2. They cannot be used for airfare like the Prestige’s $250 credit can.
  3. You have to designate one airline in advance of using the credit, and the credit only applies to that airline. (No advance designation required for Prestige credit which applies to all airlines.)

However the terms on the American Express credits say:

“[E]ach Card Account is eligible for up to a total of $100 [$200] per calendar year in statement credits.”

That means that you actually have until December 31, 2015 for charges to post that can get offset by these credits. I’d make sure I made all purchases by December 27, though, since purchases often take a day or two to post.

I am going to use my American Express credit to purchase airline gift cards, which are explicitly excluded from reimbursement, but are in fact reimbursed. See “Which Airline Gift Cards Are Reimbursed By American Express Fee Credits?

Best practices for American Airlines gift cards, my designated airline, are to buy $100 gift cards a few days apart, so I purchased my first today.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 9.58.48 PM

Bottom Line

You have until your December 2015 statement closes on your Citi Prestige® Card to use your 2015 Air Travel Credit. Since that could be as soon as tomorrow, use it today.

You have until December 31, 2015 to use your American Express Airline Fee Credits. Plan ahead since you want to purchase a few days before the deadline, and some airline gift cards like American Airlines’, may require more than one purchase spread over a few days.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

16

American Express Platinum Cardholders (including the “regular” Platinum, Business Platinum, Mercedes-Benz Platinum, and Ameriprise Platinum) get a $200 Airline Fee Credit each calendar year to offset “incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 4.52.23 PM

However “[t]his benefit doesn’t offer credit toward airline tickets, mileage points purchases or mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, upgrades, duty–free purchases, or award tickets.”

You have to designate one airline each year before making the purchase you want to offset, make that purchase on your Platinum card, and wait for reimbursement.

This fee credit is much worse than the $250 Air Travel Credit on the Citi Prestige® Card, which also resets each calendar year, because:

  1. $250 is better than $200. And since you can earn these credits every calendar year and the first 12 months you hold the relevant credit card will contain two calendar years, $500 is better than $400. Please read this full post on the Prestige’s $250 Air Travel Credit to learn how to earn it.
  2. The Prestige’s Air Travel Credit explicitly reimburses the purchase of airfare and payment of award taxes. The Platinum’s specifically disallows those purchases.
  3. You have to enroll in the Platinum’s credit. The Prestige’s is automatic.
  4. You have to choose a single airline each year for the Platinum’s credit. The Prestige’s credit covers all airlines (and online travel agencies.)

While some people spend $200 per year on incidentals like onboard refreshments, seat selection, and baggage fees, most of us don’t. It would be better to convert that $200 to something more useful. Enter gift cards.

While AMEX’s terms and conditions clearly say you can’t buy gift cards and get reimbursed, in fact, you can. There is a FlyerTalk thread devoted to each airline that you can select for fee reimbursement for people to post their experiences trying to purchase gift cards.

I’d recommend clicking on the thread that interests you, reading the wiki at the top that summarizes the thread in a few paragraphs and then clicking on the last page or two to read the most recent reports. I’ll do that for you here, but it could become out of date quickly.

American Airlines

Gift cards of $100 or less are being automatically reimbursed. Purchase two $100 gift cards a few days apart.

Alaska Airlines

For the last few months, no Alaska Airlines gift cards have been reimbursed. Keep a close eye on the thread though because the problem may be temporary.

Delta Airlines

Gift cards of $50 or less are being automatically reimbursed. Purchase four $50 gift cards during the same checkout. You can redeem two at once.

Hawaiian Airlines

Only one attempt–at a $200 gift card has been reported in the last four years–and it was not reimbursed. Two years ago, someone’s under-$100 Hawaiian Airlines flights were reimbursed, but not his flights over $100.

JetBlue

Gift cards are not reimbursed.

United

The wiki of the United thread:

“Gift Registry and Gift Cards

The consensus is that United gift registry contributions will be reimbursed and gift card purchases will not. So

  1. Log into united.com
  2. Set up a gift registry for yourself
  3. Use the link in your gift registry web page to send an announcement to your email address. This better, faster, and more reliable than searching for your gift registry, especially if you have a common name. Even someone with an unusual surname like mre5765 has could not find his registry after creating it.
  4. Log out of united.com
  5. Follow the Make Contribution in your gift registry email
  6. Contribute using your Amex platinum card

There seems to be no downside to contributing in sub-200 dollar chunks since the gift registry creates a single pool of cash. However there are lots of reports of successful fee credits from a single $200 donation. Whether done as on $200 transaction or eight $25 transactions, the result is that one will have $200 in ones TravelBank.”

So that’s very gift-card-like and just a few more steps.

Southwest

$100 gift cards are being reimbursed.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7

I will spend over 200 nights this year in Airbnb apartments–here’s where I am sleeping in 2015–so three pieces of news about Airbnb caught my eye today.

  1. Most (all?) AMEX cards are offering $50 off a $100 Airbnb purchase made by 12/31/15.
  2. You can use AMEX Membership Rewards to pay for Airbnb stays.
  3. You can earn Virgin America Elevate points for Airbnb stays.

Right now, if you sign up for Airbnb through my referral link, you’ll get $25 off your first stay, and I’ll get $25 off my next stay. Feel free to leave your referral link in the comments.

Get $50 Off Your Next $100+ Airbnb Stay

Sign into your American Express account and look for “Amex Offers & Benefits” below your recent charges.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.16.53 PM

My very last offer was $50 back on a $100+ Airbnb purchase made by December 31, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.02.45 PM

Book a stay or buy a gift card this year on your enrolled American Express this year and get $50 back. This is $50 free for me that I will use for a stay this year or next.Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.03.07 PM

(Don’t) Use Membership Rewards to Book an Airbnb Stay

You can now use American Express Membership Rewards to pay for an Airbnb stay. You will get 0.7 cents of value per point, which is atrocious, though, so don’t do it. I value Membership Rewards at about 2 cents each.

Get Virgin America Elevate Points for Airbnb Bookings

Start your Airbnb bookings on this page, and you will earn 1 Virgin America point per dollar of the booking. If you sign up to host and complete a stay, you get 20,000 Virgin America points.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.23.38 PM

Virgin America points are worth about 2.3 cents each, so that’s a 2.3% rebate on stays and a $460 host sign up bonus.

I did not complete a booking, but from going through most of the steps, I can say that the $25 coupons earned from referral links can be applied to stays that earn Virgin America points. I do not know whether you would earn 1 point per dollar on the subtotal or only on what you pay after the coupon.

I have no way to test, but I assume the $50 American Express credit (above) could be stacked with the Virgin America points offer as long as you spend $100+ on the stay.

Bottom Line

I spend more than half my time in Airbnb apartments, which are better, bigger, and cheaper than hotel rooms. Here’s how Airbnb works.

Right now, if you sign up for Airbnb through my referral link, you’ll get $25 off your first stay, and I’ll get $25 off my next stay. Feel free to leave your referral link in the comments.

Today’s Airbnb news:

  1. Most (all?) AMEX cards are offering $50 off a $100 Airbnb purchase made by 12/31/15.
  2. You can use AMEX Membership Rewards to pay for Airbnb stays.
  3. You can earn Virgin America Elevate points for Airbnb stays.
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

1

Hilton Gold Status is now a standard benefit of the American Express Platinum Card, Platinum Business Card, and (I assume) Mercedes-Benz and Ameriprise Platinum cards. That’s great news for me, since I just got the”regular” Platinum Card with a 100,000 point sign up bonus two months ago.

Hilton Gold Status is not automatic just by holding one of these cards. To get the status, click this link.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.03.28 PM Enter your Hilton number, and you will get a pop up saying the status should appear in 72 hours.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.04.36 PMIf you have additional cardholders, they can get Hilton Gold Status too, just not online.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.06.57 PM

 

I’ve updated Get the Most Out of Your American Express Platinum Card to include this benefit. If you have a Platinum card, you have to read that post.

What Is Hilton Gold Status?

Hilton Gold Status is the middle of three tiers of elite status and normally requires 20 stays or 40 nights in a year to earn.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.11.46 PM

 

Here are the benefits:

25% ELITE STATUS BONUS

With Gold elite status, you automatically receive a 25% bonus on all the HHonors Base Points you earn.

5TH NIGHT FREE

Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free4 on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.

HOTEL BENEFITS1

Members with Gold status receive all the benefits in the lower tiers:

  • Digital Check-In: choose your room, and customize your stay from your mobile device up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Canopy™ by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™
  • Quick reservations and check-ins based on your room preferences
  • Late check-out2
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free3
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs5
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay (at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Embassy Suites Hotels™, Hilton Garden Inn™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™ hotels)1

MY WAY GOLD MEMBERSHIP HOTEL BENEFITS:6

Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or one in-room movie1 per stay

Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Embassy Suites Hotels™

  • 500 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay

Hilton Garden Inn™

  • 750 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary Hot Cooked-to-Order Breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Hampton™

  • 250 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and non-alcoholic beverage

Homewood Suites by Hilton™

  • 250 HHonors bonus points per stay or two bottles of water and Pepperidge Farm cookies per stay

Home2 Suites by Hilton™

  • 100 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and bottled water per stay

Hilton Grand Vacations™

  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay

Hat Tip Doctor of Credit

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

0

American Express is offering real FICO scores for free to cardholders. Get yours here. Barclaycard, Citi, and Discover already offer real FICO scores for free to cardholders, so by now everyone who opens rewards credit cards should have free access to their real FICO score.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 1.38.30 AM

Your FICO score is the main or one of the main factors in all decisions lenders make about whether to extend you credit, how much, and on what terms. Watch it. Guard it. Keep it high. Keep traveling for free with the miles and points you earn from opening credit cards based on your high score.

Hat Tip View from the Wing

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

3

American Express christened the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the day after Black Friday, as Small Business Saturday in 2010. Every year since then, American Express has offered $10 to $30 in statement credits per American Express card for shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday. There are probably people who have racked up over $1,000 in free statement credits from American Express in the last five years.

Well this gravy train is over, at least for this year, but I’d guess forever. American Express is not offering statement credits this Small Business Saturday.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 1.54.26 AM

Bummer!

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

The page that shows American Membership Rewards transfer partners seems to require sign in, so I will put the partners and ratios here for those who are considering getting an American Express card and want to see where their points can transfer. The best options are Delta, Aeroplan, Flying Blue, Avios, Singapore, and Virgin Atlantic miles depending on the trip you have in mind.

Airlines (all transfer options 1,000 Membersip Rewards to 1,000 miles unless noted):

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • AeroMexico Club Premier Miles
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia Club
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • British Airways Avios
  • Iberia Avios
  • El Al Matmid Points (1,000 MR = 20 points)
  • Emirates Skywards Miles
  • Hawaiian Airlines Miles
  • JetBlue TrueBlue Points (250 MR = 200 points)
  • Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
  • Virgin America Elevate Points (200 MR = 100 points)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotels:

  • Best Western Rewards Points (1,000 MR = 1,000 points)
  • Choice Privileges Points (1,000 MR = 1,000 points)
  • Hilton HHonors Points (1,000 MR = 1,500 points)
  • SPG Starpoints (1,000 MR = 333 points)
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Transfer 80,000 American Express Membership Rewards to 40,000 Virgin America Elevate points by December 31, 2015 and receive top tier Virgin America Gold Status through February 2017.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.01.50 AM

In addition, if you complete the transfer by October 8, 2015, you will get 25% more Elevate points, so 80,000 Membership Rewards would equal Gold Status plus 50,000 Virgin America points.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.00.12 AM

Good Deal?

I value Membership Rewards at 2 cents each. I value Virgin America points at 2 cents each. Elevate points can be redeemed for a nearly-fixed value on Virgin America flights or according to award charts on partner airlines.

I ordinarily wouldn’t transfer Membership Rewards at the 200:100 ratio to Virgin America points. Even with a 25% bonus, 200 MR:125 Elevate is a bad deal.

But the addition of Gold Status makes things interesting.

Assuming you value both Membership Rewards and Virgin America points at 2 cents, then transferring 80,000 Membership Rewards to 50,000 Elevate Points plus Gold Status is like spending $600–the value of the “lost” points–on Gold Status. The perks of Virgin America Gold Status are:

  • Access to the Virgin America Loft at LAX (also a Priority Pass that you can access with free membership from the Citi Prestige® Card)
  • Complimentary upgrades to Main Cabin Select (24 hours before the flight)
  • Priority access to purchase first-class upgrades
  • Three free checked bags
  • Priority security and priority boarding
  • 100% bonus on points on all money spent on Virgin America flights (ie 10 points per dollar)
  • 25% discount on two main cabin tickets per year

Is that worth $600 to you? Probably not. If it were, you would probably already have Virgin America Gold Status because one thing I’ve noticed about status is that the people who can most use it are the same people who earn it in the first place because using it and earning it both require a lot of flying.

Bottom Line

I’m sitting out this transfer bonus/status grab. I have flown Virgin America once in my life, and I probably will fly it once or zero times before February 2017. But if you are in the weird position of not having flown Virgin America much so far but planning to fly it a lot in the next 17 months, by all means, you should transfer 80,000 Membership Rewards to 50,000 Virgin America points plus Virgin America Gold Status by October 8.

Even though I won’t take advantage, I love this innovation from American Express, and I hope Citi and Chase come up with exciting promotions to compete.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

106

As of 7:30 AM ET on August 28, what’s working is calling American Express and asking to apply by phone. If they ask for the offer code:

POID BUIU:0001
OFFER CODE: 2AAY-8G05VV-4XCJ-FPP

Hat Tip: Graydon

There is a publicly available offer for 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 on the American Express Platinum. I value those points at about $2,000. Jump on this offer now because it will not last.

I was just approved for it.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 2.34.29 AM

Here’s how you can apply:

  1. Open a Chrome, Safari, or Firefox Private/Incognito window.
  2. Click this link.
  3. You may get the 100,000 point offer. You may get a 40,000 point offer.
  4. If you get the 40,000 point offer, close your browser window, and open a new Private/Incognito window. (ie do not just open a new tab or hit refresh)
  5. Click this link.
  6. Repeat as necessary.

The above process failed for me. I tried all three browsers about 100 times. Reddit user linkx2252 said it had failed for him too, so he called in. I tried that.

I called 800-243-3888 and told the agent that I had been trying to apply for the 100k points/$3k spending Platinum Card offer, but that I was having trouble with my browser, so I would like to apply by phone. The agent had no problem accommodating that request. It is a bit slow, but 23 minutes later I was approved for the offer. I will have the card in a few days.

The card’s $450 annual fee doesn’t bother me. I will get $200 in airline gift cards this year, $200 in airline gift cards in early 2016, and lounge access to Delta SkyClubs and American Express Centurion lounges for a year for that price. Plus the 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards are worth about $2,000 to me because I will transfer them to partners for one or several high value awards.

See Get the Most out of Your American Express Platinum Card for a rundown of the benefits.

Eligibility

If you have ever had an American Express Platinum personal card, you are ineligible to get the bonus again. I have not had that card. I have only had the American Express Platinum Mercedes-Benz personal card and American Express Business card before. Those are considered separate products.

Post your application results in the comments.

Hat Tip Travel Codex via Reddit

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Updated 5/14/15 with current prices and routing rules. Screen shots show old prices.

Delta SkyMiles get a bad rap–very deservedly so–for the lack of Saver (Level 1) award availability that Delta releases, the fuel surcharges Delta charges on awards, the inability to add stopovers on awards, and the fact that Delta deleted its chart from the internet.

But it does not follow that Delta miles are worthless. In fact, you can get great value and do some pretty cool things with Delta miles.

  • What are my top choices to burn 92.5k, 80k, 70k, 62.5k, 30k, and 12.5k SkyMiles?

92.5k: Half/Half Roundtrip to Europe

When you book a roundtrip Delta award, which is no longer required, you can fly different cabins in each direction. Flying to Europe in Business Class to get some shuteye and hit the ground running, then returning on a daytime flight in economy is a great use of 92.5k SkyMiles.

Delta flies flat beds across the Atlantic denoted by a bed icon on delta.com, and Delta partner Alitalia’s 777-200 business class cabin looks very nice.

On the way back, you can usually find economy award space on Delta’s European partners like Air France or KLM. Delta doesn’t collect surcharges on those two, Alitalia, Virgin Atlantic, or its own flights.

An open jaw trip with business class in a flat bed on Alitalia to Rome and a return in economy on KLM from Amsterdam is only 92.5k SkyMiles + $59.

80k: Virgin Australia Business Class to Australia or New Zealand (One Way)

With 80,000 SkyMiles, you have access to the best business class availability to Australia.

Delta partners with non-SkyTeam partner Virgin Australia, which flies from Los Angeles to Sydney and Brisbane daily with fantastic availability.

Virgin Australia business class features fully flat beds that look pretty awesome to me!

If you don’t want to go to Sydney or Brisbane, Virgin Australia offers convenient connections throughout Australia and New Zealand. I recently booked a client to Port Macquarie, Australia (PQQ) with her Delta miles on Virgin Australia.

I can’t stress enough how excellent Virgin Australia award space–which is searchable and bookable on delta.com–is, even at peak times.

Delta does not collect fuel surcharges on Virgin Australia segments, so the taxes on a roundtrip to Australia are about $130.

Business class to Australia with Delta miles is overpriced in miles. American only charges 62.5k miles on partner Qantas, and United charges 70k on its own flights. But since SkyMiles are less valuable than those three types of miles, Virgin Australia business class remains the coolest thing to do with 80k Delta miles.

70k: China Southern Business Class to Asia (One Way)

140k SkyMiles books a roundtrip business class award anywhere in Asia, and the most award space on the newest plane is available with China Southern. For 70,000 miles, book a one way trip.

China Southern has a daily flight between Los Angeles and Guangzhou that has tons of award space–often 9 seats in business class–and conveniently connects to cities throughout Asia. Do any of these places look good?

China Southern Destinations from Guangzhou. Source: Wikipedia

The bad news is that Delta does collect fuel surcharges on China Southern segments. Taxes plus surcharges push an award from LAX to Guangzahou to 140k miles + $387 roundtrip, and it’s a little more if you continue past China Southern’s hub.

I hate surcharges on award tickets as much as anyone, but I still think this is a good use of Delta miles considering the length of the trip to Asia, the widely available award space, and the product.

China Southern flies to the US with an A380 with fully flat beds in business class. Check out this page for more info and interesting translations. Note that they call business class “First Class” and first class “Platinum Private Suite” on that page.

62.5k: Korean Business Class to Brazil (One Way)

With 62.5k SkyMiles, you can fly Korean Airlines’ intriguing route in Business Class between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo with connections on Delta-partner GOL throughout Brazil.

There’s great award space on the route, no fuel surcharges, and a great product. What’s not to love?

For more info on the route, see my recent post on the subject.

30k: Aerolineas Argentinas Economy to Patagonia (One Way)

Aerolineas Argentinas flies daily from Miami and New York to Buenos Aires with connections throughout the country.

I had heard from a few people that Aerolineas Argentinas was the worst airline in the world, but I very much enjoyed my 2013 domestic roundtrip on the carrier, which had TVs at every seat and a free snack box.

I don’t know how pleasant the flight from Miami would be–how pleasant is economy ever?–but the award space is wide open. And this trip isn’t about the flights, it’s about the destination.

A few years ago, I spent a few days in the Lake District of Patagonia, and I am itching to get back.

With 60k SkyMiles and no fuel surcharges, you can get anywhere in Argentina roundtrip, since Aerolineas Argentinas flies all over the country. This, and the award space on partner AeroMexico, makes Delta miles the best to visit Argentina.

American miles can get you to a lot of Argentina via LAN, but not as much as Delta miles. Star Alliance miles can’t get you anywhere but Buenos Aires.

12.5k: Canada or Alaska (One Way)

Delta considers the United States mainland, Alaska, and Canada to be one region. Economy awards on Delta or Alaska Airlines start at 12,500 Delta miles.

So head to Toronto…

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…or Anchorage.

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Getting the Miles

Delta miles are easy to get from any of these 10 cards. There are multiple personal and business Delta credit cards issued by American Express. Plus you can transfer Membership Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints to Delta.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

6

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is offering 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $20,000 in the first three months.

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There is no application link, so you must apply by phone. To apply call 877-628-6736 and give offer code L081-994-816-5743. This offer code expires tomorrow May 15; the exact time is unknown. When you call, you may also be offered 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $10,000 in the first three months.

The publicly available offer is only 40,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. The online offer says: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.” If the 150k offer is the same, you can get it as long as you cancelled your last AMEX Business Platinum more than 12 months ago.

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $20,000 in the first three months
  • Membership Rewards transfer to more than a dozen airlines. My favorite partners: Singapore, Aeroplan, and Delta
  • Category Bonuses: None. All spending earns 1x, so you shouldn’t put much spending on the card.
  • Airline Fee Credit: $200 per calendar year to offset fees (not airfare like the Citi Prestige offers). Not designed to be used to purchase airline gift cards, but this does work.
  • Lounge Access: Priority Pass Select Lounge membership (but no free guests like Citi Prestige offers) & free access to American Express Centurion lounges, which are far nicer than standard domestic airport lounges
  • Status: Free SPG Gold Status
  • Discounts: Automatic enrollment in American Express OPEN which has small discounts on many services business use
  • Global Entry: $100 credit to offset application fee
  • Annual Fee: $450, not waived

Good Deal?

Yes, this is the best deal on the market by far if you spend more than $6,667 per month on credit cards or don’t mind manufacturing spending. But don’t feel pressured into biting off more than you can chew. There’s nothing wrong with only participating in this hobby by opening cards whose spending requirements you can easily meet with normal spending.

Further Reading

Hat Tip Travel Codex

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

This was a popular post two years ago, and I want to update it with all the cards to earn the following miles, which I consider the most important:

  • American
  • Delta
  • United
  • Alaska
  • Singapore
  • British Airways
  • Southwest

This is a good reference if you want to collect a certain type of miles, but this should not be construed as an endorsement to open all the cards on any of the lists.

I haven’t included any analysis, just the sign up bonus. These cards have annual fees, minimum spending requirements, and category bonuses. Read their terms and conditions before applying. If there’s not a direct link, you can get to the card by clicking one of these banners.

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See the footnotes at the bottom for further explanation of some points. The number in parentheses is the sign up bonus of the card.

American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® (50k)
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® (50k)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Citi Gold American Airlines personal cards (I saw a targeted 50k by mail in April 2015, online the best I see is 25k)

Delta SkyMiles

Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (50k MR1)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (25k MR2)
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (30k)
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (30k)
Platinum Card from American Express (25k MR1)
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card (25k MR1)
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (10k, also earns MQM)
Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express (earns MQM)

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United MileagePlus Miles

United MileagePlus Explorer Card (personal) (up to 55k, any 30k offer can add an authorized user for 5k, and can be matched 20k higher with a secure message to Chase)
United MileagePlus Explorer Card (business) (50k, inside your United account)
Ink Plus (50k UR+5)
Sapphire Preferred (45k UR+5)
Ink Cash (20k UR-6)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (15,000 to 15,6254)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (15,000 to 15,6254)
Freedom (10k UR-6)
United Club Card (0, but 1.5 miles per dollar on all spending)

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Alaska Mileage Plan

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card (25k)
Alaska Airlines Business Card (25k)

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles

Citi Prestige® Card (50k)
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card (50k)
Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (50k MR2)
Ink Plus (50k UR+5)
Sapphire Preferred (40k UR+5)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (25k MR2)
Platinum Card from American Express (25k MR2)
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card (25k MR2)
Ink Cash (20k UR-6)
Freedom (10k UR-6)

British Airways Avios

Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (50k MR2)
British Airways Visa Signature (50k)
Ink Plus (50k UR+5)
Sapphire Preferred (40k UR+5)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (25k MR2)
Platinum Card from American Express (25k MR2)
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card (25k MR2)
Ink Cash (20k UR-6)
Freedom (10k UR-6)

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Southwest Rapid Rewards

Southwest Premier Personal Visa (25k, I cover frequent 50k offers here and there are 50k referral links from other readers in the thread)
Southwest Premier Business Visa (25k, I cover frequent 50k offers here)
Southwest Plus Personal Visa (25k, I cover frequent 50k offers here)
Ink Plus (50k UR+5)
Sapphire Preferred (40k UR+5)
Ink Cash (20k UR-6)
Freedom (10k UR-6)

  1. Membership Rewards transfer 1:1 to Delta with a $0.60 fee per 1,000 transferred. There were transfer bonuses, but the last was November 2011.
  2. Membership Rewards transfer to British Airways Avios and Singapore KrisFlyer miles with no fee. There are frequent transfer bonuses to Avios. The last was 40% in December 2014. There has never been a transfer bonus to Singapore miles.
  3. Starpoints transfer 1:1 to Delta, American, Alaska, Singapore, and British Airways miles with a 5k mile bonus for every 20k Starpoints transferred. 25k Starpoints would transfer to 30k miles, but 25k Starpoints transferred as part of exact 20k increments represents 31,250 miles.
  4. Starpoints transfer 2:1 to United miles with a 2.5k mile bonus for every 20k Starpoints transferred. Avoid this horrible deal.
  5. UR+ are Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred 1:1 to United, Singapore, British Airways, and Southwest among other loyalty programs
  6. UR- are Ultimate Rewards that cannot be transferred 1:1 to airline miles and hotel points. But you can transfer these points to an Ink Plus or Sapphire Preferred account and from there to airline and hotel points.

Did I make any mistakes? Correct them in the comments.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Yesterday I reviewed the improved offer on the Citi Prestige® Card, which comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open, $250 in airfare or airline fee credits per calendar year, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

Commentor Guarav asked me to compare the card to a similar offering, the American Express Platinum card:

“Scott–I’d be curious to see a comparison on your thoughts between this and the AX platinum product.”

This comparison will be useful for anyone considering getting a premium credit card–one of those cards with an eye-watering annual fee and huge benefits. I’ll break down the comparison by:

  • value of points
  • sign-up bonus
  • category bonuses
  • lounge access
  • statement credits
  • other benefits
  • annual fee

I’ll foreshadow a little bit by saying that although many of the benefits of the Citi Prestige® Card and American Express Platinum are similar, there are subtle differences in the programs that could make a huge difference to you, so the better card depends heavily on your travel habits and preferences.

Note: I am using the Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (the card on the right) as “the Platinum Card” for this analysis because it is the best personal Platinum Card offer open to everyone.

Value of Points

The American Express Platinum earns Membership Rewards, which I value at 2 cents each. The Citi Prestige® Card earns ThankYou Points, which I value at 1.8 cents each.

Membership Rewards can be transferred to 17 airlines and 4 hotels.

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 1.40.51 PM

There are frequent transfer bonuses including the current 40% bonus on transfers to British Airways.

Citi ThankYou Points transfer to 11 airlines and one hotel:

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Etihad Guest
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchard Plus
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Qantas miles
  • Hilton HHonors

My two ThankYou Points favorite transfer partners are Singapore Airlines and Air France Flying Blue. (Click links to see why.) These are both also transfer partners of Membership Rewards, which has a host of other valuable transfer partners for Americans:

  • British Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • ANA
  • Aeroplan
  • Delta

Beyond having fewer good partners, ThankYou Points have never had a transfer bonus, so Membership Rewards are clearly the better trasnferable currency.

ThankYou Points do have one far better use than Membership Rewards though, buying plane ticket with points.

  • Membership Rewards let you buy tickets with your points and give you 1 cent per point in value.
  • ThankYou Points earned on the Prestige offer you 1.33 cents toward any flight or 1.6 cents toward any American Airline or US Airways flight.

That makes ThankYou Points far better for saving cash on low-cost carrier tickets–which are often impossible to book with miles–or American Airlines and US Airways flights if you are going for status on American Airlines, so you want to fly paid tickets. (Airlines see tickets purchased directly with points as paid tickets because American Express or Citi is buying the ticket on your behalf.)

Because I mainly like to transfer my points to airline miles and Membership Rewards have more good partners and occasional transfer bonuses, I value Membership Rewards at 2.0 cents and ThankYou Points at 1.8 cents. Your values should be different.

If you want to use the points for paid tickets, ThankYou Points are better. If you are only interested in flights to South America, Europe (economy), and Hawaii, ThankYou Points are just about as good as Membership Rewards, which open a larger advantage if you are also interested in short hops (Avios) and Business Class to Europe.

Sign Up Bonus

  • AMEX Platinum (Mercedes-Benz-co-branded version open to all): 50,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • Citi Prestige® Card50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months

Multiply the points by your value of the points to figure out how much more valuable the sign up bonus on the American Express Platinum is. The bonus on that card is worth $1,000 after spending $3,000 to me. The sign up bonus on the Citi Prestige® Card is worth $900 after spending $3,000 to me.

This is nearly a wash.

Category Bonuses

  • AMEX Platinum: 1 Membership Reward per dollar on all purchases
  • Citi Prestige® Card
    • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
    • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
    • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases

After hitting the minimum spending requirement on the American Express Platinum, it doesn’t offer an attractive proposition to continue spending on the card. There are several Membership Rewards-earning cards that offer category bonuses, but not the Platinum. It is simply a card to hold for its benefits.

The Citi Prestige® Card aims to be more than that. It aims to be a card you actually use day-to-day, and I think it succeeds. All the benefits of the Citi Prestige® Card are primarily valuable to travelers, so I will assume the average cardholder spends quite a bit on air travel and hotels, which rack up ThankYou Points at a rate of 3x per dollar. Restaurants and entertainment–common costs while traveling and at home–earn 2x per dollar.

I know a lot of people, for simplicity, only want to have one card. I don’t think the AMEX Platinum has any case to be your one card because the earning rate is so low. The Citi Prestige® Card could be that card if you want a card with good earning and great benefits (below) as long as you can get good value out of ThankYou Points (above.)

To figure out the extra value of the Citi Prestige® Card‘s category bonuses, multiply your dining and entertainment by your valuation of ThankYou Point as if it were a percentage and your air travel and hotel expenses by double your valuation of a ThankYou point.

For instance, I spend about $7k on dining and entertainment and $3k on airfare and hotels per year. I value ThankYou points at 1.7 cents.

7000 * 1.7% + 3000 * 3.4% = 221

That’s $221 of extra value per year from having the Citi Prestige® Card‘s category bonuses versus none on the AMEX Platinum. I imagine many people spend quite a bit more than me in those categories. For them, the Citi Prestige® Card would be even more valuable.

Lounge Access

  • AMEX Platinum: Priority Pass Select + Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta + American Express Centurion Lounges
  • Citi Prestige® Card: Priority Pass Select + American Airlines Admirals Clubs when flying American
  • AMEX Platinum lounge access comes with no free guests except at Centurion Lounges. Citi Prestige lounge access comes with free guests

Somehow Citi has worked out a deal that at Priority Pass-affiliated lounges and American Airlines lounges, so you can bring in your family (spouse, domestic partner, children under 18) or up to two guests for free.

American Express does not offer the same deal. You pay $29 for guests into SkyClubs and $27 for guests into Priority Pass clubs. You do get free guests at Centurion Lounges (spouse, domestic partner, children under 18 OR up to two guests), but there are still very few Centurion Lounges.

Which lounge benefits you like more completely depends on your travel style. If you fly more American flights, you’ll like the Prestige. If you fly more Delta flights or flights where there is a Centurion Lounge, you’ll like the AMEX Platinum.

If you travel with your family or co-workers a lot, you’ll love the free access they get to lounges with the Prestige.

Most people who are paying the $450+ annual fee year after year for one of these cards are primarily doing it for the lounge access, so think carefully about which set of lounge access works better for you.

I do a lot of international travel where Priority Pass lounge access is more important than Delta, American, or Centurion Lounge access. Most of my travel is alone, so the guest benefit doesn’t help me. I value both types of lounge access at about $150 per year, but most people would value lounge access far higher. (I almost never drink in lounges.)

Statement Credits

  • AMEX Platinum: $200 per calendar year for airline fees (shouldn’t but often does work for airline gift cards). $100 once every five years for Global Entry.
  • Citi Prestige® Card: $250 per calendar year for airline fees or airline tickets. $100 once every five years for Global Entry

The Citi Prestige® Card is the clear winner in the statement credit game. Its airline credit is larger and much more flexible. The AMEX Platinum makes you set one airline on which to receive fee credits, and to buy gift cards with the credit you often need to buy gift cards worth $100 or less. The Citi Prestige® Card allows you to get credits on all airlines and even against plane tickets, so everyone should easily max out $250 per year.

These benefits make both cards a great idea for at least one year, since you can get two calendar year credits in the first year of cardmembership plus the Global Entry credit. You’ve already more than offset the big annual fees on the cards.

Other Benefits

Both cards offer tons of other benefits like purchase protection, trip insurance, and concierge services. Both cards are highly similar in these areas, and I don’t use these benefits much. Read the terms and conditions on either card for full lists.

There is some differentiation though. The AMEX Platinum offers free SPG Gold elite status while you hold a Platinum card. The Citi Prestige® Card offers the 4th night free on hotel stays booked through its travel provider.

Which benefits you more depends–again–on your travel style.

Annual Fee

The annual fee on the Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (the card on the right) is $475. You pay it with your first statement, and again 12 months later if you don’t cancel the card. The annual fee on most Platinum cards is $450, but this card’s worth paying $25 extra for for the much bigger sign up bonus.

The annual fee on the Citi Prestige® Card is $450. You pay it with your first statement, and again 12 months later if you don’t cancel the card.

Both cards are clearly worth paying the annual fee in year 1 because of their sign up bonuses and the ability to get fee credits twice in the first year of having a card. Whether either card is worth holding past year 1 depends on your travel habits and how much you use the card for spending and its benefits.

Which Card is Better?

Which card is better depends on you. Hopefully I’ve laid out how to think about each card’s benefits, but the actual thinking is left to you.

For folks who want guest lounge access, American Airlines lounge access, big category bonuses on spending, and great rates on using points to pay for airline tickets (especially on American/US Airways), the Citi Prestige® Card is better.

For folks who want Centurion or Delta lounge access, more transfer partners for points, and better transfer partners for Europe in Business Class or shorthaul within the United States, the American Express Platinum is better.

Citi Prestige® Card with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months, lounge access, $250 per calendar year in airline fee credits, and more

  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year
  • Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
  • Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

The Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz comes with 50,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

  • 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you charge $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of Card Membership6
  • Complimentary access to over 600 airport lounges worldwide7
  • A $1000 certificate each year you charge $5,000 in purchases, good toward the future purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz8
  • Up to 2,000 excess miles waived at lease-end on leases through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services9
  • $100 certificate at renewal of your Card account, good toward Genuine Mercedes-Benz Accessories10
  • Annual fee of $475

Landing Page: Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

2
  • Costco currently only accepts American Express cards.
  • Soon, Costco will accept Visa cards.
  • Starting April 1, 2016 (in 13 months), Costco will no longer accept American Express.

This is primarily of interest to me because many people who fill out my Free Credit Card Consultation Form let me know that they need an AMEX because they do a lot of their shopping at Costco. (And because Costco’s pre-cooked ribs are such a fantastic way for a bachelor to cater a party.)

It turns out Citi is taking over the contract to issue a Costco card and will issue a Citi Visa. But you will be able to use any card with the Visa logo, not just the Citi Visa Costco card to pay at Costco.

A quick refresh on what American Express, Citi, and Visa are:

  • Citi is a bank that issues credit cards like Chase, Barclaycard, and others.
  • Visa is a payment network like MasterCard and others.
  • American Express is both a bank that issues credit cards and a payment network. All cards issued by the bank American Express are processed by the American Express payment network. This includes AMEX-branded cards like the Platinum or Premier Rewards Gold and co-branded cards like the Delta credit cards. Some cards issued by other banks are processed on the payment network American Express. I used to have a Citi (issuing bank) American Airlines American Express (payment network.)

Citi will be the issuing bank for the Costco credit card, but any card on the Visa payment network will soon be accepted at Costco. Look in your credit card drawer, and I’m sure you already have quite a few cards with the Visa logo. These will all be accepted at Costco. If you don’t have any and want a new credit card, fill out this form for personalized suggestions based on your travel goals and other factors.

HT Dan’s Deals

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

10

2015 means a new $200 airline fee credit for anyone with an American Express Platinum card. This is one of the biggest benefits of the card, and one you can turn into $200 worth of airline tickets.

I have a Platinum Business card that I opened in September 2013.

  • In 2013, I bought $200 worth of American Airlines gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.
  • In 2014, I bought $200 worth of American Airlines gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.
  • This week, I bought $200 worth of Delta gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.

American Express makes you pick one airline on which to receive your airline fee credit, so to change mine from 2014 to 2015, I had to go to this page and make my new selection.

The American Express Platinum airline fee reimbursement is only meant to reimburse airline fees not ticket purchases or gift card purchases. However, the decision of what to reimburse is left to a computer algorithm, so some gift card purchases are reimbursed. The reports of FlyerTalkers should be your guide, but your experience may vary.

This FlyerTalk thread explains how to turn the $200 airline fee credit into $200 worth of Delta gift cards. The process is different for gift cards from each airline, so check out this post where I link to threads on each airline.

According to the FlyerTalk thread, only $50 Delta gift cards were being reimbursed by American Express, so I bought four in one $200 purchase on January 8, and my $200 was reimbursed on January 10.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 12.17.42 AM

You have to wait 72 hours after purchase to redeem a Delta gift card. About 73 hours after my purchase, I purchased a $121.60 one way flight from Greensboro to Tampa in March with my gift cards. I still have $78.40 worth of Delta gift cards.

The FlyerTalk thread also explains that you can only use three forms of payment on a single Delta purchase. That means you can use three $50 gift cards like I did or two plus a credit card to pay the amount greater than $100.

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 10.53.04 AM

Further Reading

Keep in mind that with the Citi Prestige® Card your annual airline fee credit is $250, that this credit does apply to ticket purchases, and that this credit applies to all airlines instead of just the one you select. For these reasons, I plan to get a Citi Prestige® Card soon. My review of the Citi Prestige® Card.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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