Citi

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The Citi Prestige® Card offers the fourth night free on paid hotel stays if you book through its designated travel agent. This benefit can save you a lot more than 25% on your next hotel stay.

In three days, Citi Prestige®‘s current sign-up offer is changing– I was instructed to remove the current offer for the Citi Prestige® on July 19, 2016. I do not know what the future offer will be, but I don’t think this is good news. When we got the same news about the Citi ThankYou Premier in January, its sign up bonus went from 50,000 points to zero. So if you’ve been thinking about signing up for it, now is the time. 

4th Night Free on Hotel Stays

From the terms and conditions of the benefits of the Prestige Card:

You will enjoy a complimentary fourth night with no black-out dates, when you book four consecutive nights at any hotel booked by a personal travel advisor designated by MasterCard (the “designated travel advisor” is Carlson Wagonlit Travel). Bookings made through other methods such as, travel agents, websites or directly with a hotel will not qualify.

To receive your complimentary night (via a statement credit) you must:

  • Make a reservation for a minimum, consecutive four-night stay by contacting the Citi Prestige Concierge, to book directly with a designated travel advisor
  • Fully pay for your stay with a Citi Prestige Card

If you book the award through the Citi Prestige’s travel agent, you will get the actual cost of the fourth night plus taxes credited back to your Citi Prestige statement.

You don’t get 25% of the cost of the stay credited back; you get the actual fourth night’s cost credited back. That means that if you book a four-night stay such that the last night is the most expensive night, you can save a lot more than 25% on your stay.

Examples (New Year’s Eve in Times Square & Las Vegas)

My first thought was New Year’s Eve in Times Square as a time when prices probably spike from one night to the next. If you search for a December 28 to January 1 stay on hyatt.com, the Hyatt Times Square New York shows an average daily rate of $652.Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 8.59.04 PM

On the payment page, you can get a nightly breakdown. The rate jumps from $449.10 to $1260 (WHOA) per night on the last night.Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 9.22.12 PM

If you booked this stay with a Citi Prestige® Card, you would save $1,260 of the $2,607.30 subtotal, which is almost 50%. The total saved after taxes would be roughly the same percentage, so you’d be looking at a savings of about $1,360 on a $3,005.88 bill.

Similarly, though on a smaller scale, room rates in Las Vegas seem to spike on Tuesdays. A Tuesday through Saturday stay at the Bellagio in Las Vegas would have an average nightly price of $219.

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But in fact, the last night costs $279, which is about 31% of the subtotal.

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The Bellagio charges a resort fee. I am not sure if that is refunded for the fourth night. Unfortunately the words “resort fee” do not appear in the definitive FlyerTalk thread on the fourth-night-free benefit.

FAQ About Fourth Night Free

How does it work?

To receive your complimentary night (via a statement credit) you must:

  • Make a reservation for a minimum, consecutive four-night stay by contacting the Citi Prestige Concierge by calling the number on the back of your card
  • Fully pay for your stay with a Citi Prestige Card

Does the rate through the Citi Concierge match the hotel’s rate online?

Yes. If it doesn’t, point that out to your Citi travel agent.

Do you get your status benefits for the stay? Do you get earn points and status for the stay?

In all the cases I’ve seen reported, yes.

When do you get the statement credit?

It can take several weeks after your stay. It took the Frequent Miler’s credit about four weeks to show up.

Do you earn 3x points on the rest of the hotel purchase?

The Citi Prestige® Card offers 3 points per dollar for airfare and hotel purchases. You get 3x points on your hotel stay on top of the fourth night free by taking advantage of this benefit of the Prestige.

What hotels can I book at that qualify for the fourth night free?

The following excerpt is taken from my own Prestige accounts’ explanations of benefits:

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So, pretty much any publicly available rate for any hotel should work except for the type of accommodations listed in the exclusions in #7.

What about those promotions hotels often run for a “fifth night free”? Could I also get the fourth night of my hotel stay reimbursed if I put the reservation on my Citi Prestige® Card?

YES! The key is finding a reservation that will be billed in a way that shows a full rate for the first four nights and the fifth night as costing $0 (instead of five nights averaged down to the cost of four). To check this, you have to follow the reservation past the front-end advertisement– often times there it looks like it’s priced per night– and go through all the steps of booking you can without actually paying for it. You should be able to see the itemized pricing in the final steps.

Read get your fourth AND fifth night free with the Citi Prestige to learn the specifics of how to do it.

Bottom Line

The Citi Prestige® Card offers the fourth night free on all paid hotel stays that you book by calling the number on the back of your card.

Instead of rebating the average cost of one room night, you get the fourth night free. If you time your stays, so the fourth night is the most expensive, you can save well over 25% with this benefit.

Stays earn points and status, and you can use your status in the stays.

This benefit is an amazing throw in for some people. If the fourth night free on hotel stays isn’t worth much to you, the Citi Prestige® Card is a must have because it offers 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, and 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels. Those benefits make up the sign-up offer for the next three days– but on Tuesday, July 19 the offer is changing.

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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Every time you spend $5 or more dining out on your registered Citi credit card through December 1, 2016, Citi will donate $1 to help fight hunger. It takes just a few seconds to register your card, so why not?

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What To Do

  1. Fill in the last eight numbers of your Citi credit card, billing zip code, and last name here.
  2. Use that Citi card when you eat at restaurants for purchases that are $5 or more.

That’s it.

For every purchase of $5 or more spent dining out through December 1 of this year, Citi gives $1 to No Kid Hungry, a campaign run by Share Our Strength, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The mission is to provide healthy food to hungry kids in the United States and raise awareness about the crisis of child hunger.

For every dollar No Kid Hungry receives, they claim to be able to provide 10 healthy meals to a child. The maximum amount Citi will donate is $1 million. If we all register our cards and use those cards when dining out, we have the potential to provide 10 million healthy meals to hungry kids around the United States.

Good work Citi.

This Only Works for Credit Cards

The terms and conditions of the promotion state that you can only register Citi branded credit cards and CitiBusiness Cards. The Points Guy tried registering a debit card to be sure, but it was rejected.

Have any of these cards?

If not, now you have another very legitimate reason to get one. Read more about their fantastic sign-up offers here.

I enrolled my Citi Prestige card since I normally use that card anyways when dining out (you earn two ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on dining and entertainment).

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Bottom Line

Register your Citi credit card here and for every purchase you make of $5 or more at restaurants, Citi will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry up to $1 million dollars.

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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Update 7/14/2016: I must remove the current offer for the Citi Prestige® in five days, on July 19, 2016. I do not know what the future offer will be, but I don’t think this is good news. When we got the same news about the Citi ThankYou Premier in January, its sign up bonus went from 50,000 points to zero.

Citi ThankYou Points are transferable to one hotel and 12 airline programs. Folks who have a Citi ThankYou® Premier, Citi Prestige®, or Citi Chairman card can transfer Citi ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio to (click links for posts on basics and sweetspots of that program):

You can also transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton HHonors points, and 1,000 ThankYou Points to 500 Virgin America Elevate points.

 

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This incredible step forward for Citi ThankYou Points puts them in the ranks of the big four transferable points programs.

Certainly I would like to see more and better partners added to the transfer possibilities, specifically Citi’s partner American Airlines, but this is a great start and there is value with Citi’s current transfer partners.

  • What are the best Citi ThankYou Points transfer partners?
  • How can you get ThankYou Points?
  • How can you transfer ThankYou Points?
  • What are the other ThankYou Points redemption options?

Best Transfer Partners

Singapore KrisFlyer

The best Citi ThankYou points transfer partner is Singapore KrisFlyer. Singapore was already a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Now it is even easier to get the most useful Star Alliance miles for travel in the Western Hemisphere.

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so its miles can be used to book flights on any of the 28 member airlines. Singapore miles are also the only miles that can be used to book the ultra-luxurious Singapore Suites.

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Singapore Airlines collects fuel surcharges on most award flights, but not those flown by United, Taca, Avianca, and Copa. Here are some of my favorite Singapore Airlines awards (click the links for full posts on them):

  1. Between the continental United States and Hawaii on United flights for 17,500 miles each way in economy and 30,000 miles in First with no fuel surcharges. United charges 22,500 and 40,000 miles respectively for the same flights! (Get the flat bed in first!)
  2. Two free one ways to Hawaii plus a roundtrip to South America for 50,000 miles total in economy and 80,000 miles in Business/First with no fuel surcharges. United would charge a ton more miles.
  3. Two free one ways to Hawaii plus a roundtrip to Central America or two free one ways to Central America plus a roundtrip to Hawaii for 35,000 miles total in economy and 60,000 miles in Business/First with no fuel surcharges. United would charge a ton more miles.
  4. Booking Singapore Suites, one of the world’s nicest First Class products on the A380. Singapore miles are the only way to book the award, which is pricey in miles and includes a fuel surcharge, but is worth it for lovers of luxury.

See “Sweet Spots on Singapore, Suites Class from 32,000 Miles” and “Awards on United and Partner Flights Booked with Singapore Miles.”

Air France Flying Blue

Flying Blue miles are the key to booking Promo awards: 12,500 mile awards to anywhere in Europe or Israel. Flying Blue miles can be used to book any SkyTeam award space, and Flying Blue has a very cheap award chart to many places including Hawaii (15,000 miles one way.)

Here is my full post on the best options to book with Flying Blue miles.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic miles can book super cheap one way awards to London:

  • 17,500 miles in economy
  • 27,500 miles in Premium Economy
  • 40,000 miles in Upper Class (flat bed Business Class)

These awards have fuel surcharges, but they are so much cheaper in miles than other airlines charge that fuel surcharges may be worth paying.

Virgin Atlantic miles can also be used to book awards on partners like Delta, Virgin America, Virgin Australia, and Hawaiian. You can book a roundtrip to Buenos Aires on Delta for only 45,000 miles and no fuel surcharges!

Here is my full post on the best options to book with Virgin Atlantic miles.

How to Get ThankYou Points

The easiest way to earn a bundle of ThankYou Points is with the Citi Prestige® Card, which has a huge sign up bonuses and big category bonuses. Like I mentioned in the update at the top of this post, this sign-up offer is scheduled to change very shortly (in five days), and while I don’t know exactly what those changes will be yet, the bonus most likely will drop like the Citi ThankYou Premier’s did in January of this year (hopefully not to zero, like the Premier).

Citi Prestige® Card:

  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou Points after $3,000 in spending
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on air travel and hotels, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Air travel fee credit:  $250 annual credit ($500 first year of cardmembership)
  • Lounge access: Admirals Clubs lounges and Priority Pass lounges worldwide
  • Free hotel nights: Get your 4th night free on all paid hotel stays (no blackout dates)
  • Global Entry: $100 application fee credit
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $450 not waived, well worth it

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

How to Transfer

You can read the step-by-step detailed instructions of how to transfer Citi ThankYou Points here.

From thankyou.com, look for the Points Transfer on the Do More tab.

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You’ll see the redemption options. I initiated a transfer to Singapore Airlines to see how the process works.

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As with Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards transfers, you must send increments of 1,000. Interestingly the name on the Singapore Airlines account is already pre-set to the cardholder’s name, so it doesn’t look like you can transfer to anyone else’s account. (Of course, I can book anyone an award from my Singapore Airlines account.)

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Other Redemption Options

Before the transfer option to airlines, the best redemption option for Citi ThankYou Points was to redeem for any flight on any airline for 1.25 cents of value per point. Most flights could be booked on thankyou.com and other flights by calling 800-THANKYOU.

You can still redeem ThankYou Points earned by the Citi ThankYou® Premier for 1.25 cents each on any airline. ThankYou Points earned by the Citi Prestige® can be redeemed on any airline for 1.33 cents, or on American Airlines for 1.6 cents each. I don’t plan on using ThankYou Points for 1.25 or 1.33 cents each because I know I can get far more than 1.25 cents of value from the points as Singapore miles, but I might consider using them for 1.6 cents on American Airlines flights–maybe. Overall, using them as Singapore miles will reap the most value.

For free economy flights, I’ll continue to use my Arrival miles, since the 40,000 bonus miles earned on the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® can also be used for free flights on any airline but cannot be transferred to any airlines.

While I can not directly link to Arrival Plus’ current offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

There are other redemption options for ThankYou Points, like merchandise. Avoid these options like the plague for their low return on ThankYou Points.

Two Final Thoughts

  1. This transferability is really nice if you ever want to close the ThankYou card.

With cards that earn bank points, those points disappear when you close the card. (Not so for cards that earn airline miles or points.)

It would have been tough to redeem your balance close to zero before closing the card with the prior redemption options. Now you can always transfer out points until your balance is under 1,000.

  1. I really, really hope Citi adds American Airlines as a transfer partner.

Citi has purchased billions of American Airlines miles as part of their partnership with the co-branded American Airlines cards, so it is strange that American Airlines isn’t on the transfer list. Making it stranger: it’s not as if the only way to earn American Airlines miles from a credit card is with the co-branded American Airlines cards. American Airlines miles are a transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest points, which you can get from the SPG credit cards.

Bottom Line

Citi has 12 airlines to which you can transfer ThankYou points at a 1:1 rate.

You can get 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi Prestige® Card after spending $3,000 in the first three months. But if you want all 50,000 points, sign up in the next five days because the offer is changing on July 19, 2016.

The best transfer partner for those ThankYou points is Singapore KrisFlyer. The Singapore Airlines program allows redemption on all 28 Star Alliance airlines including United flights with no fuel surcharges.

There are some amazing gems on the Singapore Airlines award chart, and Singapore miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites, one of the world’s nicest First Class products.

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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The Citi Prestige® Card  is one of the best cards on the market. I change my rankings of the top credit cards monthly, but the Prestige has remained at the beginning/towards the beginning of the list for a while now.

It’s got an impressive array of benefits that easily outweigh the hefty annual fee–you can read my review of the Citi Prestige Card to learn more. One of it’s most touted benefits is getting your fourth hotel night free when you book a four night stay and pay for it with the card. All you have to do is call the Citi Prestige Concierge service (1-561-922-0158) to book it for you.

Getting your Fourth AND Fifth Night Free

But what about stacking promotions? It’s common for hotels to run promotions with a third, fourth, or fifth night free (etc.), so could you hypothetically book a hotel running a promotion of this type with the Prestige and still get the fourth night free? 

One Mile at a Time just proved that it’s not hypothetical– you can actually stack a fifth free hotel night promotion with the fourth night free benefit to get two nights out of a five night stay for free.

The key is that you have to find a hotel running a fifth night free promotion, and that you will be billed in a way that shows a full rate for the first four nights and the fifth night as costing $0 (instead of five nights averaged down to the cost of four). To check this, you have to follow the reservation past the front-end advertisement– often times there it looks like it’s priced per night– and go through all the steps of booking you can without actually paying for it. You should be able to see the itemized pricing in the final steps.

Example of When Stacking Works

I found a fifth night free promotion at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, Spa, and Casino by doing a simple search of “fifth night free hotel night promotions”.

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I selected the Garden View room with a king bed, and took me to the following page to process payment info. There was a summary of charges listed as well, which is what we want to see.

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The first four nights each have a fill rate price $360 and the fifth night costs $0, not $288 per night like the averaged advertisement read. This is the way it needs to price out in order to get the fourth and fifth night free. By booking this reservation with your Prestige, you’d save not only $360 from the hotel promotion, but an additional $382.50 for the total cost of the fourth night ($360 + 1/5 of the taxes & fees) from the fourth night free benefit. You could stay five nights at this lovely property for only $1,420.60!

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Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, Spa, and Casino

That’s a total savings of $742.50, about a 35% discount!

When Stacking Probably Won’t Work

Unfortunately, you probably won’t be eligible for the Prestige‘s fourth night free benefit if the hotel promotion you’re trying to stack it with is also a fourth night free promotion– since the hotel’s wording actually says “fourth night free”. One Mile at a Time tried it out, and two Prestige Concierges that he spoke with didn’t think you could still get the fourth night free in that case, even if the line item pricing of the room rate was averaged down to show a cost for each of the four nights.

What Hotels Does the Prestige‘s Fourth Night Free Benefit Apply to?

I checked in the benefits section of my own Prestige account to nail down exactly what hotels this benefit applies for, and the most specific information there was the following: Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 12.04.59 PM

Pretty much, the fourth night free benefit can apply to any publicly available rate.

Bottom Line

You can get the fourth and fifth nights of your hotel reservation for free by combining a hotel’s fifth night free promotion with the Citi Prestige® Card‘s fourth night free benefit, as long as the hotel prices the reservation in a way that Citi sees four nights charged at a full rate. It’s a truism of miles, points, and rewards that outsized value does not last forever, and this is some seriously outsized value, so take advantage while you can to save thousands of dollars.

Citi Prestige® Card 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 Air Travel Credit each year
  • Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
  • Earn 50,000 bonus 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, 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

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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Citi ThankYou Points are transferable to one hotel and 12 airline programs. Folks who have a Citi ThankYou® Premier, Citi Prestige® Card, or Citi Chairman card can transfer Citi ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio to (click links for posts on basics and sweetspots of that program):

You can also transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton HHonors points.

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Other Redemption Options

ThankYou Points earned from the Premier can be redeemed for 1.25 cents on any airline. ThankYou Points earned from the Prestige can be redeemed for 1.33 cents each on any airline, or for 1.6 cents each on American Airlines flights and any of the 25 airlines that American has a codeshare agreement with:

ThankYou Points earned solely from the Citi ThankYou® Premier cannot be redeemed for 1.6 cents on American and codeshare partners, but if you also have the Citi Prestige® Card along with the Premier, you can pool the points and redeem them like you would ThankYou Points earned from the Prestige.

However, if if you transfer ThankYou Points to one of their partner airlines wisely, you can find a lot more value than 1.6 cents per point. Below are the directions of how to make the actual transfers between your Citi account and their partners.

How to Transfer ThankYou Points Step-by-Step

1. Log in to your Citi account on either citi.com or thankyou.com. Either will take you to the right place.

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2. Scroll to the account details for either the Prestige or Premier, and click on Points Summary on the right side of the screen.

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3. If you have multiple cards that earn ThankYou Points, you will be asked to designate which account’s points you want to view.

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4. On the following screen, hover your mouse over Travel in the tool bar at the top of the page, and click Points Transfer from the drop-down menu.

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5. You will then be directed to a page that lists all of the airline and hotel transfer partners.

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6. Choose whichever partner you wish to transfer to, and click Transfer Now. Note that you must already have an account open with the loyalty program you are transferring to.

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7. Type in the number of miles you want to transfer. You have to transfer in increments of 1,000 to all partners.

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8. Enter your frequent flyer number, accept the terms and conditions….

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9. …and you’re done. You should receive a confirmation email that looks like this:

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10. The last step is to wait. Transfers are not usually instant. You can check on the status of transfer times to specific partners in this FlyerTalk thread about Citi ThankYou Points.

If possible, put the award on hold with the loyalty program you are redeeming with to decrease your chance of missing out on your desired award space.

I transferred some ThankYou Points to Etihad Guest last year and it took about one week for the miles to show up in my account. I recently made the same transfer again, and this time the ThankYou Points took five days to show up in my Etihad Guest account. I transferred Thursday afternoon, and the miles posted the next Tuesday afternoon. It varies on the airline, but evidence points towards transfer times decreasing.

How to Get ThankYou Points

The easiest way to earn a bundle of ThankYou Points is with the Citi Prestige® Card, which has a huge sign up bonus and big category bonuses. Read my review of the Citi Prestige Card.

Citi Prestige® Card:

  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou Points after $3,000 in spending
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on air travel and hotels, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Air travel fee credit:  $250 annual credit ($500 first year of cardmembership)
  • Lounge access: Admirals Clubs lounges and Priority Pass lounges worldwide
  • Free hotel nights: Get your 4th night free on all paid hotel stays (no blackout dates)
  • Global Entry: $100 application fee credit
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $450 not waived, well worth it

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

Bottom Line

Follow the steps outlined above to transfer your ThankYou Points to one of their 12 partner airlines or partner hotel. Read more about the sweetspots with ThankYou Point transfer partners to learn how to get the most value out of your ThankYou 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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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3

Today Costco switched over from only accepting American Express cards to only accepting Visa cards. Its new co-branded cards are the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi, which offer 4% back on gas, 3% back on travel and restaurants, and 2% back at Costco with no annual fee.

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I’ll take a look at the cards and compare how their category bonuses stack up against other cards’.

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Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: None
  • Category Bonuses: 4% back on gas (including at Costco) up to $7,000 spent per year, 3% back on travel and restaurants, and 2% back at Costco or costco.com
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: no annual fee

Sign Up Bonus

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi have no sign up bonus. That’s standard for cash back cards with no annual fees. (And that’s one reason why the 17,500 point or $175 sign up bonuses on the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited are so good.)

Category Bonuses

Both cards offer:

  • 4% back on gas (including at Costco) up to $7,000 spent per year
  • 3% back on travel and restaurants
  • 2% back at Costco or costco.com

All other spending earns 1% back.

Gas: 4%

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi offer the best cash back percentage at all gas stations for a cash back card that anyone can get. (The PenFed Ultimate Cash Rewards Plus offers 5% back at gas stations, but you have to have another PenFed account to qualify.)

The Ink Plus Business Card offers 2x Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations up to $50,000 per year. I value Ultimate Rewards at 2 cents each, so that is comparable to 4% cash back from the CostCo cards and better if you spend more than $583 per month on gas ($7,000 per year, the cap on the Costco cards’ gas category.)

  • While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

The Freedom offers 1x Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations normally, but gas stations were the 5x category from January through March this year, up to $1,500 spent that quarter.

  • While I can not directly link to the current Freedom offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)
Travel and Restaurants: 3%

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi offer 3% cash back “on restaurant (including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants) and eligible travel purchases worldwide, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruise lines and Costco Travel.”

For dining, the Citi Prestige® Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred offer 2x points per dollar, which I value at 3.8% and 4% back respectively.

The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x on travel also, including all the travel expenses bonused by the Costco cards and several others. Even better, the Citi Prestige® Card offers 3x points on airfare and hotels.

Costco: 2%

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi offer 2% cash back  at Costco and on costco.com.

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers 6% back at grocery stores. Warehouse clubs, like Costco, do not earn the 6% back, and Costco doesn’t accept Amex anyways.

The Chase Freedom is a Visa that offers 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar up to $1,500 per quarter at warehouse clubs for the last three quarters of 2016. You can cash that in for 5% back or for 5 United/Korean/British Airways/Southwest/Virgin Atlantic miles per dollar if you know the Freedom Two Step.

Other: 1%

Don’t use these cards for 1% cash back. Almost any card offers a better return.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Don’t use these cards abroad. They have a 3% foreign transaction fee. Use your Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus abroad, both of which have no foreign transaction fee.

No Annual Fee

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi have no annual fee.

Costco Cash Back Annually

Unfortunately the mechanism for receiving the cash back on these cards is not as straightforward as with other cards (my summary below):

Redeeming Costco Cash Rewards: Your reward is distributed annually via U.S. Mail in the form of a reward coupon included in your February billing statement, and is redeemable through December 31 of the year issued in a single transaction at any U.S. Costco warehouse, including in Puerto Rico, for merchandise or cash back. The reward coupon will contain your Costco Cash Rewards balance based on your eligible purchases during the annual reward period. The annual reward period is based on January through December billing statements. Should you choose to redeem only a portion of the coupon for merchandise, you will receive the remaining balance in cash at the Costco warehouse register upon checkout. Some warehouses may not permit the reward coupon to be redeemed for alcohol purchases. Requests for cash may be fulfilled in the form of a check at Costco’s discretion. If you are enrolled in Paperless Statements, a paper billing statement will be provided to you in February if you earned a reward coupon during the previous annual reward period. Coupon must be redeemed in person on or prior to its expiration date of December 31 in the year in which it is issued. Any Costco Cash Rewards you have earned on purchases made by authorized users on your Card Account will be added to your Costco Cash Rewards Total. Only you, the primary cardmember, are eligible to receive the annual reward coupon, however, you or any authorized user on your Card Account may redeem your coupon. You may not transfer it to anyone else. You will not receive a reward coupon if your reward is less than $1 or your account is closed at the time it is scheduled to be sent; any Costco Cash Rewards that had been accrued at that time will be forfeited. You must maintain your Costco Membership to receive and redeem the reward coupon.

Basically:

  • Every February, you get all of the cash back from the previous January to December statements in the form of Costco Cash
  • You have to go to a Costco to use the Costco Cash for purchases (why would you do that?) or cash it out (smarter since that means you can use your Costco credit card for purchases and get another 2% back.)
  • Your Costco credit card must be open in February or you forfeit the last year’s earning.

This is an annoying procedure. The better cards give you cash back monthly, redeemable automatically or at least online. This procedure means you are offering Costco an interest-free loan of your cash back, which you forfeit if you cancel your credit card. And to redeem, you have to go to a Costco store.

Those burdens are not too cumbersome, but they are frustrating.

Business vs. Personal

There’s not much reason to get the personal card over the business card or vice versa.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 6.42.31 PM

One reason to get the business card is that Citi may no report it on your personal credit report, so Chase may not see it, so you may be able to get around the Chase 5/24 rule.

If You Have the American Express Costco Credit Card

You should have already received a Citi card as a replacement. If not, contact Citi.

Bottom Line

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi offer 4% back on gas, 3% back on travel and restaurants, and 2% back at Costco with no annual fee.

I wouldn’t get either as my only credit card, but they are very valuable for 4% back on gas purchases (up to $7,000 per year) and 2% back at Costco if you have used up your quarterly 5x on the Freedom.

Other Cards Mentioned in This Post

While I can not directly link to the current Freedom offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

To do the Freedom Two Step, you’ll also need a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus. Here’s a little info on those.

The Sapphire Preferred is one of the best personal credit cards on the market. It offers:

  • 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards for adding an authorized user
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • no annual fee the first year and $95 thereafter

While I can not directly link to the current Sapphire Preferred offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

The Ink Plus is easily the best business card on the market. It offers:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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7

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months. It is a premium American Airlines credit card with a $450 annual fee that grants the cardholder Admirals Club membership.

Until 2015, adding authorized users didn’t get your friends and family access to American Airlines clubs, but that has changed.

You can now add up to 10 authorized users to your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® account, and each one will get access to American Airlines lounges for himself and two guests. They get the lounge access no matter what airline they’re flying, and even if you, the accountholder, are not present.

With you plus your two guests, that means a total of 33 people can access the same Admirals Club for free in the unlikely event that you, your 10 authorized users, and your 22 combined guests were all together.

Members?

The primary cardholder is an Admirals Club member. The authorized users are not.

That means the primary cardholder can enter not just the 50 American Airlines lounges, but also the 40 partners lounges that are affiliated with the Admirals Club including Alaska Airlines and Qantas lounges. The authorized users can only access the 50 American Airlines lounges, not the 40 partner lounges.

American Airlines Lounge Information

Check out the list of American Airlines lounges here.

American Airlines lounges have greatly improved in the last year or two. You can now get free soup, fruit, cheese and crackers, crudités, desserts, alcohol, and soft drinks. In Phoenix recently, I made a meal of chicken noodle soup, tomato bisque, cheddar cheese and crackers, celery and hummus, and brownie bites. I saved $10 by not getting Chinese food in the terminal.

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You can also get free wifi and a comfortable chair.

My favorite American Airlines lounge is at Honolulu International Airport. It is shared with Japan Airlines and Air New Zealand Business Class passengers, so its offerings are slightly upgraded. You also can’t beat its garden views.

Here is a review of a typical American Airlines lounge in Miami.

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Comparison with Prestige Lounge Access

The Citi Prestige® Card is the other premium Citi card that offers big time lounge access. It offers American Airlines lounge access when flying American Airlines that day, Priority Pass lounge access always, and great guest access. Authorized users cost $50. They do NOT get the American Airlines lounge access, but do get the Priority Pass access.

For a full comparison of the two cards, see Citi Prestige vs. AA Executive AAdvantage.

Bottom Line

The value proposition of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® is more than just the miles. For $450 per year, the primary account holder gets Admirals Club membership, and up to 10 authorized users get Admirals Club access. Every time they enter an American Airlines club, each of these 11 people can bring in any two guests OR his spouse and children under 18.

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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American Airlines is releasing a ton of flat bed Business Class award space to and from Europe for two+ people from November 2016 through March 2017.

For a limited time, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® is offering 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

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You would earn at least 65,000 American Airlines miles for meeting that minimum spending requirement, which is more than enough for a one way in Business Class to Europe which costs 57,500 miles.

The card offers a host of other benefits as well, including Admirals Club lounge membership and 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles after $40,000 spent in purchases each calendar year. Read my review of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® here.

Product

The award space I will focus on is between:

  • Chicago and London
  • New York City and Barcelona
  • New York City and Paris
  • Paris and New York City
  • Barcelona and New York City

The Chicago to London route flies American Airlines’ new 777-300ERs, which have only four seats per row in Business Class in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone layout.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 7.15.52 PM
777-300ER Business Class Bed

The New York City to Barcelona/Barcelona to New York City route flies American Airlines’ retrofitted 777-200, also with a reverse herringbone 1-2-1 layout and fully lie flat beds. Since the 777-200’s are retrofitted, the Chicago product is marginally nicer, but both have great flat beds.

The New York City to Paris/Paris to New York City route flies two different planes, the 777-200 with a 1-2-1 layout and fully lie flat beds mentioned above but also a 757-200, with a 2-2 layout and angle lie flat beds. So if you want the fully lie flat bed be sure to check the aircraft type.

You can check the aircraft type by clicking the View Available Seats link (on the flight schedule results page when you click a specific day from the calendar), and comparing the flight map pop-up to the same flight map searched on SeatGuru.com (Seatguru differentiates between angle lie flat and fully lie flat beds, and the View Available Seat link shows you the seat layout). Here’s how to use SeatGuru.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 6.25.01 PM

Award Space

Business Class award space is great from Chicago and New York to a few European cities on American Airlines flights the first few months of 2017, with plenty of options for the return as well.  All calendars in this section are for two award seats on direct American Airlines flights only.

I wanted to isolate American Airlines flights to avoid the nasty fuel surcharges you pay when redeeming American Airlines miles for British Airways flights. I did that by selecting “American Airlines and American Eagle” at the bottom of the search page.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 6.57.04 AMI also wanted to isolate direct flights in my search results, to eliminate the number of connections necessary (in case you need to add another American Airlines flight from your hometown– see the Connections section of this post below). To do this, on the left side of the search results page that displays the calendar, check “Non-stop only” in the drop-down menu next to Number of Stops:

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 6.04.07 PM

Chicago to London

Award space is plentiful January through March 2017– at least 10 days a month have space for at least two people (and often more). Below is the calendar for January 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.29.51 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.32.36 PM

New York City to Barcelona

Again, space is wide open January through March 2017. Below is the calendar for the end of January through the end of February.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 5.59.45 PM

New York City to Paris

This route has the most award space by far–three out of four weeks of each month at least, November 2016 through March 2017, have space for two+ people. Below is the calendar for late February to late March.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 6.38.59 PM

 Best Return Options

The following calendars are also for two people, on direct American Airlines flights only.

Paris to New York

This route has ample space November 2016 through March 2017.

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Barcelona to New York

This route also has tons of space November 2016 through March 2017.

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Connections

If you don’t live in any of the American cities mentioned, you can still take advantage of this space. The cities are hubs for American Airlines with flights to most of the country. You can tack on Economy, Business, or First Class MileSAAver award space onto these international flights for zero extra miles.

If you don’t want to go to London, or you want to fly an open jaw award, this space is still useful. American Airlines partners British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, and S7 have tons of flights from London to the rest of Europe.

Award Prices (Including Taxes and Fees)

When you see “London,” your first thought should be about taxes and fuel surcharges. The big taxes are for departing London. The big fuel surcharges are for flying British Airways across the Atlantic. Both things are easy to avoid to limit the out-of-pocket cost of travel to Europe.

A one way Business Class ticket from the United States to London on American Airlines costs 57,500 miles + $5.60.Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.12.27 PMA one way Business Class return from London costs 57,500 miles + $287.26.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.14.56 PMIf you want to connect in London to a British Airways flights, taxes and fuel surcharges stay reasonable. Connecting to Munich has $60.30 in taxes and a $40 fuel surcharge for $100 total.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.32.36 PM

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.36.24 PMThis should give you an idea for how to lower the taxes in your trip. Do an open jaw and see two or more cities in Europe. Start the return on the continent. Even if you fly from a high tax country and fly British Airways to London, you save about $100 in taxes and fees.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.42.51 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.43.39 PMIf you start in a low tax country, like Helsinki, and fly a no-surcharge partner, like Finnair, you’ll save over $200.

Off Peak Economy Awards to/from Europe

If you don’t mind flying one of the ways on your Euro-trip in economy, you can save a lot of miles by taking advantage of American Airlines Off Peak prices to Europe. Fly the economy leg sometime between January and March or November to mid December, and it will only cost 22,500 American Airlines miles.  The Off Peak dates line up nicely with the current Business Class award space, so you could treat yourself one way and save miles on the other. Doing so would reduce your mileage price tag to 80,000 roundtrip a person instead of 115,000 if you flew in Business roundtrip.

Booking the Award

You can search for award space and book these awards right on aa.com.

Pay the taxes and surcharges with your Citi Prestige® Card.

The Citi Prestige® Card offers a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year that offsets your first $250 in spending on airlines with the card. Taxes on an award ticket definitely count.

The card also comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to 12 types of airline miles or used like cash toward the purchase of any ticket.

Bottom Line

Book your trip to Europe with fantastic flat bed award space options in American Airlines Business Class. By signing up for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® you’ll get 65,000 American Airlines miles for reaching the minimum spending requirement for the sign-up bonus, which is more than enough for a one way in Business Class to Europe. Then use the leftover miles towards an Economy Off Peak award from a low tax city in Europe to return back to the US.

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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26

Update 5/25/16: A One Mile at a Time commenter confirms booking a Brussels Business Class roundtrip from New York to Brussels for 36,620 Etihad miles plus under $100 in taxes per person. There is an Amex Membership Rewards to Etihad 30% transfer bonus through June 15, 2016 that would make this bookable for 29,000 Membership Rewards.

The only thing I would change about this article published in February 2016 is that I think you might be better off calling Etihad directly instead of searching on united.com for the space first. My new recommended order would be call Etihad to award search, transfer to Etihad, book with Etihad.

Brussels airlines is a partner of Etihad Airlines, and this is the amazing award chart for roundtrip redemptions.

Etihad Brussels redemption chart

Those deals are fantastic, so I figured some serious investigation was in order.

How to Book a Brussels Airlines Flight with Etihad Miles

To book Brussels Airlines flights with Etihad miles, first you have to search united.com for Saver award space on Brussels flights. Then you have to call Etihad to book.

  • You cannot search etihad.com for award space because it only displays Etihad flights.
  • You cannot book flights operated by other airlines that you find on united.com. Etihad partners with Brussels, not Brussels plus all its partners. If this confuses you, see There is No Transitive Property of Miles.

To search on united.com:

1. Fill out the Book Travel box on the home page of united.com, and be sure to check “search for award travel”:

united book travel box

2. Choose a flight that has Saver award space that is operated by Brussels.

united saver award 2

3. Note the date, flight number, and cabin of the award space you find on united.com.

4. To book that flight with Etihad miles, call Etihad at 888-8-ETIHAD. Tell the agent you want to book a Brussels Airlines flight and feed them the date, flight number, and cabin of the award space you found on united.com.

My Experience Booking a Brussels Airlines Flight with Etihad Miles

I easily found Saver award space for a roundtrip economy flight between New York and Brussels during the month of June on united.com. Availability was generally open for economy over the summer months, but no space was open in business. I took the date, flight number, and cabin of the award space I found and had to feed it to 10 different Etihad Guest representatives over the course of two days, because the agents were having a near impossible time seeing the same award space that I saw on united.com.

After some serious nudging (see specific details about what to say to Etihad Guest’s representatives below), the last representative I spoke to was able to find space, but oddly enough it was for a business seat on the same roundtrip between New York and Brussels that I originally found only in economy. He also told me that the total of all fees would be $94.70.

With conflicting information these results are obviously not definitive, but the experience was informative nonetheless. Below is a summation of what I know and what I still don’t know from spending two days on the phone with various representatives.

What I Do Know

  • You can only redeem Etihad miles on Brussels flights between New York and Brussels. Washington, DC is also listed as a destination for Brussels Airlines on Wikipedia, so I asked some of Etihad Guest’s representatives for availability and prices for roundtrip flights out of Washington, DC to Brussels guessing that perhaps it was left out of the chart on accident. Every representative that I asked had the same response: You cannot book flights in and out of Washington, DC, for no good reason other than it’s not listed in the redemption chart, and that is the rule.
  • You can redeem Etihad miles on a Brussels flight that originates in New York. It does not have to originate in Brussels like the redemption chart might convey.
  • One way awards are not permitted for Etihad redemptions on Brussels Airlines, only roundtrips (or as they phrase it in the footer of the chart: “Mileage Values in this table are for return journeys only. One way redemptions are not permitted.”)
  • The mileage amounts on the redemption chart for roundtrips in economy and business are indeed 21,972 miles and 36,620 miles respectively– each of Etihad Guest’s representatives I spoke with confirmed that.
  • If you do manage to find award space over the phone, the award has to be booked out of New York to Brussels or vice versa to get the value, adding on other Brussels Airlines flights to either end is technically possible but will be like paying for two awards.
  • Don’t call Etihad Guest’s US offices (1 888 8 ETIHAD) as they were the least helpful. I recommend the UK office (+44 0345 6081225). More on that and other call strategies below.

What I Do Not Know, and Why I’m Not Sure

I am not sure that Etihad miles can actually book Brussels award space because:

  • The award space found by the final Etihad Guest representative (in Business Class from June 2 – 13) I spoke to from the UK office is not available on united.com:

business not available

no biz saver return

If Etihad miles can book Brussels space, I think there are no fuel surcharges on the award, but I am not sure. The Etihad Guest representative that found space for me in business on the flight from New York to Brussels quoted all taxes and fees to be $94.70. If you purchased the same ticket in cash, ITA matrix shows taxes of $94.70 and fuel surcharges (YQ and YR) of $873.50, meaning that he was quoting a price with no fuel surcharges.

ita matrix jfk to bru

That is a promising sign that the space is bookable with no fuel surcharges, but considering only one agent got that far, and I didn’t actually book, I am not ready to promise that there are no fuel surcharges on the award.

Advice for More Efficient Communication with Etihad Guest Representatives

The first step is choosing which Etihad Guest office to call. Their UK office (+44 0345 6081225) was the most helpful to me and this FlyerTalker. Etihad Guest’s US offices (+1 888 8 ETIHAD) were the least competent. I tried the offices in New York, Chicago and Washington DC at different times of day over the course of two days, to ensure a different pool of representatives, yet still met no one capable of actually helping me. The UAE office was slightly more informed and at least had the award searching software on their computers (unlike one of the representatives from the US!)– but still no dice when it came to availability.

The next and most important step is clearly communicating what you want them to do for you. Emphasize that you would like to redeem your Etihad miles on a Brussels Airlines flight, not an Etihad flight. Feed them the date, flight number, and cabin of the award space you found previously on united.com. Finally, before they put you on hold to search, suggest they put a “longsell query into their system”, or if they don’t understand that term suggest they do it manually or directly. A FlyerTalker suggested that choice of wording that ultimately led the final Etihad Guest representative I spoke with from the UK office towards the answer I wanted– availability!

Another point to mention is that the redemption chart lists mileage for roundtrips, as it is easy to make the assumption that the mileage amounts are for one ways because of the way chart is set up. I had more than one Etihad representative make that mistake. Nudge them towards the asterisk at the the bottom of the chart that reads “Mileage Values in this table are for return journeys only. One way redemptions are not permitted”.

What to Do If You Want to Book This Space

If you want to book New York to Brussels roundtrip in economy for 22,000 ThankYou Points or in Business Class for 37,000 ThankYou Points, here’s what you should do.

  1. Find award space on united.com.
  2. Call Etihad Guest’s UK office to confirm that an agent sees that space, and get him to quote total taxes and fees.
  3. Transfer ThankYou Points to Etihad miles.
  4. Hope award space doesn’t disappear during the approximately seven days it will take for the Etihad miles to post.
  5. When the miles appear, book the Brussels flights with Etihad miles.
  6. Report back your experiences in the comments of this post.

Bottom Line

The best case scenario is that you can book a roundtrip Business Class flight to Europe without fuel surcharges for 37,000 ThankYou Points. That’s an incredibly awesome deal.

The worst case scenario is that all the flights mentioned are completely unbookable due to lack of availability and/or a disconnect between Etihad Guest and Brussels Airlines. That would be a bummer.

The middle scenario is that the award space is bookable, but with fuel surcharges, taking a lot of the value out of the deal.

We still don’t have proof that you can redeem Etihad miles on a Brussels Airlines flight.  But considering the range of scenarios, I do not think putting a bit of time and research into this yourselves would be a waste.

Happy hunting. 

This deal wouldn’t be possible without Citi ThankYou points. Luckily, ThankYou Points are easy to get.

  • Citi Prestige® Card with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open

With the miles earned from the sign-up bonuses of the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, you could have 96,000 ThankYou points. That’s more than enough to book two roundtrip trips to Europe in Business Class in a flat bed as long as Etihad can book Brussels Business Class.

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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The current public sign-up bonus offers for the Cit AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard, and the Citi ThankYou Premier Mastercard are 30k, 30k, and 0 (no bonus) respectively.

But you can do much better.

The following links have surfaced with much higher sign-up bonus offers:

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.42.42 AM

This card’s public sign-up offer is 30,000 American Airlines miles for spending $1,000 within three months of opening the account. This link will take you to a secure application that offers:

  • 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 within three months of opening the account
  • First checked bag free and Group 1 Boarding on domestic American Airlines itineraries
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 10% rebate on your redeemed AAdvantage®miles
  • Reduced Mileage Awards
  • No foreign transaction fees

I value American Airlines miles at 1.8 cents each, so this alternative offer is worth $360 more to me.

Hat Tip Running With Miles

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

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This card’s public sign-up offer is 30,000 American Airlines miles for spending $1,000 within three months of opening the account. This link will take you to a secure application that offers:

  • 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 within three months of opening the account
  • First checked bag free and Group 1 Boarding on domestic American Airlines itineraries
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on select business categories including gas stations
  • No foreign transaction fees

I value American Airlines miles at 1.8 cents each, so this alternative offer is worth $360 more to me.

Citi ThankYou® Premier MasterCard®

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This card’s public sign-up offer does not include any bonus ThankYou Points whatsoever. That part of the offer was taken away in April of this year, so this non-public link is an especially good find*. This link will take you to a secure application that offers:

  • 40,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 within three months of opening the account
  • Category Bonuses
    • 3x on Travel (gas, airfare, hotels, and travel agencies)
    • 2x on Dining and Entertainment
  • No foreign transaction fees

I value ThankYou Points at 1.9 cents each, so this alternate offer is worth $760 more to me. This card is one the best cards to pay for airfare with as it earns 3 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on travel.

*Doctor of Credit also noted a 20k offer for the Citi ThankYou Preferred, but it now appears to be broken.

Bottom Line

If you’ve been thinking about signing up for any of these cards, don’t settle for their public offers. You can reap more American Airlines miles/ThankYou Points by signing up via these links:

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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Award taxes and airfare add up for everyone reading this blog, especially if you book yourself reimbursable tickets for work. What credit card should you use to pay the airfare and award taxes for your travel?

Bonus Spending

Many cards offer bonus points for “airfare” or “travel” purchases. In practice, these bonus any spending that an airline processes, which includes:

  • airfare
  • award taxes
  • fuel surcharges on awards
  • fees (seat selection, upgrade, cancellation, baggage, etc)
  • onboard food

It also sometimes includes mileage purchases. American Airlines and LifeMiles, for instance, process their own mileage sales, so buying miles counts as an “airfare” or “travel” purchase with cards that offer those bonus categories. United and Alaska use points.com to process mileage sales, so purchases of those miles do not count as an “airfare” or “travel” purchase.

Three Best Cards for Airfare Spending

The three best cards to pay an airline are the American Express Gold cards, Citi Prestige® Card, and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. All four cards offer three points per dollar on airfare spending (the business Gold only earns 3x if you designate it as your biggest spending category), and I value points from all three similarly.Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 9.02.13 PM

All four cards offer no foreign transaction fees, which is very important for airfare and award taxes, since you probably book with a lot of foreign airlines.

What About Online Travel Agencies?

If you are booking with an online travel agency–like Orbitz, Expedia, or Priceline–use your Citi Prestige® Card or Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. They earn 3x points per dollar when booking airfare through an online travel agency.

The AMEX Gold cards only earn 3x points when booking directly with an airline.

Airline Specific Cards

‘The AMEX Gold cards only earn 3x points when booking directly with an airline.

Most co-branded airline cards offer 2x miles on purchases with that airline. For instance, the United Explorer card offers 2x miles on United purchases. The American Express Gold cards, Citi Prestige® Card, and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card always offer a better return than 2x airline cards.

There are airline cards that offer 3x though:

  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card offers 3x points on Alaska purchases
  • British Airways Visa Signature Card offers 3x points on airfare British Airways purchases
  • Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Cards offers 3x points on Virgin America purchases

Virgin American points are worth over 2 cents each, so if you fly Virgin America and have its credit card, use it for Virgin America purchases. You also earn 5x points on top of that for being a member of Virgin America Elevate, their frequent flyer program, although the 5x bonus is only on the base fair of plane tickets flying actual Virgin America flights (not any of their partners).

Alaska miles are a close call. It just depends on whether you value Alaska miles, Membership Rewards, or ThankYou Points the most.

Avios are definitely worth less than ThankYou Points and Membership Rewards in general, but if you want to build an Avios balance, earning them at 3x can make sense, especially since Membership Rewards-to-Avios transfers devalued October 1, 2015.

While I can not directly link to the current Alaska Airlines or British Airways offers, you may find them by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Let Me Preempt Your Questions about Other Cards

Other than 3x airline cards when purchasing from that airline, yes, the the American Express Gold cards, Citi Prestige® Card, and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card are the best cards to purchase airfare, pay award taxes, or pay airline fees.

They are better than the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which earns 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar, worth about 2 cents each.

They are better than the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card, which earns 5 Hilton points per dollar on airfare and car rentals, because Hilton points are only worth 0.4 cents each to me.

Bottom Line

The American Express Gold cards, Citi Prestige® Card, and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card are the best cards to purchase airfare, pay award taxes, or pay airline fees. All earn 3x points per dollar on those purchases. The American Express Gold cards do NOT earn bonus points if you book through an online travel agency, but the Citi cards do.

When not purchasing British Airways, Virgin America, or Alaska Airlines airfare, you should be using one of these three cards. Which one exactly depends on whether you value ThankYou Points or Membership Rewards more. (Here’s How ThankYou Points Work.)

Right now, the Citi Prestige® Card offers 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months. You can read my review of the Citi Prestige card here. The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card does not have a publicly available sign up bonus right now, but there is currently a link out there offering 40,000 ThankYou Points for spending $3,000 in three months. The Premier Rewards Gold is offering 25,000 Membership Rewards for a $2,000 minimum spending requirement within three months (although this often rises to 50,000). The Business Gold offer is 50,000 Membership Rewards for a $5,000 minimum spending requirement within three months.

Application Links:

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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If you’re just getting into the miles hobby or coming back after a break, it’s important to realize that there is an order in which to apply for credit cards that can help you maximize your award earning potential. Applying at random not only slows your award earning efficiency but can also result in unnecessary denials (and wastes of hard credit inquiries that affect your credit score), thanks to bank rules and sign-up bonus conditions.

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Where I’ve been through May 2016. You can do it too if you collect awards wisely!

There are numerous institutions that issue travel credit cards, but I’m going to talk about five them, as they issue the majority of cards that are worth signing up for:

  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • American Express
  • Barclaycard
  • Bank of America

This is the order I suggest applying for credit cards in:

  1. Look at all the cards offered by Chase, and pick up to five that you want.
  2. If there are five that interest you, get them all.
  3. If there are less than five Chase cards you want (we’ll call the number of Chase cards you want “X”), apply for 5-X Citi cards that interest you, and then X Chase cards.
  4. Over the course of time, apply for other Citi cards, Barclaycards, and Bank of America cards. At the same time, keep an eye out for the highest sign-up bonuses available from American Express cards and apply for them when you see them.
  5. Consider stopping or slowing down for 24+ months in order to re-up on Chase cards at some point.

The Best Order for Card Applications Step-by-Step

1. Look at all the cards offered by Chase, and pick up to five that you want. 

Chase has some of the best travel cards out there with incredible sign-up offers. If you have gotten any five credit cards total from any banks within the last 24 months, all Chase cards will be off limits to you– this is called the Chase 5/24 Rule.

The rule previously only applied to Chase branded cards specifically (like the Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Slate) but now it also applies to their co-branded and business cards (United Explorer, British Airways, Ink Plus).

2. If there are five Chase cards that interest you, get them all.

You can be approved for multiple Chase cards on the same day. I know people who have been approved for two personal and one business card from Chase on their first-ever credit card applications.

3. If there are less than five Chase cards you want (we’ll call the number of Chase cards you want “X”), apply for 5-X Citi cards that interest you, and then apply for X Chase cards. 

Citi has a rule that sign-up bonuses on their cards are not available for a second time until 24 months after the original card was either opened or closed. By applying for the Citi cards you want first (ONLY if you want less than five Chase cards) you will start that 24 month clock sooner, therefore allowing you to get these Citi cards for a second time more quickly than you otherwise could. I would pick the ones you most want to repeat with the highest sign-up bonuses.

Citi’s rule is as follows: You can be approved for no more than one card in a week or two Citi cards in a 65-day period. If you want three Citi cards, get them on Days 1, 9, and 66. This is the timeline that has worked best for other people.

Say you want two Citi and three Chase cards, get one Citi and three Chase cards on Day 1 and one Citi card on Day 9.

4. Over the course of time, apply for other Citi cards, Barclaycards, and Bank of America cards. At the same time, keep an eye out for the highest sign-up bonuses available for American Express cards and apply for them when you see them.

Here are American Express’ rules to consider:

  • You can only get the bonus on a American Express personal card or business card once per lifetime (with the exception of a possible targeted offer). This is why you should choose which offer you sign up with carefully. The American Express Platinum personal card and American Express Platinum Card Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz are separate cards, so you can get the bonus on each.
  • You are limited to holding four American Express credit cards. Both personal and business count toward this limit (Amex Gold, Everyday, Delta, and SPG are credit cards.)
  • Separately, you are limited to holding four American Express charge cards. Both personal and business count toward this limit. (Amex Platinum is a charge card).

Here are Barclaycard’s rules and other tips to consider:

  • Applicants with zero Barclaycards may be able to get several at once.
  • Applicants who have a Barclaycard will not be approved for another for at least six months since the last Barclaycard application.
  • Barclaycard will deny people for having too many Barclaycards, not enough spending on existing Barclaycards, too much credit with Barclaycard, or too many accounts with other banks.

Here are Bank of America’s rules and other tips to consider:

  • As for the Alaska Airlines personal and business cards (the only Bank of America cards worth getting), you can get as many as you’d like at one time.
  • I usually get one of each every 91 days, but people have gotten multiple at once or waited less time between applications.

Putting these rules together, it is important to snipe Amex offers. You should always be on the lookout for very short term offers with huge bonuses like the 100,000 point offer on the Amex Platinum that lasted just hours. When these bonuses appear, jump on them. When Amex cards have their “normal” bonuses, skip them in favor of normal or elevated bonuses from Bank of America and Barclaycard.

5. Consider stopping or slowing down for 24+ months in order to re-up on Chase cards at some point.

Remember that pesky Chase 5/24 Rule? If you stop collecting cards for a 24 month period, then it stops applying to you. However there is another Chase rule that comes into play here if you want to open a repeat Chase card: You can only get the bonus on the same Chase card once every 24 months, and this 24-month clock starts when you received the last bonus (which may be several months after you opened the account). So the actual waiting period before you can get a repeat sign-up bonus is 24 months plus the amount of time it took you get the bonus the previous time.

Whether you should stop getting new cards to reset your Chase clock is just a math problem. How many points in future sign up bonuses will stopping unlock for you (and how much are they worth?) versus how many are you giving up during your hiatus (and how much are they worth?)

Which Travel Credit Cards are the Best Right Now?

Listed below are the top three cards out of my top 10 choices for travel credit cards at the moment. Note that I update this post monthly, so these are my top three choices as of May 2016.

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Chase Ink Plus card

Until May 15, 2016, the Ink Plus is a business card that offers 70,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to United, British Airways, Singapore, Korean, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, and more.

The Ink Plus earns 5x points on internet, phone, and cell phone bills; 5x points on purchases at office supply stores; 2x points on hotels and gas; and 1x points on everything else.

The annual fee is $95, and it is NOT waived for the first year during this 70,000 point promotion.

Unfortunately you can only apply for the 70,000 point offer in a Chase branch. There is a similar offer with a 60,000 bonus point offer you can apply for online.

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Platinum Card from American Express

Until June 22, 2016, the Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz comes with 75,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Membership Rewards transfer to around 20 hotel and airline programs including Delta, Singapore, and British Airways.

The card has a $475 annual fee in the first year. But it comes with huge benefits like airline fee reimbursement, airport lounge access, and hotel status.

For more info on setting up and maximizing the benefits, see Get the Most Out of Your Platinum Card.

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

The “regular” Platinum card is worse than this offer because it has a smaller sign-up bonus and only a $25 lower annual fee.

Citi Prestige Card

For a limited time, 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.

Read my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like $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.

  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year
  • Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
  • Earn 50,000 bonus 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, 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

Resources for Beginners

Bottom Line

Choose the order in which you apply for travel credit cards carefully as it makes a serious impact on your award earning potential over the course of a lifetime. Apply for five Chase cards if there are five that interest you. If you want less than five Chase cards, apply for Citi cards first, but not so many that it would put you over a total of five cards when counting your desired Chase cards. Then move on to collecting other Citi, Barclaycard, Bank of America, and American Express cards, remembering to cherry pick the highest sign-bonuses for American Express since, publicly, you can only get one sign-up bonus per American Express card per lifetime.

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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4

Citi offers Price Rewind as a free feature on its personal cards like the:

Basically you register purchases online and if the price drops within 60 days of the purchase, Citi refunds you the difference up to $2,500 per year (according to Million Mile Secrets, the prior $1,200 per year and $300 per item refund limit is increasing to $2,500 and $500).

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The process is explained clearly in this video.

Or, if you prefer, this infographic.

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Citi Price Rewind has saved cardholders $3,993,614 in 2015 alone at an average of $33.50 per refund.

How to Access Price Rewind

There are two ways:

1. Go to citipricerewind.com and sign in with your Citi card’s online account info (click on either sign on option)

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2. Go to Citi’s website, sign in, and click card benefits. You can find it from there.
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How to Register a Product

Enter your product name to search Citi’s inventory on citipricerewind.com

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When registering a product, be as specific as possible since Citi has quite a large inventory. Details that can help specify aside from the product name are model number and/or UPC code (try Amazon if you can’t find them elsewhere).

For example, when I searched a very general term like “macbook”, it turned up 34,567 results.

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Once you’ve narrowed down your product, click Track This Item and you will be brought to a page where you need to fill in the purchase price, date of purchase, and where you bought it:

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 6.59.51 PMThen you Start the Price Rewind.
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Quick Facts About the Process

  • Citi will search for lower prices for a 60 day period of time post-purchase (not from when you registered the purchase, but from when the purchase was actually made)
  • The most you can get refunded for one item is $500.
  • The most you can get refunded in one year is $2,500.
  • You will receive an email alert if a lower price is found within the 60 day post-purchase time period
  • If you receive the email alert, sign in to citipricerewind.com and request a refund. Remember to keep your original, itemized receipt for this as they will likely ask you to upload it.
    • If your refund is $25.01 or more, you can choose between a statement credit or a check through the mail. If you request a check Citi says it will take 10 to 14 business days.
    • If your refund is less than $25.01, it will automatically be issued as a statement credit (processing time of two to three days)
  • Requests for a refund must be done within 180 days of the original purchase.

Which Purchases You Can Register and When You Should

Anything you buy with your Citi card within the United States qualifies, as long as it’s not in the list in the next section (Which Purchases You Can’t Register).

When you make any large purchase on your Citi card, the likelihood for bigger savings via Price Rewind increases. So register all your expensive purchases.

It would also be wise to register any purchases around the holidays, as sales are common post-holiday season to get rid of access inventory. Here’s a good hack: avoid getting trampled by Black Friday crowds by doing all your holiday shopping the week before on your Citi card. Register all the products on Price Rewind, watch the savings role in the next week, and laugh at your friends who wake up at 5 am to wait at doorbuster sales.

Which Purchases You Can’t Register

Items purchased with reward points, miles, gift cards or store credits do not count (the entire purchase must have been made on a Citi card).

The following list about which purchases don’t qualify is from the terms and conditions page of citipricerewind.com:

  • Any motorized land or air vehicles or their permanently attached parts, such as tires.
  • Boats.
  • Products that can spoil or be used up, such as food, fuel, perfume, printer cartridges and cosmetics.
  • Jewelry including loose gems, precious stones, metals and pearls. Watches are covered.
  • Antiques, art objects or stamps.
  • Tickets.
  • Land, buildings or fixtures meant for installation, such as windows, wallpaper or wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Cash (including rare or precious coins), checks, promissory notes, gift cards or any other financial document that represents money.
  • Items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use.
  • Plants or animals, including stuffed or mounted animals or fish.
  • Advice or services for a purchased item, such as product installation, labor, maintenance or repair.
  • Firearms or ammunition.

What if I Find a Lower Price than Price Rewind?

If you find a lower price than Price Rewind does, you can file a claim manually. You have a 180 day window to find and claim the lower price.

You can download a claim form by logging on to citipricerewind.com and clicking on “My Price Rewinds”:

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In the bottom right hand corner of every one of your Price Rewinds, there is a link to download a claim form.

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These are the documents you will need to send in with the claim form according to Price Rewind’s FAQ’s:

  • A copy of the itemized receipt for the item purchased.
  • A copy of the merchant’s advertisement with the lower price for the same item by the same manufacturer. The advertisement must state; Item
  • Effective date of sale (within 60 days of purchase)
  • Sale price
  • Model number and model year
  • Authorized dealer or merchant name (in US only)

Send everything to:

Citi® Price Rewind
P.O. Box 901024
Fort Worth, TX 76101
Call Toll Free 1-855-569-7366
Fax: 817-820-5917

Peoples’ Experiences with Price Rewind

Flyertalk

There isn’t a whole lot of buzz on Flyertalk about Citi Price Rewind, but what talk has gone on is nearly all positive. This Flyertalker dropped some useful knowledge that the refund per year limit is not person, but per account. So he’s saying if you have the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card for example, you could apparently get up to $5,000 refunded from Citi per year. Anyone have any personal experience with this? Let us know in the comments if so.

Reader Success Story

Reader Amy C saved at least $59.20 on a dress she bought at Nordstrom for $148 thanks to Price Rewind:

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She sent us the following screenshot of one of her Citi Price Rewind account page (the whole 60 day post-purchase period had not elapsed yet, this was only partially through it):

dress

Thanks for sharing the data point Amy C!

Dissatisfied Reader

Reader Gina had a less than satisfactory experience when she did not receive the refund due to her:Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 7.34.22 PM

Any update on this, Gina?

Tips From Readers Who Have Used Citi Price Rewind

  • If you plan on buying multiple of the same item you want to register on Price Rewind, be sure to buy them in separate transactions:

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  • Use it to save on high shipping costs and to get your desired item sooner when the online price is cheaper than the store:

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Bottom Line

The next time I buy something expensive, I’ll give Citi Price Rewind a whirl if I’m not meeting minimum spending requirements on other cards. It’s a great way to save yourself time and money on big purchases since Citi Bank does the market research for you– and nearly all the reviews I’ve read have been happy customers.

Have you ever used Citi Price Rewind? Did you get a refund?

If you haven’t used it yet, and you have one of these cards, give it a shot and let us know your results.

 

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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5

If you have a Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, check your email for the subject line “Earn 5 additional ThankYou® Points on stays within the Hilton Portfolio | Enroll in one click!”

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 3.58.46 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 3.58.54 PM The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card already earns 3x points on gas and travel, including of course hotel stays, so once enrolled you will earn 8 total ThankYou Points per dollar on Hilton stays, the normal 3 plus the bonus 5.

The 8x is valid through May 31, 2016 on your first $1,000 spent at Hilton hotels, including all these brands.

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I value ThankYou Points at 1.9 cents each, so that’s an amazing 15.2% rebate on Hilton stays.

Unfortunately the one click enrollment isn’t working for me. I got this message on different days of trying.

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I haven’t called in to activate the deal because I don’t have any plans for hotel stays before the end of May.

Did anyone else get the offer? Did you have any trouble signing up?

Full terms and conditions from the email:

This offer starts upon enrollment. Earnings associated with this offer will equal 5 ThankYou® Point(s) per $1 spent on stays at hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio on top of the 3 points per $1 you ordinarily earn, and may overlap with other offers in which you are enrolled. Your stay must be completed and paid by05/31/2016 to earn the additional ThankYou® Point(s). You may earn a maximum of 5,000 additional ThankYou® Point(s) with this offer. You will not earn anyThankYou® Points on returns or credits. It may take 1 to 2 billing cycles from your stay for the additional ThankYou® Point(s) to appear in the primary cardmember’s account. This offer applies to the account referenced in this offer, is not transferable or valid for groups, and cannot be combined with other select offers from Hilton. To qualify for this offer, purchases including but not limited to charges at hotel restaurants, lounges, retail stores, or spas, must be charged to a cardmember’s hotel room bill and settled using the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card upon checkout. Certain on-property vendors may not permit cardmember to charge to their hotel room, and such charges are not eligible to earn additional ThankYou® Point(s). Hotels are responsible for classifying transactions to enable Citi® to recognize which ones qualify for this promotion. If Citi® receives a transaction without that information, Citi® is unable to recognize that it qualifies. Citi®reserves the right to determine which transactions qualify for this promotion.

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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 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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9

Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

For a few months, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® have each been offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Many MileValue readers have gotten both, met both minimum spending requirements, and banked a cool 106,000 American Airlines miles.

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I don’t know of any end date for the offers themselves, but I consider this the last week to get full value from the offers. Why?

If you get the cards right now, you can meet their minimum spending requirements in the first month and hopefully have your American Airlines miles post by March 21, 2016. If that happens, you can redeem your American Airlines miles on the current award chart for travel through February 15, 2017.

However, if you get your cards in a few weeks, your first statement won’t close until March 22, 2016 or later. You usually get the miles at the same time your credit card statement closes on which you met the spending requirement, so you’d get your miles after the big March 22 devaluation. While you’d still get 50,000 bonus miles per card, you’d have to redeem them on a way worse award chart, missing out on “full value” from the miles that you can get until March 21.

Here are some price increases from March 21 to March 22:

  • (Cathay Pacific) First Class to China and Southeast Asia: from 67,500 to 110,000 miles
  • (Etihad) First Class to the Middle East, Egypt, Maldives, and Indian Subcontinent: from 90,000 to 115,000 miles
  • Off Peak economy to Argentina, Brazil, and Chile: from 20,000 to 30,000 miles
  • (Qantas or American Airlines) Business Class to Australia or New Zealand: from 62,500 to 80,000 miles
  • First Class to Europe: from 62,500 to 80,000 miles

And there are many, many more examples.

I’ll have more posts on the topic of beating the American Airlines devaluation this week because I consider this the last week to get full value from two of my favorite credit card offers:

Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months, plus 10% rebate on miles redeemed up to 100,000 redeemed each calendar year
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months
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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.

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Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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