Citi

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

The 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®

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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
  • 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®

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.40.17 AM

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

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

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

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:

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.50.48 PM

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

Updated April 6, 2016 with the addition of links to my posts on best uses of six of the transfer partners.

Citi ThankYou Points are now 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.

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This is an incredible step forward for Citi ThankYou Points and 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 27 member airlines. Singapore miles are also the only miles that can be used to book the ultra-luxurious Singapore Suites.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.10.43 AM

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 ThankYou® Premier or with the Citi Prestige® Card, which each have huge sign up bonuses and big category bonuses.

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

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

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.33.25 AM

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.)

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.35.07 AM

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.

That option is still around, but I don’t plan on taking advantage because I know I can get far more than 1.25 cents of value from the points as Singapore miles.

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.

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.

2. 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 added 12 airlines as 1:1 transfer partners of ThankYou Points over the last few months. This is a huge addition to the program, but I really want to see American Airlines added also.

You can get 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi Prestige® Card after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

The best transfer partner for those ThankYou points is Singapore KrisFlyer. The Singapore Airlines program allows redemption on all 27 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 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 3.59.20 PM

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

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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 6.44.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-09 at 3.59.13 PM

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.

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

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

135

It is now February, which is a better time to get the card than December or January, so I’ve updated the post with my current analysis.

The Citi Prestige® Card now 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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.10.47 AM

The is a huge increase on the previous sign up bonus of 30,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, which I signed up for in April, 2015!

The card also comes $250 in airfare or airline fee credits per calendar year, free access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges worldwide for you and guests, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, the fourth night free on paid hotel stays, three free rounds of golf per year, and a $450 annual fee.

I’m sure that $450 annual fee catches your eye, but everyone reading this blog should be able to get $500 to $600 in statement credits in the next 12 months as I explain in detail in this post, so the annual fee should be more than made up for. Plus now with 50,000 bonus points and huge category bonuses, this card’s rewards can book some amazing award travel.

Quick Facts

  • 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 Credit:  $250 statement credit per calendar year ($500 during first year of cardmembership)
  • Global Entry: $100 application fee credit
  • Lounge access: Admirals Clubs lounges and Priority Pass lounges worldwide for you and two guests
  • Free hotel nights: Get your 4th night free on all paid hotel stays (no blackout dates)
  • Golf: Three free rounds of golf each calendar year (six in first year of cardmembership)
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $450 not waived, well worth it for most people

Sign Up Bonus

The headline sign up bonus is 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the card. Those 50,000 points equal:

  • $800 toward any flights marketed by American Airlines, which includes flights flown by 20 airlines
  • $665 toward any flights on any other airline
  • $500 in gift cards (please don’t redeem them like this)
  • 50,000 miles with 12 airline transfer partners
  • 75,000 Hilton points

I have explained the two main ways to use ThankYou points:

  1. Like cash toward the purchase of any flight on any airline. ThankYou Points have a special relationship with American Airlines, so the points are worth 1.6 cents each toward any American Airlines fare or any other fare marketed by American Airlines on a partner airline. Toward other airlines’ flights, ThankYou Points are worth 1.33 cents each. The cool things about using points like this: ease (points work like cash to pay all or part of any fare), availability (any flight on any airline), and you earn miles and status from these flights because the airline sees a paid ticket not an award.
  2. By transferring the points to one 12 airlines or Hilton. Once you transfer, the points are Singapore miles or Flying Blue miles or wherever you transferred and now must be redeemed in accordance with those rules and that award chart. The cool thing about transferring points to miles: miles are the only economical way to book luxury First Class products.

I transfer my ThankYou Points to airline miles.

I recently transferred ThankYou Points to Singapore Airlines miles to fly from Atlanta to Honolulu in a flat bed for 30,000 miles. I’ve also used Singapore miles to fly from Colombia to Argentina in Business Class for half the price it would have been with United miles. Singapore miles are also the only way to fly Singapore Suites, cheaper than United miles to book United flights to Europe, and offer two stopovers in addition to your destination on roundtrip awards.

I also love Air France Flying Blue as a transfer partner because of its cheap awards to Europe, Israel, Hawaii and South America.

Because of all the valuable uses of ThankYou Points, I value them at 1.9 cents each. That puts this new 50,000 point sign up bonuses among the most valuable out there. When you factor in the category bonuses and other benefits of the card, this could be the best current offer on any credit card.

Category Bonuses

  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment

This card is very clearly designed for frequent travelers, since a number of its benefits like free hotel nights and lounge access will be most used by travelers. The category bonuses are no exception. If you buy a lot of airline tickets and hotel stays, and if you dine out while traveling, you will rack up a ton of extra points from these category bonuses.

Note that the 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels is worth at least 4.8% back toward travel on American Airlines flights, since points are worth 1.6 cents each toward those flights. That’s an incredible return on spending.

Air Travel Credit

Every calendar year, you get a $250 air travel credit to offset airline fees. Airline fees include airfare itself:

“Airline Fees are defined as purchases made with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases.” (Emphasis mine.)

That means that you can buy airline tickets with this card, and the first $250 will be reimbursed each calendar year (plus you’ll earn 3x on the purchases, win-win!) Or you can use the airline fee credit to pay the taxes on award tickets.

This is a calendar year benefit, that means in the first 12 months you have the card, you can get this $250 credit twice: once in 2016 and once in 2017. That $500 in statement credits pays for your annual fee plus $50 extra.

Even without considering the sign up bonus and other benefits, the card would already be a great deal.

Here are my experiences getting my $250 Air Travel Credit in 2015 and in 2016.

Lounge Access

Having the Citi Prestige® Card gets you into any Admirals Club worldwide whenever you’re flying an American Airlines, American Eagle, or American Connection flight. In addition, you can bring in your family (spouse, domestic partner, children under 18) or up to two guests for free.

Citi Prestige® Card holders can also get a free Priority Pass Select membership. Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program. Prestige Card holders get free Priority Pass Select membership, which entitles them to free access to hundreds of lounges worldwide (everything on the list except United Clubs).

I downloaded the Priority Pass app on my phone, so I can search for participating lounges by airport while I travel. I seem to find one or more options at most international airports and tons of domestic airports.

Just like into Admirals Clubs, you can bring in your family (spouse, domestic partner, children under 18) or up to two guests for free. You can access Priority Pass lounges no matter which airline you’re flying.

Lounge access usually costs $50 per visit. Heavy users of this benefit–especially the free family or guest access–will get hundreds of dollars of value from this benefit.

Here’s my experience using the Prestige’s lounge access benefits on a typical trip.

Fourth 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). 

Interestingly, you don’t get 25% off a four night stay. You get the fourth night free. If you book a stay where the fourth night is the most expensive–like December 28 to January 1 at a New Year’s Eve destination–you can save a lot more than 25% on your stay.

Full article on Fourth Night Free Benefit.

Global Entry Fee Credit

Prestige card holders are entitled to a $100 statement credit when they pay the $100 Global Entry enrollment fee with their Prestige cards.

Global Entry is a United States Customs and Border Patrol program designed to let trusted travelers skip the immigrations and customs queues when arriving in the United States. Instead of spending time in line and talking to an agent, you tap a few buttons at a kiosk and get to the curb in a few minutes. Global Entry membership is valid for 5 years, and having Global Entry also lets you skip immigration queues in Australia and New Zealand.

Global Entry also lets you use TSA Precheck lines in the US, even on domestic itineraries.

I would pay the $100 in a heartbeat for Global Entry even if I only traveled abroad once a year. When you can get it for free, it’s a no-brainer. How and Why I Got Global Entry.

Global Entry is good for five years, so I will use this benefit of my Prestige in two years when I need to renew my Global Entry.

If you already have Global Entry, you can use the credit to pay someone else’s $100 fee.

Free Golf

The Citi Prestige® Card offers cardholders three free rounds of golf per calendar year at over 2,400 public and private courses. That’s six free rounds before your second annual fee is due–three in 2016 and three more in early 2017.

What courses are available and how do you make tee times?

Chip and No Foreign Transaction Fees

It shouldn’t surprise that a card very clearly designed for travelers comes with chip technology for global acceptance and zero foreign transaction fees. The only surprising thing is that not all cards have these basic features.

Annual Fee

The annual fee is $450 and not waived. That should be a dealbreaker if you don’t use the benefits of the card, but it’s a fair price to pay if you are maximizing the card’s perks.

If you apply for the card and use the airline fee credit twice before the next annual fee, you can get all of this for the cost of the first annual fee:

  • 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points
  • $500 worth of airfare or fee credits ($250 per calendar year)
  • $100 credit for applying for Global Entry
  • Lounge access for you and family or two guests at Admirals Clubs and Priority Club lounges
  • Six free rounds of golf
  • Fourth night free on hotel stays with no blackouts

Those benefits clearly dwarf the $450 annual fee. After testing out the card and seeing how much you actually use the benefits, you’ll have a better idea going forward whether to keep the card for $450 per year in return for:

  • $250 worth of airfare or fee credits
  • Lounge access for you and family or two guests at Admirals Clubs and Priority Club lounges
  • Fourth night free on hotel stays with no blackouts
  • Three free rounds of golf
  • 3x ThankYou Points on airfare and hotels; 2x on dining and entertainment

I got this card ten months ago! I was attracted by the sign up bonus, the $250 annual airfare credit, the ability to use ThankYou Points for 1.6 cents each toward American Airlines flights, and lounge access.

I’ve since redeemed the points for amazing First Class awards to Hawaii, decided to definitely renew the card, and I can’t wait to start playing my free golf rounds and finally take advantage of the fourth night free hotel benefit.

If you have a Citi Prestige, share your experiences in the comments.

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

  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year
  • Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
  • Earn 50,000 bonus 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 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

13

I get a lot of questions about the Citi Prestige® Card because it is an awesome and complicated card.

The Citi Prestige® Card is one of the best cards on the market now with:

  • 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open
  • $250 in airfare or airline fee credits per calendar year
  • access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges
  • the fourth night free on hotel stays
  • three free rounds of golf per year
  • $100 statement credit to offset the Global Entry application fee
  • 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels
  • a $450 annual fee.

I have the answers to most of those questions I get asked, although there’s a big answer we just don’t know. Here’s are all your questions about the Prestige. If I missed one, leave it in the comments!

Lounge Access

How Long Until the Priority Pass Membership Card Comes?

You can’t get into Priority Pass affiliated lounges by flashing your Prestige; you need a Priority Pass membership card. My Priority Pass card arrived about a week after I was approved for the Citi Prestige® Card. The Priority Pass card comes automatically; you do not need to request it.

What is The Priority Pass Lounge Access and Guest Policy?

So many people get this wrong because they read Priority Pass’s website. The Citi Prestige® Card struck a better deal than Priority Pass offers its own members. The lounge access policy is:

  • you get in for free to all Priority Pass lounges except United Clubs and Copa Clubs
  • you can bring in any two guests for free on each visit OR you can bring in your spouse and all your children under 18 for free

All you need to get into a Priority Pass lounge is a Priority Pass membership card, not your Prestige, and not a boarding pass for any specific airline.

What is the American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge Access and Guest Policy?

To get into an Admirals Club you need to show your Prestige and an American Airlines boarding pass for a flight departing within 12 hours OR one that has arrived within 12 hours.

You can use Admirals Clubs before and after the journey as long as you fly American Airlines. If you fly another carrier, you cannot use the Admirals Club.

You get in for free to Admirals Clubs if you meet the entry requirements just listed. Just like with Priority Pass lounge access:

  • you can bring in any two guests for free on each visit OR you can bring in your spouse and all your children under 18 for free

 

$250 Air Travel Credit

How Do You Get $500 Worth of the Air Travel Credit in the First Year of Cardmembership?

The $250 Air Travel Credit is per calendar year. If you max out the $250 in 2016 and $250 more in early 2017 before your next annual fee is due, that is $500 worth of Air Travel Credit in the first year of cardmemebership. I got $500 in Air Travel Credits in my first year of cardmembership.

What Counts as a Purchase that Will Be Offset by the Air Travel Credit?

Basically anything that shows up as a charge from an airline. In my personal experience, this includes:

  • airfare (purchased from an airline, not from an online travel agency)
  • baggage fees
  • award taxes and fees

Citi also explicitly says “lounge access and some in-flight purchases” will count. I know that internet purchased from Gogo does NOT count, but presumably food and duty free purchases would count.

I’d also expect other fees like airline change fees, seat selection fees, and upgrade fees to count. If the charge shows up as being from an airline, it should count.

Do Airline Gift Cards Count?

If the charge shows up as being from an airline, it should count. As far as I know, all airline gift card purchases through an airline’s website do show up as purchases from that airline.

Do Mileage Purchases Count?

If the charge shows up as being from an airline, it should count. American Airlines and Avianca process their own mileage sales, so they’d count. Many airlines do not process their miles sales, using points.com instead. Those purchases would not count.

Do You Have to Designate One Airline to Receive the Credit With?

You automatically receive up to a $250 credit per calendar year to offset all purchases from all airlines.

You do NOT have to designate one airline. For that matter, you don’t have to do anything. The credit is automatic following the eligible purchases.

Hotel Stays

How Does the Fourth Night Free Benefit Work?

If you book a hotel by phone through the Citi Prestige Travel Concierge Service you should pay the same publicly available rate on the hotel’s website, and after paying with your Citi Prestige, you’ll get the cost of the fourth night including taxes refunded to you.

What Hotels are Included?

Not all hotels are eligible for the Fourth Night Free benefit, but all the hotels you can find by searching here should be.

Which Is Better for Paying for a Hotel, a Prestige or a Hotel’s Own Credit Card?

Generally the Citi Prestige® Card with its 3x points on hotel spending and no foreign transaction fees, though there are a few exceptions.

Global Entry $100 Credit

Why Do I Want Global Entry?

For the time it takes to fill out an application and interview once with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (maybe two hours between the two activities), you get to speed through immigration and customs for five years. Plus you can use your Known Traveler ID to get TSA Precheck and speed through security too.

It’s well worth $100 to me, but you can get it free by paying the application fee with your Citi Prestige® Card and collecting the $100 offsetting credit.

I Already Have Global Entry, Can I Use the Credit for Someone Else’s Application Fee?

Yes, either give them your credit card number to pay the fee or give them a Citi Virtual Account Number with a $100 limit.

Redeem Points

How Do I Combine my Prestige’s Points with Points from My Preferred, Premier, or AT&T Card?

The Citi Prestige® Card has the best redemption rate, but occasionally another Citi card offers a better earning rate or a big sign up bonus you want. You can redeem points from other cards at the better rate for redeeming Prestige’s points by combining your accounts. It is very easy. Here’s how.

How Do You Redeem Points for Free Flights on Any Airline?

Go to thankyou.com and search for flights. Prices are displayed in dollars and points. If you choose to pay with points, you will get 1.33 cents of value for each point for most airlines and 1.6 cents of value for American Airlines and US Airways flights.

The airline will see these tickets as paid tickets, so you will earn miles and status like on any paid ticket.

How Do You Get 1.6 Cents Per Point Toward Free Flights on American and its Codeshare Partners?

American Airlines markets flights that are actually flown by over 20 airlines. All of these codeshare flights are available on thankyou.com and offer 1.6 cents of value per point.

Can You Partially Pay for Flights in Points?

Yes!

Imagine a $160 flight on American Airlines.

You can buy it for:

  • $160
  • 10,000 ThankYou Points
  • 5,000 points + $80
  • 3,647 points + $101.65

Or any other combination of points and cash. Each point is worth 1.6 cents off the cash price.

How Do You Transfer Points to Airline Miles?

ThankYou Points have 12 airline transfer partners. You can transfer ThankYou Points to them at a 1:1 rate on thankyou.com.

You would want to do this if the airline has an attractive award chart to where you want to go that makes transferring points to miles and booking an award a better deal than using points to pay for airfare like cash (as explained in the last few questions.)

What Are the Best Transfer Partners?

Golf

How Does the Prestige’s Golf Benefit Work?

You get three free rounds per calendar year at over 2,400 possible courses including TPC and PGA courses. Here are the full rules.

How Does Card Compare to Other Cards?

How Does Prestige Compare to AMEX Platinum?

A comparison of sign up bonus, benefits, fees, and more.

How Does Prestige Compare to AA Executive Card?

A comparison of sign up bonus, benefits, fees, and more.

How Does Prestige Compare to ThankYou Premier and ThankYou Preferred?

A comparison of sign up bonus, benefits, fees, and more.

Getting a Prestige

What are Citi’s Application Rules?

Citi will not approve more than one card in a week or two cards in two months. So to get three Citi cards, I recommend applying for them on Day 1, Day 9, and Day 66.

Permanence of 50,000 Point Offer

How Long Will the 50,000 Point Sign Up Bonus Last?

This is the one question I just don’t know the answer to.

The 50k offer started on April 9. Before that the offer was identical but only a 30,000 points sign up bonus.

I hope the 50,000 point offer lasts forever, but I don’t expect it to last forever, since the public offer on the AMEX Platinum–a competing card–is usually only 40,000 points.

Don’t delay and miss out one of the best offers right now. Get the Citi Prestige® Card sooner rather than later.

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

3

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 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 now, adding authorized users didn’t get your friends and family access to American Airlines clubs, but that has now 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. You can now get free soup, fruit, cheese and crackers, crudités, desserts, alcohol, and soft drinks. In Phoenix this week, 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.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 1.19.43 PM

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® just got a lot better. 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.

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time

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

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

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

13

Etihad is offering a 25% transfer bonus from several programs including Citi ThankYou Points through December 31, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.56.24 PM

To be clear, this transfer bonus comes entirely from Etihad and not from Citi. Citi’s thankyou.com still shows the standard 1,000 to 1,000 transfer rate with no transfer bonus.Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.57.39 PM But Etihad’s email about the transfer bonus mentions “Citibank Citi Miles.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.59.00 PM

And inspecting the list of “available markets” lists points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card as eligible for the transfer bonus.
Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.58.01 PM

Good Deal?

Using Etihad Miles for Etihad Flights

Etihad Guest Miles aren’t very good for booking First Class on the Etihad A380, which is a current obsession of mine.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 12.55.33 PM

For instance, Etihad would charge 88,022 Etihad miles + $175 to book Abu Dhabi to London in First Class on the Etihad A380. During the transfer bonus, that’s 71,000 ThankYou Points. You could book the same flight for 40,000 American Airlines miles (and way fewer dollars out of pocket), which you could get from the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.50.50 AM

A better deal, but not quite a good one, is booking JFK to Abu Dhabi in Etihad First Class for 117,556 Etihad miles + $179, which would be 95,000 ThankYou Points during the transfer bonus. You could book the same flight for 90,000 American Airlines miles + $6.Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.52.09 AMJFK to Delhi, which would feature two flights in First Class is 124,000 ThankYou Points during the promotion. Again, this would cost only 90,000 American Airlines miles.Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.52.53 AM

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.

So don’t use Etihad miles to book Etihad First Class unless you don’t have American Airlines miles, which are easy to get. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each 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. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 6.44.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-09 at 3.59.13 PM

Get both cards and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles.

Using Etihad Miles for Other Flights

Etihad Guest miles can be used on 25 other airlines. On Etihad’s page, you can click on “Know more” and then click to bring up the redemption table for that airline’s flights.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.13.15 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.13.31 AM

 

Here is the award chart for using Etihad miles on American Airlines flights. All the prices are the same as if you used American Airlines miles, which means with a 20% transfer bonus, you can book the United States to Europe for 16,000 ThankYou Points on off peak dates or book the United States to Europe for 40,000 ThankYou Points in American Airlines Business Class. I have never booked American Airlines flights with Etihad miles, so I don’t know whether fuel surcharges will be collected. I do know that there are no fuel surcharges on American Airlines flights within the Americas.

I have used Etihad miles to book a flight on Air Serbia. I needed to fly from Belgrade to Bucharest, and Etihad miles are the only way to book that flight on Air Serbia with miles. The award cost me 5,000 ThankYou Points + $23. During the transfer bonus, that would be 4,000 ThankYou Points.

Bottom Line

Etihad is offering a 25% bonus on ThankYou Points transferred to Etihad Guest Miles for the rest of 2015. This does not offer value for booking Etihad First Class, but it does offer great value for booking partner flights like American Airlines, Air Serbia, and 23 other partners.

This is the rare transfer bonus that runs for long enough that you can get the points needed before the transfer period ends.

  • 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

 

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

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

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

10

Citi offers Price Rewind as a free feature on its personal cards like the Citi Prestige® Card, Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card, Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®, Citi® Double Cash Card, and Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Basically you register purchases online and if the price drops within 60 days, Citi refunds you the difference up to $1,200 per year.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.07.38 AM

The process is explained clearly in this video.

Or, if you prefer, this infographic.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.09.33 AM

Citi Price Rewind has saved cardholders over $2,000,000 in January to August 2015 alone at an average of $35 per refund. The next time I buy something expensive, I’ll give Citi Price Rewind a whirl.

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

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

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

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

The offers in this post have expired. See the top current credit card offers here.

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The Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi now comes with:

  • 20,000 Expedia+ rewards bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within three months of account opening
  • a $100 statement credit after your first eligible Expedia purchase greater than $100 within three months of account opening
  • a $100 Annual Air Travel Fee Credit that can be used toward checked bags, in-flight entertainment, onboard refreshments, in-flight Wi-Fi, the Global Entry application fee, or the TSA Pre✓® application fee
  • and Expedia+ gold status

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 4.36.45 AM

This post will familiarize you with Expedia+ and how to redeem Expedia+ points.

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 20,000 Expedia+ points (redeemable for $250 in coupons at +VIP Access hotels) after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • Statement Credit: $100 after your first eligible Expedia purchase greater than $100 in the first three months
  • Air travel credit:  $100 per calendar year for airline fees, wifi, or Global Entry/TSA Precheck fees
  • Category Bonuses: 4x on eligible Expedia purchases, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Status: Automatic Expedia+ gold status as long as you hold the card
  • Anniversary Bonus: 5,000 Expedia+ bonus points after you spend $10,000 in the prior cardmembership year
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $95

Sign Up Bonus

The headline sign up bonus is 20,000 Expedia+ points after spending $2,000 in the first three months on the card. Twenty thousand Expedia+ points equals:

  • $250 in coupons at +VIP Access hotels
  • $125 in coupons at other hotels
  • $100 toward any flight

Expedia+ points can be redeemed for hotel coupons that you can use on your next Expedia hotel booking. For every 3,500 Expedia+ points, you get a $50 hotel coupon toward over 1,400 participating +VIP Access hotels. You can search +VIP Access hotels here. Meeting the spending requirement would give you at least 22,000 points, more than enough for $300 off your next hotel stay.

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Using points to stay at +VIP Access hotels means you get 1.43 cents of value per point.

Hotel coupons for non +VIP Access hotels cost twice as many points, and get you half as much value per point.

You can also redeem points for flights. I don’t know the exact rate because Expedia doesn’t say it in the terms and conditions.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 5.06.28 PM

This page says 8,000 points can get a flight up to $50.

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That makes me think it works like this: each $50 or portion of $50 is another 8,000 points. Examples:

  • $40 flight: 8,000 points
  • $51 flight: 16,000 points
  • $99 flight: 16,000 points
  • $400 roundtrip: 64,000 points

In that case, the maximum value for flight redemptions would be 0.625 cents per point.

There’s no doubt that the best value redemption is +VIP Access hotels, where you can get 1.43 cents per point of value.

Statement Credits

$100 Statement Credit for First Qualifying Expedia Purchase

Earn a $100 statement credit after your first eligible Expedia purchase greater than $100 within 3 months of account opening.

Eligible Expedia purchases include flights, Expedia® Rate Hotels (your credit card must be charged for the full payment upon reservation), Vacation Packages, and activities booked on Expedia. An “activity” is anything booked on the “Things to Do” tab on Expedia. Expedia Rate Hotels are designated as such in your hotel search.

The following do not qualify: Expedia Rate Hotels reserved through Expedia but paid for at the time of stay, non-Expedia Rate Hotels, car reservations that are not booked as part of a vacation package (via the “Vacation Package” tab on Expedia.com), and cruise bookings.

Flights count, so you can get $100 off any flight you book in the first three months.

Air Travel Credit

The $100 can be used for Global Entry, which I highly recommend if you don’t have it, or for fees on most major American airlines, or for inflight wifi.

You will receive up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year (January through December billing statements) towards travel incidentals including airline incidental fees on 10 qualifying airlines and 2 wireless hotspot providers and application fees for either the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® programs.

The statement credit can only be used toward purchases of $100 or less and may be used on multiple purchases until your full $100 benefit has been met. Purchases must be charged on the Expedia+ Voyager card for the benefit to apply. Purchases made by both the primary and authorized users on the account are eligible for the statement credit. The statement credit will appear on the same statement in which the qualifying purchase is billed.

Airline incidental fees must be separate charges from airline ticket charges and include purchases such as checked bags, in-flight entertainment or refreshments, in-flight Wi-Fi, or other qualifying purchases that meet the eligibility requirements.

Qualified airlines include: AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin America Airlines.

Qualified wireless hotspot providers include: Boingo Wireless and Gogo Inflight Internet.

The terms say that the credit cannot be used for airline tickets. We will have to see whether airline tickets under $100 and gift cards under $100 do end up counting.

Like all such fee reimbursement credits that I am aware of, this one resets each calendar year. If you get the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi now, you can use this credit in 2015 and early 2016 for $200 in statement credits before the next annual fee is due.

That means that if you maximize the $100 credit for an eligible Expedia purchase and the fee credit in 2015 and early 2016, you can get $300 in statement credits in your first cardmember year.

Category Bonuses

  • Earn 4x points on eligible Expedia purchases
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment

“Eligible Expedia purchases” is defined the same way as the statement credit above, and 4x on flight purchases through Expedia is excellent.

Status

Holding the card gives you automatic Expedia+ Gold Status, which comes with these benefits.

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Anniversary Bonus

Every cardmember year that you spend at least $10,000 on the card, you get 5,000 bonus Expedia+ points. That, in addition to the $100 airline fee credit each calendar year, may be enough to get you to hold onto the card.

Chip and No Foreign Transaction Fees

It shouldn’t surprise that a card very clearly designed for travelers comes with chip technology for global acceptance and zero foreign transaction fees. The only surprising thing is that not all cards have these basic features.

Annual Fee

The annual fee is $95 and not waived.

Offer

The Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi with 20,000 Expedia+ rewards bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within three months, a $100 statement credit after your first eligible Expedia purchase greater than $100 within three months of account opening, a $100 Annual Air Travel Fee Credit that can be used toward airline incidentals such as checked bags, in-flight entertainment or refreshments and in-flight Wi-Fi on qualified airlines, or for either the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee, and Expedia+ gold status.

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  • Earn a $100 statement credit after your first eligible Expedia purchase greater than $100 within 3 month of account opening*
  • PLUS, earn 20,000 Expedia+ rewards bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening*
  • Points redeemable for $250 in coupons at +VIP AccessTM hotels or $125 at other hotels*
  • 4 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases including flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages*
  • 2 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on purchases for dining out and entertainment, including tickets to concerts, movies and sporting events*
  • 1 Expedia+ bonus point per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Expedia+ gold status is complimentary for as long as you are a cardmember*
  • $100 Annual Air Travel Fee Statement Credit can be used toward airline incidentals on qualified airlines

Application Link: Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi

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

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

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

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This offer has expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

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For a limited time, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 75,000 bonus HHonors points after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months. This is enough points for 15-18 free nights at Hilton Category 1 hotels.

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Hilton points can be redeemed at all of the following brands.

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This is the biggest sign up bonus ever offered on a no-annual-fee Hilton card.

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The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card comes with automatic Hilton Silver status, which earns a 15% points bonus on Hilton stays, late checkout, and free access to fitness centers. Plus only folks with Hilton status get the 5th night free on award stays.

Better yet, if you complete four Hilton stays in the first 90 days of card membership, you get bumped up to Hilton Gold status, which earns a 25% points bonus on Hilton stays and maybe a little better treatment at the front desk.

And any year in which you spend $1,000 at Hilton hotels, you will get 10,000 more Hilton points.

After meeting the minimum spending requirement, you’ll have at least 79,000 Hilton points (more if you use the card’s category bonuses discussed below.) Eighty thousand points are enough for 20 free nights in a Hilton Category 1 hotel10 free nights in Category 2 Hiltons, or 5 free nights in Category 3 Hiltons. I stayed at an awesome DoubleTree in Kuala Lumpur that was a Category 2 Hilton.

The last big benefit of the card is that it has no annual fee. Very few rewards cards with no annual fee offer so much.

Sign Up Bonus

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has a sign up bonus of 75,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in three months on the card.

Seventy-five thousand points won’t get you even one night at a top tier Hilton, but it will get you up to 20 nights at the bottom categories, which have some gems. Super reader Jeremy has created the most valuable spreadsheet imaginable for the Hilton HHonors program that you can download for free here.

The spreadsheet lists:

  • all 34 Category 1 hotels: 5,000 points per night
  • all 131 Category 2 hotels: 10,000 points per night

His spreadsheet is sortable by city, state, country, or hotel name (which often starts with the hotel brand.) This can be very useful if you want to know if there is a Category 1 or 2 Hilton on the route of your next trip.

Perks

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card comes with Silver Status and the chance to earn Gold Status with four paid Hilton stays in the first 90 days.

Spending

There are category bonuses for Hilton stays, supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations though none of them impress me much.

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  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio.*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*

Plus you get 10,000 bonus points any year in which you spend $1,000 or more at Hilton hotels.

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Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee ever. For a card that gives you ongoing status, that’s unbeatable.

The card does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, so never use it abroad.

Full Offer

The “regular” Hilton card is not for everyone. It should not be the card onto which you put all your spending. It shouldn’t be the card you get for the biggest sign up bonus.

It is ideal for folks who want a no-annual-fee card that rewards their loyalty to Hilton.

  • Limited Time: Earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio.*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Silver status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No annual fee.*

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card

 

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

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

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

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