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I’ve said it a million times that one reason the Citi Prestige® Card is so awesome is that you can redeem its ThankYou Points by transferring them to 11 types of airline miles OR like cash toward the purchase of any flight.

If you redeem ThankYou Points like cash, they are worth 1.6 cents toward American Airlines or US Airways flights and 1.33 cents toward any other flight.

In the comments, Sammy asked:

“Does Prestige redemption on American Airlines for 1.6c include flights on other carriers that are ticketed by AA?”

Great question that I had never researched! It turns out that you can get 1.6 cents of value from your ThankYou Points on over 20 airlines, all the airlines that you can ticket on aa.com.

  • Why can you get 1.6 cents of value on other airlines?
  • Which airlines?
  • Is it a good deal?

These 20 Airlines Are Bookable for 1.6 Cents Per Point

American Airlines has joint ventures or codeshare agreements with 20 airlines. That means that American slaps its own flight number onto flights by these airlines and sells those flights on aa.com.

For instance, here is American selling a Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Sydney as flight AA7364.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.40.21 AM

When American markets the flights, they are available from thankyou.com as American Airlines flights, that allow you to redeem your points for 1.6 cents each toward the price of the flight.

For instance, here is that same Qantas flight on thankyou.com. (It costs $1 more than on aa.com.) While the Air Pacific and Etihad flights are offering 1.33 cents per point of value, the “American Airlines” Qantas flight is offering 1.6 cents of value.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.41.19 AM

You can see the same thing on thankyou.com for Finnair flights…Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.47.45 AM

and British Airways flights. They are marketed as American Airlines or US Airways flights, so you get the full 1.6 cents of value.Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.51.30 AM

But the 1.6 cents of value is not just for American’s more tightly integrated “joint venture” partners. Even the codeshare partners from aa.com are bookable on thankyou.com at the 1.6 cents per point rate. For instance, American markets Air Pacific’s Los Angeles to Fiji flight, and thankyou.com gives you 1.6 cents off the price when using the American Airlines flight number and 1.33 cents when using the Air Pacific number. (However Air Pacific sells its own flight so much cheaper that it is still fewer points.)

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.53.31 AM

Similarly, you can book Puerto Rican airline Seaborne on thankyou.com at the 1.6 cents per point rate.Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.55.28 AM

Good Deal?

Do the math on each redemption. Some of these codeshare redemptions are great value, and some are terrible values.

For instance, the roundtrip from New York to Helsinki on Finnair is a great deal at about 47,000 points.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.47.45 AMAmerican and US Airways market the flights for the same price Finnair markets the flights, and you would earn over 8,000 American Airlines miles by flying the roundtrip plus move towards status. What’s not to like?

But some of these 1.6 cents per point redemptions are a bad deal either because awards are way cheaper or because American is charging way more than other airlines on the same route.

Los Angeles to Sydney on the Qantas flight is a bad deal because an award costs only 75,000 to 80,000 miles roundtrip, and this ticket is 107,000 points.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.41.19 AM

Los Angeles to Fiji roundtrip is a bad deal because American Airlines sells Air Pacific’s flights for $435 more than Air Pacific does in this case.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.53.31 AM

Bottom Line

Great question from Sammy!

Citi ThankYou Points earned from the Citi Prestige® Card can be redeemed for 1.6 cents of value toward any American Airlines flight, US Airways flight, or flight on a partner airline that is marketed by American Airlines or US Airways. That includes 20 partners.

But just because you can redeem your ThankYou Points on American Airlines partners for 1.6 cents of value doesn’t mean you should.

You might get more value by transferring ThankYou Points to one of these 11 types of airline miles. Or maybe American Airlines’ price for their partner’s flight is more expensive than the partner charges. Do the math on each redemption before pulling the trigger, but it is nice to know we have these options.

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, $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 paid hotel stays, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee. See my review.

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Until Tuesday June 30, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 50,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $1,000 in the first four months plus a $50 statement credit after spending $50 on your first stay at any hotel within the Hilton Portfolio during the first 3 months of account opening.

 

That’s an unmatched sign up bonus for a card with no annual fee ever.

Those 50,000 bonus points can be used for 12 free nights at Category 1 Hilton Hotels and six free nights at Category 2 Hiltons.

Here’s a spreadsheet and map of Hilton Category 1 and 2 properties, though there have been some changes and additions to the categories since those were made. Some new Category 1 hotels that intrigue me are the Hampton by Hilton Krakow (Poland, Category 1) and Hotel Vienna South (Austria, Category 2).

Category 1 hotels cost only 5,000 points per night, and Category 2 hotels are only 10,000 points. After that, prices rise sharply, so I advocate using points at the lowest Category properties.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 7.18.37 PM

You can stretch the 50,000 points even further if you take advantage of the fifth night free on award stays that is available to all Hilton elite members. (The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card confers automatic Silver status.) With the fifth night free, 50,000 points are enough for:

  • 2 five-night stays and 1 two-night stay at Category 1 properties (12 nights)
  • 1 five-night stay and 1 one-night stay at Category 2 properties (6 nights)
  • Plus if one of the stays in the first three months, you can use the $50 statement credit for dining or other services

Here are some that look fantastic Category 1 and 2 hotels that look fantastic, including one where I’ve stayed:

DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing

Six nights free with bonus from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $1,100

Many low category hotels don’t have great locations, but the DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing is centrally located and near several sites.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.44.53 PM

The hotels goes for 990 yuan plus tax per night or 10,000 Hilton points as a Category 2 hotel.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.33.44 PM

A five-night cash stay would by $917 after taxes or 40,000 Hilton points, since the fifth nights is free.Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.35.35 PM

Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

12 nights free with bonus from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $926

You can explore the Borneo jungle in Malaysia in a Category 1 Hilton that costs just 5,000 points per night instead of 250 ringgit plus tax.
Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.38.56 PM

The hotel’s location is stunning.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.45.46 PM

The rooms are elegant.
Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.39.05 PM

And a number of reviews rave about the pool.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.45.31 PMFive nights would cost $386 or only 20,000 points with the fifth night free.
Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.39.21 PM

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Six nights free with bonus from Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
Retail cost: $916

I stayed at the DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur in August 2013 and really enjoyed myself. Every stay starts with a warm chocolate chip cookie.

The room was spacious and had an office area and big couch in addition to the bed.

The hotel was in the heart of KL and made a great base to explore the city.

Right now the room goes for 495 ringgits plus tax or 10,000 points per night.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.43.14 PM

A five-night stay is $763 or 40,000 points with the fifth night free.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.43.32 PM

Bottom Line

The limited time offer on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card ends Tuesday.

 

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers 50,000 bonus Hilton Points after spending $1,000 in the first four months plus a $50 statement credit after spending $50 on your first stay at any hotel within the Hilton Portfolio during the first 3 months of account opening.

The card’s automatic Hilton Silver status means you get the fifth night free on award stays. That stretches the bonus to 12 free nights at Category 1 hotels or six free nights at Category 2 hotels. Those free nights can be worth over $1,000. Plus you can use the card’s $50 statement credit for free food or spa services while you’re enjoying a free night.

Check out this (slightly out of datespreadsheet and map of Hilton Category 1 and 2 properties to see if any excite you because the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card is a great no annual fee card to consider if you use the points at low category hotels.

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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 an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

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Citi has three cards that earn ThankYou Points and whose names start with “P-R-“. Those are about the only similarities though as the cards differ wildly from their bonuses to their benefits to their annual fees. In this post, I’ll compare and contrast the:

What are the differences between and who is best served by each card?

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

Strength: Sign up bonus and category bonus for a no annual fee card
Weakness: Lower bonus and earning rates than ThankYou cards with an annual fee
Competitor: Chase Freedom

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 2.49.11 PM

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card is good for a no annual fee card, but should not be the main earning card in your arsenal. It is designed for people who are afraid of annual fees, but want to earn something for their spending instead of using debit cards.

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card offers 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in the first three months, and it offers 2x points on dining out and entertainment.

Unfortunately the ThankYou Points earned on the card are only worth 1 cent each toward travel or gift cards. ThankYou Points earned on the Premier and Prestige are worth a lot more than that, and luckily you can combine your ThankYou accounts to get the best redemption rate, even for points earned on the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, if you have a Premier or Prestige.

Citi ThankYou Premier

Strength: Sign up bonus, category bonuses, transfer partners
Weakness: No benefits for cardholders
Competitor: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is a card that can really rack up the points. It is designed to be your main rewards card, and like all great rewards cards, it has an annual fee (that is waived for the first 12 months.)

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The points rack up incredibly quickly for travelers with 3x points on travel and gas and 2x points on dining out and entertainment.

These are extremely broad bonus categories that include all of the following, according to Citi:

  • 3x: airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies, gas stations, commuter transportation, taxi/limousines, passenger railways, cruise lines, bridge and road tolls, parking lots/garages, campgrounds and trailer parks, time shares, bus lines, motor home/RV Rental and boat rentals
  • 2x: restaurants and on select entertainment merchants, including sports promoters, theatrical promoters, movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions, record stores and video rental stores

ThankYou Points earned on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card (or earned on the Preferred and combined with a Premier account) are worth 1.25 cents toward flights, hotels, car rentals, or cruises. That’s a solid 3.75% back on your travel and gas purchases. But you can often do better.

First, if you have a Premier and a Prestige, you can combine points and get better redemption rates with the Prestige, which I’ll explain below.

Second, the Premier allows transfers of points at a 1:1 rate to 11 types of airline miles. I’ve gotten huge value from Singapore miles before, and I see great value on the Air France Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic award charts.

This card has no annual fee the first year, $95 thereafter. If you ever decide you can’t justify the annual fee, you can downgrade the card to a Preferred to avoid the annual fee while keeping your ThankYou Points active.

Citi ThankYou Prestige

Strength: Sign up bonus, category bonuses, transfer partners, redemption rate for American Airlines flights, statement credits, lounge access
Weakness: annual fee
Competitor: American Express Platinum

The Citi Prestige® Card is designed to be the only card you carry. It has huge sign up and category bonuses and unrivaled perks like lounge access and statement credits to offset airfare. Like all premium cards, it has a big annual fee ($450), but I happily pay it.

The Citi Prestige® Card offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The points rack up incredibly quickly for travelers with 3x points on airline and hotel spending and 2x points on dining out and entertainment.

ThankYou Points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card (or earned on the Preferred or Premier and combined with a Prestige account) are worth 1.6 cents each toward the purchase of American Airlines or US Airways flights and 1.33 cents each toward the purchase of any other flight.

The Prestige also allows transfers of points at a 1:1 rate to 11 types of airline miles. I’ve gotten huge value from Singapore miles before, and I see great value on the Air France Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic award charts.

The Prestige really differs from the other ThankYou cards with its benefits and commensurate annual fee. The card offers lounge access for you plus two guests into the American Airlines lounge every time you fly American Airlines or US Airways and into Priority Pass lounges worldwide no matter what airline you fly. It also offers a $250 per calendar year Air Travel credit that wipes out your first $250 spending on tickets, fees, or award taxes. The card even offers a $100 statement credit to offset the Global Entry application fee and three free rounds of golf per year.

For all that, you pay an annual fee of $450 per year, but I still plan to keep the card indefinitely. Those benefits are worth around $700 per year to me.

If you ever decide you can’t justify the annual fee, you can downgrade the card to a Preferred to avoid the annual fee while keeping your ThankYou Points active.

Comparison Table

In case, your head is spinning from all that information on each card, here is a side-by-side comparison. The asterisks in the “Value of Points” row is because you can combine your ThankYou Points into one account and redeem all your points at the rate of your best card. That means Preferred points could be worth 1.6 cents each if you combine them with a Prestige.

 PreferredPremierPrestige
Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 2.49.11 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM
Sign Up Bonus20k Points after $1,500 in purchases in 3 months50k Points after $3,000 in purchases in 3 months50k Points after $3,000 in purchases in 3 months
Value of Points1 cent each*+1.25 cents each toward flights, hotels, cruises, and car rentals*
+1 mile each with 11 airlines
+1.33 cents toward flights
+1.6 cents toward AA flights
+1 mile each with 11 airlines
Category Bonuses2x on dining out and entertainment+3x on gas and travel
+2x on dining out and entertainment
+3x on airfare and hotels
+2x on dining out and entertainment
Annual Fee$0$95, waived for the first 12 months$450
Other BenefitsNo foreign transaction fee+AA lounge access +Priority Pass lounge membership
+$250 per calendar year Air Travel Credit
+$100 credit for Global Entry
+3 free rounds of golf per calendar year
+No foreign transaction fee

Bottom Line

The Preferred, Premier, and Prestige are very different cards designed for different people.

The Preferred has good earnings for a no annual fee card, but poor earnings compared to its sister ThankYou cards.

The Premier has fantastic earnings for a small annual fee. It is designed for users who don’t need benefits from their credit cards.u

The Prestige has fantastic earnings plus great benefits for travelers and golfers. I can justify its annual fee because I use the lounge access and golf benefits, but if you won’t, the Premier may be better for you.

While very different from each other if you have just one card, you can get the best of all worlds by holding more than one of the ThankYou cards. You can combine all your ThankYou Points earned from all your ThankYou cards into one account, from which you can redeem points at the value of your card with the best redemption values.

Just make sure if you are getting more than one Citi card to get no more than one card in 7 days and no more than two cards in 65 days.

Application Links:

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The Limited Time Offer is Over! The card still comes with everything except the $100 statement credit. Full current offer:

  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening*
  • Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Portfolio*
  • Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

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The limited time offer on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card ends today June 8.

This is your last chance to get the card with two free weekend nights at Hiltons worldwide after spending $2,500 in the first four months, a $100 statement credit after spending $100 or more on your first hotel stay in the Hilton Portfolio within the first 3 months of account opening, and Hilton Gold Status.

Here’s more information about the card presented as an FAQ:

What ends June 8?

The part of the offer that ends June 8 is the $100 statement credit after $100 or more on your first hotel stay in the Hilton HHonors Portfolio within 3 months of account opening.

The card comes with automatic Hilton Gold Status, which gets you free breakfast and internet on every stay. Normally you’d need need 20 stays or 40 nights at Hiltons to get Gold Status.

I think of the card’s $95 annual fee as the cost of the card’s automatic Hilton Gold Status. If you are approved for the card today, the $100 statement credit offsets the cost of the Gold Status with a $5 profit.

What Doesn’t End June 8?

The other important aspects of the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card‘s offer do not end today.

  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio after $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening*
  • Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton HHonors portfolio*
  • Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card

You will still get two free weekend nights at $1,000-a-night hotels after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days. Here are the hotels I recommend.

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 1.45.37 AM

You will still get a third free night certificate if you spend another $7,500 on the card in the first year you have it. This is an incredible incentive to keep spending on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card even after meeting the minimum spending requirement.

You’ll still get 3-10 Hilton points per dollar spent on the card. That means spending $10,000 on the card over the course of a year would give you 30,000 Hilton points in addition to the three free night certificates. The 30,000 points are enough for six free nights at Hilton Category 1 hotels.

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 1.50.06 AM

When Do You Get the Hilton Reserve Free Weekend Night Certificates?

You get two after completing your $2,500 in spending in the first four months. The terms and conditions say you’ll get the certificates within 6-8 weeks of completing the spending requirement, but most people get the certificates by email (and in your Hilton account online) much faster.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.41.11 AM

You can get another free weekend night night certificate if you spend $10,000 on the card during your first cardmember year. (That is, if you spend another $7,500 beyond the original minimum spending requirement.) You will get this certificate after your cardmember anniversary.

When Can You Use the Hilton Reserve Free Weekend Night Certificates?

You can use the free weekend night certificates on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at nearly any Hilton hotels including Conrad, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Home2Suites, Homewood Suites, and Waldorf Astoria brand hotels. The only excluded properties are all-inclusives and timeshares.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.43.19 PMYou can use the free weekend night certificates one at a time or combine multiple certificates into a single stay. You book by calling 800-HHONORS.

Who Will Get the Most Value from This Card?

Folks who want to stay two or more free weekend nights at hotels that cost $500 to $1,500 per night.

You can get more value than average:

  • if you value fancy hotels near their retail price
  • if you have a travel companion who also gets the card, so you can have a three-night long weekend at one property and a later one night stay somewhere else
  • if you can spend $10,000 on the card in the first year to get an extra free weekend night certificate

Who Will Get the Least Value from This Card?

Folks who don’t want a luxury hotel stay four to sixteen months from now.

You will get less value than average:

  • if you’d use these certificates at any hotel not in Category 9 or 10 on Hilton’s chart
  • if you don’t value luxury hotel stays anywhere near their retail price

Bottom Line

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card has a great sign up bonus of two free weekend nights at top-tier hotels worldwide. It also comes with Hilton Gold Status, and until today June 9, a $100 statement credit after your first Hilton stay.

You need to spend $2,500 to get the sign up bonus of two free weekend night certificates.

If you spend another $7,500 during the first year of card membershup, you will get a third certificate on your cardmember anniversary.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.42.10 PM

Spending that $10,000 total will also get you at least 30,000 Hilton points, good for up to six more free nights at Hiltons.

The total value of the Hilton points and free night certificate vary by person, but I think most people would value those nights and points at $1,000 or more.

For more info on the free nights, and the $1,000-a-night hotels see:

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card
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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 an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

 

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The AT&T Access More Card from Citi comes with a $650 credit toward the purchase of a new smartphone after $2,000 in purchases in the first three months and 3x points on online purchases at retail and travel sites.

 

The $650 credit is enough to get a brand new iPhone 6 for free, and the 3x points on online purchases can turn into 4.8% back toward the purchase of American Airlines flights.

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: A free phone (up to $650) after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • Category Bonuses: 3x ThankYou Points on purchases made online at retail and travel websites, 3x ThankYou Points on products and services purchased directly from AT&T
  • Anniversary Bonus: 10,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $10,000 in the previous cardmember year
  • Value of ThankYou Points: Worth 1 cents toward the travel expenses. However, you can combine these ThankYou Points into an account associated with a Citi Prestige, which would make them worth 1.6 cents toward the purchase of American Airlines flights OR allow them to be transferred to 11 airlines‘ miles. If you don’t have a Prestige, combine them with points from a Citi ThankYou® Premier Card to make them worth 1.25 cents toward any flight, hotel, car rental, or cruise or transferable to those 11 airlines.
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology but a 3% foreign transaction fee, so avoid using it abroad
  • Annual Fee: $95

Sign Up Bonus

To earn your AT&T Access More Card from Citi Phone Offer credit, you must make $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, which can include your eligible phone purchase. Phone offer is not available if you have had an AT&T Access More Card from Citi account that was opened or closed in the past 18 months. Balance transfers, cash advances, account fees, interest and items returned for credit are not purchases.

Eligible Phones 

Only phones purchased from AT&T at full retail price (no annual contract) through the link provided to you by Citi are eligible. You must activate the phone with qualifying AT&T postpaid wireless service (including voice and data as applicable) and keep the phone, and remain active and in good-standing, for at least 15 days.

User lakeshoredrive was the first to provide the link that shows which phones are eligible for the up-to-$650 credit. There’s no trickery. All the top models are being offered.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 5.21.00 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 5.21.16 AM

The credit is enough to get a free-except-taxes iPhone 6. After the $650 credit, an iPhone 6 Plus starts at $100, and a Galaxy S6 at $35.

Offer Redemption

You must purchase an eligible phone from AT&T with your AT&T Access More Card from Citi using the Phone Offer Link created individually for you.

There’s a report of one person ordering his phone the day after receiving his card and the phone arriving the next day.

You may redeem the Phone Offer using the link at any time after your Card account opening. Once you have made $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your Card account opening, and purchased and activated your eligible phone, Citi will credit your account for the cost of the eligible phone you purchased up to $650 (exclusive of taxes, fees, shipping and wireless service) within 1 to 2 billing cycles. If you choose to purchase an eligible phone which costs more or less than $650, your credit will equal the cost of the phone or $650, whichever is less.

I haven’t seen reports of the credit being received yet, but the card is so new that no one has waited the required 1 to 2 billing cycles.

General Offer Terms

Offer is valid for a one time statement credit up to $650 for one eligible phone, is not transferrable and so long as your card account is open and current, does not expire. Offer is not combinable with other discounts on devices. If you close your account prior to redeeming your credit, the credit is forfeited. Terms subject to change.

Earning ThankYou Points

Category Bonuses

Getting a free iPhone is the headline grabber, but this card has sneaky big potential for every day spending. The card earns:

  • 3x ThankYou Points on purchases made online at retail and travel websites
  • 3x ThankYou Points on products and services purchased directly from AT&T

Retail websites are websites that sell goods directly to the consumer through an online website and include department store websites, specialty store websites, warehouse store websites and boutique websites. Travel websites are websites that allow you to book travel and include online travel agencies, hotel websites and airline websites. Purchases not eligible to receive the additional ThankYou Points include but are not limited to payment for or to medical services, insurance, taxes and government services, education, charities and utilities.

User x9bull reported getting 3x points for online purchases at “amazon, 6pm, guess, spear, drugstore, kohl’s” but not at “Stylenanda (billed as www.eximbay.com).”

My take is that almost all direct retail and travel websites, including the ones where you probably spend the most money like airline sites, Amazon, Walmart, and more, will earn 3x ThankYou Points.

Annual Spending Bonus

Any cardmember year that you spend $10,000 on the card, you get a bonus 10,000 ThankYou Points at the start of the the next cardmember year.

So if you get the card May 28, your cardmember year is May 28, 2015 – May 27, 2016, and you’ll get your bonus probably in early June 2016.

This is pretty generous, since most of your spending will probably already be earning 3x points from category bonuses.

Value of ThankYou Points

Citi’s ThankYou program is a bit confusing because the value of the points depends on the card on which you earn them. The AT&T Access More Card from Citi earns the least valuable ThankYou Points, worth just 1 cent each.

But Citi allows you to combine all your ThankYou Points into one account or gift your points to anyone, and these are easy ways to increase the value of your ThankYou Points.

Combine or Share with Prestige

If you have a Citi Prestige® Card (or share your points with someone who does), the points instantly become worth 1.6 cents each toward any American Airlines or US Airways flight or 1.33 cents toward any other airline’s flights. Or you’d be able to transfer these ThankYou Points to 11 airlines’ miles or Hilton points.

This is the ideal scenario.

Under this scenario, your online shopping now earns 4.8% back toward American Airlines flights or 3 Singapore/Air France/Virgin Atlantic miles per dollar. That’s unbeatable on Amazon and other online purchases!

Combine or Share with Premier

If instead you have a Citi ThankYou® Premier Card (or share your points with someone who does), the points instantly become worth 1.25 cents toward any airline’s flights. Or you’d be able to transfer these ThankYou Points to 11 airlines’ miles or Hilton points.

Under this scenario, your online shopping now earns 3.75% back toward any flights with no blackouts or 3 Singapore/Air France/Virgin Atlantic miles per dollar.

Getting a Second Citi Card

If you get the AT&T Access More Card from Citi, I highly recommend getting the Citi Prestige like I did to maximize the value of your ThankYou Points. You CANNOT be approved for two Citi cards on the same day. Wait 8+ days after the first application before the second application.

You CANNOT get three Citi cards in short order either. Make sure there is at least 65 days between your first and third Citi card applications if you want to get a free smartphone plus 106,000 ThankYou Points by getting the AT&T Access More Card from Citi, Citi Prestige, and Citi ThankYou Premier.

Fees

The card has a $95 annual fee. In year one, that is swamped by the $650 credit and 3x for online retail and travel purchases. In subsequent years, that is swamped by the 10,000 point annual spending bonus and 3x for online retail and travel purchases.

The card also has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so don’t use it abroad. The Citi Prestige, and Citi ThankYou Premier have no foreign transaction fees.

Bottom Line

The AT&T Access More Card from Citi offers up to $650 off a new phone after spending $2,000 in the first three months plus 3x for online retail and travel purchases.

The ThankYou Points earned on the card are only worth 1 cent each, but if you also have a Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier, the points become transferable to airline miles or at least more valuable when redeemed for flights on any airline with no blackouts.

Offer details:

 

  • Exclusive New Phone Offer*
  • 3 ThankYou Points for every $1 you spend on purchases made online at retail and travel websites*
  • 3 ThankYou Points for every $1 you spend on products and services purchased directly from AT&T*
  • 1 point earned for every $1 you spend on other purchases*
  • 10,000 Anniversary bonus points after you spend $10,000 in prior cardmembership year*

Application Links:

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The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has improved the redemption rate of its ThankYou Points by 25% for hotels, cruises, and car rentals.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Those 50,000 points are now worth $625 toward airfare, hotels, cruises, and car rentals (25% more.) From the card’s application page:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 2.36.42 PM

I went into my thankyou.com account to search for car rentals, and the results showed a 1.25 cents per point valuation.
Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 2.39.14 PM

It’s fantastic that Citi made car, hotel, and and cruise redemptions more valuable, but I don’t expect to use this new benefit. Here are two easy ways to get way more than 1.25 cents of value from your ThankYou Points:

  1. Open the Citi Prestige® Card in addition to your Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. Combine the ThankYou Points earned on each card into a single account. From that account, you can redeem points like cash toward American Airlines flights (1.6 cents) or any other airlines’ flights (1.33 cents) at a higher rate than 1.25 cents per point.
  2. Transfer ThankYou Points earned on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card to 11 airlines at a 1:1 rate. I value Singapore miles, Air France Flying Blue miles, and Virgin Atlantic miles all at well over 1.25 cents each. Check out the top redemptions you can make with ThankYou Points transferred to miles in those programs.

Bottom Line

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card now offers 1.25 cents per point toward car rentals, hotel bookings, and cruises. That’s a 25% increase!

That makes the 50,000 point sign up bonus worth $625 in car rentals, hotel stays, or cruises. It makes the 3x category bonus on travel and gas worth 3.75% back toward car rentals, hotel stays, or cruises. And it makes the 2x category bonus on dining and entertainment worth 2.5% back toward car rentals, hotel stays, or cruises.

However, I don’t plan on using this enhancement. My ThankYou Points from my Citi ThankYou® Premier Card are combined with my points from my Citi Prestige® Card, so I can get 1.6 cents per point toward the purchase of American Airlines flights. Or I can transfer my points to Singapore, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic miles and book sweet spot awards.

Hat Tip Frequent Miler

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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 an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

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Last month Citi improved the offer on the Citi Prestige® Card, which comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open, a $250 Air Travel Credit 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.

The Citi Prestige® Card competes at the top of the market with other high annual fee/high benefit cards like the American Express Platinum and Citi Executive American Airlines Card. I compared the Citi Prestige and AMEX Platinum in Citi Prestige vs. American Express Platinum. Better Card? Now I’ll compare the Prestige and Executive, two cards from Citi with identical annual fees and similar lounge access. I’ll break down the comparison by:

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

I’ll foreshadow a little bit by saying that overall the Citi Prestige® Card is the much better card UNLESS you use American Airlines lounges quite a bit when NOT flying American Airlines or US Airways (a rather rare condition probably) or only want to earn rewards that are great for international Business and First Class.

Note: I am using the this link for the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, which is the best offer I see (50k miles). Last year there was a 100k link for the card.

Value of Points

The Executive card earns American Airlines miles, which I value at 1.8 cents each. The Citi Prestige® Card earns ThankYou Points, which I value at 1.8 cents each. Despite the identical valuation, the rewards have completely different uses. It’s like how your phone and laptop might each cost $800, but they aren’t used for the same things.

American Airlines miles are ideal for international Business and First Class on luxurious American Airlines partners like Etihad, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines. They are also ideal for international economy awards to South America, Asia, and occasionally Europe at off peak times for steep discounts.

American Airlines miles are weak in the same way all airline miles are weak. You shouldn’t collect them if you generally have to travel fixed dates or want to travel over peak times like Christmas and New Year. Airline miles work best when you are flexible.

Citi ThankYou Points transfer to 11 airlines and one hotel:

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

My two ThankYou Points favorite transfer partners are Singapore Airlines and Air France Flying Blue. (Click links to see why.) ThankYou Points have a transfer partner in each of the three major alliances meaning they can be used to book approximately three times as much award space as American Airlines miles. However, most ThankYou Points partners impose fuel surcharges on nearly every award, while American Airlines miles impose fuel surcharges only on British Airways and Iberia award flights.

Beyond transferring to miles, ThankYou Points have another excellent use for which the Executive card has no answer.

  • ThankYou Points earned on the Prestige offer you 1.33 cents toward any flight or 1.6 cents toward any American Airline or US Airways flight.

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

Bottom Line: American Airlines miles and ThankYou Points have complementary strengths. Ideally you’d earn both or at least the one that fits your travel goals better. I value them equally, but they are not similar.

Sign Up Bonus

I already mentioned that I value the points equally, so this would be a wash except that the AAdvantage card has a higher spending requirement. That’s important because you could take that extra money and nearly meet the spending requirement on a second card that earns ThankYou Points, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.

Here’s a post about Getting $2,800 in American Airlines Flights in Five Steps from Opeing the Prestige and Premier about a week apart.

Category Bonuses

  • Executive: 2x miles on AA/US purchase and 1x mile on all other purchases
  • Citi Prestige® Card
    • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
    • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
    • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases

After hitting the minimum spending requirement on the Executive card, it doesn’t offer an attractive proposition to continue spending on the card. The only category bonus is 2x on purchases from American Airlines or US Airways. Even those purchases are better with the Prestige, which offers 3x on air travel and hotels.

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

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

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

For instance, I spend about $7k on dining and entertainment and $3k on airfare and hotels per year. I value ThankYou points at 1.8 cents.

7000 * 1.8% + 3000 * 3.6% = $234

That’s $234 of extra value per year from having the Citi Prestige® Card‘s category bonuses versus basically none on the Executive. I imagine many people spend quite a bit more than me in those categories. For them, the Citi Prestige® Card would be even more valuable.

Lounge Access

  • Executive: American Airlines Admirals Club Membership (free access no matter who you’re flying for you plus your immediate family or any two guests)
  • Citi Prestige® Card: Priority Pass Select + American Airlines Admirals Clubs when flying American

Holding an Executive card makes you a member of the Admirals Club. Membership entitles you to free entry to American Airlines lounges no matter which airline you’re flying. For instance, last month I was flying Alaska Airlines out of Honolulu, but I could still access the Admirals Club lounge there with my Executive card. I could even bring in my friend for free because every visit members can bring in their spouse and children free or up to two guests free.

The Prestige card offers American Airlines lounge access when flying American Airlines, NOT membership. The difference is that you have to present a boarding pass on American Airlines or US Airways for a flight in the next 12 hours or one that landed in the last 12 hours to get in.

If you are flying American Airlines or US Airways that day, the same guest policy as the Executive applies to the Prestige: you can bring in your immediate family (spouse, domestic partner, children under 18) or up to two guests for free.

In addition to American Airlines lounge access, the Prestige comes with Priority Pass Select Membership. I use that at least as much as American Airlines lounge access to get into airport lounges worldwide like the LAN lounge in Bogota, the Alaska Airlines Board Room in Seattle, the Virgin America Loft at LAX, and many, many more. To Priority Pass lounges, you can also bring in your immediate family (spouse, domestic partner, children under 18) or up to two guests for free.

I think for 99% of people the Prestige’s lounge access will be better than the Executive’s. You’ll tend to be flying American Airlines when you’re at an airport with one of the 50 American Airlines lounges, and the cards offer equal access in that case. In addition, the Prestige has Priority Pass, which give access to 700 more lounges in more than 120 countries and 400 cities worldwide.

The only scenario in which Executive’s lounge access is more valuable is a very weird one in which you never travel to an airport with a Priority Pass lounge, but you travel through airports with Admirals Clubs all the time while NOT flying American Airlines. I doubt many people have that travel pattern, maybe a Delta loyalist in Miami.

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

Statement Credits

  • Executive: $100 once every five years for Global Entry
  • Citi Prestige® Card: $250 per calendar year for airline fees or airline tickets. $100 once every five years for Global Entry

Both offer a Global Entry Statement credit, but the Citi Prestige® Card is the clear winner in the statement credit game. The Citi Prestige® Card has a $250 per calendar year credit that can apply to airfare, award taxes, baggage fees, or pretty much any other charge from an airline.

This benefit alone makes the Prestige a great idea for at least one year, since you can get two calendar year credits in the first year of cardmembership plus the Global Entry credit. You’ve already more than offset the big annual fee on the Prestige before considering the lounge access and sign up bonus. These credits are a big reason why I value the sign up bonus on the Prestige at $1,250.

Other Benefits

The Citi Prestige® Card offers the 4th night free on hotel stays booked through its travel provider and three free rounds of golf per calendar year.

The Executive offers priority checkin, security, and boarding on American Airlines flights plus a free checked bag on American Airlines flights. (Remember the $250 Air Travel Credit on the Prestige could pay for 10 checked bags per year.)

Which benefits you more depends on your travel style.

Annual Fee

The annual fee on the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard is $450. You pay it with your first statement, and again 12 months later if you don’t cancel the card.

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

For a person who wants Admirals Club membership for $450 per year, the Executive’s fee is worth paying in perpetuity. For a person who can use his $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year–AKA everyone reading this blog–the Citi Prestige is definitely worth getting in year 1 and worth keeping if you value its lounge access at $200+ per year.

Which Card is Better?

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

For folks who want Priority Pass access, American Airlines lounge access when flying AA/US, big category bonuses on spending, $600 in statement credits in year 1, and great rates on using points to pay for airline tickets (especially on American/US Airways), the Citi Prestige® Card is better.

For folks who want American Airlines lounge access no matter which airline they’re flying and want American Airlines miles for partner premium cabin redemptions, the Executive is better.

I have both currently. I’ll cancel the Executive in the next few weeks to avoid paying its annual fee again. I’ll keep the Prestige indefinitely because its annual fee is more than offset by the Air Travel Credit and lounge access.

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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 an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

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Citi offers you the chance to create Virtual Account Numbers for any of your credit cards to add an extra level of security for online purchases.

You can set how long you want a new virtual account number to last and how much can be charged to it. With your new virtual account number, virtual account expiration date, and virtual account three-digit code on the back, you can make purchases wherever cards don’t need to be swiped, and the purchases will be charged to your account.

The merchant never knows your “real” account details.

How to Create a Virtual Account Number for Your Citi Card

Inside your citicards.com account, click Virtual Account Numbers on the right hand menu.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 2.14.24 PM

Don’t worry if the top of the next page features one of your credit cards and you want a Virtual Account Number for a different card; you have the chance to choose later.

Both times I’ve tried to create a Virtual Account Number, Citi has made me type in an identification code that they text to the phone number in my account.
Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 2.15.01 PM

After entering the Identification Code, I chose to launch the Virtual Account Number generator. Then under Virtual Account Numbers, I chose Advanced Options to select the card for which I want a virtual number.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.11.57 PM

My three active Citi cards were listed, and I chose my American Airlines Executive card by number.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.12.02 PM

I chose to generate a Virtual Account Number with both a time and dollar limit.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.14.08 PM

The time limit must be between two and 12 months.Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.14.25 PMAfter clicking a few times that I really, really wanted the Virtual Account Number generated, it finally appeared on a generic blue credit card on my screen. The card lists a new credit card number, expiration date, and three-digit code.
Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.19.13 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.19.23 PMI can use this number for the next two months for up to $100.01 in spending. All charges will go to my American Airlines Executive card statement.

Citi Virtual Account Numbers are easy to create and can be very useful. If you are buying something online from a site about which you have your doubts, you can create virtual number, so the site doesn’t have your details. If you want your kid at college to buy something online with your credit card number, but don’t want him to buy anything else, use a virtual account number.

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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 an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

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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. (How ThankYou Points Work)

It also comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year. I can understand why some people are initially scared of the card’s $450 annual fee, but I cannot understand why anyone would skip the card because of the annual fee. For the first year, the Air Travel Credit, at $500, is worth more than the $450 annual fee.

The Air Travel Credit is designed to offset air fares, baggage fees, award fees, lounge access, and some in-flight purchases. It resets after your December statement closes each year, so if you get the Citi Prestige® Card, you can use the Air Travel Credit for $250 in 2015 and $250 in early 2016 before a second annual fee is due.

How does the $250 Air Travel Credit Work?

When Do You Get the Credit?

Each time your statement closes, charges on that statement that coded as Air Travel are credited back to your account until $250 in credits are received for the calendar year.

I used my entire $250 credit for 2015 up on my first statement. I’ll get a new $250 Air Travel Credit starting in January 2016, and I will undoubtedly use it up before my second annual fee is due in May 2016. That means I will have gotten $500 in free airfare and award fees for my first $450 annual fee. I already come out ahead before factoring in my 50,000 bonus points, airport lounge access, $100 Global Entry credit, three free rounds of golf, and the fourth night free on paid hotel stays.

Here’s what my first statement of my Citi Prestige looks like on citi.com:

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.36.26 AM

Let’s take a look at my highlights. On the top, you can see that I got the full $250 Air Travel Credit. It’s not an all-or-nothing credit; I just happened to use it all this month. If I had only made the $24.40 Delta charge, I would have gotten a $24.40 credit.

Next I highlighted in yellow all the charges that coded as Air Travel. The six charges are two award taxes, two airfares, and two bag fees.

  • $24.40: Delta award tax on an award from Chicago to Buenos Aires that I haven’t written about yet
  • $138.17: Turkish airfare for flights from Vilnius, Lithuania to Belgrade, Serbia this summer
  • $23.36: Singapore award tax on an award from Washington to Madrid that flies United
  • $25: Alaska Airlines bag fee
  • $15: Hawaiian Airlines bag fee
  • $97.47: Norwegian airfare on a flight from Madrid to Helsinki this summer

That adds up to $323.40 in Air Travel charges, so I got the maximum $250 Air Travel Credit.

I can’t imagine any reader of this blog not maxing out the credit each calendar year, since we hopefully all book enough award trips or low cost carrier flights.

Your PDF or mailed statement shows how much of your Air Travel Credit you’ve used, and how much you have left. Mine is all gone.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.50.44 AM

What didn’t earn the credit?

On my Alaska Airlines flight, I paid $1.99 to watch a TV show, a purchase which was processed by Gogo, not Alaska Airlines. I highlighted the charge in red on my statement because it coded as Computer Networking and did not trigger the Air Travel Credit.

Do You Earn Points on Your Purchases That Are Refunded with the Air Travel Credit?

One of the category bonuses of the Citi Prestige® Card is 3x on Air Travel and Hotels. I actually earned 4x on my purchases that were refunded by the Air Travel Credit.

This was the summary of my first statement.
Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.51.19 AM

Notice I had only $372.80 in purchases. As I mentioned above, $323.40 of that was Air Travel. The other $49.40 was the Gogo TV purchase and a purchase at a Bogota supermarket (that I made because the Citi Prestige® Card has no foreign transaction fees.)

Here’s the statement of ThankYou Points earned.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.51.29 AM

 

  • 970 = 3 x $323.40 in Air Travel purchases
  • 49 = 1 x my Gogo and supermarket purchases
  • The last 250 must be an unexpected bonus for clearing my $250 Air Travel Credit

That means I earned 4x total on purchases that were refunded by my Air Travel Credit.

Bottom Line

To summarize:

  • Airfare, baggage fees, and award taxes all definitely are covered by the Citi Prestige $250 annual Air Travel Credit. Pretty much any charge from the airline, including upgrade fees, lounge access, and inflight food and beverage purchases should count too.
  • Charges processed by Gogo do not count.
  • You get any credit you’ve earned at the same time as your statement closes.
  • You earn 4x ThankYou Points per dollar on all purchases covered by the Air Travel Credit.
  • My Air Travel Credit resets in January 2016, so I’l get $500 worth of Air Travel Credits for my first $450 annual fee.

Just Improved 4/9/15: 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

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

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

 

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The Limited Time Offer is Over! The card still comes with everything except the $100 statement credit. Full current offer:

  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening*
  • Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Portfolio*
  • Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

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The limited time offer on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card ends Monday, June 8:

  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio after $2,500 in eligible purchases within 4 months of account opening
  • $100 statement credit after $100 or more on your first hotel stay in the Hilton HHonors Portfolio within 3 months of account opening
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember

The normal sign up bonus of 2 weekend nights at almost any Hilton property worldwide–here are the only excluded properties–is temporarily augmented by a $100 statement credit that more than offsets the $95 annual fee.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.43.19 PM
Grand Wailea, Maui. Stay Here for Two Weekend Nights!

 

Free Nights

The two free nights at Hiltons and Conrads worldwide are good on any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. You can use both nights together or use one at a time.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.46.20 PM
Conrad Koh Samui, Thailand. Stay Here for Two Weekend Nights!

 

These free nights can be used at amazing $1,000-a-night, aspirational properties where I wouldn’t otherwise ever be able to afford to stay.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.49.01 PM
Cash cost of two nights at Conrad Maldives. Save $3,300 by opening the Hilton Reserve.

 

Not only are these properties out of reach with cash, but they are also basically out of reach with points. In 2013, Hilton sharply increased the number of points to stay at Category 9 and 10 hotels. They now cost up Ito 95,000 points for one night, so these two free nights could be worth up to 190,000 points if you use them strategically.

Luckily using the free nights strategically just got a lot easier when super reader Jeremy made a spreadsheet with all the Category 9 and 10 properties in one place.

Download it for free here.

Then super reader Dave made a custom map of all the Category 9 and 10 properties worldwide to make the visualization easier.

See it for free here.

For more info on the free nights, and the $1,000-a-night hotels see:

Free Gold Status

As long as you have the Hilton Reserve, you get automatic Hilton Gold status, which earns free breakfast, free internet, and a 25% points bonus on Hilton stays.

On your two free nights and future paid stays, these perks will save you quite a bit of money.

$100 Statement Credit

The limited time offer includes a $100 statement credit after $100 or more charge to the card during a Hilton stay in the first 90 days.

That’s in addition to the 10x points per dollar you already earn at Hilton properties.

This is $100 free if you have a Hilton stay planned. If you don’t, it makes a Hilton stay potentially worth it, since you’ll get $100 off.

Bottom Line

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card was already the best card out there for luxury hotel stays.

You have always gotten two free nights at Hiltons worldwide after spending $2,500 in the first four months, some of which are $1,000-per-night or 95,000-points-per-night properties.

You have always gotten Hilton Gold Status to enjoy stays more with free internet and breakfast.

Now, for a limited time, you get a $100 statement credit after making a $100+ charge at a Hilton within 90 days of getting the card. The limited time offer ends Monday.

There is a $95 annual fee that is not waived.

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

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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 an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

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Currently ThankYou Points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card can be transferred to 11 types of airline miles or Hilton points.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.01.54 AM

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

Right now both the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card are offering 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You can get both like 8+ days apart for 106,000+ ThankYou Points. I got both, including the Prestige last month, and I expect to have a sizable balance of ThankYou Points shortly. While I love Singapore Airlines, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic as transfer partners for awards, I don’t see value in the other partners.

I’d love for ThankYou Points to add more partners, as they’ve done frequently over the past year. The pipe dream would be adding United, Delta, or Alaska Airlines as partners, but all three have strong relationships with other banks that makes their additions extremely unlikely.

Instead of dreaming, I’ve made a realistic list of three partners I’d like to see ThankYou Points add.

1. American Airlines AAdvantage

Why The Partnership Is Realistic

American and Citi already have a strong partnership. Citi issues both the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®, which each offer 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Furthermore the Citi Prestige® Card offers a better rate when you redeem points like cash for American Airlines than when you redeem points like cash for flights on other airlines. (Don’t get confused; that last sentence refers to the other major way to redeem ThankYou Points besides airlines transfers. Read about the two good ways to redeem ThankYou Points here.) The Prestige also comes with American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access

Clearly there is a major partnership already in place, which makes me think that the only reason ThankYou Points aren’t transferable to American Airlines miles is because American Airlines is asking too much money for the miles Citi would have to buy to make the transfers.

I’d love for 1,000 ThankYou Points to transfer to 1,000 AAdvantage miles, but if money is an insurmountable issue, I’d accept a lower exchange rate like 1,000 points to 900 or 800 miles if that’s the best Citi could offer us. The major category bonuses like 3x on gas on the Premier would still make these transfers a good deal very often.

Why I Want the Partnership

American Airlines miles are the most valuable miles in the world. They’re great for economy awards–especially American’s unique off peak awards–and for the fanciest First Class in the world. Here’s 10 Awesome Ways to Use American Airlines miles.

Adding American Airlines as a partner of ThankYou Points would increase my valuation of ThankYou Points from 1.8 to 2.0 cents each.

2. Avianca LifeMiles

Why The Partnership Is Realistic

LifeMiles and Citi already have a strong partnership…at least in Colombia where Avianca is based. (In the United States, US Bank issues a weak LifeMiles credit card.)

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 2.38.24 AM

I’d love to see Citi leverage its ties with Avianca to forge a deal whereby 1,000 ThankYou Points transferred to 1,000 LifeMiles.

Why I Want the Partnership

LifeMiles are the second best Star Alliance miles in the world behind United. LifeMiles can be used for awards on all 27 Star Alliance members with no fuel surcharges. ThankYou Points’ current partner in the Star Alliance–Singapore Airlines–levies fuel surcharges on almost all Star Alliance partner flights.

Beyond never adding fuel surcharges, LifeMiles can be used at a fair rate for Business and First Class awards, usually much cheaper prices than United would charge for the same partner awards. For instance from Los Angeles to Seoul in First Class on the Asiana A380, United would charge 120,000 miles one way, and LifeMiles would charge only 90,000.

Trip Report of Asiana A380 First Class

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 2.47.15 AM
Stretching Out on the Asiana A380 Bed

 

A ThankYou Points-LifeMiles partnership would open up ultra-luxury options within the Star Alliance to folks with LifeMiles and economy redemptions on airlines other than United without fuel surcharges. This would be a coup for ThankYou Points. I’d increase my valuation of ThankYou Points from 1.8 to 1.85 cents.

3. British Airways Avios

Why The Partnership Is Realistic

Avios are a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, and Starpoints. Clearly British Airways doesn’t mind inking new deals.

British Airways Avios don’t appear to be too expensive for the banks to purchase either, since American Express runs frequent transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards.

Why I Want the Partnership

Right now ThankYou Points have a good transfer partner in the Star Alliance (Singapore) and in SkyTeam (Air France Flying Blue), but all the partners in oneworld are terrible.

Avios aren’t perfect, but they are the best miles for short, direct, economy awards with partners that don’t have fuel surcharges on their flights. See Avios Basics for why Avios are best for those types of flights.

A ThankYou Points-Avios partnership would open up great award options to Hawaii, within the continental United States, within Australia, within Europe, and to a ton more places. This would be a coup for ThankYou Points. I’d increase my valuation of ThankYou Points from 1.8 to 1.85 cents.

Bottom Line

Right now both the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card are offering 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You can get both like this for 106,000+ ThankYou Points.

Because ThankYou Points can be used like cash toward any flight on any airlines (at up to 1.6 cents of value per points) and transferred to 11 airlines’ miles on a 1:1 basis, I value the points at 1.8 cents each. That means 106,000 ThankYou Points are worth $1,908 to me–not bad for two credit card bonuses!

But if they could be transferred to American Airlines miles, Avianca LifeMiles, and British Airways Avios, I’d up that valuation to 2 cents each or $2,120 worth of points for signing up for the two cards.

For various reasons, I think American Airlines, Avianca, and British Airways are realistic additions Citi could make to the program.

Your Take

Will American Airlines, Avianca, or British Airways be added as transfer partners? What realistic transfer partners would you like to see added to ThankYou Points?

————————————————————————————————————
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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 an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

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

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 6.40.36 PM

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

American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

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

Delta SkyMiles

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

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 6.40.36 PM

 

United MileagePlus Miles

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

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 6.40.36 PM

 

Alaska Mileage Plan

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

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles

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

British Airways Avios

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

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 6.40.36 PM

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards

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

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

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

13

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Yesterday I shared how you can get both the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, get both their 50,000 point sign up bonuses after spending $3,000 in the first three months, and have 106,000+ ThankYou Points.

If you do that, the points you earn will not automatically be combined into one account, but you want to combine them. Specifically you want to combine them into your Prestige account because, while both cards can transfer points to the same airline partners, the Prestige’s points are worth more when using ThankYou Points like cash to purchase any flight, any time, on any airline.

(See the two ways to redeem ThankYou Points for more info on transfers to miles vs. using them like cash.)

  • The Premier’s points are worth 1.25 cents each toward any flight.
  • The Prestige’s points are worth 1.6 cents toward American Airlines and US Airways flights and 1.33 cents toward any other flight.

So how do you combine ThankYou Points into one account?

  • on thankyou.com
  • if that fails, by phone

On thankyou.com

Sign into thankyou.com. Click Combine ThankYou Accounts under My Account.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.28.51 PM

Click “Add a Citi Account.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.28.45 PM

At this point, I tried to type in my credit card number.Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.29.28 PM But I got an error.Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.37.10 PM

I called in to combine my accounts, which was very quick.

By Phone

I called the number on the back of my Prestige and said I wanted to combine all my ThankYou Points into that account.

The agent had to first match up all the account details on both accounts. I think one was missing a phone number, which is probably why my online attempt failed.

Then she let me know that combining the ThankYou accounts was irreversible and that if I cancelled a card, I’d have 60 days to redeem points earned on that card before they expired.

I’m not sure how that would work in practice, which points would be attributed to each card if I cancelled one. But since ThankYou Points can transfer to airline miles, I don’t think I’ll ever have trouble redeeming my points by transferring them to miles if I cancel a card.

After a few minutes on the phone, my accounts were combined into one. I got a confirmation email.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.46.43 PM

Then I went to thankyou.com to see the improvement.

Why to Combine Points

Before combining points, I searched for a roundtrip from Los Angeles to New York on thankyou.com in my Premier account to illustrate the effect of a combination. Roundtrip flights were about $470 on the days I searched, and that equated to 37,545 to 37,600 points on all airlines–a valuation of 1.25 cents per point.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.28.11 PM

Then after combining my points, I re-ran the same search. The price in cash was the exact same, but the points prices dropped dramatically to 29,332 points on US Airways or 35,339 with JetBlue. That’s a savings of more than 8,000 points on one roundtrip just by combining my accounts.Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.43.09 PM

 

Those points prices represent a valuation of 1.6 cents for the American Airlines and US Airways flights and 1.33 cents for the JetBlue flights.

My Premier points that had been worth 1.25 cents each when used like cash were now worth 1.33 to 1.6 cents each, a 28% increase in value when booking American Airlines flights.

If you’ll ever use your ThankYou Points like cash to book a flight and you have a Citi Prestige, you want to combine all your ThankYou Points into that account. Even if you only plan to use your ThankYou Points to transfer them to airline miles, it’s still convenient to be down to one ThankYou account.

Bottom Line

If your information on your credit card accounts matches perfectly, you can quickly combine them on thankyou.com. Otherwise call the number on the back of your Prestige. You’ll quickly raise the value of your ThankYou Points earned on other cards.

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

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

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card with 50,000 bonus points, 3x points on travel and gas, and 2x points on dining and entertainment

My Review of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

 

  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening –  redeemable for $500 in gift cards, $625 for airfare, or other great rewards.
  • Earn 3X ThankYou Points on Travel including Gas,  2X ThankYou Points on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1X ThankYou Points on Other Purchases
  • ThankYou® Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through thankyou.com, as compared to gift cards
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited ThankYou Points
  • Annual Fee:  $95 (fee waived for the first 12 months)

Application Link: Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

17

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In the last two weeks, the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier have each increased their sign up bonuses to 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

I’ve gotten several questions about whether one person can get both cards and their 100,000 total bonus ThankYou Points.

Yes, one person can get both cards as long you apply for the two cards at least eight days apart.

Questions this article will answer:

  • What are the differences between the Prestige and Premier?
  • Why would you want both?
  • How can you get both?
  • How can you combine the points (and why do you really want to)?

What are the differences between the Prestige and Premier?

The Prestige is a premium credit card that competes with cards like the American Express Platinum. The Premier is more of a standard rewards card that competes with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Sign Up Bonus

Both currently offer 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee

There’s a huge difference here. The Prestige has a $450 annual fee that is not waived. The Premier has no annual fee the first 12 months, then $95 a year.

Category Bonuses

The Prestige offers 3x on airlines and hotels and 2x on dining and entertainment. The Premier‘s category bonuses are slightly better. It offers 3x on travel and gas. That includes airlines and hotels, but also a lot more. It also offers 2x on dining and entertainment.

Ease of Travel

Both cards have chip technology for global acceptance and no foreign transaction fees.

Value of ThankYou Points

Both cards offer the ability to transfer ThankYou Points to 12 airline and hotel programs. This is the highest value redemption method.

Both also offer the chance to redeem points like cash toward any flight with no blackouts, but the Prestige offers higher value when points are used this way. The Premier‘s points are worth 1.25 cents each toward all flights. The Prestige‘s are worth 1.6 cents toward American Airlines or US Airways flights and 1.33 cents toward all other flights.

If you have both the Premier and Prestige, you can combine the points into one account, which allows for redemptions at the better Prestige rates.

More info on these redemption options and redeeming ThankYou Points.

Other Benefits

This is where the Prestige kills the Premier, and why the Prestige‘s $450 annual fee is more than justified in my opinion. The Prestige offers:

Why Would You Want Both?

Each has strengths beyond its giant 50,000 point sign up bonus.

The Premier has better category bonuses because all the following are included at 3x: airlines, hotels, gas, car rentals, travel agencies, buses, trains, parking, tolls, bridges, and time shares. The Prestige only offers 3x on airlines and hotels. The Premier also has a lower annual fee, and one that is waived for the first year.

The Prestige has far better benefits like the statement credits, airport lounge access, and higher value of points when redeemed like cash for flights. Plus getting the Prestige can retroactively lift the value of ThankYou Points earned on other cards because those points can now be put into your Prestige account, which has higher value redemption options.

If you have one, you might want the other for its strengths. If you have neither, you might want both to maximize the strengths of both.

How Can You Get Both?

According to the combined experience of FlyerTalkers, you can be approved for no more than one Citi credit card application in 8 days and no more than two applications in 65 days.

So if you got one of the cards months ago and want the other now, apply.

If you have neither, apply for one now and one in 8+ days. (Unless you recently got a different Citi card like the American Airlines card with 50,000 bonus miles. In that case, make sure that at least 65 days have elapsed from your previous application to your second application.)

To avoid all confusion:

OK

Got Prestige 8+ days ago, have no other Citi cards, get Premier today

Have neither card or any other Citi card, get Prestige today and Premier in 8+ days

Got AA card 14 days ago. Get Prestige today and Premier in 51+ days. (65 day rule noted above)

Not OK

Get Premier and Prestige on same day

Got AA card 14 days ago. Get Prestige today and Premier in 8 days

You may not be instantly approved on your applications. When that happens, your screen should have a number to call Citi for an instant decision. I always call in to speed things up. I doubt you’ll be asked why you want both the Prestige and Premier, but if you are, mention the strengths of the one you don’t have yet.

How to Combine Points

You want to combine your ThankYou Points once you have both the Prestige and Premier because the Prestige‘s ThankYou Points are worth more when used like cash toward the purchase of a flight, especially an American Airlines flight.

You can do that from ThankYou.com or by calling the number on the back of your Prestige.

Bottom Line

You can get both the Prestige and Premier and long as you apply at least at least 8 days apart, and potentially further apart if you have another recent Citi application. Getting both cards and meeting their minimum spending requirements would earn at least 106,000 ThankYou Points, and probably more if you maximize the category bonuses.

You can combine the ThankYou Points into the Prestige‘s account to take advantage of a higher value for redeeming the points toward any flight like cash. However I still recommend that most people transfer ThankYou Points to airline miles for higher value redemptions.

Application Link: Citi Prestige

Application Link: Citi ThankYou Premier

18

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The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card now offers 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

 

Not to be confused with the Citi Prestige® Card, which has the same sign up bonus but totally different benefits.

For over a year, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has offered 50,000 total bonus points, but they were spread out over 15 months. Now you can get the entire 50,000 points in the first three months.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 6.56.45 PM

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou Points after $3,000 in spending in the first three months
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on travel and gas, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Value of ThankYou Points: Worth 1.25 cents toward the purchase of any cash ticket (or up to 1.6 cents if you also have a Citi Prestige) OR can be transferred to 11 airlines and Hilton for higher value
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first 12 months, $95 per year afterwards

Sign Up Bonus

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card now offers 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Thank You points have two primary uses.

  1. Use them like cash to purchase any flight on any airline with no blackouts.
  2. Transfer them to miles with 11 airlines or to Hilton points. Then they are whatever miles you chose, subject to those rules.

If you use these like cash toward any flight, you will get 1.25 cents each of value, making the sign up bonus worth $625 toward any flights with no blackouts. However if you have a Citi Prestige in addition to your Premier, you can combine the ThankYou Points from both cards and redeem them at the higher value the Prestige offers. In that case, you could redeem these 50,000 bonus points for 1.33 cents toward any flight or 1.6 cents toward American Airlines and US Airways flights. That would be $800 in American Airlines flights.

When you redeem ThankYou Points like cash toward any flight, the operating airline sees you as a cash-paying passenger, so you earn miles for your flights.

Instead of redeeming the points like cash, you can transfer your ThankYou Points to one of the 12 airline and hotel partners. The best partner is Singapore Airlines. In the last few months, I’ve transferred ThankYou Points to Singapore miles to fly United First Class to Hawaii, United economy to Madrid, and Avianca Business Class to Buenos Aires. Or you can use Singapore miles to book Singapore Suites.

For full details on redeeming ThankYou Points, see How ThankYou Points Work.

Category Bonuses

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers 3x ThankYou Points on travel and gas and 2x ThankYou Points on dining and entertainment, with no limit on bonus ThankYou Points earned.

Travel includes everything you’d expect like flights, hotels, and car rentals and even more like parking, tolls, campgrounds, and yacht rentals.

Restaurants include sit down places, take out, fast food, and even bars and nightclubs. Entertainment includes movie theaters, sports tickets, museums, and a lot more.

For a full breakdown on exactly what counts and what doesn’t, check out Citi ThankYou Premier Categories Change Today: 3x Gas and Travel; 2x Dining and Entertainment.

No other card offers both 3x on travel and gas. That’s incredible for travelers. Throw in 2x on dining and entertainment, and this card has among the best categories in the world.

Fees

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has no foreign transaction fees. It also has chip technology for global acceptance, so it’s a great card for overseas travel.

The card has no annual fee for the first 12 months and only $95 thereafter, which is lower than the annual fee was when I got the card.

Bottom Line

I got the card when it took 15 months to get the full sign up bonus, there were no airline transfer partners for the points, the annual fee was higher, and gas was not a 3x category. That should tell you how good I think the current offer is!

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

 

  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening –  redeemable for $500 in gift cards, $625 for airfare, or other great rewards.
  • Earn 3X ThankYou Points on Travel including Gas,  2X ThankYou Points on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1X ThankYou Points on Other Purchases
  • ThankYou® Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through thankyou.com, as compared to gift cards
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited ThankYou Points
  • Annual Fee:  $95 (fee waived for the first 12 months)

Application Link: Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

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