8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And there are many, many more examples.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.10.47 AM

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

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

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

Quick Facts

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

Sign Up Bonus

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

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

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

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

I transfer my ThankYou Points to airline miles.

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

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

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

Category Bonuses

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

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

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

Air Travel Credit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lounge Access

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fourth Night Free on Hotel Stays

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

You will enjoy a complimentary fourth night with no black-out dates, when you book four consecutive nights at any hotel booked by a personal travel advisor designated by MasterCard (the “designated travel advisor” is Carlson Wagonlit Travel). 

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

Full article on Fourth Night Free Benefit.

Global Entry Fee Credit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free Golf

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

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

Chip and No Foreign Transaction Fees

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

Annual Fee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year
  • Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
  • Earn 50,000 bonus 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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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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

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

12

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

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

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

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

Lounge Access

How Long Until the Priority Pass Membership Card Comes?

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

What is The Priority Pass Lounge Access and Guest Policy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

$250 Air Travel Credit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do Airline Gift Cards Count?

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

Do Mileage Purchases Count?

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

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

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

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

Hotel Stays

How Does the Fourth Night Free Benefit Work?

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

What Hotels are Included?

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

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

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

Global Entry $100 Credit

Why Do I Want Global Entry?

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

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

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

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

Redeem Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can You Partially Pay for Flights in Points?

Yes!

Imagine a $160 flight on American Airlines.

You can buy it for:

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

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

How Do You Transfer Points to Airline Miles?

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

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

What Are the Best Transfer Partners?

Golf

How Does the Prestige’s Golf Benefit Work?

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

How Does Card Compare to Other Cards?

How Does Prestige Compare to AMEX Platinum?

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

How Does Prestige Compare to AA Executive Card?

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

How Does Prestige Compare to ThankYou Premier and ThankYou Preferred?

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

Getting a Prestige

What are Citi’s Application Rules?

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

Permanence of 50,000 Point Offer

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

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

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

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

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

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

 

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

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

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

22

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

Etihad Brussels redemption chart

Coupled with the 25% transfer bonus from ThankYou Points to Etihad miles until December 31, 2015, that would make a roundtrip between Brussels and New York 30,000 ThankYou Points in flat bed business, and 18,000 ThankYou Points in economy. Those deals are fantastic, so I figured some serious investigation was in order.

How to Book a Brussels Airlines Flight with Etihad Miles

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

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

To search on united.com:

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

united book travel box

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

united saver award 2

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

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

My Experience Booking a Brussels Airlines Flight with Etihad Miles

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

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

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

What I Do Know

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

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

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

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

business not available

no biz saver return

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

ita matrix jfk to bru

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

Advice for More Efficient Communication with Etihad Guest Representatives

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

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

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

What to Do If You Want to Book This Space

If you want to book New York to Brussels roundtrip in economy for 18,000 ThankYou Points or in Business Class for 30,000 ThankYou Points, here’s what you should do.

  1. Find award space on united.com.
  2. Call Etihad Guest’s UK office to confirm that an agent sees that space, and get him to quote total taxes and fees.
  3. Transfer ThankYou Points to Etihad miles before December 31.
  4. Hope award space doesn’t disappear during the approximately seven days it will take for the Etihad miles to post.
  5. When the miles appear, book the Brussels flights with Etihad miles.
  6. Report back your experiences in the comments of this post.
  7. I will send you $100 on PayPal from my own pocket to the first person to send me proof of the booking and steps to replicate it as a thanks for increasing the knowledge of the miles community.

Bottom Line

The best case scenario is that you can book a roundtrip Business Class flight to Europe without fuel surcharges for 30,000 ThankYou Points after the transfer bonus. That’s an incredibly awesome deal.

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

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

We still don’t have proof that you can redeem Etihad miles on a Brussels Airlines flight.  But considering the range of scenarios, I do not think putting a bit of time and research into this yourselves would be a waste. And if that’s not enough incentive, prove that you booked it and tell the rest of us how to do it and I will gladly give you $100 out of my own pocket.

Happy hunting. 

This deal wouldn’t be possible without Citi ThankYou points. Luckily, ThankYou Points are easy to get. Through December 31, 2015, 1,000 ThankYou Points transfer to 1,250 Etihad miles.

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

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With the miles earned from the sign-up bonuses of the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, you could have 106,000 ThankYou points to turn into 132,500 Etihad miles via the 25% transfer bonus. That’s more than enough to book four roundtrip trips to Europe in Business Class in a flat bed as long as Etihad can book Brussels Business Class.

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

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

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

3

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months. It is a premium American Airlines credit card with a $450 annual fee that grants the cardholder Admirals Club membership.

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

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

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

Members?

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

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

American Airlines Lounge Information

Check out the list of American Airlines lounges here.

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

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You can also get free wifi and a comfortable chair.

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

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

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Comparison with Prestige Lounge Access

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

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

Bottom Line

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

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time

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

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

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

11

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

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

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And inspecting the list of “available markets” lists points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card as eligible for the transfer bonus.
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Good Deal?

Using Etihad Miles for Etihad Flights

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

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

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

So don’t use Etihad miles to book Etihad First Class unless you don’t have American Airlines miles, which are easy to get. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

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

Using Etihad Miles for Other Flights

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

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

 

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

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

Bottom Line

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

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

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

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Getting Both Citi Prestige and Citi Premier for 100,000 Bonus ThankYou Points

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

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

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

10

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

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The process is explained clearly in this video.

Or, if you prefer, this infographic.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.09.33 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick Facts

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

Sign Up Bonus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Statement Credits

$100 Statement Credit for First Qualifying Expedia Purchase

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

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

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

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

Air Travel Credit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Category Bonuses

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

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

Status

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

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Anniversary Bonus

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

Chip and No Foreign Transaction Fees

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

Annual Fee

The annual fee is $95 and not waived.

Offer

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

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

Application Link: Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi

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

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

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

24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Bonus

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

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

The spreadsheet lists:

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

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

Perks

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

Spending

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

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

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

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Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

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

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

Full Offer

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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This 50k Hilton offer has expired. Check out the best current travel credit card sign up offers here.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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The hotel’s location is stunning.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The ThankYou Premier’s offer has expired. Click here for the top current credit card offers for free travel.

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:

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I went into my thankyou.com account to search for car rentals, and the results showed a 1.25 cents per point valuation.
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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 12 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.

 

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

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

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