Tags Posts tagged with "Citi"

Citi

5

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

It’s not a highly publicized benefit, but it can save you a lot of money each year, as proven by our reader success stories in this post.

Basically you register purchases online and if the price drops within 60 days of the purchase, Citi refunds you the difference up to $2,500 per year with a maximum of $500 per item.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.07.38 AM

The process is explained clearly in this video.

Or, if you prefer, this infographic.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.09.33 AM

Citi Price Rewind has saved cardholders $3,022,232 in January through June of 2016 alone at an average of $24.42 per refund.

How to Access Price Rewind

There are two ways:

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 4.47.54 PM

2. Go to Citi’s website, sign in, and click card benefits. You can find it from there.
Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 4.51.53 PM

How to Register a Product

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 6.53.31 PM

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

For example, when I searched a very general term like “macbook”, it turned up 29,959 results.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 8.34.44 AM

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 6.59.51 PMThen you Start the Price Rewind.
Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 6.59.51 PM

Quick Facts About the Process

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

Which Purchases You Can Register and When You Should

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

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

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

Which Purchases You Can’t Register

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

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

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

What if I Find a Lower Price than Price Rewind?

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

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 7.05.55 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 7.07.08 PM

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

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

Send everything to:

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

Peoples’ Experiences with Price Rewind

Flyertalk

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

Reader Success Story

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 4.35.35 PM

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

dress

More recently Amy C sent me another great illustration of how Price Rewind is saving her another $50.

image

Price Rewind found a cheaper bluetooth speaker than the one she bought on Amazon in June.

image (1)

Thanks for continuing to share these data points, Amy C!

Dissatisfied Reader

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

Any update on this, Gina?

Tips From Readers Who Have Used Citi Price Rewind

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.51.15 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.50.48 PM

Bottom Line

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

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

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

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® 60,000 mile offer and Hilton 75k point offer have expired. Check out the current best credit card offers here.

———————————————————————

This is the fourth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flyer miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

There are currently some huge sign up bonuses that folks new to the miles game can pick up.

I’ve categorized some of the best offers below, but before applying for any cards, I recommend checking out my Introduction to Travel Credit Cards.

Make sure you sign up for a card that earns points or miles that are useful for your specific travel goals (i.e. the corresponding award charts for redeeming them have reasonable prices to where you want to go, and there is also award space). It breaks my heart when people come to my Award Booking Service with the wrong miles for the trip they want. There’s no reason to Make the Biggest Mistake in Our Hobby.

  • What are the best cards for beginners?

Best Card for the Benefits Within the First Year

Citi Prestige® Card

The Citi Prestige® Card comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. My review of the Citi Prestige Card explains its other benefits like access to 900 Priority Pass lounges, the fourth night free on hotel stays, $100 global entry free credit, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and 2x points on dining and entertainment.

You also get $250 in Air Travel Credit each calendar year. So the first $250 in plane tickets/award taxes & fees/in-flight purchases/etc. in 2016 and the first $250 in plane tickets in 2017 are free. That’s another $500 in free tickets before you pay the annual fee again in 12 months.

ThankYou Points can be transferred to 12 airline partners for high value redemptions. 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.

ThankYou Points can also be used like cash toward the purchase of any airline ticket with no blackouts. You get 1.33 cents off any flight. That means 40,000 bonus points are worth $532 in flights.

The card comes with a $450 annual fee that is not waived for the first year, but the myriad of benefits and the $500 in air travel credit during the period covered by the $450 annual fee more than make up for it.

Best Card for Awards to Central & South America

 Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

 Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® offers 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 

American Airlines miles are some of the most valuable miles to get you to Central and South America. American Airlines flies more routes from the United States to Central and South America than any other carrier–by far!

You can also stretch your American Airlines miles to last a long time if you redeem them on economy Off Peak awards.

American Airlines miles also open up a ton of economy award space to Australia, but Business and First Class award space is much harder to come by.

The card has a $450 annual fee is that is not waived the first year. While this card won’t be appropriate for everyone, read my review of the AAdvantage Executive card that explains how the benefits and of this card can help out outweigh the hefty annual fee.

Best Business Card

Ink Plus

The Ink Plus is a business card that offers 60,000 Ultimate Rewards sign up bonuses after spending $5,000 in the first three months. Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to United, Singapore, British Airways, Korean, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Amtrak, and more.

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

The Ink Plus has no annual fee the first 12 months, $95 thereafter.

CKANbanner_300x250_v6b

Best All-Around Card

Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a personal card that earns 50k Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in 3 months. Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to United, British Airways, Korean, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Amtrak, and more.

You also get 5k bonus points for adding an authorized user while applying, so I think of this as a 55k bonus point card. (Adding an authorized user does not prevent that person from getting the card at the same time or in the future as a primary account holder and getting the full sign up bonus.)

The Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points on dining and travel. Dining includes bars, restaurants, and fast food. Travel includes airfare, hotels, taxis, rental cars, tolls, parking, and much more.

The Sapphire Preferred has no annual fee the first year, then $95 thereafter.

**For the reasons described in this post, the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus are two of the first cards I recommend for beginners just starting out in the miles hobby**

Best Hotel Credit Card (Limited Time Offer)

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card

For a limited time, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card come with 75,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first three months, automatic Hilton Silver status, and no annual fee.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.06.33 AM

This is a huge sign up bonus for a card with no annual fee.

The card offers 6x points at Hilton hotels; 3x at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations; and 2x on all other purchases. Plus any year you spend $1,000 at Hiltons, you get 10,000 bonus points.

Free night awards start at 5,000 points per night and because the card gives you free Silver status, cardholders get the fifth night free on all awards.

Spending $2,500 on the card (of which at least $2,000 is in the first three months) will give you 80,000 Hilton points, enough for:

Bottom Line

Above are some of the top travel credit cards to consider if you’re just beginning to collect miles and points. Here are some more links to posts I have written recently that will be a big help to beginners:

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.01.54 AM

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

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

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

Best Transfer Partners

Singapore KrisFlyer

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

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

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.10.43 AM

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

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

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

Air France Flying Blue

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

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

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

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

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

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

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

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

How to Get ThankYou Points

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

Citi Prestige® Card:

  • Sign Up Bonus: 40,000 ThankYou Points after $4,000 in spending
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on air travel and hotels, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Air travel fee credit:  $250 annual credit ($500 first year of cardmembership)
  • Lounge access: Priority Pass lounges worldwide
  • Free hotel nights: Get your 4th night free on all paid hotel stays (no blackout dates)
  • Global Entry: $100 application fee credit
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $450 not waived, well worth it

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

How to Transfer

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

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

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.33.25 AM

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

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 10.59.25 AM

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

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.35.07 AM

Other Redemption Options

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

You can still redeem ThankYou Points earned by the Citi ThankYou® Premier for 1.25 cents each on any airline. ThankYou Points earned by the Citi Prestige® Card can be redeemed on any airline for 1.33 cents each. I don’t plan on using ThankYou Points for 1.25 or 1.33 cents each because I know I can get far more than 1.25 cents of value from the points as Singapore miles.

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

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

Two Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom Line

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

You can get 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi Prestige® Card after spending $4,000 in the first three months.

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

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

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

10

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

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

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

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

Members?

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

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

American Airlines Lounge Information

Check out the list of American Airlines lounges here.

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

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 1.19.43 PM

You can also get free wifi and a comfortable chair.

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 1.19.48 PM

Comparison with Prestige Lounge Access

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

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

Bottom Line

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

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And there are many, many more examples.

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

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

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

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

9

The Citi Prestige® Card comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. It also offers a $250 Air Travel Credit per calendar year.

$250 Prestige Air Travel Credit

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

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.36.26 AM

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

From the terms of the Citi Prestige:

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

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

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

American Express Air Travel Credits

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

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

However the terms on the American Express credits say:

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

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 9.58.48 PM

Bottom Line

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

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

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

13

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.56.24 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.59.00 PM

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

Good Deal?

Using Etihad Miles for Etihad Flights

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 12.55.33 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.50.50 AM

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

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

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

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

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

Using Etihad Miles for Other Flights

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

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

 

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

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

Bottom Line

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

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

  • Citi Prestige® Card with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

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 – 18 month BT offer, and Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Basically you register purchases online and if the price drops within 60 days, Citi refunds you the difference up to $1,200 per year.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.07.38 AM

The process is explained clearly in this video.

Or, if you prefer, this infographic.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.09.33 AM

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

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

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

8

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

——————————-

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

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

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 7.18.37 PM

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

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

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

DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.44.53 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.33.44 PM

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

Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

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

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

The hotel’s location is stunning.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.45.46 PM

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

And a number of reviews rave about the pool.

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

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur

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

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

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.43.14 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 3.43.32 PM

Bottom Line

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

 

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

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

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

 

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

3

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Those 40,000 points are now worth $500 toward airfare, hotels, cruises, and car rentals (25% more.)

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

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

  1. Open the Citi Prestige® Card in addition to your Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. Combine the ThankYou Points earned on each card into a single account. From that account, you can redeem points like cash toward any 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 40,000 point sign up bonus worth $500 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 1.33 cents per point toward the purchase of flights. Or I can transfer my points to Singapore, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic miles and book sweet spot awards.

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

6

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

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

The merchant never knows your “real” account details.

How to Create a Virtual Account Number for Your Citi Card

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

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 2.14.24 PM

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.11.57 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.12.02 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.14.08 PM

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

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

 

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

24

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card now offers 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

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

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 40,000 ThankYou Points after $3,000 in spending in the first three months
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on travel and gas, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Value of ThankYou Points: Worth 1.25 cents toward the purchase of any cash ticket (or up to 1.6 cents if you also have a Citi Prestige) OR can be transferred to 12 airlines and Hilton for higher value
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first 12 months, $95 per year afterwards

Sign Up Bonus

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card now offers 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Thank You points have two primary uses.

  1. Use them like cash to purchase any flight on any airline with no blackouts.
  2. Transfer them to miles with 12 airlines or to Hilton points. Then they are whatever miles you chose, subject to those rules.

If you use these like cash toward any flight, you will get 1.25 cents each of value, making the sign up bonus worth $500 toward any flights with no blackouts. However if you have a Citi Prestige in addition to your Premier, you can combine the ThankYou Points from both cards and redeem them at the higher value the Prestige offers. In that case, you could redeem these 50,000 bonus points for 1.33 cents toward any flight or 1.6 cents toward American Airlines flights. That would be $640 in American Airlines flights.

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

Instead of redeeming the points like cash, you can transfer your ThankYou Points to one of the 13 airline and hotel partners. The best partner is Singapore Airlines. In the last few months, I’ve transferred ThankYou Points to Singapore miles to fly United First Class to Hawaii, United economy to Madrid, and Avianca Business Class to Buenos Aires. Or you can use Singapore miles to book Singapore Suites.

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

Category Bonuses

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

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

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

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

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

Fees

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

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

Bottom Line

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

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

8

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card changed its category bonuses today and lowered its annual fee. The new category bonuses are:

  • 3 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on Travel including Gas
  • 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on Dining Out and Entertainment.

The new annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months, then $95 thereafter.

These are in addition to the 40,000 point sign up bonus on the card.

As with all category bonuses, the question is: what exactly qualifies?

The 3x Category: “Travel and Gas”

The terms and conditions say that you earn 3 ThankYou Points for every dollar you spend on purchases at the following establishments:

(everything through the end of the parentheses on each line is a quotation, the rest in my analysis)

  • airlines (merchants that provide air travel): anything that the airline processes should count including award taxes and fees; gift cards; onboard food purchases; and, with some airlines but not all, miles purchases
  • hotels (merchants that provide sleeping or meeting room accommodations, and may include goods and services that are on a bill for these accommodations by a hotel, motel or inn): anything charged to your room like food, spa, or golf should earn 3x
  • car rental agencies (merchants that provide short-term or long-term rentals of cars)
  • travel agencies (merchants that provide travel information and booking services, and include travel aggregators and tour operators): this should include online travel agencies like Expedia
  • gas stations (merchants that sell fuel for consumer use and may or may not be attended… you will earn additional ThankYou Points on gas purchases made at warehouse clubs and convenience stores)
  • commuter transportation (merchants that provide suburban and local mass passenger transportation over regular routes and on regular schedules, including ferries, commuter railways and subways)
  • taxi/limousines (merchants that provide passenger transportation services for hire and includes horse-drawn cabs and carriages, bicycle taxis, aerial tramways, airport shuttles or cable cars): hopefully Uber falls in this category
  • passenger railways (merchants that primarily provide long-distance transportation and may include overnight accommodations on the train)
  • cruise lines (merchants that provide passenger transportation on the open sea or inland waters for the purpose of vacation or pleasure and operate predefined and advertised routes)
  • bridge and road tolls (merchants who collect fees associated with toll roads, highways and bridges)
  • parking lots/garages (merchants that provide temporary parking services for automobiles, usually on an hourly, daily or monthly contract or fee basis)
  • campgrounds and trailer parks (merchants that provide overnight or short-term campsites for recreational vehicles, trailers, campers, or tents)
  • time shares (retailers that sell, lease, and rent timeshare real estate and arrange timeshare condominium exchanges)
  • bus lines (passenger bus transportation services that operate on a regular schedule over predetermined routes)
  • motor home/RV Rental and boat rentals (merchants that rent motor homes, RVs, pop-up campers, tent trailers, and other recreational vehicles on a daily, short-term, or extended-term basis ormerchants that primarily provide boat rental and leasing services, including fishing boats, non-crew houseboats, sail boats, powerboats, jet skis, and yachts)

This 3x list includes everything that I think of as a travel expense from flights, hotels, and car rentals to tolls and renting a yacht, so the only hiccup could come from this sentence, which is standard in pretty much every credit card offer:

“We do not determine how merchants or establishments are classified; however, they are generally classified based upon the merchant’s primary line of business. We reserve the right to determine which purchases qualify for this offer.”

As long as the merchant is coded correctly as one of these travel or gas categories, you’ll get 3x points. If the merchant is not correctly classified, you can call Citi and ask for your 3x. After all, “[Citi] reserve[s] the right to determine which purchases qualify.”

The 2x Category: “Dining Out and Entertainment”

The terms and conditions say that you earn 2 ThankYou Points for every dollar you spend on purchases at (everything through the end of the parentheses on each line is a quotation, the rest in my analysis)

  • restaurants (dining establishments that primarily prepare food and drinks for immediate consumption by consumers, either on the merchant’s premises or packaged for takeout, and include bars, cocktail lounges, discotheques, nightclubs, taverns and fast food restaurants)
  • sports promoters (merchants that operate and promote live sporting events (professional or semi-professional), and may also include sports stadiums)
  • theatrical promoters (merchants that operate live theatrical productions or concerts, and include ticketing agencies)
  • movie theaters (establishments that sell tickets and refreshments for movie productions)
  • amusement parks, zoos, circuses and aquariums (establishments that operate parks or carnivals and offer mechanical rides and games and/or live animal shows)
  • tourist attractions, museums, and art galleries (establishments that operate attractions and exhibits for tourists)
  • record stores
  • video rental stores

“Restaurants” is a broad category that covers fine dining all the way down to takeout and fast food. Plus it covers places that aren’t really restaurants at all like bars and night clubs. Restaurants are where I’d get the most bonus points in the 2x category, though I occasionally patronize establishments in the other 2x categories.

How to Use ThankYou Points

There are two reasonable ways to redeem ThankYou Points:

  1. Use them like cash to purchase any flight on any airline with no blackouts. Used this way, points are worth 1.25 to 1.6 cents each.
  2. Transfer them to miles with 12 airlines or to Hilton points. Then they are whatever miles you chose, subject to those rules. Used this way, the value of the points depends on your redemption, but 2 cents each is very possible.

For full details on How to Use ThankYou Points, click this link.

Bottom Line

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card now offers the best return on travel and gas at 3x and also offers 2x on dining and entertainment. These very broad categories make the 40,000 point sign up bonus all the more attractive.

The card has even dropped its annual fee to $0 for the first year and $95 thereafter.

Application Link: Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

Citi ThankYou Points now transfer to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles at a 1:1 rate.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 2.09.20 AMThat makes one hotel and 12 airline partners for Citi ThankYou Points earned on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and Citi Prestige® Card.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card comes with 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. It offers 3x on travel and gas purchases and 2x on dining and entertainment purchases.

The Citi Prestige® Card has a healthy 40,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months and offers 3x points on air travel and hotels plus 2x points on dining and entertainment. But this card is really about the perks: American Airlines and Priority Pass lounge access including guests, $250 in airfare credits each calendar year, and free hotel nights.

Virgin Atlantic instantly becomes one of the top three transfer options for ThankYou points, along with Singapore miles for Singapore Suites or travel in the Western Hemisphere and Flying Blue miles for Promo awards to Europe and some awards on Delta.

There are three main uses for Virgin Atlantic miles:

1. Among the Cheapest Economy and Premium Economy Awards to Europe

Economy

Virgin Atlantic economy class awards to Europe require far fewer miles than competitors’ charge. From Boston, New York, Washington, and Chicago, you only need 17,500 Virgin Atlantic miles for a one way flight to the United Kingdom. (Actually only 13,125 miles until January 22, 2015.)

There are modest fuel surcharges on the award, so taxes and fees on the one way from the United States to Europe are $135.

Combine a one way from the eastern United States to Europe for 18,000 ThankYou Points plus $131 and return from a low tax country to the United States on a one way award with United, American, or Delta miles for a very cheap European vacation.

I wrote more about searching Virgin Atlantic award space, the fuel surcharges you’ll see, and booking the space in Transatlantic Award: 13,125 Miles One Way All Summer Long.

Premium Economy

You can fly one way from parts of the United States to the United Kingdom in Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy for only 27,500 miles and $231.

Premium Economy on Virgin Atlantic is more akin to United First Class on domestic flights than United Economy Plus. It’s not just a big seat; Premium Economy comes with all the amenities in this promotional video.

Considering most programs charge 30,000 miles one way in economy, this is a steal in my opinion even with the fuel surcharges.

2. Incredible Value Partner Awards

Virgin Atlantic has several airline partners.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 3.20.02 AM

Virgin Atlantic has a separate award chart for each, and the values can be good, especially with this transfer bonus. Best of all, on many partners, Virgin Atlantic doesn’t collect any fuel surcharges!

Last year I called Flying Club at (800) 365-9500 and priced out several awards.

The call was fairly smooth although the agent told me that Atlanta to Buenos Aires on Delta wasn’t bookable with Virgin Atlantic miles. When I pressed him to double check, he came back with the news that it indeed is bookable. As always, you may know more than the phone agents, so be polite but firm.

Award prices including unavoidable government taxes (none include fuel surcharges):

  • Atlanta to Buenos Aires in roundtrip economy on Delta: 45k miles + $77.32
  • New York to London in roundtrip economy on Delta: 40k miles + $190.60
  • Atlanta to Los Angeles in roundtrip economy on Delta: 25k miles + $11.20
  • New York to Paris in roundtrip economy on Delta: 60k miles + $90.66
  • New York to Honolulu in roundtrip First on Hawaiian: 130k miles + $11.20

I learned a few key things about partner awards from the call:

  • Delta awards have no fuel surcharges, just the same government taxes as booking with Delta miles.
  • The Delta award chart is way underpriced to Southern South America. Buenos Aires for 45,000 ThankYou Points roundtrip is a steal. You’d need 60,000 Delta miles for the same award.
  • There are no fuel surcharges on Hawaiian Airlines award flights.
  • The Hawaiian award chart says economy roundtrips are “from 40,000 miles” and first is “from 80,000 miles.” Those prices only refer to roundtrips from the western US. The roundtrip price to/from JFK is quite a bit higher.
  • There are no fuel surcharges on Virgin America award flights.
  • Not all Virgin America flights have award space that Virgin Atlantic has access to. There’s no way to check without calling Virgin Atlantic that I know of.

3. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic’s Business Class–called Upper Class–features fully flat beds with direct aisle access.

Virgin Atlantic offers its Flying Club members the best award availability in Upper Class, but the catch is the fuel surcharges (plus departing London taxes) of around $1,000 per roundtrip award in Upper Class.

While the out-of-pocket cost is a big drawback, the miles prices are very low. New York and Chicago to London are only 80k miles roundtrip in Upper Class and Los Angeles and San Francisco to London roundtrip in Upper Class are only 100k miles.

Roundtrip Miles Prices to UK with Flying Club Miles listed Economy, Premium Economy, Upper Class from left to right

If you want to avoid fuel surcharges, Delta miles can be used to book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for 125k miles plus taxes and no fuel surcharges. But Delta SkyMiles members don’t have access to the same award availability as Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members.

4. Other Uses?

Did I miss any great uses of Virgin Atlantic miles? These small foreign programs get so few expert eyeballs on them, so I know that many have hidden gems. Hopefully I’ve exposed some with the partner flights in this post. If you know of others, share them in the comments please.

Getting the Miles

Citi ThankYou Points earned on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and Citi Prestige® Card now transfer 1:1 to Virgin Atlantic miles.

Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards both transfer 1:1 to Virgin Atlantic miles. American Express ran transfer bonuses of 30% and 35% to Virgin Atlantic last year. Ultimate Rewards have never had a transfer bonus, and I like to use my Ultimate Rewards with United miles, so I strongly favor transferring Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points to Virgin Atlantic miles if you want Virgin Atlantic miles.

The Virgin Atlantic credit card offers “90,000 bonus miles” if you jump through a lot of hoops.

Bottom Line

Citi has added major value to its ThankYou program three times since I got my Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. First by adding airline transfer partners including Singapore, then by adding Air France Flying Blue as a partner, and now by adding Virgin Atlantic Flyinc Club. These continuous additions of value are one reason I plan to get the Citi Prestige® Card very soon.

Virgin Atlantic miles offer super cheap economy awards to Europe (13,125 miles until tomorrow and 17,500 miles normally), Premium Economy awards to Europe (27,500 miles), and Upper Class awards to Europe (40,000 miles.) Unfortunately all of these awards have fuel surcharges, but the miles prices may be low enough to justify the out-of-pocket cost.

Virgin Atlantic miles can also be used to book awards on several partners. Delta, Hawaiian, and Virgin America flights booked with Virgin Atlantic miles have no fuel surcharges, and some of the Delta awards are steals, like 45,000 miles roundtrip to Buenos Aires.

My big wish is that Citi ThankYou Points will eventually add another transfer partner, one with which Citi has a very close relationship already, American Airlines miles.

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

Follow Me