Citibank

Changes coming to Citi Prestige this Sunday

While we’ve known changes were coming to the Citi Prestige, we hadn’t known the exact details. Citi recently released this information and, in my opinion, they’re mostly negative.

1. The new card will be metal. This is to compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum, I assume. Change Rating: Neutral

2. Changes to the Fourth Night Free Benefit
a. Today when a booking a hotel for the fourth night free benefit, it must be done by calling or emailing the specified travel agency. Starting next week booking the hotel can be done online.  Change Rating: Positive
b. Today when booking for four nights or more, the fourth night’s stay is refunded, even if it’s the most expensive night of the stay. Starting next week, the average cost of the room for one night will be refunded and taxes will not be refunded. Change rating: Negative

3. When redeeming ThankYou Points for cash, they can be redeemed at a rate of .5 cents per point, so redeeming 50,000 points nets you $250. Next week you’ll be able to redeem points at the rate of a penny per point, so that same 50,000-point redemption will earn you $500. Change rating: Positive

4. Lounge Access: while you’ll still have access to Priority Pass lounges, you’ll no longer have access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs when traveling on AA. Change rating: Negative

5. Redeeming points for flights: Today you may redeem points at the rate of 1.6 cents per point for flights on American Airlines or 1.33 cents per point on other airlines. Effective next week the rate will be 1.25 cents per point on any airline. Change rating: Negative

6. Today the Citi Prestige allows for three complimentary rounds of golf at over 2000 courses worldwide. That benefit ends next week. Change rating: Negative

For people like me who want to use ThankYou Points for travel, these are mostly negative changes. If there’s any good news it’s that there will be a new sign-up bonus of 75K points starting next week. But card holders who have opened or closed the Prestige or Premier card in the last 24 months are not eligible for the bonus. My plan for now is to apply for the Premier card and once I have it then I’ll close my Prestige card. I’ll miss the $250 Air Travel Credit but the Premier is much cheaper than the $450 annual fee for the Prestige.

In the meantime I recently redeemed most of my ThankYou Points for a flight for a ski trip next year.

What are your plans for your ThankYou Points?

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Categories: Citi Prestige, Citibank, Credit Cards | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Earn 3x AA Miles at Hilton

2015-02-28 AA Hilton PromoAmerican Airlines is running a promotion where you can earn 3 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent at Hilton properties between now and May 31, 2015. It’s a targeted offer and I received it for one of my AAdvantage Executive Platinum cards. I went ahead and registered my card, even though I don’t currently have plans for a Hilton stay before the promotion period ends because as the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe that sorry.

Hilton brands include the flagship Hilton brand, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Home2Suites and Hilton Grand Vacation Clubs. If you’re not staying at one of these hotels, if you dine there and put the charge on your card it may qualify for the 3x points.

Categories: American Airlines, Citibank, Credit Card Promos, Hilton | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Citibank Adds Qantas As Transfer Partner

Like other credit card issuers, Citibank offers a card that earn a transferable points currency. I don’t yet have a card that earns Citi Thank You Points (TYPs). TYPs can be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel partners on a 1-to-1 basis, except where noted:

  • Asia Miles (currency for Cathay Pacific and others)
  • EVA Air Infinity Mileage Lands
  • Etihad Guest
  • Air France Flying Blue
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hilton HHonors Worldwide (1:1.5)

All transfers are for a minimum of 1000 points and must be transferred in 1000-point increments.

Recently Qantas was added as a transfer partner, making Citi the first US card issuer to allow direct transfers to Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF). Several bloggers have pointed out that it’s not particularly a great deal given that Qantas awards are distance-based and international flights will incur fuel surcharges.

What this transferability does offer is flexibility. Qantas is part of the oneworld alliance along with American Airlines, British Airways and others. Qantas (and BA) open their booking schedules approximately three weeks before American opens theirs. This, combined with how few premium cabin seats Qantas makes available, mean that award seats can be booked using QFF (or BA Avios) as soon as they’re released – leaving those with only AA miles to pick up the crumbs that are left.

The downside is that Qantas charges 168K QFF miles and BA charges 150K Avios each way in first class from North America to/from Australia. And both programs incur fuel surcharges of $390 each way to go along with the taxes and fees.

Short-haul flights using QFF miles are cheaper than the US legacy carriers at 8000 miles each way for flights of up to 600 miles but BA only charges 4500 Avios each way.

So would you ever want to transfer your Thank You Points to Qantas? Probably not, but it depends on your situation. If you’ve been saving up TYPs for a trip Down Under this will get you in the door more quickly though you’ll still have to shell out over $400 for first class flight. But it may be worth it to you to lock in a first class flight well in advance. Once the American Airlines calendar opens up, you could cancel your ticket bought with QFF miles and watch for the seat to go back into award inventory and then use your AA miles to pay for it. The question is: is the reward worth the risk of losing your first class seat? For me, the answer is no. I’d rather pay the $400 and lock in my flight than risk losing it. Since a first class ticket goes for $9600-$10,300 (depending on whether you depart from Los Angeles or Dallas) each way, it’s absolutely worth it to me to lock it in and not worry about the $400 – but as always, it’s your call.

HT: The Frequent Miler

Categories: Citibank, Credit Cards, Qantas | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Even More Promos

Can you tell that we’re right in the midst of shoulder season?  There are all kinds of promos coming through every day.  Here are recent ones I’ve seen, in no particular order:

2014-10-08 IHG Purchased Points Bonus

IHG Rewards Club is featuring a bonus on purchased points this month.  The bonus depends on how many points you’re purchasing.  I’ve got a nice stash of points at the moment so I’ll sit this one out.

2014-10-08 Club Carlson Bonus

Club Carlson is having a sale at select hotels when you book by this Friday, October 10 and stay on select dates through the end of the month.  Talk about restrictions!  Since I just returned from vacation I won’t take advantage of this either.

2014-10-08 New AF A380 Route

I’m not an aviation geek by any means but one of the few planes I can recognize on sight is the Airbus A380, since it’s a full-length double-decker.  Air France is starting a new route, Miami to Paris (CDG), on December 1st.  Remember Air France is part of SkyTeam which means you can use Delta miles on this flight.  Sadly, Delta will not allow you access to La Premiere (first class) and if you book before the end of the year a one-way ticket will cost as much as a round-trip.  However, Air France’s Flying Blue program is a transfer partner of both Starwood and Amex Membership Rewards, so that’s the way to book first class on the new bird.

2014-10-08 Hilton Purchased Points Promo

And finally, if you hold one of the Hilton co-branded credit cards (Amex has two, Citibank has one) you should have received this offer via email.  The link in the mail is specific for each recipient but you can buy or give Hilton HHonors points until October 22 and get a bonus, depending on how many points you buy or give.  Might be a nice way to top off your account if you’re just a little short.

Categories: Air France, American Express, Citibank Hilton Reserve Visa, Club Carlson, Hilton, Hilton Amex, Hilton Surpass, Hotel, IHG, SkyTeam | Leave a comment

AA 100K offer not dead!

It seems the reports of the demise of the American Airlines 100K mile credit card were premature.  True, the link was not working for a few days but it seems to be back now, per this post from Mommy Points.2014-07-13 AA Exec Card

Get yours while it’s hot!

Categories: Citibank AA Executive MasterCard, Credit Cards | Leave a comment

Latest AA Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus

In February American Airlines introduced their Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card.  It came with a steep $450 annual fee but offered AAdmirals club access, a $200 credit after $200 in purchases as well as 100,000 miles after spending $10,000 on the card in three months.  As of today that offer is dead.

2014-07-11 ACExec-75K

But the good news is that they’ve got a new offer!  Not quite as many miles but with a lower spending requirement.  The new offer is 75,000 miles after $7,500 in spending within three months.  There’s a $100 credit after $100 in spending though the $450 annual fee is still in place.

Offer: Citi Executive/AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard

Full list of terms:

Terms and Conditions

           Terms and Conditions

 

What’s not mentioned is that these cards are churnable!  That means you can apply for and receive the card, meet the spending requirement, collect the miles, then cancel the card and start the cycle all over!  Being a little more cautious than some, I picked up two of the 100,000 mile offers.  I plan to pick up one of the 75,000 cards when it’s time for my next round of credit card applications.  There are some limitations as to how quickly you can churn these so feel free to ask if you have questions.

Thanks to View From The Wing for pointing out this offer!

 

Categories: American Airlines, Citibank, Citibank AA Executive MasterCard, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards, OneWorld | 2 Comments

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