Good afternoon everyone, I have one more quick post to share this weekend. My Citi Prestige Credit Card annual fee is set to post in early May and I do not anticipate keeping the credit card for another year, since there is a big devaluation to the card benefits that goes into effect on July 27. Doctor of Credit has more details, but here are the big blows to the card benefits:
- Eliminating 3 free rounds of golf.
- Eliminating American Airline redemptions at 1.6 cents per point (if you have any upcoming AA flights, read How to Book American Airlines Flights with Citi Thank You Points (1.6 Cents Per Point Value)).
- For all other flights booked with Citi Thank You Points, the redemption rate is changing from 1.33 cents per point to 1.25 cents per point.
- Fourth-night-free hotel benefit will be based on average nightly rate instead of the 4th night’s rate (and the fourth-night-free benefit will no longer include taxes).
- Eliminating Admirals Club access.
With those devaluations in mind, I wanted to redeem the full $250 airline travel credit before the annual fee posts. I wanted to experiment and see if flights booked with Citi Thank You Points and cash would trigger the $250 airline travel credit. For those unfamiliar with booking flights through the Citi Thank You portal, you have the option to pay for flights with all Citi Thank You Points, with all cash (you might as well book directly on the airline’s website) or a combination of Thank You Points and cash. In the example below, the flight costs $178.20 or 13,398 Citi Thank You Points.
Since I had $71.20 left of my $250 airline travel credit, I wanted to pay $71.20 with my Citi Prestige Credit Card and use Citi Thank You Points to pay for the rest of the flight.
Due to rounding errors, the amount you pay in Citi Thank You Points may change by 1-2 points when you get to the checkout page. I booked the flight and paid a total of $71.20 with my Citi Prestige Credit Card and used 8,044 Citi Thank You Points to cover the rest of the cost.
My Citi Prestige Credit Card statement just closed and I checked to see if the $71.20 charge counted toward the $250 airline travel credit. Unfortunately, the charge did not count. I thought that would be the case since you are essentially paying Citi’s travel provider (Connexions Loyalty, Inc.) and then they buy the ticket for you with their credit card (you can verify this if you look at the payment details on all flights booked through the Citi Thank You portal – the credit card used to book the flight is not yours). Since Citi’s travel provider does not code as an airline, you do not trigger the $250 airline travel credit. Surprisingly though, the charge did code as a “3x Air Travel & Hotel” charge, which was a nice consolation prize ($71.20 + $173.20 = $244.40 x 3 = 733 Citi Thank You Points).
Lastly, my Citi Prestige Credit Card statement says I have spent $178.80 of my $250 airline travel credit (leaving $71.20 left to be redeemed). It also had a message that said: “Your February billing statement incorrectly stated that you’ve already used your full Air Travel Credit” which is not true – there is no message like that on my February statement. Looks like Citi has some technical difficulties with their statements. Did anyone else have that message on their statement?
If you have any questions about redeeming Citi Thank You Points or redeeming the full $250 airline travel credit, please leave a comment below. Have a great weekend everyone!