Should you Downgrade to the No Annual Fee Citi AT&T Access Credit Card?

Good morning everyone, happy Wednesday.  Yesterday, Citi sent out emails to all Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card members telling them that Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card will Earn 1x for Gift Card Purchases & Real Estate Payments (Effective July 22, 2017).  This caused mass panic in the miles and points community and got me thinking, is there a better card to use than the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card?  Maybe!

I searched on Google for a no annual fee Citi AT&T credit card and stumbled onto the Citi AT&T Access Credit Card that has no annual fee.  That credit card has a 10,000 Citi Thank You Point sign up bonus and earns 2x for online purchases and AT&T purchases, and 1x on all other purchases.  Unfortunately, that credit card does not offer a 10,000 Citi Thank You Point bonus when you spend $10,000 or more during your cardmember year.  This credit card also has the same change in earning on gift card purchases and real estate payments effective July 22, 2017.

I wanted to run the numbers and calculate which credit card is better to use, the Citi AT&T Access Credit Card with no annual fee or the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card with a $95 annual fee?  I calculated the number of Citi Thank You Points you would earn if all your spend was at 2x for the Citi AT&T Access Credit Card and 3x for the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card.  I then started with a value of 1.0 cents per point (CPP) for each Citi Thank You Point and subtracted the $95 annual fee from the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card.  Here is my beautiful data table.

Here is the same data in a line graph.  The orange line (which represents the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card) jumps up when you spend $10,000 yearly because you will receive 10,000 bonus Citi Thank You Points.  Assuming you value Citi Thank You Points at 1.0 CPP, your break even point is right around $9,000 in spend.  If you plan on spending more than $9,000, you are better off paying the $95 annual fee on the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card.

Valuing Citi Thank You Points at only 1.0 CPP seems very low, so let’s go to 1.25 CPP, since that is what you can redeem Citi Thank You Points for travel after July 22 when the Citi Prestige Credit Card loses the ability to book paid American Airlines and codeshare flights at 1.6 CPP and all other airlines at 1.33 CPP. If you value Citi Thank You Points at 1.25 CPP, your break even point is around $8,000 in spend.

If you plan on transferring Citi Thank You Points out to transfer partners like KLM/Air France or Singapore Airlines for economy flights, you might value Citi Thank You Points at 1.5 CPP. If you value Citi Thank You Points at 1.5 CPP, your break even point is around $6,000 in spend.

If you plan on redeeming your Citi Thank You Points for paid American Airlines and other codeshare flights at 1.6 CPP, your break even point is also around $6,000 in spend.

Lastly, if you plan on transferring Citi Thank You Points out to transfer partners and anticipate booking business or first class flights at 2.0 CPP, your break even point is around $5,000 in spend.

I hope these line graphs are helpful to visualize the total value of your Citi Thank You Points, based on how much you spend on your credit card and how much you value Citi Thank You Points.  If you want to play with the numbers and line graph, here is my Excel Spreadsheet.

Lastly, If you missed the opportunity to apply for the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card when it offered a $650 statement credit toward the purchase of a new AT&T phone, you can still get the Citi AT&T Access Credit Card because it offers a 10,000 Citi Thank You Point sign up bonus after spending $1,000 in 3 month.  After you get the sign up bonus, you should be able to upgrade to the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card and earn 3x on qualifying spend and qualify to earn 10,000 Citi Thank You Point bonus when you spend $10,000 or more during your cardmember year.  I am not 100% sure if that will work, but I would give it a try.

I’m still on the fence regarding keeping my Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card.  My annual fee is posting in the next few weeks, so I will call Citi and see if they will offer me a decent retention offer.  I spent more than $10,000 on my Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card this cardmember year, so I should be receiving my 10,000 bonus Citi Thank You Points.  Since I used to redeem Citi Thank You Points at 1.6 CPP when I had my Citi Prestige Credit Card (which has since been product changed to a Citi Dividend Credit Card), I plan on transferring Citi Thank You Points to KLM/Air France or Singapore Airlines.

Are you planning on keeping or downgrading your Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card?  Let me know below.  If you have any questions about the Citi AT&T Access Credit Card or Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

12 thoughts on “Should you Downgrade to the No Annual Fee Citi AT&T Access Credit Card?

  1. Hadley V. Baxendale

    Planning on converting my soon to be terminated Citi HHonors Reserve card to the no fee Citi AT&T card and pocket the pro-rata refund of the Hilton card.

    No plans to get the Access & More card.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hmm, that is a good point. I just product changed my Citi Prestige (TYP earning card) to a Citi Dividend, so I think I already did reset my 24 month cloth, so this wouldn’t be a big deal for me to reset it again.

      Reply
  2. DW

    Thanks for the analysis. I’m at a decision point with all of my TYP cards. My Premier just came due and I never use it. Probably need to PC it to keep the points from expiring. My Prestige is due in a month, I do like it’s Priority Pass, though I do have the Amex Plat as well. Then this AT&T card…I think your analysis helped me with that. I wish Citi’s TYP were all lumped in a big bucket like UR or MR. I made the mistake of linking them all together so I can not transfer card specific points. My thoughts are either to dump them all and transfer to Singapore, or down grade ATT and Premier to no fee cards and keep Prestige. I do make use of the 4th night free bene about once a year so I am probably at break even on this card.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I think your plan makes sense to me. Keep Citi Prestige then product change Citi Premier to Citi Preferred (no annual fee) or Citi Dividend (no annual fee) and downgrade Citi AT&T Access More to Citi AT&T Access (no annual fee).

      Reply
  3. Shyam

    Hey Grant, called Citi retention couple of days before my annual fee posted. Here’s the two offers I got.
    1. Additional 2 TYP for 6 months with a max cap of 35000 TYP (or upto $17500 spend)
    2. 10000 TYP after spending $3000 in 6 months

    I decided to keep the card and selected first offer.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Oh those are awesome retention offers. Since I would want to get the 10,000 bonus Citi TYPs, I would probably spend $10,000 on the card, so I would get at least 3x for $10,000 spend = 30,000 Citi TYPs. Offer 1 would be best for me too.

      Reply

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