Tag Archives: Citibank

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Which 10 Credit Cards am I Considering for my March App-O-Rama?

Good morning everyone, happy Thursday.  My last App-O-Rama (where I applied for several new credit cards at the same time) was back in mid December 2016.  I usually wait 3+ months between App-O-Ramas, so the time has come to start my next round of credit card applications.  I am going to list the credit cards I have in mind in the order in which I will probably apply for them.  If you have any feedback on my strategy or think I am missing or applying for the wrong credit cards, please leave a comment below. Without further ado, let’s begin…

1. American Express SPG Business Credit Card – 25,000 SPG points after spending $5,000 in 90 days and an additional 10,000 SPG points after spending $3,000 in 120 days.  No annual fee the first year, then $95 in the second year.

With the impending merger with Marriott, this might be my last opportunity to apply for the SPG business credit card.  I can’t pass up this opportunity. 35,000 SPG points are worth ~$700 in hotel nights and airfare (and possibly much more).

2. Bank of America MERRILL+ Credit Card – 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 90 days.  No annual fee.

Doctor of Credit reports that you can apply for this credit card over the phone.  50,000 points is worth $500 cash or up to $1,000 toward airfare. Continue reading

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Google Flights Price Tracking, WOW Air KEF-SFO & JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Travel Credit

Good morning everyone, happy Thursday.  I just wanted to give a quick shoutout to everyone who attended the SF Travel Hackers March Meetup last night.  I gave a presentation about my recent trip to Iguazu Falls, Argentina.  I will work on getting that presentation turned into a blog post “soon”.  In today’s post, I will show you how I used Google Flights to track a WOW Air flight from Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF) to San Francisco (SFO).  I’ve always been interested in Iceland, and even more so after reading Whitney’s posts (Iceland & What I Wish I Had Known Before Going – Part 1 and Part 2).

I’ve been planning a trip to Iceland for the last few weeks and knew the dates I wanted to travel, but I just had to wait for the price to go down.  One of the many great things about Google Flights is that you can track specific routes on specific days, and you can even track specific flights on specific days.  I received the following email from Google Flights that the WOW Air flight I was tracking dropped from $469 to $263.  Granted, this is not the cheapest possible WOW Flight I have ever seen, but the price was right for me so I jumped on the deal.

Google Flights Price Drop KEF-SFO Email Alert

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Easily Track Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses & Bank Account Bonuses with these 2 Spreadsheets

Hat tip to my friends Bodie and Ramzi for the reminder.

Good afternoon everyone.  2 weekends ago, I was at FTU (Frequent Traveler University) Advanced in Seattle and, naturally, the topic of credit card sign up bonuses and bank account bonuses came up.  Call me old fashioned, but I have a spreadsheet for just about everything – including credit card sign up bonuses and bank account bonuses.  If you are just getting into the credit card or bank account bonus game (I made $2,850 last year from bank account bonuses), it is very important to be detail-oriented and organized.  I have used these 2 spreadsheets since day 1 (I’ve made some modifications along the way), but I think they can definitely keep you organized.  Up first, I have my Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Template.xlsx.  Let me explain this spreadsheet.  Please ask me a question if I miss anything or if anything is unclear:

  • Credit card name, merchant type, credit card number, CVV (3 digit code on the back or 4 digit code on the front of AMEX cards) and expiration date are pretty self explanatory.  I use real data and password protect the spreadsheet, but you can use the last 4 digits of your cards if you feel more comfortable.  I use real data so I can purchase anything online, wherever I am, without having to carry every single card with me.
  • Phone numbers are great for calling customer service without having the card in front of you and come in handy if your card is lost or stolen (most of these numbers are saved into my phone as well).
  • Credit limit is not super useful, but if I need to make a large purchase, I know exactly which cards have big credit limits.  It can also be helpful if you need to make a reconsideration call and move some credit around from existing credit cards.
  • I also track all of my debit cards and authorized user cards so all the info is in one place.

Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Template 1

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Flights Booked with Citi Thank You Points + Cash do not Trigger Citi Prestige $250 Airline Travel Credit

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.

13,398 Citi TYPs + $0

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5 Ways to Keep American Airlines Frequent Flyer Miles from Expiring (Without Getting on a Plane)

My cousin called me yesterday afternoon to ask a question about her American Airlines miles expiring. She has a stash of miles expiring in a few months and didn’t even know that miles expire. I gave her a short answer because I was heading home from the mall to get ready for dinner. But it got me thinking, that maybe I hadn’t given her the best advice or even all the options, so I did some research and here’s what I’d tell her now.

Yup, your miles will expire if you don’t have activity in your account every 18 months. If you have no plans to fly to keep your account active, there are plenty of options. My cousin could:

  1. Apply for a Citi AAdvantage or Barclays Aviator Credit Card.
  2. Make a hotel reservation or car rental with an AAdvantage hotel or car rental partner. As long as her American Airlines frequent flyer number is linked to the reservation, she’ll get activity in her account and keep her miles alive.
  3. Link a credit card to the American Airlines dining program.  She can link American Airlines and then get miles when she eats at select restaurants.
  4. Shop online using the AAdvantage shopping portal.
  5. Buy or gift miles, redeem for a magazine subscription, or donate miles to any of American Airline’s partner charities.

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