Buenos dias everyone. I got a voicemail last Sunday afternoon from a Citi fraud prevention representative in Jacksonville, Florida asking me to call in to verify some recent charges. In retrospect, the fact that they were calling on Easter Sunday might have been a red flag, but at the time I didn’t think anything of it, and actually forgot about the call until I tried to place an order with PayPal Digital Gifts using my Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card and got an error message. When I logged into my Citi account, I got a popup message informing me that my charging ability may be limited, and found the following message attached to my Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card:
Good afternoon everyone. A few days ago, my Citi Prestige Credit Card statement closed and I confirmed that I did redeem all $250 of my airline travel credit for 2017 (I previously confirmed that Flights Booked with Citi Thank You Points + Cash do not Trigger Citi Prestige $250 Airline Travel Credit). My statement also said that I would be billed the $350 Citi Prestige annual fee on my next statement. I only pay $350 for the annual fee because I have a linked Citigold Checking account. Without that checking account, I would have to pay the $450 annual fee. Considering that I never took advantage of the 3 free rounds of golf, 4th night free on hotel stays, or needed an extra Priority Pass membership, I saw no reason to keep the credit card another year. The only feature that I really liked about having my Citi Prestige Credit Card was the ability to redeem Citi Thank You Points for 1.6 CPP on American Airlines and AA codeshare flights, but that feature is going away in a few months too.
I have a miles and points spending decision to make and thought I’d ask TWG readers for advice. After all, when Grant asks for advice, he gets lots of great input. I have a one-way flight I need to purchase and am considering two options:
- Option #1: Use Citi Thank You Points. I have a nice stash of them and have been looking for a good use. The flight is on American for $242.64 and requires 15,165 Citi Thank You Points. I have the Citi Prestige Credit Card, so I’m getting 1.6 cents per point (CPP).
- Option #2: Use Membership Reward Points. As of March 30, new rules will go into place for the AMEX Business Platinum card, so that seems like an interesting option as well. The flight would cost $242.64 or 24,264 Membership Rewards Points. American Airlines is my designated airline so I’ll get a 50% refund on those points. Also, as of March 30, because first you purchase the flight and then get reimbursed when you use MR points, I’ll get 5X points for the AMEX spend.
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.
Buenas dias everyone!
I’m a bit late on this, but I wanted to let you know that we started a round-the-world trip earlier this week and will be sharing some updates along the way.
After spending the weekend with some friends in Austin, we took off for Madrid in business class on an American 787-9 – booked with Citi Thank You Points and upgraded with AA System Wide Upgrades. (Four other friends were on our same flight, but we left them behind in Premium Economy…and then they left us behind at the Madrid airport!)
We immediately hopped on a train to Valencia to visit a friend of my partner’s, crashing at an Airbnb for two nights, and are now on our way to spend two nights at the Holiday Inn Express Barcelona City 22@. Two other members of the group got to Barcelona yesterday, so tomorrow we’re doing the same EatWith cooking class that Whitney wrote about last week. On Friday, we’ll be taking a short flight to Algeria on Air Algerie, then hopping on a Qatar business class mistake fare to Hong Kong via Doha. (Two other friends will be on the ALG-DOH flight, and we’ll meet up with the other four in Doha and fly the rest of the way together). Continue reading