Do you use AwardWallet? of course you do! But did you know that if you have an AwardWallet account you can earn American Airlines miles for free? Well not exactly free, because it will take a minute of your time. But it’s as close to free as can be. This is the perfect way to either top up your American miles quickly, or extend the expiration of your AAdvantage account. Continue reading
Good morning everyone. If you have been to Santa Cruz recently, please check out this post: I Need Restaurant / Activity Recommendations for Santa Cruz. Yesterday, I was reviewing my credit card statements and spotted this Renewal Notification message on my US Bank Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Credit Card. I keep this credit card and pay the $75 annual fee just for the 40,000 Radisson Rewards anniversary points every year. In the Renewal Notification section, it says the following (I kept the important stuff and removed everything else):
You have a “renewal period” of 60 days from the date we mailed this notification. During the renewal period, you may terminate your Account and avoid paying the Annual Membership Fee. You may terminate your Account by calling or by writing us at the Cardmember Service telephone or address shown below. During the renewal period and before you terminate your Account, you may continue to use your card without having to pay the fee. If, however, you do not terminate your Account by the end of the renewal period, you will have to pay the fee.
Each year, the Account will be subject to your payment in advance of an Annual Membership Fee of $75.00, which will compensate us for maintaining and servicing the Account for the following year.
Turns out I’ve accumulated a rather large stash of Citi Thank You Points, and have recently decided to start spending them on flights. I don’t put much spend on my Citi Prestige Credit Card EXCEPT for using the card at hotels for the 4th night free hotel benefit. Since I’ve been using that perk for a few years now, I was pleasantly surprised when I logged into my Citi Thank You account and saw my accumulated total of Citi Thank You Points.
Citi Thank You Points are earned through credit cards issued by Citibank and can be redeemed for a variety of rewards. I’ve looked at using points at hotels, but I’ve decided that redeeming them for flights makes more sense. This meant I had to learn to use the site to book flights. When I learn something new, I like to share it with you all too, so this post focuses on redeeming Citi Thank You Points for flights.
I consider Citi Thank You Points to be almost the same as cash. I say almost because, on some occasions, tickets might cost slightly less on sites like Kayak, Expedia, or Travelocity. It’s always good to check the other OTAs to compare prices. And remember, using your Citi Thank You Points does earn you frequent flyer miles for the tickets you book, so I’ll show you below how to filter for specific airlines.
How much are Citi Thank You Points worth?
The value of Citi Thank You Points toward flights depends on which Citi credit cards you have:
- Citi Thank You Credit Card & Citi Thank You Preferred Credit Card: 1 cent per point
- Citi Thank You Premier Credit Card: 1.25 cents per point
- Citi Prestige Credit Card: 1.25 cents per point
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:
- Apply for a Citibank credit card linked to American Airlines miles.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shop online using the AAdvantage shopping portal.
- Buy or gift miles, redeem for a magazine subscription, or donate miles to any of American Airline’s partner charities.
We’ve all made them, though I don’t think we’ll ever avoid all of them. But more often than not, there are ways around the travel mistakes we make. Sure, it might be way more fun to talk about all the room upgrades we score, the elite status benefits we enjoy, or the deal for flights that DIDN’T get away, but let’s face it, we’ve all made a bunch of mistakes. So let’s air them and have some fun laughing at ourselves and commiserating with each other. Here’s Part 1 of the series.
Most Common Mistakes
No matter how much we plan or how well we assume we’ll carry out those plans, there’s always a lot that’s not under our control. I started asking around and found that some travel mistakes are more common than others. And some people agree on how best to avoid those mistakes, but not always. Based on my own experience as well as that of many other frequent travelers, here are the mistakes and how to avoid them. There are so many of them I’ve actually made this a 3 part series!
Not printing the details
I’m pretty conservative when it comes to printing paper, but there are still times when I do. It’s not that I don’t trust technology. Particularly when traveling alone, I just feel better knowing that I have paper copies of some items.
Spending all your time in transit
I learned this lesson when I took an overnight sleeper train in Europe. It was so great to be able to sleep on the train and then wake up the next day in my next location. It makes good sense not to spend the main parts of the day transiting from one location to the other when you’d rather be out seeing the sites. If it’s possible, traveling early in the day or later in the evening makes more sense. Of course, if the transit trip is part of the experience, then daytime hours can lead to some amazing scenery. It just helps maximize your days when they aren’t filled with being at airports, train stations, or on buses.