Citi

My 2017 Citi Credit Card Strategy

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While I write quite a bit about credit card sign-up bonuses, that’s only one aspect of maximizing the rewards you can get from credit cards. So I’m writing a brief series about my credit card spend strategy with the major issuers. A couple of days ago I shared my American Express card strategy, and in this post I’ll share my Citi card strategy. Which cards do I have, which do I spend money on, etc.?

As far as I know, Citi doesn’t have a strict limit on how many credit cards you can have with them. The major restriction with Citi is regarding how many cards you can apply for in a given timeframe:

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How Much Do I Spend Per Year On Credit Card Annual Fees?

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Understandably, a lot of consumers try to avoid credit cards with annual fees. Nobody wants to pay unnecessary fees, though I think a lot of people are under the wrong impression that credit cards with annual fees aren’t worth it. While that’s sometimes true, paying an annual fee can be a small and worthwhile investment that can get you a big return. You just have to understand the benefits and know what you’re doing.

For example, I spend over $2,000 per year in credit card annual fees, and think it’s more than worthwhile. In this post I’ll share the cards with annual fees I hold onto long term, and why I do so. To keep things simple I’ll share the core of why I hold onto each card, rather than all the reasons.

Here are the cards, from the highest annual fee to the lowest:

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10 Best Credit Card Offers For January

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Every month I make a post with what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses of the month.

While there are several excellent long standing credit card offers, the specifics of the best offers are constantly changing (be it the annual fee, minimum spend requirement, or even amount of the sign-up bonus).

If you read my blog on a daily basis then by all means skip this post, but for me it’s a useful, “current” place to refer people who ask about which cards they should sign-up for, a question I get on a daily basis.

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7 Hot Limited Time Credit Card Bonuses Available Right Now

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The past few months we’ve seen a lot of increased credit card sign-up bonuses. The card issuers are really getting competitive, both in terms of sign-up bonuses and in terms of perks. So I figured I’d use this post to recap some of the increased card sign-up bonuses we’re seeing, some of which are expiring soon. In no particular order, here are some of them:

This amazing sign-up bonus ends tomorrow.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is offering a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points — you earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 within three months, plus an additional 50,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 within three months.

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The 7 Best Hotel Perks Offered By Credit Cards

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There are many reasons to pick up a credit card — some are worth picking up for the sign-up bonus, some are worth picking up for the return they offer on everyday spend, and some are worth picking up for the long-term perks they offer.

While there are all kinds of perks offered on cards, in this post I figured I’d look at the best hotel perks you can get with credit cards. Here are my favorites, roughly in order:

The Citi Prestige® Card has my single favorite perk offered by any credit card. While a lot of credit cards offer some type of “free night” hotel benefit, there are usually major strings attached. Citi Prestige’s fourth night free benefit is the most straightforward out there. To sum up the basics:

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Comparing Credit Card Priority Pass Benefits

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Nowadays there are several premium cards that get you access to Priority Pass lounges. I remember going back a few years, the only card I had that would get me Priority Pass access was The Platinum Card® from American Express. Nowadays I have so many Priority Pass cards in my wallet that I forget which is which (and that can be a problem sometimes).

Anyway, for those of you not familiar with Priority Pass, it’s the world’s largest independent network of airport lounges, with over 1,000 lounges around the world. Even though I often have lounge access through my elite status or through the type of ticket I’m booking, I still use Priority Pass lounges all the time:

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Citi Offering A 25% Bonus On ThankYou Points Transfers To Virgin Atlantic

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Citi ThankYou is offering a 25% bonus on points transfers to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club through March 2, 2017. This is the points currency accrued on cards like the Citi Prestige® Card.

This is the third time the Citi ThankYou program has offered such a transfer bonus. There were similar transfer bonuses in August of 2015 and March of 2016.

Ordinarily points transfer at a 1:1 ratio (in 1,000 point increments), while through this promotion you’d get 1,250 Flying Club miles for every 1,000 ThankYou points transferred.

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10 Best Credit Card Offers For December

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Every month I make a post with what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses of the month.

While there are several excellent long standing credit card offers, the specifics of the best offers are constantly changing (be it the annual fee, minimum spend requirement, or even amount of the sign-up bonus).

If you read my blog on a daily basis then by all means skip this post, but for me it’s a useful, “current” place to refer people who ask about which cards they should sign-up for, a question I get on a daily basis.

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Here Are 5 Of My Favorite Perks Offered By Any Credit Card

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There are a lot of reasons to pick up a credit card — some are worth getting for the sign-up bonus, some for the return they offer on spend, and some for the long term perks they offer for cardmembers.

There are a lot of cards that offer big sign-up bonuses and a generous return on everyday spend, but in this post I figured it would be fun to look at some of the credit cards that offer the best long term perks.

I’m not including spend bonus categories here, and am also not including travel credits (like the $200 offered on The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN), because in many ways I view that as offsetting the annual fee, rather than being an actual “perk” of the card.

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Citi ThankYou Points Will No Longer Transfer To Virgin America

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Just a little while ago I speculated about the ratio at which Virgin America points will eventually be converted into Alaska Mileage Plan miles. As I mentioned, I think a 1:2 transfer ratio is too generous, while a 1:1 transfer ratio isn’t generous enough, so to me a 1:1.5 ratio sounds about right.

As I mentioned in the post, Virgin America Elevate is transfer partners with both American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou, and points transfer at a ratio of two Amex/Citi points per Virgin America Elevate points. Personally I don’t think that represents a very good deal, though it does suggest that Virgin America Elevate points are more valuable than most airline miles (since most of them transfer at a 1:1 ratio).

There’s one other interesting update on that front today — per an email sent out to cardmembers, Citi ThankYou points can no longer be converted into Virgin America Elevate points as of January 22, 2017.

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Which Citi AAdvantage Card Is Best For You: Platinum Or Executive?

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As I wrote about yesterday, at the moment we’re seeing limited time increased sign-up bonuses on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®. Both of these cards are offering sign-up bonuses of 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months, with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

I value American miles at ~1.5 cents each, so earning a sign-up bonus I value at ~$750 for a card with no annual fee the first year and a reasonable minimum spend represents an exceptional value, in my opinion. However, there’s another Citi AAdvantage card to be aware of — the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® — so I figured I’d talk a bit about who should be considering which version of the card.

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Earn 100K+ American Miles With 2 Credit Card Sign-Ups

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Citi has just increased the sign-up bonuses on their co-branded AAdvantage credit cards for a limited time, to 50,000 bonus miles upon completing minimum spend. The details of the offers are as follows:

— The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles after making $3,000 of purchases within the first three months
— The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles after making $3,000 of purchases within the first three months

Both cards have a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first 12 months.

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Ranking Credit Card Annual Travel Credits

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While $450 might seem like a lot of money to pay for a credit card annual fee, the perks offered by many cards keep getting better and better.

On the most basic level, one of the perks of many premium cards is that they offer travel credits, often in the range of $200-300 per year. This is a great opportunity to help offset the annual fee on the card.

One of the questions I’m asked most often about premium credit cards is why they don’t just lower their annual fees rather than offering travel credits.

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Minor Changes To Earning EQMs On The Citi AAdvantage Card In 2017

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American is in a unique situation as far as the “big three” U.S. carriers go, as they have a non-exclusive credit card agreement. Rather than just having an agreement with one card issuer, American has credit card agreements with both Citi and Barclaycard.

Starting in 2017, both issuers will have rights to different sales channels — Citi will have exclusive access to aa.com, direct mail, and Admirals Club lounges, while Barclaycard will have exclusive access to airport kiosks and inflight sales.

Furthermore, it was recently announced that it will be possible to earn elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) through American’s co-branded Barclaycard products. American is introducing a revenue requirement for status in 2017, where you’ll have to spend $3,000, $6,000, $9,000, or $12,000 for Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum, respectively.

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