Category Archives: Citi

Last Chance for 50k Limited Time Offer on Hilton HHonors Card

Last month the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card increased its sign up bonus to 50,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $1,000 in the first 4 months of cardmembership.

In addition, you earn a $50 statement credit after spending $50 on your first stay at a Hilton property.

That special limited time offer expires tomorrow April 18 at 5:00 PM ET.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 8.09.51 AM

The card even comes with free Hilton Silver Status and the ability to earn Gold Status after only four stays.

This is the best offer I’ve seen for a no-annual-fee Hilton card.

How does it compare to my favorite Hilton card?

Continue reading

Why I Got the Citi ThankYou Premier Card

In February, I opened several credit cards. I am writing posts explaining my logic for opening each one. See previously “Why I Got the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard” and “Why I Got the American Express SimplyCash Card.”

I got the Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card because of its sign up bonus…

  • Earn up to 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points. Bonus points are redeemable for up to $500 in gift cards, up to $625 for airfare or other great rewards
  • Earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember

…and category bonuses:

  • Earn 3 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • Earn 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for airfare and hotels
  • Earn 1 ThankYou Point per $1 spent on other purchases

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card is one of the top bank point earning cards. The 50k point sign up bonus is worth $625 in free flights on any flight, any time, on any airline with no blackout dates.

And when you fly those $625 in free flights, you will earn miles as if you were flying tickets you had paid for! So getting this card earns points, which lead to free travel, which leads to earning miles, which leads to free travel. The technical term for this is “a virtuous cycle.” :)

Why did I get the Citi ThankYou Premier card? Who would benefit most from this card? How does the sign up bonus work? What are my experiences with the card?

Continue reading

Top Ten Credit Card Offers for Travel, March 2014

Whether you’re looking for free luxury hotel stays, first class flights, flights home to see family, or big rewards on gas or groceries, there are some fantastic credit card bonuses out there.

I’m writing this post from Raleigh, North Carolina near the end of a six-week world tour that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 6.53.53 PM

My trip is taking advantage of American Airlines miles, Starpoints, Ultimate Rewards, Lufthansa miles, and Arrival miles, all of which I got from credit cards.

How can you earn rewards for the trip of your dreams? What are the best credit card offers for March 2014?

Continue reading

50,000 Hilton Points + $50 Statement Credit with Citi Hilton Honors Card

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has increased its sign up bonus to 50,000 bonus Hilton points after spending $1,000 in the first 4 months of cardmembership.

In addition, you will earn a $50 statement credit after spending $50 on your first stay at a Hilton property.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 8.09.51 AM

The card even comes with free Hilton Silver Status and the ability to earn Gold Status after only four stays.

This is the best offer I’ve seen for a no-annual-fee Hilton card.

How does it compare to my favorite Hilton card?

Continue reading

Top Five Cards for Economy Travel (Start Thinking About the Holidays Now)

What are the top credit cards for economy travel?

It’s a question I get asked a lot in November and December as friends scramble to purchase tickets home to see family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But it’s better to ask the question now and have the rewards in hand for free economy travel whenever you want to visit family or just take a quick trip.

To me, there are a clear best five cards for domestic economy travel, with each card better for different spending and flying patterns.

1. The Arrival Card

The most versatile card when you want to take an economy trip is the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases, which comes with 40,000 bonus miles (worth $456 in free travel) after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

The miles earned on the card can be used toward any flight, any time, on any airline without needing to search for award space. Redemption couldn’t be easier.

In addition to flights, Arrival miles can be used for lodging–any hotel, B&B, hostel, etc–and car rental if you need those when traveling.

It’s not just the redemption side where Arrival miles shine. The Arrival card earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, so it’s not a card that requires you to memorize ever-changing category bonuses.

Each Arrival mile is worth 1.14 cents on travel redemptions, so the card earns 2.28% back toward travel on all purchases, which no other card matches.

Add in free access to your FICO credit score and a free subscription to TripIt Pro (worth $49) and the Arrival card is a clear #1 in my mind.

The Arrival card has no annual fee the first 12 months then $89 thereafter.

What are the other Top Five Cards for Economy Travel?

Continue reading

Your Last Chance to Get the US Airways Card Will Be mid-2015

According to themiddlemarket.com, the US Airways MasterCard from Barclaycard will accept applications through early 2015.

Then, for existing cardholders, the card will become an American Airlines co-branded card.

At that point, there will be two banks servicing American Airlines co-branded cards, Barclaycard and Citi, but only Citi will be able to issue new American Airlines co-branded cards once the Dividend Miles and AAdvantage programs have merged.

What did I get right about the demise of the US Airways MasterCard? (Not much.) What did I get wrong? (A lot.) How can you earn maximum new American Airlines miles from credit cards in the next year and a half?

Continue reading

New, Improved Citi ThankYou Premier Card Offer

Update 11/1/13: United’s big award chart devaluation today makes fixed-value bank-point cards like the ThankYou Premier relatively better deals. When airline miles get worse, these cards are a safe haven of value.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card is now offering a 50k point sign up bonus worth $625 in free flights on any flight, any time, on almost any airline with no blackout dates.

And when you fly those $625 in free flights, you will earn miles as if you were flying tickets you had paid for! So getting this card earns points, which lead to free travel, which leads to earning miles, which leads to free travel. The technical term for this is “a virtuous cycle.” :)

I plan on getting this card for myself in a few weeks.

Sign Up Bonus

The sign up bonus is broken into two parts, presumably to get you into the habit of using the card over a long time period.

  • Earn up to 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points. Bonus points are redeemable for up to $500 in gift cards, up to $625 for airfare or other great rewards
  • Earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember
  • Earn 3 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • Earn 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for airfare and hotels
  • Earn 1 ThankYou Point per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points
  • Travel with ease and enjoy chip based technology

With the new sign up bonus on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card, Citi now has the best sign up bonus on the market for for free domestic travel, edging out the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard and U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card, which have sign up bonuses worth $444 and $425 respectively.

Category Bonuses

In addition to the sign up bonus, the card has killer category bonuses:

  • 3x ThankYou points on dining out and entertainment (including sports promoters, theatrical promoters, movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions and museums, record stores, and video rental stores)
  • 2x ThankYou points on airfare and hotels
  • 1x ThankYou points on all other purchases

What’s the best category bonus? What’s the superficially good one you should avoid? Who is the Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card right for? Who is it wrong for? How does it compare to similar cards?

Continue reading

The Best Cards to Earn United, American, Delta, US Airways, Alaska, Southwest, and British Airways Miles

For the Chicago Seminars, I compiled a hand out of all the cards that are useful for earning the following types of miles or that earn points that transfer to the following miles:

  • US Airways
  • American
  • Delta
  • United
  • British Airways
  • Southwest
  • Alaska

This is a good reference if you want to collect a certain type of miles, but this should not be construed as an endorsement to open all the cards on any of the lists.

I haven’t included any analysis or the offer details besides the sign up bonus, so see the cards’ applications for that information.

Continue reading

Top Ten Credit Card Bonuses That Are About to Disappear

Update: Several–if not all–of these offers have expired. For the current best offers for free travel, see Best Credit Cards Offers.

When signing up for a credit card, I think there are four factors to consider:

  1. What is the value of the sign up bonus?
  2. What is value of putting my pattern of spending on the card? (category bonuses and the value of the base point earned)
  3. What are the benefits of holding the card? (lounge access, free checked bags, discounted awards, etc)
  4. When is the deal disappearing?

All things equal, you should apply for a card with a limited time sign up bonus over one that is stable. You can get the stable card next time.

With so much excitement around the disappearance tomorrow (9/3/13) at 5 PM ET of the SPG cards’ 30k offers, I thought it would be useful to compile a list of other cards offers that are soon to disappear.

What are the top nine credit card offers that are about to disappear? When are they disappearing? And how much worse will the upcoming offers be?

Continue reading

Limited Time: 50k AA Card Offer Plus Expiring SPG Cards’ Offer Means Round-the-World Business Class Award

Key Links:

Combined, the cards offer enough American Airlines miles for a round-the-world business class award with up to 15 stopovers.

You could take this trip in business class.

How can you go around the world in business class for just the taxes?

Continue reading

Where I Redeemed My Hilton Free Weekend Nights Certificates

Previously:

I have finally decided where to redeem my two free nights that I got from opening a Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card. I am going to use them for a weekend stay at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria in June.

As much as I would have loved to used my two free weekend nights for a stay in Asia or the South Pacific, the amount of travel it takes to get to those locations was a huge deterrent to that plan. Europe seemed like a much more feasible destination. Thank you to all the readers who commented with their reviews, suggestions, and opinions on where I should stay!

The Property

The Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria is a Category 9 hotel, and the King Deluxe room that I am staying at (for free) is going for $557/night the weekend that I am staying there, or 80,000 HHonors points. I could never have afforded spending $1,100+ on a hotel for the weekend, so the free weekend nights have put an otherwise unattainable luxury within my reach.

Why did I pick the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria? What was the booking process?

Continue reading

Where Should I Redeem My Free Hilton Nights?

Earlier this month, I received my two Free Weekend Night certificates from Hilton after spending $2,500 in four months on my Citi Hilton Reserve card.

Hilton has some incredible properties around the world that cost as much for a night as my rent costs for a month, so I want to use my two free nights for truly aspirational stays I could otherwise never afford. And I want you to help me pick a property, since I’m sure MileValue readers have stayed at all these properties.

Hilton Bora Bora Nui, I could stay here…

I decided that I only wanted to redeem my certificates outside of the US at either a Category 9 or Category 10 hotel–why settle for less, especially when it’s free? I want to take a nice trip next summer, so I am looking at redeeming the certificates for a consecutive Friday night and Saturday night stay in June. I came up with five finalists.

What are my options? Where should I stay?

Continue reading

When Will You Get Your Hilton Reserve Card’s Two Free Night Certificates?

This past February, I applied for a number of cards, including the Citi Hilton Reserve. I got the card for the free Hilton Gold status and the big benefit:

  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio after $2,500 in eligible purchases within 4 months of account opening.

I am excited to report that I now have my free night certificates!

What was my experience? How did I receive the certificates? How quickly did they arrive? Where am I thinking of using them?

Continue reading

Top Nine Credit Card Offers That Are About to Disappear

Update: Several–if not all–of these offers have expired. For the current best offers for free travel, see Best Credit Cards Offers.

When signing up for a credit card, I think there are four factors to consider:

  1. What is the value of the sign up bonus?
  2. What is value of putting my pattern of spending on the card? (category bonuses and the value of the base point earned)
  3. What are the benefits of holding the card? (lounge access, free checked bags, discounted awards, etc)
  4. When is the deal disappearing?

All things equal, you should apply for a card with a limited time sign up bonus over one that is stable. You can get the stable card next time.

What are the top nine credit card offers that are about to disappear? When are they disappearing? And how much worse will the upcoming offers be?

Continue reading

How to Earn 86,000 Miles in the Next Few Weeks

Update 10/10/13: The 40k American Airlines offer is dead. The best offer is now for 30k miles.

Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®

  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership*
  • Your first eligible checked bag is free*
  • Group 1 boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every cardmembership year with qualifying purchases and cardmembership renewal*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
End of Update.

Just a few months ago I wrote a post for newbies called How to Earn 105,000 Miles in the Next Few Weeks.

The post was an introduction to miles-earning credit cards through the best deal at the time: opening two personal American Airlines credit cards at the same time and getting 50,000 miles from each. That deal is now doubly dead.

You can no longer be approved for two Citi cards on the same day–not even one personal and one business–and there are no more 50,000 mile offers for Citi AAdvantage cards.

The new current best offer is to combine a 40,000 Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® with an application for the identical business card the next day.

Continue reading