Which Citi 50K Limited Time Credit Card Offer Is Right For You?

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Citi has really been getting aggressive with their credit card portfolio over the past year.

They stole the Costco co-brand card away from AMEX by offering to process credit card transactions for Costco for free.

After years of rumors, they finally added the ability to transfer ThankYou points to airline and hotel partners. Those currently include:
-Air France/KLM Flying Blue
-Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
-EVA
-Etihad
-Garuda Indonesia
-Malaysia Airlines
-Qantas
-Qatar
-Singapore
-Thai
-Virgin Atlantic
-Hilton
The transfer ratio is 1K:1K except for Hilton where you get 1,500 points for every 1,000 points transferred.

Flying Blue offers promo awards from rotating cities that allow travel to Europe, Israel, and Russia from just 25,000 miles round-trip plus relatively small fuel surcharges in coach.  They charge just 50,000 miles regularly for round-trip travel to Europe, Israel, and Russia and there are no fuel surcharges at all when you fly on Delta.

Singapore has a great Star Alliance award chart, with bargains on United that have no fuel surcharges.  One-way flights are available at half the listed rates.  Domestic business class, with lie-flat seats on some routes, is just 20K each way.  United charges more of their own miles for awards to Alaska, but Singapore will book you on United to Alaska for the domestic rate. A flight to Hawaii is just 17.5K in coach or 30K in lie-flat business each way.  A flight to Israel is just 37.5K in coach or 57.5K in business each way. A Singapore A380 enclosed suite or double suite from JFK to Frankfurt is just 57K miles each way and a suite from LA to Tokyo is just 74K each way.

Plus Singapore only charges $20 for a date change ($12 for Singapore flight changes made online) or $30 to cancel a flight and redeposit your miles. And there are no close-in booking fees.

Points transfers require that you have a Premier, Prestige, or Chairman card.

And now they are increasing the signup bonuses on their cards to very competitive levels.

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The Citi Premier card previously offered 20,000 points for spending $2,000 within 3 months and another 30,000 points for holding onto the card for a 2nd year, paying the annual fee, and spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of the 2nd cardmembership year.

That was a whole lot of hoops.

For a limited time the card only requires $3,000 of spending within 3 months to land 50,000 Citi ThankYou bonus points.  The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year and there are no foreign transaction fees.

The card has very strong spend categories, triple points for travel and gas and double points on dining and entertainment.  Travel includes airfare, car rentals, hotels, cruises, travel agencies, public transportation, boat rentals, taxis, tolls, parking, etc. Entertainment includes sporting events, amusement parks, tourist attractions, theater, concerts, movies, etc.

The 50K points can be transferred to an airline, used for $500 of gift cards, or used for $625 of travel purchases.  They can be worth even more if you also have a Citi Prestige card.

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The Citi Prestige card previously offered 30,000 points for spending $2,000 within 3 months.

For a limited time the card offers 50,000 Citi ThankYou bonus points for $3,000 of spending within 3 months.

It offers 3 points per dollar on airfare, hotels, and travel agencies, and double points on dining and entertainment.

The card has a hefty $450 annual fee, but it has a ton of benefits that make up for that and then some:

-$250 annual air travel credit. No need to pick an airline. No need to buy a gift card. Just a straight credit for up to $250 of whatever you spend from any airline including airfare, bag fees, seat fees, etc. That’s $250 back in 2015 and $250 back in 2016, which more than covers the annual fee.

-Free American Admirals Club lounge access for you and your family or 2 guests when flying American.

-Priority Club lounge membership with free guests access for your family or 2 guests when flying any airline. Additional cardmembers are just $50 and they also get their own Priority Club lounge membership with free guest privileges. The Priority pass membership that comes with the AMEX Platinum card doesn’t include free guests access, so that’s a nice perk of this membership.

-Global Entry or Pre-Check reimbursement. A 5 year Global Entry membership is normally $100 but will be free when paid with the Prestige card. Skip the lines when returning to the US and get Pre-Check included as well. Pre-Check allows you to keep your shoes and jacket on, skip the nude-o-scope, and leave your laptop in the bag.

-When you make a hotel reservation of 4 or more nights just call 561-922-0158 to make the reservation and you’ll get the 4th night of the reservation rebated back to your for free. The rates will be the same as on the hotel website and the rates do qualify for hotel elite status and points. Note that the 4th night of the stay will be the rebated night. In some cases the 4th night may cost significantly more or less than the rest of the nights, so always check to see the actual rate for each night. There is no limit to how many times you can take advantage of this offer. You need to use your Prestige card, but you get triple points for hotel spending, so that’s not a bad thing.

-3 free rounds of golf per calendar year. You can search for courses here and make reservations here. That’s 6 free rounds of golf in your first cardmembership year.

Several folks who have CitiGold accounts have gotten notices that their annual fee on the Prestige account has been adjusted down from $450 to just $350. Citigold checking is free for 2 months after which point you can downgrade to a free checking account or keep $50K in it, but benefits typically stay even after your downgrade. CitiGold customers can also signup for the card in-branch with the $350 fee, but the in-branch offer requires $15,000 in spending…

The advantage of having both the Premier and the Prestige cards and how to do it:

When you have a Prestige card you can also redeem ThankYou points for 1.33 cents towards airfare or 1.6 cents towards airfare on American or USAirways. That means you can book $800 of free travel (and earn miles for the flights) with the 50K signup bonus if you would rather go down that route as opposed to transferring points into miles.

If you have both the Prestige and Premier cards all of your points will be able to be used at the 1.6 cents per point value towards American or USAirways airfare.  From just the signup bonuses alone that’s at least $1,600 in free travel from the points plus $500 in free travel from the Prestige airline credit in your first cardmembership year.

The cheaper Premier card actually has better bonus categories, but the Prestige card makes all of your ThankYou points worth more.

Citibank doesn’t generally allow 2BMs, though you can apply for one card, wait 8 days, and then apply for another Citi card. You would have to wait 60 days from the date of your first card application before you can apply for a 3rd Citi card and 60 days from the date of your second card application before you can apply for a 4th Citi card.

Most Citi card applications now require an 18 month waiting period from when you last had that exact card before you can get the signup bonus again.

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Both the consumer and business American AAdvantage cards offer 50,000 AA miles for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year on both of these cards.

As with most airline cards, these cards get you a free checked bag and priority boarding.  There’s no need to actually buy the ticket on the card, just having the card and providing your AAdvantage number will get you and your companions a free checked bag and group 1 boarding.  This even works when using Avios to fly on American.

You’ll also get 25% back on in-flight purchases.

The biggest benefit of the consumer card is that it also saves you miles.  You get a 10% rebate of miles used, up to a 10K mileage rebate per year.

On both the business and consumer card you can save 7.5K miles on rotating awards.  With those discounts combined a 25K award would be just 15,750 miles if you have the consumer card.

The business card gives a companion certificate for spending $30,000 in a year on the card, a 5% mileage dividend for purchases made the previous cardmembership year, and double miles on car rentals, office supplies, and telecom spending.

Both cards give double miles for American and USAirways purchases.

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Another Citi card that doesn’t have a limited time 50K bonus but is still worth discussing is the Hilton Reserve card with 2 free nights worldwide.  I used that card to get free nights at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last month. Forget about the $1,300/night room that I got there with the nights, it was worth signing up for the card just for the mind-boggling over-the-top kosher breakfast that is included even on award stays. But that’s something I’ll talk about more when I type up trip notes from that vacation…

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70 Comments On "Which Citi 50K Limited Time Credit Card Offer Is Right For You?"

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many miles

how do i book with singapore united to israel

Eli

1: I thought you can only transfer TY earned other than through bonuses. Am I wrong?
2: I had a successful Citi 2bm (hh+aa) about a month ago. Do you think 8 days is enough? Or do I need to wait 60+.
If I try and fail, will there be a pull?

Thanks

Qantas

Can Qantas be used to book ElAl?

Dan

@many miles:
Call Singapore.

@Eli:
1. Yes.
2. Good job on the 2BM, those can be tough with Citi.
Probably need to wait 60, but even if they do a pull but refuse a card you can dispute the pull…

@Qantas:
Yes.

Anonymous

Can you PGGM the Prestige to get the $250 credit as cash?

Yoni

I applied for Citi aa Advantage card and was declined. I guess if they see I applied for AMEX cards lately, they don’t want me?

Qantas

@Dan: Any idea of the cost in miles or YQ for Qantas?

Joe

Wow, free cc processing for Costco. Between that and the stadium they built in NY, it seems like Citi is really flush with all that bailout money.

Anonymous

“If you have both the Prestige and Premier cards all of your points will be able to be used at the 1.6 cents per point value towards American or USAirways airfare.”

If you have just the prestige card you can also redeem for 1.6 on Us airways or American??

Dan

@Anonymous:
Yes.

@Yoni:
Did you call Recon or write to Mr. Stork?

http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/53213

@Anonymous:
Should be able to.

@Qantas:
https://www.qantas.com.au/fflyer/dyn/partners/airline/el-al#popular-routes

YQ should be the same as El Al.

@Thewiz23:
Not sure what you’re asking exactly.

@Joe:
Just crazy.
It’s the other banks like Chase that will also lose out big time when people use their Visa cards at Costco.

@Anonymous:
Yes.

Samaxmase

Once the miles have been awarded and added to my United/American/etc account, are they safe if I decide to close the card? I’m thinking specifically of my Citi AAdvanage mastercard or United Explorer Visa that I opened last year.

Anonymous

@Dan:

so why have the premier also?

Dan

@Samaxmase:
Yes.

@Anonymous:
A. 50K more signup miles.
B. The Premier card has more bonus spend categories, like triple miles on gas and other categories not bonused on the Prestige.

@Thewiz23:
AA consumer says 18 months from closure, the business card doesn’t have that language.

AMEX business cards are still good a year after closure.

Matovu

Jerusalem Reference 🙂

city man

What about the city thank you card?

Shimon

@Dan
Hi Dan, which cards should I apply with these Citi cards to make 2-3BMs, I mean is some other good offers to apply in April-May?

yed

tried a 2BM but got approved only for the prestige, how long do I need to wait to get approved for the premiere? (I had no citi cards until today)

Joe S

So did Citi AA change their rules about 18 months from opening to 18 months from closing. I always keep my AA card for the first year and then cancel before the annual fee, but it seems like now it’s smarter to cancel once the bonus hits, no?

Chris

Any idea how long current Premier offer will stick around ? Received 3 new cards last month; would prefer to wait another month before applying.

JM

Can you transfer TY points between Spouses like Chase UR’s?

Hello

Anyone else get a 100k offer from Citi Prestige? Just got one in the mail.

Rochel

Do these offers of using partnering airlines for less miles apply to American Airline advantage miles, or just thank you points? I have American Airline miles and when I call them they say no matter which partner airline you use (even Quantas) it is always 45,000 miles one way to Israel. What am I doing wrong?

Ricky

Can i get multiple premier cards? I have one for over 6 years and i dont want to close that.

Ricky

@Hello: Can you share T&C?

Dan

@city man:
These are ThankYou cards.

@Shimon:
3BMs are from the same bank.
And AOR is when you do multiple cards from multiple banks.

It really depends on what you’re looking for and what you have now.

@yed:
Read the post.

@Joe S:
So it seems.

@Chris:
No clue, sorry.

@JM:
You can, but once transferred they have an expiration date.

@Hello:
Lucky you!
Great targeted offer.

@Rochel:
The different mileage rates are when using different miles.
If you’re just using AA miles then the same rate applies no matter what airline you fly on.

@Ricky:
YMMV.

@Ricky:
It’s targeted just for him, won’t work for anyone else.

momo22

I applied a month ago can I sm them and match it to 50,000 ?

Dan

@momo22:
Definitely give it a try!

ZF

I already have the Barclay AA card (formerly US Airways). Is there any benefit having the Citi AA card over it. in regards to free bag, etc. Don’t want to pay annual fee for both

Achshell

I will stay away from Citi for a long time. They gave me only $1,000 credit line on the AAdvantage credit card. What a shame for an airline credit card.

berel

what do you mean when you say: “If you have both the Prestige and Premier cards all of your points will be able to be used at the 1.6 cents per point value towards American or USAirways airfare.” when you transfer points into miles it will be 1 point for 1.6 miles?

Dan

@ZF:
Nope, but the signup bonuses are always good 😀

@Achshell:
Did you call and ask for more?

@berel:
No, it means if you want to buy a $800 paid ticket on AA or US you can use 50K points to get that ticket.
Plus as it’s a paid ticket you’ll earn miles for the flight as well.

Achshell

@Dan: Of course I called them, all I got was another credit pull and no raise. Was very difficult to spend the money without maxing out the credit. I had to keep on making payments in order to free credit space.

Sam

What do you do when you spent the 3k and youre ready to close? Transfer the AF? or just close the card? Any no-AF card you can download to?

Anonymous

@ZF: CITI covers car rental insurance in Israel. Barclays Aviator has no foreign transaction fees.

Ma

How long do we have to use the bonus miles? How long do you think this offer will be good for?

jacob

Can you use 2 consecutive weekend certificate nights for the Waldorf Jerusalem? Like Friday night Saturday night?

Michael

The $450 fee gets you $250 credit in 2015 and 2016? Does that mean that I would pay a fee now when I open the card and wouldnt pay another fee until 2017?

Menachem

When booking united flights using singapore miles do you get free stopover as you do with straight united miles?

Shmuli

Can I apply for the AA if I already have it?

hirsch

can i apply using 2bm with citi? or do i need to wait 8 days between applications? its not clear from the post
thanx

allen

since they are limited time offer, what are the expiration dates of the offers for Prestige and Premier cards? thanks

Mh

The in branch offer is 15,000 spend but get 60,000 points for 350. Also I did it a week before the public 50k offer came out. The in branch offer was 30/30 while public was 30.

They honored the new promo and gave me 20 k points so that’s 15k spend but 80,000 points and 350 fee.

amtrak?

@Dan Is there anyway to use Citi Thankyou Points to book short Amtrak routes (not through Amtrak Guest Rewards)- but to pay for trips with these points?

Sal

How do you book a Star Alliance award on Signapore Air? I can’t seem to find any Star Alliance award availability on their website.

Ez

Dan, you said in one of your comments that you despite a pull if you are not approved for a card? Since when?? Does that apply to all bureaus??

Dans the man

as hello said he got a 100k offer I will send a secure msg to citi and see if they will match my new prestige card. They have been good to me in the psf when I asked to be matched. You never know

yed

@Dans the man:
Hope you’re successful with that I just got approved for the prestige yesterday and once I heard about the 100k offer I tried to get them mach it, they transferred me over to the application approval department since I didn’t receive my card yet, there they said that there is no way they can help and even when I said that i would like to cancel my application they said that I would have to wait until I get the card and then close it down, while they don’t think that CS would be able to adjust signup promotions after I get the card either, I still didn’t give up but got a little bit bad feelings about their generosity vs chase who sounded much more generous with such issues!

Hope I am wrong and I can get that bonus adjusted!

please let us know of your accomplishments. & of course so will I IY”H.

Dan

@Achshell:
Can also write a letter to Mr. Stork.

@Ma:
Points don’t expire if you have a card open.

Unknown.

@jacob:
Of course.

@Michael:
If you want to apply that credit towards the fee I guess you can look at it like that.

@Menachem:
Yes.

@Shmuli:
YMMV.

@hirsch:
YMMV.
Works for some, but most need to wait 8 days to apply for another card.

@allen:
If I knew Id write that info.

@Mh:
Heh, I’d say you got lucky!

But nicely done.

@amtrak?:
Yes, but they’d be more valuable on airfare.

@Sal:
You call them.

@Ez:
Easiest with EX…

@Dans the man:
@yed:
Neither Citi nor Chase will match a targeted offer like that.

Sharon

@Dan Which point currency is my best bet for a one-way flight from Newark or JFK to Venice for 2 adults and a lap baby?

Eitan

When you say that there are two $250 credits for airlines that pay for the signup… it’s really one per year, with also two sign up bonuses, right? So $900 in fees for two years, and $500 in credits, right?

Toasted

Do you know when these offers expire?

yed

@Dan:
1.
How about if I got the offer in the mail a day after I got approved for that card???
any chances?
2.
if they don’t want to honer that, would it be possible to cancel that first card before activating it and then applying again with the targeted offer that was sent by mail?
or would it be considered opened/closed within 18 months?

amtrak?

@Dan How would I go about doing that (redeeming points for Amtrak even at less valuable rate than airfare?

abe

So 50,000 of these miles can get me two tickets to israel?

Thank you

Still unclear how the premier card get you a 7,500 discount. MilesAAver is a discount for everyone.

mo

So if booking Israel through Singapore does United’s search need to show saver or regular availability? Or is availability held separately?

Redcard

Does target redcard show up as a cash advance on these cards, I’ve been reading Citi sometimes gives issues with these type is things. What about VGC?

ZF

@Anonymous:

“There’s no need to actually buy the ticket on the card, just having the card and providing your AAdvantage number will get you and your companions a free checked bag and group 1 boarding”
Is this true for the Barclay card too?

Eli

Wow! Thank you for that write up, it’s been a while since you had a CC post with so much new [to me] info. Thanks!

1: I was declined a Citi AA Platinum in December of 2014 because I had opened an Citi executive AA in March of 2014. (I didn’t pay enough attention to all the details in the FT wiki [link via DDF] on this topic 🙁 ). They pulled from both Equifax and Experian (I lived in NYC at the time). According to what you wrote in comment #4 I should be able to dispute those pulls. Is that correct? Is there a way to do this online?

2 I assume that for flying economy, it is more worth while to use the points for airtravel rebate rather that transfer to a partner. Correct?

3 Can one spend the money on a refundable AA flight, redeem TY points and then cancel flight (as in Barclay arrival)?

4 I already have Global Entry via my Amex Plat. Can I use this one for someone else or it has to be my name?

Joe

what does bm mean?

Hello there

Thanks for the post! Which is better to start off with the premiere or prestige? Also, is there a way to receive the targeted offer for 100k for the prestige in the mail? How can I be targeted if I have no affiliation with citi ? Maybe there’s a way to get it matched by calling a certain number? I called citi credit card # and they wouldn’t match it.. Thanks!!

dunno

Dan, if you are still responding to comments on this … does it make any difference if applying for both prestige and premier which to go for first? is there any reason they’d approve for the premier and not the prestige?

Itsme

thanks for the post!
Which is better the prestige or premiere?
And is there a way to get the targeted 100k offer for the prestige? Anything I can do to get the offer like sign up for their mail – I am not affiliated with citi yet. Or can I negotiate the bonus on the phone so they can match it for me even though I am not preapproved?
Thank you!

Jerry

Dan, I called Singapore to try and book a one way from TLV to ORD and they had no clue . You can’t do it on their website as it’s a Star Alliance flight (using either Air canada or United). I call 800 800-742-333 and they gave me 213-404-0301. Neither of them knew anything and the calls were handled in the far east not in the US. Any ideas?

Ai

Dan, I need a new phone and am with ATT, no contract. I love the Prestige offer (6 free rounds of golf!!!). How should I time the applications to apply and successfully get both cards?

Anonymous

@Eitan: You get $250 in airfare credit every calendar year (december through december) but only have to pay the annual fee on your account anniversary.

So, you’d get $250 between now and December 2015, and $250 between January 2016 and the day you open your account. If you use both credits before canceling the card (saving you $450 bucks), you will have gotten $500 in airfare for the $450 annual fee.

Al

Are the citi thank -you points sellable? If yes how much are they worth?

Ma

Is this Citi better than the Capitol One Venture which earns 2 miles per $1 spent? I believe it has the same bonus with a smaller yearly fee after the first free year and was considering getting it.

Jeff

Does anyone know if i have global entry until december 2016 can i use the prestige credit for this to extend my membership or is it only for a new or account due status

Sara

I just spoke to a representative at citi premier and I was told that the mikes do not transfer to AA. I have an alert for a Cathay P flight that I am trying to book with my 60,595 TY points. Any idea if there is a way to transfer the points. Rep on phone could not advise on anything other than booking a flight through citi premier travel

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