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I am in a slough of despond. Following this morning’s depressing news that you can no longer use Visa cards for Plastiq rent and mortgage payments, I received the following email from Citi:
As of July 22nd, 2017, “rental and real estate” payments will only earn 1 point per $1 spent instead of the current 3X points. This was definitely going to be my backup for Visa cards.
And, given that Citi Prestige is getting poopier on July 23rd, 2017, I am suddenly rethinking my entire relationship with Citi cards.
If only 1X, which 1X?
I reported some rental payments were earning 3X with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. And then noticed the same payments only earned 1X with the US Bank Altitude Reserve.
Well, as of today, you can’t use any Visa credit cards for these payments. Which was fine, as I had my trusty Citi AT&T Access More card for 3X.
I was a bit on the fence anyway because I combine the points with my Citi Prestige where they’re worth 1.6 each toward American Airlines flights – that’s going down to 1.25 cents (for all airlines) on July 23rd, 2017.
My other Citi ThankYou card, the ThankYou Premier, hasn’t seen
much any use since the Chase Sapphire Reserve came out.
With Visa cards – and now the Citi AT&T Access More card – gone as rent & mortgage payment options, it looks like these payments are going to get 1X from now on from any card you use.
So now I’m wondering which 1X I’d like. There’s always Starwood points, though that will also likely come to a screeching halt early next year.
And even at 1X, I could always use an American Airlines card to rack up some miles (I have a MasterCard and Amex version of their cards).
The bigger issue, though, is if it’s worth paying Plastiq’s 2.5% fee to earn 1X. I’ve been hitting 3 to 4 cents per point with a few of my award bookings lately. But paying the fee would make me have to hit that benchmark for it to be worth it. Now I’m wondering if it’s worth it at all. Even a 2% cashback card wouldn’t cut it.
I know deals come and go, but this one is hitting me a lot more than the usual loophole closures.
It’s been a phenomenal ride with the Citi AT&T Access More card – I’m sad to see this one go. And a bit surprised, considering it’s no longer available for new sign-ups.
Next month, this card and Citi Prestige will both become a lot less valuable than they currently are. I’ll do one more round of payments. And then maybe make a test payment to make sure it is indeed coding as 1X. Because, who knows, maybe it’ll slide under the radar.
I’m seriously rethinking my relationship with Citi, too. Maybe I’ll transfer all my ThankYou points to Etihad and make a clean break. Because it looks like we are definitely breaking up next month. :/
Is Chase winning the flexible bank points game now by default? Or is it time to take another look at Amex Membership Rewards? That new 2X card is looking mighty attractive right about now…
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