prestige

Tag Archives for prestige.

[False Alarm] Citi Card Apps No Longer Have 24 Month Language?

Update: Not sure what’s going on but I see the 24-month language on some application pages. I’m wrong and nothing has changed. I got excited and jumped. Going to close this for now. Sorry for the false alarm! 

Just a quick post.

Citi has been limiting card sign-up bonuses per family of “brands” to every 24 months – with a clock that resets if you open OR close an account within that family. The 3 brands are:

  • American Airlines
  • Hilton
  • ThankYou points

So for example, if you opened or closed the Citi Hilton Reserve within the previous 24 months, you could NOT get the sign-up offer on the Citi Hilton no annual fee card. Period.

But it looks like that restriction has shifted:

citi 24 months

“New accounts only”

Now it says, “This offer valid for new accounts only.”

What does that mean?

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I Saved $3,000 With Citi Prestige Last Year (and Got a Retention Offer)

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My Citi Prestige card’s $450 annual fee recently posted. I will happily keep it for another year (if only to have Admirals Club access through the end of July 2017).

I’ve dutifully tracked the value I’ve gotten on the Citi Prestige by the Numbers page. But I want to dig into the numbers a little more.

citi prestige worth keeping

Sorry for the selfie, but I needed a pic for this post

I also got an retention offer to earn 7X Citi ThankYou points on $8,750 in spending on airfare, hotels, and travel agencies – which is fine because I book ALL my airfare on this card to take advantage of its industry-leading trip delay and cancelation insurance that kicks in after only THREE hours (better than Chase Sapphire Reserve and any personal Amex card).

Year One by the numbers

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Honest Review: Citi Prestige 40,000 Point Offer

Oh, Citi Prestige. How prestigious you once made me feel. You’re probably still my favorite card overall, but your shine has tarnished since I fell for you in November 2015.

Since then, you’ve returned well over $2,000 in value for me. And you’re still giving.

citi prestige review

My lagan love, Citi Prestige

But, cruel winter awaits. As of July 23rd, 2017, you can’t have my heart any more. I’ll have to take it back. You’re going to change.

Like a trojan horse, Chase unleashed the Chase Sapphire Reserve which now blows you out of the water.

Citi, you were competing so well. What happened? (My guess is they were losing too much dinero.)

The short

A once-great card that’s now only worth it if you have a lot of paid hotel stays of 4+ nights.

The long

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Booking Hawaii: Part 2 – Using Citi ThankYou Points for Award Flights on Delta and United

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When last we parted, all was happy and good. Flights for 4 people were booked to Honolulu. Then life, as it does, got in the way.

Jay went back to New York for a too-good-to-pass-up film job. That’s right – I am now in Dallas alone. *cue torrential tears*

That was a whole other wrenching experience, but it also had consequences for this planned trip.

“So no Hawaii trip?” “I can’t.” Crap.

No Honolulu for you?

No Honolulu for you?

I called Connexions Loyalty (the travel agency Citi uses to book flights with ThankYou points) to ask if I could transfer the ticket to my little brother. I knew it would be a long shot, but worth trying.

The best they could do was cancel the ticket and give Jay the credit – no transferring, no name-changing. Oh, and there would be a $200 fee to redeem the credit. That stung, but at least part of the ticket will be put toward eventual travel.

By the time this all shook out, I accumulated more Citi ThankYou points. And continue to earn 30,000 to 40,000 ThankYou points per month.

Then I thought, why not take my little brother anyway?

How to add another person to the trip?

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Booking Hawaii: Part 1 – Flights for 4 to Honolulu

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Next month, I’m headed to Honolulu with my Mom, stepdad, and little brother. I’d been throwing around the idea of a family vacation for a while.

I haven’t been back to Hawaii since 2013.

I enjoyed my time at the Hilton Hawaiian Village so much, I swore I’d go back someday. And now that I’m all Hilton-y and have Diamond elite status, I thought my Mom would absolutely love staying here with me. So I wanted to treat her to a trip.

Nothing quite like a Hawaiian sunset

Nothing quite like a Hawaiian sunset

But first, to get there.

Sussing out flights to Honolulu

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New Changes to Citi Prestige, Complete With Typo of Points Worth 2 Cents Each for AA Flights

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Update: The old 50K offer is still available! I’d apply sooner rather than later if you want it. It also says you’ll get AA lounge access still.

Update: Peeps on Reddit are reporting the 2 cent valuation, too. Who knows if Citi will honor this – it does seem like a careless typo after all, which is honestly inexcusable for a bank of their size.

Welp, the dreaded changes to Citi Prestige are in:

  • 40,000 Citi ThankYou points as a sign-up bonus
  • Minimum spending increased to $4,000 in 3 months
  • Dropping American Airlines Admirals Club access (but here’s an easy way to get in anyway)
  • No changes to 2X dining category (or any other bonus categories)

I’m guessing they had to axe the AA lounge access because of upcoming arrangements between Citi and Barclays with AA cards. That is fine. They could’ve been much worse.

Citi being Citi?

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Is Citi Planning Changes to the Prestige Card?

I got an email from Citi asking me to take a survey put together by ISG Research (Insight Strategy Group).

Citi's

Citi’s rather vague email

The subject was, “We want your feedback on the best credit card rewards programs.”

But once I got into it, I realized they were asking about the Citi Prestige card.

The email even said, “Cardmember since 2015,” which was the year I got my Citi Prestige card.

In the survey, they ask the respondent to consider several mash-ups of card features and select the best option.

They throw around current Citi Prestige features like the 4th night free, annual fee, transfer partners, and ancillary benefits like the 3 free rounds of golf.

What is Citi considering?

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Hotel Review: Hilton Tokyo Shinjuku

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To start, I wanna say, I loved this hotel! The location, ambiance, and staff were all wonderful. Getting out at the Shinjuku station and walking to the Hilton Tokyo with the lit-up neon lights is an experience I’ll never forget.

Hilton Tokyo review

Entrance of the Hilton Tokyo

But first things first.

Landing at NRT

I’ll do a review of the flight over soon.

I was nervous about flying into NRT because it’s a solid 90 minutes from Tokyo no matter which method you choose to get to the city: train, bus, or taxi.

We landed around 5pm, so I figured the train was best to avoid rush hour traffic. The airport is incredibly well-signed. But once you get to the trains, you’re bombarded with a zillion options and routes. I looked at the JR lines, the Tokyo metro, and rapid transit to another station.

To sort through it all, we entered the options into the individual machines until we found the best routing and price. All told, it took 15 minutes to price out 3 or 4 train tickets. We paid a little more to get there a little faster. From NRT, the faster you go, the more it’ll cost. But even the most expensive ticket was only ~$40.

Arrival and check-in

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Bye to RadPad, Hello to Plastiq for 2% Bill Payment Fees With MasterCard (Including Mortgages and Utilities)

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RadPad has been a sweet deal these past few months thanks to their 1.99% fee for paying with a MasterCard.

You could earn 3X Citi ThankYou points by paying with the Citi AT&T Access More card (and still can until June 1st, 2016). Because I have 3 Airbnbs, it’s been a points-generating machine for me.

Even better, when you pair it with Citi Prestige, the 3X points are worth nearly 5% back when you redeem for American Airlines flights. Even with the fee considered, you still come out ahead.

Another one bites the dust-ah

Another one bites the dust-ah

RadPad increases to 3.49%

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Imagining a New Premium Chase Card

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There were rumors on Reddit that Chase is putting together a new premium credit card with a high annual fee a la AMEX Platinum and Citi Prestige.

Moreover, on that same link, there’s another rumor that Chase is planning an overhaul to its Ultimate Rewards program to make it less lucrative.

While I don’t believe Chase would mess with Ultimate Rewards any time soon (because they need to compete with AMEX and Citi’s transferable points programs), I do think Chase is ripe for a new ultra-premium credit card offering.

I thought it’d be fun to imagine what that card might look like. And what features it would need to have for Chase to remain a viable competitor in the premium credit card space.

A new Chase card?

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Review: Sala VIP Miro Lounge @ BCN Terminal 1

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“Yo, dude, Harlan. Haven’t you been back from Barcelona for like, 2 months? When you gonna wrap up the Barcelona posts?”

“I knowww. This is it. Last one, I promise!”

But for real. As I get ready to head to Tokyo, I figured I should finally put the lid on the Barcelona series. For now at least. :p

Before flying back to New York in American Airlines Business Class, I made sure to put my Priority Pass (that came with my Citi Prestige card) to good use by making a visit to the Sala VIP Miro lounge @ BCN.

Sala VIP Miro lounge

Sala VIP Miro lounge

I was able to access it with a guest for free. I added this visit to the Citi Prestige by the Numbers page.

The Sala VIP Miro lounge

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TripBAM Monitors Your Paid Hotel Rates & Alerts You If the Price Drops

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Ever since I got my Citi Prestige card, I’m finding I have a lot more paid hotel stays. Which means:

  • It’ll be easier to earn and maintain hotel elite status (at Hilton)
  • I want to get the best possible price on every day

For my upcoming trip to Japan, the hotel rates were pretty high because of cherry blossom season. I booked anyway in hopes the prices would drop. But I didn’t know how to track it except to check manually on the hotel site every day, which sucks because it’s time-consuming.

Enter TripBAM

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