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I wrote earlier about my wishes for the Citi ThankYou program and increasing fascination with Citi.
Today, I had some sort of psychic break and picked up the Citi AT&T Access More card.
I applied for it instead of the Citi ThankYou Premier card. Based on my current spending habits, and the fact that I already have Citi Prestige, the Citi ThankYou Premier seemed redundant.
Except for its broad 3X category for all travel including gas. But then I thought, you know, no.
Before I go all-in with Citi ThankYou, I wanna see what’s next. I can pick up that card up any time. And use my Chase Sapphire Preferred (or some other card) for gas/other travel.
And then, thinking more on the Citi AT&T Access More card, I thought about why it could be better. Including for paying rent at RadPad, a topic I’ve mined frequently.
About the Citi AT&T Access More card
When you sign-up for the Citi AT&T Access More card and spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening (the minimum spending requirement), you get:
- $650 toward a new AT&T phone, if you activate and maintain service with AT&T for 15 days
- 3X Citi ThankYou points for every $1 you spend on purchases made online at retail and travel websites – this is key!!!
- 3X Citi ThankYou points for every $1 you spend on products and services purchased directly from AT&T (meh, maybe good for your phone bill, assuming you don’t have a Chase Ink card)
- 10,000 anniversary bonus points after you spend $10,000 in the prior cardmembership year – this offsets the $95 annual fee which is not waived the 1st year
OK, let’s peel this out a little more.
First things first, looks like I’ll be getting a new phone in a few weeks. I don’t need a new one, but eff it. I’ll get an iPhone 6S and spring for the 128GB version because I am sick of running out of space on my current iPhone 5. I’m always deleting apps and pics to make room for updates.
It was that or 50,000 Citi ThankYou points, worth $800 on American Airlines flights (with Citi Prestige). Or $625 in the Citi Travel Center (with Citi ThankYou Premier).
The bonus on the Citi AT&T Access More card is worth $650 (the amount of the credit) – no more, no less. I figure I can sell my iPhone 5 on eBay or something for a little more. Say it sells for $100. That’s net $750. Comparable to the bonus on the Citi ThankYou Premier.
I’m a current AT&T customer, so there’s no additional phone plan to consider.
For me, the real gem is that 3X category – online retail and travel purchases.
I can’t yet personally confirm this works. But because purchases on RadPad are treated like any other online purchase (as a signature transaction), I see no reason why it wouldn’t.
Assuming it all works out, this could be a great way to lazily manufacture some spend – and even come out ahead.
By the numbers
My numbers assume you have either the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier. Having 1 of these is the key to unlocking value with the Citi AT&T Access More.
(If you want Citi ThankYou Premier, I’d pick it up sooner rather than later, as the bonus might decrease in late January 2016. It’s available via my links, too.)
Assuming your rent is $1,000 a month, here’s the breakdown.
- RadPad charges 1.99% for MasterCard payments. (Citi AT&T Access More is a MasterCard.)
- Pay $1,000 in rent, and $19.99 in fees.
- Earn 3,060 Citi ThankYou points
3,060 Citi ThankYou points is worth:
- $30.60 in cash (1% back)
- ~$49 toward American Airlines flights (~3% back with Citi Prestige)
- ~$41 toward flights on other airlines (2% back with Citi Prestige)
- ~$38 toward travel in Citi Travel Center (1.76% back with Citi ThankYou Premier)
- ~$61 if transferred to travel partners and redeemed at a rate of at least 2 cents per point (with Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier)
So you are paying ~$20 for at least ~$30 in value. You get at least $10+ in profit per $1,000 in rent.
Peeps who fly American Airlines and have Citi Prestige do better, because it’s like paying $20 for nearly $50 in flights.
And assuming you redeem them for 2 cents each, you triple your outlay ($20 fee turns into ~$61, with ~$41 in profit).
Over the course of a year, you’d pay ~$240 in RadPad fees. And you’d earn 36,720 Citi ThankYou points, worth at a minimum ~$367. Or ~$588 on American Airlines flights. Either way, you come out ahead.
Of course, this can scale up or down depending on how much you pay in rent each month.
And don’t forget the extra 10,000 Citi ThankYou points you’ll earn when you spend at least $10,000. For me, that offsets the annual fee of $95. But it’s worth $160 toward American Airlines flights because I have Citi Prestige too, so I’ll still come out ahead $60 in that scenario.
Also, RadPad aside, you earn 3X Citi ThankYou points for online shopping and travel. That includes:
- Any other website where you won’t earn a category bonus with another card
Don’t forget to click through a shopping portal, for the love of god. With so much online shopping, check Cashback Monitor to earn even more points, miles, or cashback.
So this could be a nice little gravy machine when combined with Citi Prestige because it’s essentially 5% cashback toward American Airlines flights (3X Citi ThankYou points x 1.6 cents each = 4.8 cents).
But once it’s said and done, I anticipate the new card will be a great way to earn extra Citi ThankYou points.
And a decent option for earning close to 3% cashback in pure profit (4.8 – 1.99 = 2.81%) when you pay rent with RadPad and apply Citi ThankYou points toward the purchase of American Airlines flights when you also have Citi Prestige.
Or even just 1% back from your rent assuming you straight up cash it out and don’t have Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier to pair it with.
The card has a $95 annual fee that I don’t mind paying because I’ll easily spend $10,000 and earn 10,000 Citi ThankYou points. So it’s more than offset.
The 3X category for online spending is all bonus.
I shop online for most things, and usually get 1 point or mile per $1 spent. Or 2% cash back with the Fidelity AMEX. But this’ll pair nicely with Citi Prestige and bolster both firmly into my wallet.
And if you want to pick up the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier, thank you for using my links to apply.
So what do you guys think?
Have I finally lost my mind? Or is this crazy enough to actually work?
If you have the Citi AT&T Access More card, I’d love to hear your opinions.
And when I can confirm RadPad earns 3X Citi ThankYou points, I will be sure to update.
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