Get $750 In Airfare With This Sign-Up Bonus

Filed Under: Citi, Credit Cards
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At the moment we’re seeing the return of the biggest ever points bonus available on the Citi Premier℠ Card. The card is offering 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months.

This card has a $95 annual fee, and beyond that, it’s an all around very compelling card. It offers triple points on travel and gas, and double points on dining and entertainment, which are some very well rounded bonus categories. I even picked up the card myself last week.

Establishing a minimum value for these points

Nowadays there are four major transferable points currencies — Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Capital One.

When it comes to the bonuses on these cards, some readers have said something along the lines of “well that bonus sounds great, but I wouldn’t even know how to redeem those points.”

Personally I think their airline partners are incredibly useful (in particular Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles, Etihad Guest, and Singapore KrisFlyer), though I think it’s worth remembering that at a minimum, ThankYou points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of airfare through Citi’s travel portal. You can book virtually any flight with no blackout dates. When you book through Citi’s website your ticket is still typically eligible for mileage accrual, upgrades, etc.

You also have so much flexibility in the ways in which you can redeem points as cash towards the cost of airfare. You could cover the entire cost of a ticket with ThankYou points, if you wanted to.

Or if you prefer, you could just pay for a portion of the ticket cost with ThankYou points, and pay cash for the rest (and since you’d be charging it to your Citi Premier℠ Card, you’d earn 3x points for the amount you’re spending, since this is categorized as travel).

Put another way, the 60,000 point welcome bonus on the Citi Premier℠ Card is worth a minimum of $750 of airfare, which is exceptional.

For example, earlier I wrote about how JetBlue Mint is one of my favorite domestic flying experiences, so you could use Citi ThankYou points to book a Mint ticket. I see tickets from Boston to Seattle for $449 in Mint, so you could redeem just under 36,000 Citi ThankYou points for a one-way ticket, which is pretty awesome.

Even if you’re not someone who wants to learn the ins and outs of maximizing miles, these kinds of bonuses can still be worthwhile.

Others cards with great bonuses

Other mid-range cards also have bonuses that potentially can be used as cash towards a travel purchase, including:

Bottom line

Personally I think the best way to maximize ThankYou points is to transfer them to one of the airline partners, especially if there’s a transfer bonus. However, there’s no denying that these kinds of redemptions are confusing to many. For those people just redeeming ThankYou points for 1.25 cents towards the cost of a purchase, that can still be a great reason to pick up the Citi Premier℠ Card.

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  1. I will never book airline tickets using Thankyou pts on Citi’s portal ever again. They don’t alert you to schedule changes and calling to make a flight change once the schedule change doesn’t fit for your itinerary is insanely difficult. I’ve had them tell me numerous times to “call back when the schedule change department is open”. Much better experience using Chase’s portal.

  2. Alonzo

    Once you have booked your flight and have the record loocator, you can call the airline and ask them to add the flight to your FF account. Then you can do things like select your seat, pre-order meals and you should get notifications direct from the airline

  3. Didn’t we just spend a while reviewing all of the benefits Citi cut from their cards? Hard pass.

  4. @Tom

    I did those things but there were restrictions from the airline as the ticket was booked with a third party. Minimal to no changes could be made, it also felt like it was basic economy although it was not. It’s like booking a hotel through a third party, you are only going to be able to do so much in the way of changes/modifications.

  5. The Point Guy also had an article advertising the Citi Premier today. Seems out of the blue as there is nothing new about the card and a lot of benefits were recently cut. I wonder if Citi is running a promo for their affiliates where they are paying more for signups via their affiliate link these few days, hence why all the sites are running non-news about this card. I am bemused.

  6. 2 Questions: To transfer points to airline partners don’t you need an existing frequent flyer account with the specific airline you are transferring points to such as KriFlyer with Singapore Airlines?
    Does it make sense to credit to KrisFlyer frequent flyer account while flying on United as a premier 1K or Platinum? It looks like KrisFlyer members get much better and lower miles requirement for their award travels.
    Would appreciate your opinions. Thank you.

  7. @ Alonzo-I have booked flights using the by transfer of points and a couple by simply paying at the $1.25 rate. All went smooth but one United ticket that did go through as basic economy. I noticed when I went to see the reservation through my United Mileage Plus account. It took me a few calls-first agent said that is how you booked it even though their site doesn’t show basic economy. I told him I had already priced it through United before I bought through Citi site. I called back, immediately had a supervisor that contacted United to straighten it out. United is the tougher part, the agents can’t do much immediately. Took two days before I could access full seat map for movement as one seat was in a non-reclinable exit row. When roe 21 opened I could change on the mobile app.

    I guess bottom line: ask for a supervisor. The one I had knew what he was doing. The regular agent was like all other agents. Read from script and did very little to understand the situation or the ramifications.

  8. After the coverage on Citi’s horrible benefit cuts (which, by the way, are not emailed to cardholders. You only see it when you log in specifically to the card benefits site), there have been a couple of positive posts about them from you. Have they been begging you for this?

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