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Before joining the Million Mile Secrets team I worked in event marketing, which meant spending 5+ months of the year living out of hotels. It’s not for everyone, but I was able to work out a sweet deal with my employer so I could get reimbursed for all those travel expenses, instead of just putting them on the company’s credit card.
For several years, I put $20,000+ in hotel spending a year on my Citi ThankYou® Premier Card to take advantage of the card’s 3X bonus on travel purchases! And right now it has an increased offer which is ending soon (October 11, 2018)!
Sure there are other cards that have a similar or better bonus for travel categories, but the Citi ThankYou Premier was a perfect fit for me. I’ll explain why.
At the time, I was saving up my miles & points for a dream trip to New Zealand. I had my eye on a Singapore Airlines First Class award from Auckland to Singapore as part of the trip. Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner with all of the major transferable points programs, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, AMEX Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou.
I transferred a combination of Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Citi ThankYou points to book our award seats. Citi ThankYou points aren’t as powerful as Chase points (especially for hotel stays), so it was nice to be able to use my ThankYou points toward such a high-value redemption and save Chase points at the same time.
I’d considered using The Platinum Card® from American Express, but while you can earn more points for hotel stays (booked through the AMEX travel site) with this card, it also comes with a much bigger annual fee ($550) that isn’t waived the first year. Plus, the biggest drawback for me with the AMEX Platinum card was that hotel stays booked through 3rd party sites, like the AMEX travel portal, don’t earn elite status or hotel points! When you’re traveling 5+ months a year, those perks are very valuable.
So, the Citi ThankYou Premier made the most sense for my travel purchases. Not only does it have a smaller annual fee ($95 and it’s waived the first 12 months), but every year so far I’ve been able to get a retention offer from Citi that has been more valuable than the annual fee! This past year my offer was for a $95 statement credit after spending $95 on the card.
If you’re in the market to a stack of Citi ThankYou points, the ThankYou Premier card currently comes with a 60,000-point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (offer ends October 11, 2018)! That’s the highest offer I’ve ever seen on the card, and even a bit bigger than the bonus I originally received.