We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update 1: This offer is no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Update 2: Beginning July 23, 2017, Citi ThankYou points with the Citi Prestige card will be worth 1.25 cents each toward flights.
You can earn 50,000 ThankYou points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)
I’ll explain how you can book an $800 flight with NO blackout dates. Or transfer the points for award flights to Hawaii, Europe, and more!
Citi Prestige Increased Sign-Up Bonus
Link: Citi Prestige – 50,000 ThankYou Points
You can now get 50,000 ThankYou points when you sign-up for the Citi Prestige card and complete the minimum spending. The previous offer was 30,000 points! (EXPIRED.)
Other perks include:
- 3 points per $1 you spend at airlines, hotels, and travel agencies
- 2 point per $1 you spend at restaurants and select entertainment (includes movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions)
- $250 statement credit for airline fees such as airfare and baggage fees appearing on your statement from December to the following December
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry application fee
- Access to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges for primary cardholder, immediate family, or 2 guests, as long as you’re flying on American Airlines or American Eagle that day through July 23, 2017
- Priority Pass Lounge access for primary cardholder and up to 2 guests (additional guests $27 per person, per visit)
- 4th night free when you book 4 consecutive nights at any hotel (must be booked through Citi Prestige Concierge and paid in full with your card)
- No foreign transaction fees
The $450 annual fee is NOT waived for the 1st year. But I’ll explain why that should NOT scare you!
Is This a Good Deal?
So if you use your points to fly on American Airlines you can get a value of up to $800 (1.6 cents per points x 50,000 ThankYou points)!
How to Quickly Profit Even With the $450 Annual Fee!
Many folks (myself included) don’t like paying big annual fees! But in some situations it can be worth it. For instance, the Citi Prestige card gives you a $250 statement credit for airline fees each calendar year (fees appearing on your statement from December to the following December).
So by paying the $450 annual fee ONCE, you can get a $250 statement credit for flights purchased with your card in 2015 and another $250 credit for flights you purchase in early 2016 before your next annual fee is due. That’s an easy $50 profit!
According to the terms,
Airline Fees are defined as purchases made with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases.
And if you’d like to apply for Global Entry to skip the long line at customs when returning to the US, Citi Prestige will reimburse you for that $100 purchase too.
Remember, Global Entry gets you a Known Traveler Number which nearly assures you of TSA PreCheck (quicker to get through security on most domestic flights).
So some folks will get $600 in perks plus lounge access for the $450 annual fee. And that’s NOT counting the flights you can get with the 50,000 ThankYou point sign-up bonus.
Get Big Travel by Transferring Your Points
You can also transfer Citi ThankYou Points to airline and hotel partners such as:
- Cathay Pacific (oneworld)
- EVA Air (Star Alliance)
- Flying Blue (SkyTeam)
- Garuda Indonesia (SkyTeam)
- Malaysia Airlines (oneworld)
- Qatar Airways (oneworld)
- Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance)
- Thai Airways (Star Alliance)
- Virgin Atlantic
Here are 3 examples of how to use Citi ThankYou Points with travel partners.
1 – Singapore Airlines
You can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Singapore Airlines miles to fly on United Airlines to Hawaii.
2 – Virgin Atlantic
3 – Flying Blue
And you can get good deals by transferring to Flying Blue, then using the points to book Flying Blue Promo Awards. Therse are discounted award tickets to destinations that change every month.
Note: When you have the Citi Prestige card (or the Citi ThankYou Premier, or Citi Chairman card (no longer available) you can combine points earned from the Citi ThankYou Preferred with 1 of those accounts, and then transfer them to travel partners.
That said, cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Sapphire Preferred have better transfer options. And AMEX Membership Rewards cards such as the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express also offer more valuable transfer partners.
Beat the Baggage Blues!
I like that Citi Prestige reimburses you up to $500 per trip when your baggage is delayed for 3+ hours. So you can buy essentials without having to worry.
And when your checked bag is lost, stolen, or damaged by the airline, you can get money back when you’ve paid for your trip with the Prestige card.
What If You’ve Recently Been Approved for This Card at a Lower Offer?
Call Citi to ask if they’ll match this 50,000 ThankYou Point offer! Some folks have had success. And it doesn’t hurt to ask!
You can now get 50,000 ThankYou points when you sign-up for the Citi Prestige card. To earn the points, spend $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)
Some folks might do better by transferring to airline partners to take flights to Hawaii or Europe.
The annual fee is $450. But you can offset it (and even come out ahead!) by using the $250 airline credit TWICE before your next annual fee is due. And by getting the $100 statement credit for Global Entry.
You can also use participating airport lounges free of charge.