My Newly Revised Citi Card Plan

by joeheg

I’ve come to think of my approach to Citi ThankYou earning credit cards as a work in progress. That’s because by the time I’ve completed my plan, Citi makes changes to their cards making them more or less desirable to hold.

I never got to finish my last plan. It was done before it even started because Citi stopped conversions to the AT&T Access More card. I made about 1/2 of the moves I planned on and was relatively happy where I was.

Then Citi announced that they were making more changes to their card benefits.

On August 23rd, The Citi Premier’s bonus categories were changing to:

  • 3x points on airfare and hotels
  • 3x points on gas
  • 3x points on dining
  • 3x points on supermarkets

The 3x on travel is now just for airfare and hotels. The dining category goes from 2x to 3x earning and the card is losing the bonus category for entertainment and adding 3x for supermarkets.

Another change is that the Citi Premier allows you to redeem ThankYou points for air travel through the Citi portal for 1.25 cents each. That is going to 1 cent per point on April 10, 2021.

Citi has been pretty liberal letting you change from the card you to have to any other card in their portfolio. However, a product change will reset the 24-month clock to get a sign-up bonus for a card in that category.

So if you’re eligible and want to apply for a new Citi card, just do it before you do any product changes.

Here’s where we’re positioned right now

Person 1

Person 2

Given our position, Person 2 needs to keep the Citi Premier because it’s their only card that allows the transfer of miles to Citi ThankYou travel partners.

The Citi Prestige is on thin ice with a price that doesn’t match the benefits, except for niche uses. But there also no need for both of us to have a Citi Premier card.

So my current plan is to downgrade Person 1’s Citi Premier card to the only other Citi card that I want. The Citi Double Cash.

The Double Cash earns 2% back on all purchases. That’s not bad for a no-annual-fee card. The Double Cash gets really valuable when transferring your points to the Premier or Prestige card. Your cashback gets converted into points at a 1:1 rate. So you’re able to earn 2 ThankYou points per dollar instead of 2% cash.

I think this is the best set up I can think of for Citi ThankYou cards. Earning 2% on all purchases with the Doule Cash and taking advantage of the bonus categories for the Premier and Prestige. When redeeming points, I’ll also get up to 10,000 points back when redeeming them by having the Rewards+ card.

If I get fed up with the Prestige, I can always downgrade it to the Premier with a lower annual fee.

What about you? Making any changes to your Citi card lineup because of the upcoming changes?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary




eyesonthepoints May 17, 2020 - 6:15 pm

pretty sure if you product change from citi premier / prestige / or any “true” thank you point earning card to the citi double cash your thank you points will expire within 60 days. Meaning you will need to transfer them to a partner/ cash them out/ etc or you will lose them within 60 days of product change. Though the citi double cash now has the ability to convert to thank you points i believe its still not considered a “true” thank you point earning card. If you product change premier/ prestige I think to the citi thank you preffered or the rewards + , points will stay intact.

Please correct me if I am incorrect. 🙂 but I’m almost positive this is the case

HChris May 17, 2020 - 6:22 pm

In the Player 2 mode, you can also have one person drop Premier/Prestige if there is no real use for it. As long as your player 2 doesn’t earn more than 100,000 Citi TY points per calendar they can just transfer it to player 1 who still holds a Premier or Prestige as long as they will be used within 90 days of transferring them.

joeheg May 18, 2020 - 10:09 pm

That would be possible but I live to leave options open. But since I’d only do a transfer when I’d want to redeem points, it could make sense. I think that one Prestige and one Premier in the family is a good combo.

Rabbmd May 17, 2020 - 10:38 pm

If you downgrade to a doublecash that no longer counts as a TY point card (even though you can convert your double cashback to TY points), and if you have any left over points earned from the premier your expiration clock will start on unused earned with the premier card points. Im pretty sure it’s a 60 day expiration clock.

joeheg May 18, 2020 - 10:07 pm

I’m not sure but I’d bet you’re correct. Most of the points are from the Prestige, not the Premier. I dumped the points from that card to Singapore KrisFlyer last year to book JFK-FRA.

Jeremy May 17, 2020 - 10:49 pm

Best Citi Combo currently is Citi Double Cash, Citi AT&T Access More, Citi Rewards+, and Citi Dividend. Note: This doesn’t allow transfers, but until Citi makes an annual fee card worth it, I’ll collect and wait.

joeheg May 18, 2020 - 10:06 pm

I wanted the Access More so bad but Citi no longer lets you product change to it. I tried. More than once.

Christian May 18, 2020 - 1:21 am

That’s a lot of cards just for Citi. Do you MS, yes, no, or no comment?

joeheg May 18, 2020 - 10:05 pm

No. Absolutely not. We use our Citi cards where they make sense, which is fewer and fewer places.


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