Citi rolls out massive rewards promo with up to 150k bonus points

Sally McMullen 21 September 2017 NEWS

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Get enough bonus points for a flight to Hanoi, Japan or London with the Citi Platinum, Signature and Prestige cards.

Citi is giving three of its high-tier rewards cards a makeover with some massive bonus points. From today, you could earn 150,000 bonus Citi Rewards on the Citi Prestige card, 120,000 bonus points on the Citi Signature card and 100,000 points with the Citi Platinum card if you apply by 31 January 2018.

These are easily some of the largest bonus points offers available among rewards credit cards at the moment. It’s also a big step up considering the Citi Platinum card previously didn’t have a bonus points offer and the Prestige and Signature offered 70,000 and 75,000 bonus points respectively.

The spending requirement to collect the bonus points has increased from any eligible purchase to at least $3,000 in the first 90 days across all three cards, but it probably won’t be too difficult to meet the threshold with Christmas coming up.

As well as the bonus points, you can compare the standard earn rates you can expect from each card below.

Product Earn rate
Citi Platinum Card
  • 1 point per dollar spent for eligible domestic spend (up to $10,000 per statement period)
  • 1 point per dollar spent for all eligible international spend (uncapped)
Citi Signature Card
  • 2 points per dollar spent for all eligible international spend
  • 2 points per dollar spent for selected domestic purchases made and booked directly from a range of major restaurants and restaurant chains, hotel chains and airlines (flights only)
  • 1.5 points per dollar spent for selected domestic purchases made at major petrol outlets, supermarkets and national retailers
  • 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else on domestic eligible transactions
Citi Prestige Card
  • 3 points per dollar spent for all eligible international spend
  • 3 points per dollar spent for selected domestic purchases made and booked directly from a range of major restaurants and restaurant chains, hotel chains and airlines (flights only)
  • 2 points per dollar spent for selected domestic purchases made at major petrol outlets, supermarkets and national retailers
  • 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else on domestic eligible transactions

As you can see, Citi uses a tiered earn rate and you can earn more points per $1 spent depending on the purchase. Consider how you usually use your credit card to determine which card could offer you the most points per $1 you spend.

For example, if you regularly shop online with international retailers or frequently travel overseas, the Signature or Prestige cards could offer you more bang for your buck. Meanwhile, if you don’t spend more than $10,000 per statement period, you may not be bothered by the monthly points cap and could prefer the Platinum card because of the lower annual fee.

What can I redeem with my points?

So, what can you actually get with your Citi Rewards Points?

Citi prides itself on the flexibility of its rewards, so you're not strapped for choice when choosing how to spend your points.

“You can use Citi Rewards to book travel; you can transfer them to other frequent flyer programs; you can pay chunks off your credit card with your points; you can use them to shop at Amazon,” listed Citi’s head of cards, Alan Machet, in an interview with finder. “It’s that breadth of opportunity that puts the power in the customer’s hands for how they want to use their points,” he added.

If you're already a member, you can exchange your Citi Rewards Points for frequent flyer points with Velocity, Emirates Skywards or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. You'll need 3 Citi Points for 1 Skywards or KrisFlyer Mile. You'll get 1 Velocity Point per 2.5 Citi Points transferred from the Platinum card or 1 Velocity Point per 2 Points exchanged from the Signature or Prestige cards.

If you want to earn frequent flyer points exclusively, you might benefit more from a frequent flyer credit card rather than the Citi Rewards products to get a more competitive earn rate. For more travel rewards, you can also use your points to pay for travel including flights, accommodation and car rentals via the Citi Rewards website.

If you opt to book your flights through Citi Rewards, 100,000 bonus points on the Platinum card could get you a one-way economy flight from Sydney to Hanoi. If you collect 120,000 bonus points with the Signature card, you could redeem the same type of flight to Tokyo. And if you nab the 150,000 bonus points from the Prestige card, you could travel one-way economy from Sydney to London! This doesn't include any taxes, fees and surcharges and the number of points you'll need will vary depending on when you're booking and the route you're flying, but these are just some of the getaways you could enjoy with your bonus points.

As Machet mentioned, you can also use your Citi Reward points to shop at Amazon.com, which is a relatively new feature that is exclusive to Citi at the moment. If you’d prefer to cut back on costs rather than reward yourself with goods, you can also opt to redeem your points to pay for a credit on your account or cover the annual fee.

Are there any other perks or extra features?

As well as rewards, cardholders can get more value from their cards with a bunch of extra features. If you're travelling and want to save on necessary costs, you can take advantage of complimentary international travel insurance with all three cards. You can also travel in style thanks to a Priority Pass membership that offers unlimited lounge access to Prestige cardholders and two annual airport lounge visits with the Signature card.

Prestige cardholders also receive two complimentary airport transfers in a luxury vehicle and a free night stay with a premium hotel partner each year.

Thanks to the Citi Dining Program, you can also treat yourself to a free bottle of wine when you dine with partner restaurants regardless of whether you hold a Platinum, Signature or Prestige card.

What if I have an existing debt?

All of the cards come with 0% balance transfer offers, which could come in handy if you want to clear an existing debt without additional interest costs. The Platinum and Signature card both offer 0% for 15 months (with a 1% balance transfer fee) and the Prestige has a shorter interest-free offer for 6 months (although with no BT fee).

However, if you’re concentrating on consolidating and repaying debt, you might want to look for a card with no balance transfer fee and lower annual fees to save on card costs. You can compare other interest-free options on our balance transfer guide.

How much do the cards cost?

Like most rewards cards, you can’t expect to get all of these features without a cost. While all of the cards have hefty annual fees, two of them have a reduced fee for the first year. The Citi Platinum card costs $49 for the first year ($149 thereafter), the Signature card will set you back $199 in the first year and $395 after that, while the Prestige product has a $700 annual fee from the get go.

To justify these annual fees, new cardholders should make sure they’re earning enough points to outweigh the cost of the card. Based on your average spending (and the bonus points offer), estimate what you could redeem with your points and ensure the monetary value of those rewards are higher than the annual fee. Making full use of the card’s extra features, such as the complimentary hotel stay on the Citi Prestige card, the free wine with the Citi Dining Program and airline lounge passes, is also another way you can offset paying the annual fee.

Following the roll out of the interchange fee regulations in 1 July 2017, we saw a handful of banks (including Citi) reduce the earn rates on some of their rewards products. However, Citi believes that these big bonus points offers that can help give new cardholders more value for their money in the current rewards landscape.

“We’re very excited to be back in the market in a big way. There’s been so much noise happening between points propositions since the interchange regulation... and we’re excited to be back and to offer this to new customers,” said Alan.

Although the new Citi bonus points offers and extra perks make for attractive credit card deals, make sure you compare your options before you apply. Although it's easy to be enticed by the promise of a massive bonus points offer and a bounty of extra perks, make sure you consider the rates and fees to weigh up whether it's worth it.

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