Credit Cards

How I Scored Over $800 Worth Of Travel With Citi Premier Credit Card

Going on a Vacation can be soul-sucking to your finances. A large percentage of your vacation expense goes to pay for your travel needs – flights, hotels, and rental cars.

This is why I like to put all my daily expenses on a credit card to take advantage of the rewards points which can be used to redeem for travels. It’s a simple method, but if you are not paying attention, those hard-earned rewards may not worth as much when it comes the time to redeem it. Many credit cards out there offers reward points. But, when it comes the time to redeem, the value of those points can be really low to almost worthless.

In this post, I wanted to talk about the Citi Premier Credit Card. Citibank’s Thank You Points reward program is worth to look at. Currently, they are offering 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. Additionally, they offer such a broad and valuable redeem options including 1:1 transfers to travel partners. The Points earning schedule is as follows:

THIS IS THE EARNINGS RATE SCHEDULE.

To Redeem the points, you can either redeem for a statement credit (your points will be valued at $0.01 per point) Or you can book travels through Citi’s booking platform for a higher point value of 25% extra. For example, if you are booking a hotel room at $100 per night, you will only need 8,000 points instead of 10,000.

Obviously, besides travel benefits, the card comes with standard protection just like any other credit cards. The only drawback that I can think of is the $95 annual fee. However, with the 60,000 bonus points (worth $750 in travels), I think the $95 annual fee is justifiable.

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As I have talked about in my other post, I have major expenses that I need to pay once every few months – car insurance, home insurance, umbrella and life insurance. I like to pay these expenses in full.

The Citi Premier Credit Card bonus promotion comes in handy, just in time for the holidays. I applied for the card last month and started charging my major expenses, along with my daily stuffs to it. In just 1 month, I was able to fulfill the $4,000 requirements to qualify for the 60,000 ThankYou Points bonus. Here is the breakdown of my charges:

The majority of my charges are in Services category. Upon closer look, these charges are:

  • my car insurance (6 months premium $1,540),
  • home insurance (12 months premium $514),
  • umbrella insurance (12 months premium $160), and
  • a few other small items that they categorize as Services

My other big charges were Vehicles services. In this category, I had to buy a set of new tires for my car. The cost was $920. The remaining charges were gas, parking and tolls.

The total of Services and Vehicle Services categories alone was $3,629. This means I only needed to spend another $370 to qualify for the bonus. It was very achievable. I used the credit card to pay for my food expenses.

By the first month statement, I have earned a little over 67,000 ThankYou Points – includes the 60,000 bonus points and points earned from my expenses. I plan to use a little bit of this to pay for my Thanksgiving trip booked through the Citi’s platform.

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Lastly, as I have mentioned in my other postings about credit card, the ability to pay off in full every month is the key. These reward points serve the most value to you, if you are not paying interest on your credit card.

Tip: Divide your 6-months car insurance premium by 6. Set aside that amount to another account. When the insurance bill comes, pay in FULL with credit card to maximize the points earned.

Pay off the credit card with the money you have already set aside. Do this for other semi or annual expenses.

There you go! The Citi Premier Credit Card is worth to keep. Even with $95 annual fee, the reward points earned on your annual purchases alone worth way more than $95!. Safe travels!

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