Citibank Credit Card Rewards Thank You Network Update

According to an email received this week, the fixed flight option will no longer be available as of March 1st.

Quick Summary

  • Before 3/1/09 – Great deal for flights between $200 and $400 (the closer to $400 the better the deal).  Still a good deal for flights over $400.
  • After 3/1/09 – Deal Gone.  You pay 100 points per dollar.  Average travel reward at best.

Check here for updated information about 2011 Citibank rewards credit card programs.

Look here for an updated review of the Citibank rewards catalog 2011.

Fixed Point Travel Flight Option

What does that mean for Citibank credit card holders?  A worse deal.

Until 3/1/09 you can get a domestic flight reward on “virtually any airline” for 20,000 ThankYou Points, up to $400.  If the ticket is more than $400 then it is 5,000 points for every $50.

That works out to 50 points per dollar for a $400 flight and then 100 points per dollar after.  That, of course, only works at exactly $400, but any flight over $200 costs you less than 100 points per dollar.

Even if you go over $400, you are still getting a good deal because that first $400 comes at what is essentially a 50% discount.

Variable ThankYou Point Flight Rewards

Starting on March 1, 2009, the “variable” rewards cost kicks in a 100 points per dollar.  That’s it.  No discount, no “deal”.  Just the same old regular everyone has the exact same thing 100 points for $1 travel reward.

ThankYou Rewards Flight Information

Citibank ThankYou Rewards Variable Flight Pricing Denver to Miami

 

Non-Citibank ThankYou Rewards Flight Information

The exact same flights by going directly to Expedia.com (instead of through ThankYou Network)

Advice?

What was once a pretty solid rewards program has been mercilessly dragged back to average town.  There is nothing wrong with the ThankYou Rewards program, but there is nothing special about it either.

With Citibank giving the shaft to long-term customers by hiking interest rates on customers with good histories at the same time interest rates are falling in the real world, it is starting to seem more and more like Citibank will be ignoring its loyal customers to focus on the bottom line.

My advice is to use your rewards as soon as possible if you have a need coming up.  Then, start over and re-evaluate your options.  There may be a card that fits you better.  But, DO NOT CANCEL your Citibank card until you have the new one in hand.  The credit world has gone bonkers so it is possible that even a high credit score and high salary won’t result in an approval.

 

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