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Old Oct 15, 05, 10:34 am   #1
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Programs: AA, Citigroup Chairman, Hilton Hhonors Gold VIP, Amex Gold, Amex Hilton Hhonors
Posts: 66
Citi - upgrade from Premier to Chairman?

Has anyone upgraded their Citibank PremierPass Card to the new Chairman card? I have been thinking about doing this but I am not sure if it's worth the additional $325 per year. Feel free to email me at tnmoran at yahoo. I apologize if this is posted in another thread, I looked for it but could not find anything. THANKS! Tanya
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Old Oct 15, 05, 3:10 pm   #2
 
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I just upgraded, solely for the 2 for 1 business/first class domestic/overseas flights. I have an AMEX Centurion that offers 2 for 1 overseas flights, but not domestic. As much as my wife and I plan on flying a lot in the U.S. in the future, this benefit is worth the additional yearly cost. All the other benefits are basically duplicating what I get with the Centurion card.
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Old Oct 15, 05, 3:37 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: DL Diamond, UA 1K GS, Marriott Plat Prem, SPG Plat, Hilton Gold, Avis Chairman, National Exec Elite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pterostyrax
I just upgraded, solely for the 2 for 1 business/first class domestic/overseas flights. I have an AMEX Centurion that offers 2 for 1 overseas flights, but not domestic. As much as my wife and I plan on flying a lot in the U.S. in the future, this benefit is worth the additional yearly cost. All the other benefits are basically duplicating what I get with the Centurion card.
I just wanted to note that the Premier Pass Elite card has the 2 for 1 domestic flight option. Additionally, Chairman does not offer any major benefits above and beyond what Centurion offers already. The only major difference that separates Premier Pass Elite and Chairman is the Priority Pass priviledge and HHonors Gold, both of which are offered through Centurion.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 10:05 am   #4
 
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just did the upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle53719
I just wanted to note that the Premier Pass Elite card has the 2 for 1 domestic flight option. Additionally, Chairman does not offer any major benefits above and beyond what Centurion offers already. The only major difference that separates Premier Pass Elite and Chairman is the Priority Pass priviledge and HHonors Gold, both of which are offered through Centurion.
I just called Citi and made the upgrade. The Citigroup Chairman Card book detailing all of the benefits (and disclaimers, of course) is available on the Smith Barney website. I am hoping that the Priority Pass and the Hhonors Gold benefits will make the extra $325 worth it. I already have an Amex Hhonors card that has no annual fee but gives you automatic Silver status for as long as you hold the card. Has anyone used the travel agency (Spirit Incentives???) to book a complimentary companion fare?
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Old Oct 16, 05, 10:37 am   #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: LA Ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyalewis
I just called Citi and made the upgrade. The Citigroup Chairman Card book detailing all of the benefits (and disclaimers, of course) is available on the Smith Barney website. I am hoping that the Priority Pass and the Hhonors Gold benefits will make the extra $325 worth it. I already have an Amex Hhonors card that has no annual fee but gives you automatic Silver status for as long as you hold the card. Has anyone used the travel agency (Spirit Incentives???) to book a complimentary companion fare?

Sprint Incentives is a joke. I tried to book a ticket from LA to St. Paul. The gal on who answered the phone was nice and pleasent. But told me that unless you book your tickets 10-13 before departure the complimentary companion fare is always more expeness that buying 2 14 day plus advance purchase tickets. Also complimentary companion fare requires a sat night stay to Qualify. Then the gal went on to explain even for both dosmentic or international flights you cant pick you flight or route or carrier. Centurion deal you pick your flight and carrier. She explained to me about 90% of the time the computer for example on a LA to London fare will only show tickets with layovers in Chicago, New York Or Atlanta. I told her BA/NZA/AA/UAL all fly non stop service from Los Angeles to London and she explained to me it based on avalibility and the carrier we have deals with. Also with International ticket all travel must begin and end in the usa unlike centuriun I used to buy man inter-Europe flights like Paris-London.

Dont get me wrong the Chairman Card might have some benfits but it by no way shape or form a Centurion Card. It another sub starndard attempt at American Express with a card that is black and claims to be exclusive.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 11:29 am   #6
 
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Regarding Spirit, have a look in the two main PremierPass threads. People detail various experiences. I guess maybe Spirit deserves a thread of its own too! The consensus is that there is a limited selection of airlines; they seem to make up their prices so that you don't save that much money (though I would say the majority of times when I've checked you save about $20-$50); you have limited selection of flights and times (though there is some control); and you do earn miles and ThankYou flight points. All in all it's a bit disappointing, but I guess you can't really expect miracles with a $75 credit card program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dolmar
Centurion deal you pick your flight and carrier.
Comparing the free companion ticket programs offered by Citi and Amex is disingenous at best. Amex requires you to purchase full-fare first class or business tickets to qualify (unless the Centurion program is different than the Platinum program). They also have a limited selection of airlines (though probably not as limited as Citi). 2 for 1 on discount tickets is IMHO much more valuable than 2 for 1 on full fare tickets.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 2:18 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: DL Diamond, UA 1K GS, Marriott Plat Prem, SPG Plat, Hilton Gold, Avis Chairman, National Exec Elite
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With Citi's program (2-4-1 domestic ticket), you CAN choose the airline if it is available. You just need to ask. Most likely though, if you don't book far in advance, the airline of your choice will not be available. I don't think the Citi program extends outside of the United States, but I may be wrong.

With American Express (2-4-1 full-fare international ticket), you can choose the airline, but there are limited airlines in the program that may not be serve your city directly. For example, if you plan on flying to China and in the midwest, most of the airlines don't serve that area.

Most importantly, you DO NOT need Citi's Chairman card to have access to the 2-4-1 domestic ticket program. It is available to the Citi's Premier Pass Elite. I would have to agree that the Chairman Card is no competition to American Express Centurion. While the cards may share the same color, the Centurion Card offers far more travel benefits.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 2:39 pm   #8
 
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Kyle wrote:
Most importantly, you DO NOT need Citi's Chairman card to have access to the 2-4-1 domestic ticket program. It is available to the Citi's Premier Pass Elite. I would have to agree that the Chairman Card is no competition to American Express Centurion. While the cards may share the same color, the Centurion Card offers far more travel benefits.

I write:
One thing that neither Amex card has that both the Premier and Chairman cards have is the ThankYou Flight Points program. I understand that there are a lot of benefits to the Centurion card that many upper-echelon travelers like, such as the learjet access or concierge. However, to me I just don't think that I would use it enough to justify the $2500 annual fee (even assuming that I would be invited to apply.)

For me I was choosing between the Amex Platinum and the Chairman card. I have a Fidelity account that was offering to cover some of the costs of the Platinum card but to me the real value is the ThankYou Network with the ThankYou points, because both my husband and I fly frequently (at LEAST 4-5 times per month for work, vacation, and weekend travel) and I'd like to have some type of benefit for that especially since it seems we are always flying a different airline.

Lastly, my understanding was that Citi was introducing this card to go head-to-head with the Amex Platinum market - NOT the Centurion market. The price point reflects that. It does not seem applicable to compare a $400 a year card to a $2500 a year card any more than it would a $40 a night hotel room to a $250 a night. They are completely different apples and oranges.

Last edited by tanyalewis; Oct 16, 05 at 2:42 pm.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 3:02 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: LA Ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acf573
Comparing the free companion ticket programs offered by Citi and Amex is disingenous at best. Amex requires you to purchase full-fare first class or business tickets to qualify (unless the Centurion program is different than the Platinum program). They also have a limited selection of airlines (though probably not as limited as Citi). 2 for 1 on discount tickets is IMHO much more valuable than 2 for 1 on full fare tickets.

Why Chairman card offers companion ticket in first class? what do you think they sell you a discounted first class or bussiness class ticket? You have to buy a full unrestricted first class or bussiness class ticket to get free companion ticket with the Chairman card too. And on top of it you cant choose the airline or route and they still require a sat night stay which American Express does not. Also you travel must start and end in the usa for international tickets. So you cant buy just a London - Paris flight using the free companion ticket offer like you can on American Express.

Like I said before Chairman card is nothing more than a sub standard attack on American Express Centurion Card. To be honest the Chairman Card is just PremierPass Elite Level Card with a Higher annual fee and a couple of extra sub standard benfits and a couple of hotel frequent stay mid level memberships. Even Citibank own Carte Blanche in my option if you dont need Hotel freequent stay mid level memberships has alot more value and at least offers some benfits over the Platium and Centurion card which justify the $400 annual fee. Chairman Card benfits where just not well thought out and Citibank picked $400 price only because American Express Platium changes that figured. Some idoit in there marketing department figured if we make our card black we should be able to charge much as American Express Platium card.
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Old Oct 16, 05, 8:43 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: DL Diamond, UA 1K GS, Marriott Plat Prem, SPG Plat, Hilton Gold, Avis Chairman, National Exec Elite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolmar
Why Chairman card offers companion ticket in first class? what do you think they sell you a discounted first class or bussiness class ticket? You have to buy a full unrestricted first class or bussiness class ticket to get free companion ticket with the Chairman card too. And on top of it you cant choose the airline or route and they still require a sat night stay which American Express does not. Also you travel must start and end in the usa for international tickets. So you cant buy just a London - Paris flight using the free companion ticket offer like you can on American Express.

Like I said before Chairman card is nothing more than a sub standard attack on American Express Centurion Card. To be honest the Chairman Card is just PremierPass Elite Level Card with a Higher annual fee and a couple of extra sub standard benfits and a couple of hotel frequent stay mid level memberships. Even Citibank own Carte Blanche in my option if you dont need Hotel freequent stay mid level memberships has alot more value and at least offers some benfits over the Platium and Centurion card which justify the $400 annual fee. Chairman Card benfits where just not well thought out and Citibank picked $400 price only because American Express Platium changes that figured. Some idoit in there marketing department figured if we make our card black we should be able to charge much as American Express Platium card.

As far as I know, you can not get first class companion fares with the Premier Pass Elite or Chairman Cards. The bucket seats are only available in economy, and is restricted to the United States.

In regards to the annual fee, I think the Chairman Card was not targeted to the general public. It was targeted to existing clients with a Smith Barney relationship. The annual fee of $400 is pretty much just a MSRP sticker, but most people I know get it for less than that. In fact, many cardmembers as little as $100 to as much as the entire annual fee waived--depending on their relationship with Smith Barney.

Last edited by Kyle53719; Oct 16, 05 at 8:46 pm.
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Old Oct 17, 05, 12:27 am   #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: LA Ca
Posts: 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle53719
As far as I know, you can not get first class companion fares with the Premier Pass Elite or Chairman Cards. The bucket seats are only available in economy, and is restricted to the United States.

In regards to the annual fee, I think the Chairman Card was not targeted to the general public. It was targeted to existing clients with a Smith Barney relationship. The annual fee of $400 is pretty much just a MSRP sticker, but most people I know get it for less than that. In fact, many cardmembers as little as $100 to as much as the entire annual fee waived--depending on their relationship with Smith Barney.

one of the differnce between Chairman and Premier Pass Elite is the ablility to get first class tickets. Please check the attached PDF. That link still apears when I logon to my Smith Barney account and choose credit cards.


I Got the card fee wavied for 1 year only as advertised on the web page based my Smith Barney relationship. My family has a very large account with Smith Barney over 10 Million in assets. Here is the PDF file from the Smith Barney's webpage it is welcome book in PDF. You can download it from this link

Also here is there benfits list from Smith Barney web page for there Prestige Level accounts which are household accounts with networth of $10-50Million

Here is the link for Select Client Benfits which are for household form 1-10million.

So please let me know where it says on Smith Barney web page they will do more on an ongoing bais for you so I can complain to my FC for ripping us off. I downgraded to Premier Pass Elite mainly because Citibank/Smith Barney will waive that fee on an ongoing bais on Premier Pass Elite basically for everyone and there mother. They explained to everyone in my family that we could get Chairman card for free 1st year only even my parrents who have the bulk of the money at Smith Barney were told the same thing. So you might want to ask your friends who got a reduction or fee waived 1st year what happened to them in july when the renewal came up unless they did not get the card when it first came out last summer but are going to be shocked when there annual fee comes due and is billed to there accounts. Unless you friends have accounts with over $50million with Smith Barney in which cases I dont think they really care if Chairman Card was $400 or $4000 a year. Smith Barney lists there benfits for assets classes from $200-500K,$500-1MM,$1-10MM and $10-50MM. I guess it possible you friends all got FC who are just nice and dont follow Smith Barney rules and waive fee and dont care but just does not sound right considering they dont know the main differnce between 2 cards is the First Class benfit.

I am not trying to roast you either. The first thing you said is you dont know. so if you dont know then why did you post? Why not look it up or call you friends then post? where you bored and just felt like posting flase information on the net?

PS. If Citigroup really wanted to only market this card to there Smith Barney Clients they would have used the Smith Barney rewards program over Citibank's Thank you rewards. Smith Barney issue there own credit card and there ATM has there own reward program which allows you to redem 5000 points for 5000 American Airlines points which Thank you rewards does not allow. Smith Barney reward program is called "Travel & Rewards Program"

Last edited by dolmar; Oct 17, 05 at 12:45 am.
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Old Oct 17, 05, 7:44 am   #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: DL Diamond, UA 1K GS, Marriott Plat Prem, SPG Plat, Hilton Gold, Avis Chairman, National Exec Elite
Posts: 632
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolmar
one of the differnce between Chairman and Premier Pass Elite is the ablility to get first class tickets. Please check the attached PDF. That link still apears when I logon to my Smith Barney account and choose credit cards.


I Got the card fee wavied for 1 year only as advertised on the web page based my Smith Barney relationship. My family has a very large account with Smith Barney over 10 Million in assets. Here is the PDF file from the Smith Barney's webpage it is welcome book in PDF. You can download it from this link

Also here is there benfits list from Smith Barney web page for there Prestige Level accounts which are household accounts with networth of $10-50Million

Here is the link for Select Client Benfits which are for household form 1-10million.

So please let me know where it says on Smith Barney web page they will do more on an ongoing bais for you so I can complain to my FC for ripping us off. I downgraded to Premier Pass Elite mainly because Citibank/Smith Barney will waive that fee on an ongoing bais on Premier Pass Elite basically for everyone and there mother. They explained to everyone in my family that we could get Chairman card for free 1st year only even my parrents who have the bulk of the money at Smith Barney were told the same thing. So you might want to ask your friends who got a reduction or fee waived 1st year what happened to them in july when the renewal came up unless they did not get the card when it first came out last summer but are going to be shocked when there annual fee comes due and is billed to there accounts. Unless you friends have accounts with over $50million with Smith Barney in which cases I dont think they really care if Chairman Card was $400 or $4000 a year. Smith Barney lists there benfits for assets classes from $200-500K,$500-1MM,$1-10MM and $10-50MM. I guess it possible you friends all got FC who are just nice and dont follow Smith Barney rules and waive fee and dont care but just does not sound right considering they dont know the main differnce between 2 cards is the First Class benfit.

I am not trying to roast you either. The first thing you said is you dont know. so if you dont know then why did you post? Why not look it up or call you friends then post? where you bored and just felt like posting flase information on the net?

PS. If Citigroup really wanted to only market this card to there Smith Barney Clients they would have used the Smith Barney rewards program over Citibank's Thank you rewards. Smith Barney issue there own credit card and there ATM has there own reward program which allows you to redem 5000 points for 5000 American Airlines points which Thank you rewards does not allow. Smith Barney reward program is called "Travel & Rewards Program"

Hate to admit it, but you're correct about the companion fare. I really never examined my welcome package that well, but just reviewed it and incorrectly assumed that the program was the same as the Premier Pass Elite card.

My fee was waived entirely, but I do not remember if it was only for the first year or an ongoing benefit. The only reason I have it is because it was free, but if there is a $400 price tag, I'll probably drop it when they bill me the annual fee.

Sorry for the confusion.
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