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Citibank PremierPlus Elite card recommendation

Citibank PremierPlus Elite card recommendation

Old Jan 15, 05, 10:29 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Life Plt, UA 1K, HH Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 65
Citibank PremierPass Elite card recommendation

I've been using my new PremierPass Elite card for several months now, after using quite a few different reward cards over the years. I think this is the best rewards program out there, bar none.

First, a couple of negatives. The annual fee is $75. My first year's fee was waived, but I don't know if that's still part of the deal. However, the 15,000 point bonus after a first purchase takes care of the first few years of fees. Also, while the points can be used for tickets on any airline with no blackout dates, the points cannot be used to upgrade tickets. That didn't bother me, but you have to decide if that's important to you.

Now, some of the many positives. When you purchase air tickets with the card for anyone, you receive a point for every actual mile flown by the ticket user, in addition to the point/dollar for the cost of the ticket. That's over and above the FF miles you'll receive on your own flights in your airline's FF program. Also, double points for grocery, gas and pharmacy purchases. Also, an unlimited free companion ticket program for domestic flights. The paid ticket has to be $379 or more (a bit less in the "off" season). I've used this feature for two non-stop AA ORD/New Orleans tickets for a total cost of $400, much less than the lowest fare available otherwise. Purchasing the tickets was easy, and the selling agent was very helpful and friendly. That, too, justifies the annual card cost.

Customer service is great. I've called a few times to clarify program rules, and once to question a charge. Each time, the customer service agent was very helpful and friendly. I'm told Citibank will soon be offering a Chairman version of the card by invitation only for its most creditworthy customers. It will cost $400, but will expand the free companion ticket program to international flights, and will have a concierge service that, among other things, promises to obtain hard to get restaurant reservations. It sounds like it's meant to compete with Amex's Centurion card, at a much cheaper price.

I recently saw the Elite card reviewed on a website that rates credit cards. They raved about it, and said they couldn't understand how Citibank could offer so many features on a single rewards card and still make money. I just know that, in my opinion, this card blows all the others away.

Last edited by fellowtraveller; Jan 23, 05 at 7:58 am
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Old Jan 16, 05, 10:19 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Minneapolis
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Thank you for the advice fellowtraveler.

I'm pretty inexperienced with the traveler credit card programs and I'm trying to do some research. The PremierPlus card looked like one of the better ones.

However I do a lot of international traveling, especially on Cathay Pacific. I am trying to get the Citibank Cathay Card, but I'm thinking it is only for HK residents.

I know that you can get AA points over to CX points through Asia Miles, but it looks like you take a lot of damage in the transfer (having to trade AA for CX). Do you think this card is worth it if I plan to transfer them over to CX?
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Old Jan 16, 05, 10:54 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by esherman
Thank you for the advice fellowtraveler.

I'm pretty inexperienced with the traveler credit card programs and I'm trying to do some research. The PremierPlus card looked like one of the better ones.

However I do a lot of international traveling, especially on Cathay Pacific. I am trying to get the Citibank Cathay Card, but I'm thinking it is only for HK residents.

I know that you can get AA points over to CX points through Asia Miles, but it looks like you take a lot of damage in the transfer (having to trade AA for CX). Do you think this card is worth it if I plan to transfer them over to CX?
Because your question is specific to Cathay, an airline I've never flown, I'm not really comfortable answering your question. My guess is that the doubling up of actual miles flown by using the PremierPass Elite card, into both your Cathay FF program and PremierPass's Thank You points program, makes the answer yes, "this card is worth it." In any case, the customer service number for PremierPass Elite is 800-967-9800. I would think posing your questions to them would help guide you.
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Old Jan 16, 05, 5:34 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Originally Posted by fellowtraveller

First, a couple of negatives. The annual fee is $75. My first year's fee was waived, but I don't know if that's still part of the deal. However, the 15,000 point bonus after a first purchase takes care of the first few years of fees. Also, while the points can be used for tickets on any airline with no blackout dates, the points cannot be used to upgrade tickets. That didn't bother me, but you have to decide if that's important to you.
I would add to the negatives that business and first class travel costs many more points than from a frequent flyer program.
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Old Jan 16, 05, 8:29 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by jmorgans
I would add to the negatives that business and first class travel costs many more points than from a frequent flyer program.
Fair enough. A domestic first class ticket with 14 day advance and a Saturday night stay is 60,000 Thank You points. On the other hand, the opportunities for collecting points so much faster are there. I can't think of another rewards program that awards points for actual miles flown, regardless of who is doing the flying. Absolutely any tickets purchased with this card, whether for family, friends, or whoever, earn the cardholder points for the actual miles flown by the ticketholder. That's pretty unique. I would agree, though, that the card is especially attractive for those planning on using the Thank You points for coach tickets, which are the usual 25,000 points.

Last edited by fellowtraveller; Jan 16, 05 at 8:38 pm
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Old Jan 16, 05, 10:30 pm
  #6  
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What are the details of the companion ticket benefit? Can it be any airline? Do both passengers get miles? What if you want to change the ticket?

QL

Last edited by QuietLion; Jan 18, 05 at 8:31 am
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Old Jan 17, 05, 7:10 am
  #7  
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[QUOTE=QuietLion]What are the detail of the companion ticket benefit? Can it be any airline? Do both passengers get miles? What if you want to change the ticket?

Good questions. I can only relate my own experience, as outlined in my original post above. I had asked the agent at the number PremierPass gives out for this type of booking for either AA or UA, and he gave me a great non-stop AA flight. I don't know the policy on changing tickets, and I'd be quite surprised if the free companion ticket can earn miles or be upgraded. Best to call PremierPass customer service at the number I listed in my first response above.
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Old Jan 17, 05, 1:51 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
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I am aware of the Premiere Pass and the Diamond Reward that both offer Thank You points. Does anyone know if they cap their point earning limit ?

I read somewhere that you are capped at 75k a year. ( counting bonus points earned). If there is a card w/o limit to earning potential, a link would be appreciated.

Ken in Phx
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Old Jan 18, 05, 6:17 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Ken in Phx
I am aware of the Premiere Pass and the Diamond Reward that both offer Thank You points. Does anyone know if they cap their point earning limit ?

I read somewhere that you are capped at 75k a year. ( counting bonus points earned). If there is a card w/o limit to earning potential, a link would be appreciated.

Ken in Phx
PremierPass Elite is 200,000 pts/yr
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Old Jan 19, 05, 11:05 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The Puget Sound, WA
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Originally Posted by QuietLion
What are the details of the companion ticket benefit? Can it be any airline? Do both passengers get miles? What if you want to change the ticket?

QL
If anyone finds out the answers to these questions, please post.
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Old Jan 19, 05, 4:24 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Programs: DL (suckered me into) Diamond, ICH Plat RA, SPG Plat
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I've had this card for a few months and this has been my experience:

Companion ticket is pretty worthless if you are traveling from a major market. For me, I go in and out from LAX where the best available fare is almost always below $379. You can't use a higher fare class to get a companion ticket either. Tried this twice and I was denied, although they then try to sell you a ticket at the best available price plus a small markup.

When I signed up for the card, I cared more about this benefit:
"Redeem for flights on any airline with no blackout dates."

In my experience, this claim is borderline fraud and at the very least should be extensively clarified by Citi. I recently tried to redeem points for a trip to Europe all the way out in August. To their credit they did have availability, but only on AA. When I inquired about NWA, they said only AA was available on these dates. This is not a special weekend and the flights are definitely not sold out. I felt cheated as I wanted to earn EQMs, and use NWA miles for a companion. Instead I'll use all NWA miles for my trip.

Still not a bad card if you view it as the 2% Thank You Gift Certificate card. Travel is probably OK, if you don't care what airline you fly and aren't particular about times.

Has anyone had better experiences redeeming ThankYou points for Air travel?
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Old Jan 21, 05, 9:48 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by boxweaver
I've had this card for a few months and this has been my experience:

Companion ticket is pretty worthless if you are traveling from a major market. For me, I go in and out from LAX where the best available fare is almost always below $379. You can't use a higher fare class to get a companion ticket either. Tried this twice and I was denied, although they then try to sell you a ticket at the best available price plus a small markup.

When I signed up for the card, I cared more about this benefit:
"Redeem for flights on any airline with no blackout dates."

In my experience, this claim is borderline fraud and at the very least should be extensively clarified by Citi. I recently tried to redeem points for a trip to Europe all the way out in August. To their credit they did have availability, but only on AA. When I inquired about NWA, they said only AA was available on these dates. This is not a special weekend and the flights are definitely not sold out. I felt cheated as I wanted to earn EQMs, and use NWA miles for a companion. Instead I'll use all NWA miles for my trip.

Still not a bad card if you view it as the 2% Thank You Gift Certificate card. Travel is probably OK, if you don't care what airline you fly and aren't particular about times.

Has anyone had better experiences redeeming ThankYou points for Air travel?
Interesting observations. As I wrote in a prior post, my experience with the free companion ticket was great. And, of course, the issue isn't whether tickets are available at major hubs for less than $379, the issue is whether you can get tickets for half that amount, since the companion is free.

I agree with you about the "any airline" language. I haven't redeemed points for free tickets yet, but I certainly would have interpreted that language as meaning any airline of my choosing. I guess they mean any airline, depending on what's available.

My experience has been that no single rewards program is perfect. But this one has the totally unique feature of earning the cardholder actual miles flown by anyone at all flying on a ticket purchased with the card, along with the double points for gas, groceries and pharmacies. There's also the 15,000 bonus points after any first purchase, and I think they're still waiving the first year's $75 fee. That's a whole lot of bonus earning potential. Until someone convinces me otherwise, I still think this is the best rewards credit card out there.

Last edited by fellowtraveller; Jan 23, 05 at 7:59 am
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Old Jan 21, 05, 11:18 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: los angeles,ca
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$75 annual waive

How can you waive??




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First, a couple of negatives. The annual fee is $75. My first year's fee was waived, but I don't know if that's still part of the deal.
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Old Jan 22, 05, 5:32 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by yyyccclll
How can you waive??

When my first monthly bill came, it showed the $75 charge for the annual fee, and then it posted a $75 credit, calling it an annual fee waiver. Actually, I wasn't expecting it, but obviously, I was happy to see it. I don't remember seeing it as one of the advertised inducements for applying for the card. On the other hand, with or without the first year fee waived, you still do receive 15,000 bonus points after a first purchase, and that's worth at least $150 in flight booking or other reward redemption. Plus, if you're going to be taking advantage of the free companion ticket feature one or more times in a year, that easily makes up for the $75 fee.




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First, a couple of negatives. The annual fee is $75. My first year's fee was waived, but I don't know if that's still part of the deal.
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Old Jan 22, 05, 7:22 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by fellowtraveller
Now, some of the many positives. When you purchase air tickets with the card for anyone, you receive a point for every actual mile flown by the ticket user, in addition to the point/dollar for the cost of the ticket. That's over and above the FF miles you'll receive on your own flights in your airline's FF program.

Fellowtraveller, thanks for the recommendation, I am pretty interested in this card. But I have two questions:

1.Do we have to purchase the tickets from them? Otherwise, how can they know the departure/destination city? I usually buy international tickets from my agent and am wondering if we need to fax copy of the ticket to claim the bonus points.

2. Can we consolidate points from different citi cards?

Any answer is appreciated.

Tom
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