- The US Bank Northwest Airlines card. Northwest was the biggest airline in Traverse City and I heard about the card at my local watering hole. I was so naive I thought a mile earned on the card was a mile I could fly on the airplane. My how things have changed. I eventually earned 1.3 million miles flying and buying with Northwest Airlines. It didn’t do me much good with the Delta merger. I’m fighting for status every year.
- I fell in love with Citicards and the CitiAAdvantage Mastercard because I could apply every 60 to 90 days and get a new sign-up bonus. This was my start to my 2 million miles Lifetime Platinum status with AA. Combined with funding new checking accounts with my AA credit card and having that initial funding treated as a purchase, I was well on my way to the goal. Of course those days are over for the most part, but I spent many years with Citi AA.
- The Citi Thank You points cards included the Drivers Edge card, Premier Rewards card, ATT Universal card, and there was another card for dining bonuses as well. This was the heyday of my credit card earning. I learned the benefits of this program from Nathan at the Ann Arbor Art Fair DO. (my first Flyertalk DO). We were dealing with cards that offered bonus categories and, combined with the Drivers Edge card, were earning 10-12 points per dollar. I was using my Thank You point cards to buy money orders from my local grocery store and earning six points per dollar. The points were piling up. The real winning part of this program was that we could redeem these TY points for US to India Business Class tickets for 90,000 points. The booking engine allowed us to buy the ticket at any price. I could redeem my 90K in points for a ticket that sold for $5000 or $15,000. Citi was just buying the ticket for us. If we had a non-refundable segment in that itinerary when we cancelled the ticket, they could not charge it back to Citi’s travel partner ( I think it was Expedia) so they gave us a travel voucher in our name for the value of the initial ticket. Many of us loaded up by following the rules established by Citi Thank You points and Expedia. I used those vouchers to fly for free for five years. Ah, the Good Old Days!
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is still in my wallet for everyday spending. I’ve used it for the last five years as my primary card, but it’s losing its prominence to the Chase Sapphire SM Preferred Card. The Chase card took a bump up in my use with the double points offer they just announced.
- My future card wishes are the Citi Forward and Preferred Cards with a decent sign-up bonus. When they pump up the sign-up bonus they will become my go-to cards for gas, grocery, and drugstores and the other one for dining. Each of the cards offers five points per dollar in their bonus categories for the first year of card ownership. The drawback to these cards is that the increased points per dollar is only good for one year.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases