How to combine multiple Citi credit cards for ultimate travel rewards
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Frequent flyer factors and miles could make it potential to journey for practically free, and most journey rewards these days are earned with bank cards. However whereas having a single bank card in your pockets may help you get the journey of your goals, if you happen to really wish to maximize your rewards, you’ll need a number of playing cards in your pockets.
Now, which may initially sound like overkill, however with a bit little bit of understanding, you’ll discover that pairing sure bank cards with each other is comparatively straightforward. And happily, Citibank affords many bank cards which are designed to work collectively seamlessly. In reality, there are 4 particular Citi playing cards — we prefer to name them the “Citi Quartet” — that may be mixed in ways in which aren’t apparent at first look, however which might flip your pockets into a strong points-earning machine.
Let’s dive in to be taught extra about these 4 Citi bank cards and how one can make them work collectively to rapidly earn a low-cost trip.
Earlier than we clarify the Citi Quartet, we have to perceive how Citi’s factors program works. Citi’s journey rewards program known as ThankYou Rewards, and ThankYou factors might be redeemed in many alternative methods, together with for journey, reward playing cards, money again and even assertion credit. Nevertheless, among the greatest redemption choices are solely obtainable when you’ve got particular Citi bank cards.
A kind of playing cards is the Citi Premier® Card. The Citi Premier affords probably the most flexibility relating to redeeming ThankYou factors, as a result of it lets you switch your factors to Citi’s 16 airline companions, which incorporates American Airlines through Nov. 13.
These switch companions require some work to grasp, however they open up a number of high-value redemptions, together with the power to redeem factors for first and enterprise class flights with only a cheap variety of factors.
Solely the Citi Premier has the power to switch factors to companions … however right here’s the excellent news. Any ThankYou factors earned on any of your Citi bank cards might be mixed right into a single ThankYou account, after which get entry to the very best choices and perks obtainable to you throughout all of your Citi playing cards. So when you’ve got the Citi Rewards+® Card or the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, the ThankYou factors you earn with these playing cards might be transferred to Citi’s airline companions if you happen to even have the Citi Premier card.
However not all Citi bank cards earn ThankYou factors. A few of them, such because the Citi® Double Cash Card, earn money again. Nevertheless — and it is a trick that many individuals don’t know — if you happen to even have a Citi Premier card, you’ll be able to flip the money again you earn with the Citi Double Money into ThankYou factors at a fee of 1 cent per level, and people factors can then be used identical to another ThankYou factors.
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So, with all that in thoughts, let’s take a look at the Citi Quartet. We clearly need the Citi Premier as a part of our quartet, because it opens up the power to switch factors to airline companions. Then, we additionally wish to add the Citi Double Cash Card, the Citi Custom Cash Card and the Citi Rewards+ Card to finish the group.
Why all 4? Effectively, let’s see what every of those playing cards brings to the desk.
Use the Citi Premier card to switch your ThankYou factors to Citi’s airline companions for the very best redemptions.
The Citi Premier is a must have while you’re combining a number of Citi bank cards, because it’s the one card at the moment obtainable that lets you switch your factors to Citi’s associate airways. With out this feature, you’re restricted to redeeming ThankYou factors at a most of 1 cent apiece for choices similar to reward playing cards and reserving journey via the Citi journey portal.
However with the airline switch choice, your factors are doubtlessly price much more. Frequent flyer web site The Points Guy values Citi ThankYou factors at 1.7 cents apiece, because of the power to switch them to Citi’s 16 airline companions. Many of those companions are additionally a part of bigger airline alliances, opening up much more choices.
In case you don’t have already got a Citi Premier, it’s an ideal place to begin, particularly proper now for the reason that card is at the moment providing new card holders 80,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 in purchases throughout the first three months after opening the account. Primarily based on The Points Guy’s valuations, these 80,000 factors are price as a lot as $1,360 towards journey.
Associated: Here’s why the Citi Premier should be your first Citi credit card.
The Citi Premier additionally earns bonus factors on many widespread on a regular basis family prices. You’ll earn 3 factors for each greenback you spend on airfare, lodges, gasoline stations, supermarkets and eating (together with takeout), plus 1 level per greenback on all different purchases.
You’ll additionally get an annual $100 credit score on resort reservations of $500 or extra while you guide via ThankYou.com with the Citi Premier, prolonged guarantee safety, injury and theft safety, no international transaction charges, three free months of DoorDash’s DashPass meals supply membership and a $5 low cost on three Lyft rides taken in a month.
The Citi Custom Cash Card is a particularly distinctive no-annual-fee bank card, because it’s most useful wherever you spend probably the most cash. It earns 5% money again in your prime eligible class every month on as much as $500 spent per billing cycle, then 1%. The very best half is there’s no want to pick out your bonus class prematurely — Citi will routinely calculate which class you spend probably the most in every billing cycle and provide the further rewards in that class.
You’ll additionally discover that the Citi Custom Cash Card has a number of eligible 5% money again classes, together with:
- Gasoline stations
- Eating places
- Grocery shops
- Choose journey
- Choose transit
- Choose streaming companies
- House enchancment
- Health golf equipment
- Reside leisure
Whereas the Citi Custom Cash Card is marketed as a money again card, its money again comes within the type of Citi ThankYou factors that may be mixed with the Citi Premier card. So when you’ve got a Citi Premier, your 5% money again class on the Citi Customized Money successfully turns right into a 5x ThankYou factors class. However you’ll be able to solely switch these factors to Citi’s associate airways when you may have a Citi Premier card as nicely.
So which class do you have to intention to make use of your Citi Custom Cash Card for? Effectively, if you have already got the Citi Premier in your arsenal, you should utilize that card to earn 3 factors per greenback on airfare, lodges, supermarkets, gasoline stations and eating places. So that you’ll wish to depend on the Citi Customized Money for both transit, drugstores, residence enchancment, health golf equipment or reside leisure.
Associated: This new credit card automatically earns 5% cash back wherever you use it most.
Drugstores are one potential class to focus your Citi Customized Money spending in.
If these remaining classes aren’t sometimes locations the place you spend some huge cash every month, you may think about shopping for third-party service provider reward playing cards at a house enchancment retailer similar to House Depot. For instance, Amazon is a very fashionable reward card you can buy at House Depot. You’ll be able to then load that Amazon reward card into your individual Amazon account and use it the following time you purchase at Amazon.
The Citi Custom Cash Card at the moment encompasses a sign-up bonus of $200 in money again after you spend $750 on purchases within the first three months after opening the account. Once more, that $200 is awarded within the type of 20,000 ThankYou factors, so it’s an easy-to-earn bonus that may be a quick method to improve your ThankYou level steadiness.
In case you’re seeking to earn as many factors as potential, you’ll wish to embrace the Citi Rewards+ card within the combine. That’s as a result of the Citi Rewards+ rounds up each buy to the closest 10 factors, making it a perfect selection for small purchases.
For instance, if you happen to purchase a pack of gum for $2, as a substitute of incomes simply 2 factors on that transaction, you’ll earn 10 factors with the Citi Rewards+ card. That may not sound like an enormous distinction, however over time, it provides up.
You’ll additionally earn 2 factors for each greenback spent at supermarkets and gasoline stations on the Citi Rewards+ card, as much as the primary $6,000 in purchases every year (then 1 level thereafter), and people purchases are additionally rounded as much as the closest 10 factors.
Associated: Round up your rewards with the Citi Rewards+ credit card.
Much like the Citi Customized Money Card, factors earned with the Citi Rewards+ by itself can’t be transferred to Citi’s associate airways, so that you’ll must pair the cardboard with the Citi Premier to reinforce your redemption choices.
However the Citi Rewards+ brings an actual benefit to your complete Citi Quartet occasion. That’s as a result of while you redeem factors with the Citi Rewards+ card, you’ll get 10% of your factors again as a rebate, as much as the primary 100,000 factors redeemed every year. And while you mix the Citi Rewards+ with different Citi ThankYou bank cards, this rebate consists of all factors redeemed out of your mixed ThankYou account.
The Citi Rewards+ card additionally affords an introductory 0% APR on new purchases for 15 months ranging from while you first open the account, in addition to an introductory 0% APR for 15 months on steadiness transfers made throughout the first 4 months after you open the account. Simply be sure you repay your debt earlier than the intro durations finish, as a result of the APR rises to a variable 13.49% to 23.49% thereafter for each.
There’s one caveat to these seeking to apply for the Citi Rewards+ card concurrently the Citi Premier. Citi solely lets you earn a sign-up bonus in the identical “household” of playing cards as soon as each 24 months from the time you’ve opened or closed a card inside that household.
This implies if you happen to lately utilized for the Citi Premier, you’re nonetheless in a position to apply for the Citi Rewards+ card, however you received’t obtain the sign-up bonus on each playing cards. For sure, you need to prioritize getting the bonus on the Citi Premier first, because it’s a a lot increased 80,000 factors versus the 20,000 bonus factors obtainable on the Citi Rewards+.
You will earn 2% money again on each buy you make with the Citi Double Money, and that money again might be transformed to ThankYou factors when you may have different Citi bank cards.
Merely acknowledged, the Citi Double Cash Card is the very best no-annual-fee card for purchases that don’t fall into any of the bonus classes on the opposite Citi bank cards, and the proper option to spherical out the Citi Quartet.
With the Citi Double Cash Card, you’ll earn 2% money again on each buy — 1% while you purchase, and one other 1% while you pay your assertion. Though the Citi Double Money doesn’t earn ThankYou factors, you’ll be able to convert money again from the cardboard to ThankYou factors at a 1-to-1 ratio when you’ve got the Citi Premier.
Associated: The best cash back credit card: Citi Double Cash with no annual fee.
Except for the cardboard’s flat-rate money again, the Citi Double Cash Card affords an introductory 0% APR for 18 months on steadiness transfers made throughout the first 4 months after opening the cardboard (which rises to a variable 13.99% to 23.99% afterward). So it can be a helpful selection when you’ve got present bank card debt that you just’re seeking to consolidate at a decrease rate of interest.
Whereas the Citi Double Money is considered one of our favourite playing cards — and the benchmark credit card for CNN Underscored — it does have two downsides. First, it has a 3% international transaction price, so this isn’t a card that you just’ll wish to carry with you when touring overseas. Second, you could use your card no less than as soon as each 12 months to stop your present money again from expiring.
So let’s put all of it collectively. In case you finally have all 4 of those Citi bank cards in your pockets, you’ll find yourself with the power to switch factors from all 4 playing cards to Citi’s associate airways, a ten% rebate on all of the factors you redeem (as much as 100,000 redeemed factors per yr), no international transaction charges, three free months of DashPass membership, discounted Lyft rides and an introductory 0% APR on new purchases and steadiness transfers.
You’ll additionally earn bonus factors on many widespread purchases, similar to 3 factors per greenback on groceries, airfare, lodges, gasoline stations and eating places utilizing the Citi Premier, 5 factors per greenback on the eligible class you spend probably the most in every month with the Citi Custom Cash Card, the power to spherical as much as the closest 10 factors on small purchases with the Citi Rewards+ Card and a pair of factors per greenback on all of your different purchases utilizing the Citi Double Cash Card.
Sure, it is advisable be OK with juggling a number of bank cards and realizing which card to make use of the place, however if you happen to can pull it off, it’s an ideal bank card technique, particularly if you happen to’re seeking to redeem your factors for journey.
The one factor you want to bear in mind are Citi’s bank card software guidelines. Citi solely lets you apply for one Citi card each eight days, and a most of two Citi playing cards each 65 days. So if you happen to’re seeking to apply for all 4 of those playing cards, you’ll wish to apply for 2 within the first two weeks — beginning with the Citi Premier — after which the third and fourth no less than two months later.
Alternatively, if you have already got one other Citi bank card sitting round that you just infrequently use, you’ll be able to name Citi and ask if it may be transformed to considered one of these 4 playing cards as a substitute. However because you don’t earn a bonus while you convert an present card, our suggestion can be to vary it to both the Citi Double Cash Card or the Citi Rewards+ Card so that you don’t lose out on any large sign-up bonuses.
After all, if you happen to don’t love consistently switching bank cards, you don’t should have your complete Citi Quartet in your pockets. Even having some mixture of two or three of those Citi bank cards will nonetheless be higher than simply having considered one of them. However if you happen to’re seeking to take your bank card rewards to the following stage, the Citi Quartet is a superb technique to drag it off.
Learn more and apply now for the Citi Premier Card.
Learn more and apply now for the Citi Custom Cash Card.
Learn more and apply now for the Citi Rewards+ Card.
Learn more and apply now for the Citi Double Cash Card.
In search of the very best total bank card? Discover out which playing cards CNN Underscored selected as its best credit cards of 2021.
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