Reviews Expedia+ Card from Citi review

Expedia+ Card from Citi review

Published: July 18, 2017
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Ratings Policy
No Annual Fee Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.0
Rewards Flexibility: 3.2
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Expedia+ Card from Citi features an alluring sign-up bonus, but comes with far too many restrictions to appeal to someone who isn’t already a loyal Expedia user.

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Rewards Rate

  • 3 Expedia+ points per $1 on eligible Expedia purchases, including flights, hotels, activities and travel packages
  • 1 Expedia+ point per $1 on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
15,000 Expedia+ points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$234

APR
15.99-23.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limits on points
  • No blackout dates
  • Points don’t expire so long as you earn or redeem points every 18 months
  • Redeem points for airline tickets, bookings at Expedia Rate hotels and package coupons
  • Earn one elite qualifying hotel night toward Expedia+ gold status for every $2,500 in purchases
  • 10% bonus on base points
  • 250 bonus points for +VIP Access hotels and hotel packages
  • Can redeem points for both partial and full cost of hotel room
  • Nonstop, direct, transfer and one-way flights allowed

Cons

  • Can’t earn points on non-prepaid hotel bookings, non-Expedia Rate hotels, cruise bookings and car reservations not booked as part of a travel package
  • Can’t use reward coupons for vacation packages where hotel isn’t Expedia Rate hotel
  • No cash redemption or gift card options
  • Reward coupons can’t be combined with other offers
  • Remaining coupon value forfeited if you use less than full coupon value
  • Minimum 140 points for hotel booking
  • Can’t redeem points for partial cost of airfare
  • Can’t redeem points for flights on same day
  • Can’t cancel rewards flight
  • Must make flight reservations by phone
  • No points transfer

Other Notable Features: Expedia+ silver status, private pass, price rewind, personal concierge service, special amenities at +VIP Access hotels, priority call routing and expedited customer care service, exclusive offers, dedicated concierge in Hawaii and Orlando, lost baggage protection, worldwide car rental insurance, extended warranty, damage and theft purchase protection

Rewards Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.4
Rewards Flexibility: 3.2
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

Fans of discount travel sites would probably be better served by a general rewards card in lieu of the Expedia+ Card, due to its low rewards rate and litany of restrictions on redeeming rewards points.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 3 Expedia+ points per $1 on eligible Expedia purchases, including flights, hotels, activities and travel packages
  • 1 Expedia+ point per $1 on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
15,000 Expedia+ points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$234

APR
15.99-23.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limits on points
  • No blackout dates
  • Points don’t expire so long as you earn or redeem points every 18 months
  • Redeem points for airline tickets, bookings at Expedia Rate hotels and package coupons
  • Earn one elite qualifying hotel night toward Expedia+ gold status for every $2,500 in purchases
  • 10% bonus on base points
  • 250 bonus points for +VIP Access hotels and hotel packages
  • Can redeem points for both partial and full cost of hotel room
  • Nonstop, direct, transfer and one-way flights allowed

Cons

  • Can’t earn points on non-prepaid hotel bookings, non-Expedia Rate hotels, cruise bookings and car reservations not booked as part of a travel package
  • Can’t use reward coupons for vacation packages where hotel isn’t Expedia Rate hotel
  • No cash redemption or gift card options
  • Reward coupons can’t be combined with other offers
  • Remaining coupon value forfeited if you use less than full coupon value
  • Minimum 140 points for hotel booking
  • Can’t redeem points for partial cost of airfare
  • Can’t redeem points for flights on same day
  • Can’t cancel rewards flight
  • Must make flight reservations by phone
  • No points transfer

Other Notable Features: Expedia+ silver status, private pass, price rewind, personal concierge service, special amenities at +VIP Access hotels, priority call routing and expedited customer care service, exclusive offers, dedicated concierge in Hawaii and Orlando, lost baggage protection, worldwide car rental insurance, extended warranty, damage and theft purchase protection

Travel Rating:
2.5 rating
2.5 rating
2.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.9
Rewards Flexibility: 3.2
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

Unless you’re already collecting Expedia+ points, the Expedia+ Card from Citi’s lower earn rate and restrictive redemption program mean you can likely get more value from other travel rewards cards, especially if you have excellent credit.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 3 Expedia+ points per $1 on eligible Expedia purchases, including flights, hotels, activities and travel packages
  • 1 Expedia+ point per $1 on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
15,000 Expedia+ points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$234

APR
15.99-23.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limits on points
  • No blackout dates
  • Points don’t expire so long as you earn or redeem points every 18 months
  • Redeem points for airline tickets, bookings at Expedia Rate hotels and package coupons
  • Earn one elite qualifying hotel night toward Expedia+ gold status for every $2,500 in purchases
  • 10% bonus on base points
  • 250 bonus points for +VIP Access hotels and hotel packages
  • Can redeem points for both partial and full cost of hotel room
  • Nonstop, direct, transfer and one-way flights allowed

Cons

  • Can’t earn points on non-prepaid hotel bookings, non-Expedia Rate hotels, cruise bookings and car reservations not booked as part of a travel package
  • Can’t use reward coupons for vacation packages where hotel isn’t Expedia Rate hotel
  • No cash redemption or gift card options
  • Reward coupons can’t be combined with other offers
  • Remaining coupon value forfeited if you use less than full coupon value
  • Minimum 140 points for hotel booking
  • Can’t redeem points for partial cost of airfare
  • Can’t redeem points for flights on same day
  • Can’t cancel rewards flight
  • Must make flight reservations by phone
  • No points transfer

Other Notable Features: Expedia+ silver status, private pass, price rewind, personal concierge service, special amenities at +VIP Access hotels, priority call routing and expedited customer care service, exclusive offers, dedicated concierge in Hawaii and Orlando, lost baggage protection, worldwide car rental insurance, extended warranty, damage and theft purchase protection

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Even no annual fee and a decent sign-up bonus aren’t enough to rank the Expedia+ Card from Citi high on our list of travel rewards cards. If you’ve already amassed a solid number of Expedia+ points, this card might make sense. Otherwise, fans of using discount sites to book travel will generally enjoy more flexibility and greater reward earnings with another credit card that doesn’t limit redemption to just one website.

A fair earn rate with bonus categories
The base reward rate for the Expedia+ Card from Citi is one point per dollar on general purchases. You’ll also earn three Expedia+ bonus points per dollar on eligible Expedia purchases, including flights, hotels, travel packages and activities. Though the latter sounds a bit broad, “activities” only refers to anything booked under the “Things to Do” tab on Expedia’s website. For example, visitors to New Orleans can schedule outings such as a Ghosts and Vampires French Quarter Walking Tour or the Steamboat Natchez Daytime Jazz Cruise.

Despite the bonus categories, it’s probably in your best interest to opt for a general rewards card, such as Capital One’s VentureOne card. The no-annual-rate card comes with a higher earn rate (1.25 miles for every dollar spent on purchases) and a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles (equal to $200 in travel). Plus, VentureOne rewards can be redeemed for travel on any discount site, not just Expedia.

A moderate sign-up bonus
After spending $1,000 in the first three months, new cardholders collect 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points. The Citi website claims that the coupon is “redeemable for $200 toward your stay at a +VIP Access hotel.” This is certainly one of the options for your rewards points (probably the most valuable one). You can also redeem your points for airfare, regular Expedia Rate hotel stays and for vacation packages, for a much lower value. The value of the bonus is on par with similar no-annual-fee rewards cards.

Limited redemption options
Where the Expedia+ Card from Citi falls short is in its overly restrictive redemption options, which are especially limited when compared to some of the general travel rewards cards. You are restricted to using your points for travel on the Expedia website, and there are no options to redeem Expedia+ points for cash back, gift cards or merchandise.

While Expedia does offer a variety of travel rewards – including airfare, hotel stays and vacation packages – there are further restrictions on these categories. Points only apply to hotels designated as Expedia Rate hotels. Though this covers the majority of hotels on the Expedia website, it does exclude some hotel listings. And the restriction extends to vacation packages as well: The package must include an Expedia Rate hotel in order to be a rewards option.

It’s also worth noting that point redemption works a bit differently for vacation packages than it does for flights or hotels. You’re first required to redeem points for a vacation coupon, which is then deposited to your Expedia account for future use. Coupons expire after 12 months; if they’re worth more than the vacation itself, you’ll lose the rest of the coupon’s value, so make sure you’re sold on your itinerary before booking.

Simply put, if you’re searching for a flexible and straightforward redemption program, you won’t find it here.

For best value, redeem points for +VIP Access hotels
Expedia+ points are worth twice as much when redeemed for +VIP Access hotel coupons. The 3,500+ hand-picked +VIP Access hotels are recognized for exceptional service, and +silver members are eligible for cool extras such as free parking, spa discounts, complimentary food and drink, upgraded in-room entertainment and priority check-in. 

Expedia +silver status
Consumers who sign up for this card are automatically granted +silver status in the lucrative Expedia+ Rewards program. Usually, members don’t qualify for +silver status until they spend $5,000 on eligible bookings or stay seven nights at qualifying Expedia hotels. +Silver status gives you perks above and beyond Expedia’s entry-level +blue status, including exclusive travel offers and concierge benefits, a 10 percent bonus on your base points for eligible bookings and priority customer service.

Citi-specific benefits
In addition to the Expedia+ rewards program, cardholders receive special fringe benefits offered by Citi itself. Such benefits include Citi Private Pass, a program that offers special ticket-purchase access to thousands of concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more every year. Meanwhile, Citi Price Rewind searches for a lower price on registered items paid for with the Expedia+ Card at hundreds of online merchants. If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of the initial purchase, the difference is refunded to your card automatically.

Why get it?:

  • You’re already collecting Expedia+ points and want to cash in on the card’s sign-up bonus.
  • You prefer travel rewards over cash back and frequently book flights and hotel stays through Expedia.
  • You rarely travel internationally and won’t be affected by the card’s 3 percent foreign transaction fee.
  • You’re not “married” to one specific hotel chain.
  • You can easily spend enough to earn the card’s sign-up bonus.

How to use it:

  • To maximize the card’s value, refrain from booking flights or hotel stays at other discount travel sites.
  • Avoid using the card during international travel, as you’ll incur a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on each purchase.
  • Spend at least $1,000 within the first three months to earn 15,000 Expedia+ points.

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