|Rewards Rating:||2.4 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||3.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||3.3|
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. This offer is no longer available on our site.
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
Citi Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: Expedia+ Silver status, no foreign transaction fee, private pass, 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, 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-fee 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) for spending $1,000 in three months. 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 20,000 Expedia+ bonus points. You can 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 Rewards 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.
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. You also get personal concierge services, priority call routing, expedited customer care service and more.
Why get the Expedia+ Card?
- 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 travel internationally and can take advantage of the card’s lack of a 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 the Expedia+ Card:
- To maximize the card’s value, refrain from booking flights or hotel stays at other discount travel sites.
- Use the card abroad since it has no foreign transaction fee
- Spend at least $1,000 within the first three months to earn 20,000 Expedia+ points.
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