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If you prefer to book your trips through discount travel sites, you’ve probably had a tough time finding a credit card that will reward you for your loyalty. If this sounds familiar, we’ve got great news: The Expedia®+ Card from Citi will pay out handsomely in Expedia+ points, upgrades and amenities for all those flights and hotels you’re booking through the site.
When you combine the earning power you get with the card with the points you’ll be racking up as an Expedia+ Rewards program member, you can consider your next vacation expedited. Ready to learn more? Let’s dig in.
|At a glance|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%|
|Rewards program||Expedia+ Rewards|
|Signup bonus||Earn 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening* (This offer is no longer available on our site)|
|Verdict: If you don’t travel internationally and are a loyal Expedia customer, this card is worth a look|
Expedia®+ Card from Citi: The basics
Let’s start by taking a look at what the Expedia®+ Card from Citi has to offer:
- Earn 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening* (This offer is no longer available on our site).
- Automatic Expedia +silver status each year of card membership (more on that in a minute).
- Earn 3 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases (eligible purchases include flights, Expedia Rate hotels, vacation packages, and activities booked on Expedia. An “activity” is anything booked on the “Things to Do” tab on Expedia’s site.)
- Earn 1 Expedia+ bonus point per $1 spent on other purchases
- These points are in addition to the points earned when booking through Expedia as a +Rewards member (again, see below for details)
- Get to +gold status faster: Earn one Elite Qualifying Hotel Night toward +gold status for every $2,500 spent on the card between your January and December billing statements. (15 Elite Qualifying Hotel Nights, or an annual spend of $10,000 on Expedia are normally required to attain +gold status.)
- The annual fee is $0.
Silver fox: Expedia+ Rewards program features bump up your earning power
As an Expedia®+ Card from Citi holder, you’ll automatically achieve +silver status in the Expedia+ Rewards program. In addition to the benefits you’ll get with the card, +silver status will provide you with amenities and services like extended hotel price guarantee, spa discounts at +VIP Access hotels, and dedicated concierge service in select locales.
Also, you’ll have even more earning power every time you book through Expedia as a +silver member:
- Earn 2 Expedia+ points per $1 spent on hotels, packages with a hotel, cruises and activities
- Earn 1 Expedia+ point per $5 spent on flights
- Earn 1 Expedia+ point per $1 spent on flight+ car packages
- Earn 10% Expedia+ bonus points on all eligible books
- Earn 250 bonus points for +VIP Access hotel bookings
- Redeem for 2X value on +VIP Access hotels
Where the Expedia®+ Card from Citi shines
Now let’s take a deeper look at what makes the Expedia®+ Card from Citi special:
Great earning power – Undoubtedly, one of the best things about the Expedia®+ Card from Citi is its earning power. Because you’re earning Expedia+ points by booking through the site as an Expedia+ Rewards member with +silver status and you’re racking up bonus Expedia+ points with the card, there are opportunities to make out like a bandit.
Consider the following scenario: You book a +VIP Access hotel (that’s also classified as an Expedia Rate hotel) through the site with your Expedia®+ Card from Citi. The cost is $1,000. You’d earn a total of 5,450 Expedia+ points on the booking. Here’s how the earning breaks down:
- 2,000 base points from your Expedia+ Rewards membership ($1,000x 2 points per $1 spent)
- 3,000 bonus points for booking an eligible hotel with your Expedia®+ Card from Citi ($1,000x 3 points per $1)
- 200 additional bonus points for being a +silver member (10% of 2,000 base points)
- 250 more bonus points for booking a +VIP Access hotel
=5,450 Expedia+ points
Nerd note: Generally, the Nerds value Expedia points at about .7 cents apiece on hotel bookings. But remember, your points are worth 2X more if you book at a +VIP Access hotel.
Where the Expedia®+ Card from Citi falls short
Although the Expedia®+ Card from Citi comes with a lot of great benefits, it does have some shortfalls to consider:
Limited redemption options – You only have two rewards redemption choices with the Expedia®+ Card from Citi: flights and hotels booked through Expedia’s site. Although this might be OK for some folks, there are other cards on the market that allow you to redeem for a much broader range of travel options.
Tricky earning and redeeming on hotels – Another drawback to this card has to do with some of the nuance in the Expedia+ Rewards program when it comes to hotel bookings. Expedia classifies hotels in a couple of different ways, so you’ll have to be sure you’re picking the right ones to get the most value when it comes to earning and redeeming.
For example, you can only earn the 4 bonus points per dollar spent on hotel bookings if you choose listings labeled as Expedia Rate hotels. Although this constitutes most of the hotels on the site, it’s not necessarily all of them. On the redemption side, you’ll get the best value out of your points if you cash them in for a +VIP Access booking, but again, you’ll have to be careful to look for this label.
Charges a foreign transaction fee – If you’re planning on traveling abroad with this card, you might need to think again. It charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, which could add a serious extra cost burden to your vacation.
Expedia®+ Card from Citi vs. the competition
Given how crowded the travel credit card market is these days, it’s wise to stack up a new card against the competition. Let’s see how the Expedia®+ Card from Citi does when measured against a few industry heavyweights:
Expedia®+ Card from Citi vs. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit cardBank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card offers a rare “triple crown” of travel benefits that’s hard to come by: Its annual fee is $0, has no foreign transaction fee and comes chip-enabled with signature. So if you’re looking for a card that charges minimal fees, but can still carry you around the world, this is probably the one for you.
In terms of earning, you’ll score 1.5 points on every dollar you spend. Each point is worth $.01, so you can count on a rewards rate of 1.5% no matter where you swipe. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card also comes with a signup bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. This will get you started on the path to big earning right away.
What’s more, you can redeem your points for nearly any travel purchase – simply book your trip with the card however you please (including on a discount travel site), then pay yourself back with your points in the form of a statement credit.
All in all, the Nerds think the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card beats the Expedia®+ Card from Citi for people who take a lot of trips overseas. If most of your travel is domestic and you’re a loyal Expedia customer, it’s a little tougher to say; just be sure to consider the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card carefully before you make a final decision.
Should you consider the Expedia®+ Card from Citi?
In general, the Nerds think the Expedia®+ Card from Citi is a solid choice for domestic travelers who are die-hard Expedia shoppers. However, if you travel overseas a lot or prefer a card that allows you to earn and redeem your points a little more simply, this card probably won’t meet your needs.