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Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi
Picking a good travel credit card can be a tricky task. It’s hard to commit to just one airline or hotel chain, especially when discount travel sites offer the best deals on most bookings anyway. But experienced travel hackers usually find the rewards programs offered by these sites unfulfilling – the thrill of chasing down a good deal is entirely lost in straightforward pricing and lack of hidden perks.
If this sounds familiar, you’re in luck: The Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi might be just the thing to heal your travel credit card blues. Every time you swipe or book travel through Expedia, you’ll be earning Expedia+ Rewards points, which could get you to your next vacation fast. Plus, if you get to know the program inside and out, you’ll find that there’s more than enough complexity to satisfy your hack-y heart. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.
|At a glance|
|Annual fees||The annual fee is $95|
|Foreign transaction fee||None|
|Rewards program||Expedia+ Rewards|
|Signup bonus||Earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening* (This offer is no longer available on our site)|
|Verdict: If you’re a loyal Expedia customer and looking for a card with a little hacking potential, this might be the one|
Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi: The basics
The Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi offers a laundry list of perks and features. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the basics:
- Earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening* (This offer is no longer available on our site)
- Automatic Expedia+ gold status each year of card membership (more on that in a minute).
- Earn 4 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 2 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment
- Earn 1 Expedia+ bonus point per $1 spent on other purchases
- These points are in addition to the base points earned when booking through Expedia as a +Rewards member
- $100 annual statement credit toward airline incidental fees on qualified airlines
- An anniversary bonus of 5,000 Expedia+ bonus points after spending $10,000 in the prior card membership year
- No foreign transaction fee
- An annual fee of $95
Good as gold: Expedia+ Rewards program features bump up your earning power
As an Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi holder, you’ll automatically achieve +gold status in the Expedia+ Rewards program. In addition to the benefits you’ll get with the card, +gold status will provide you with amenities and services like extended hotel price guarantee, dedicated customer service, and room upgrades at +VIP Access hotels where available.
Also, you’ll have even more earning power every time you book through Expedia as a +gold 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 30% Expedia+ bonus points on all eligible bookings
- Earn 250 bonus points for +VIP Access hotel bookings
- Redeem points for 2X value on +VIP Access hotels
Where the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi shines
Now that you know what you’re getting with the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi card and your status as a +gold program member, let’s do a deeper dive into some of the card’s best features:
Great earning power – Undoubtedly, one of the best things about the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi is its earning power. Since you’ll be earning points by booking through the site as an Expedia+ Rewards member with +gold status and racking up bonus Expedia+ points with the card, there are opportunities to end up with quite a bounty.
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®+ Voyager Card from Citi. The cost is $1,000. You’d score a total of 6,850 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)
- 4,000 bonus points for booking an eligible hotel with your Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi ($1,000x 4 points per $1)
- 600 additional bonus points for being a +gold member (30% of 2,000 base points)
- 250 more bonus points for booking a +VIP Access hotel
=6,850 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.
Hack-ability – As you can see from the example above, knowing the best way to book a hotel gives this card a certain hack-ability that travelers who like a good deal-finding project crave. Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind about hotel offers from Expedia that might be helpful as you try to squeeze the most earning and redeeming value out of each booking:
- 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.
- You’ll do best if you can book a hotel that’s labeled as both an Expedia Rate hotel and a +VIP Access hotel (again, look carefully for the label). You’ll earn your full 4 points per dollar spent by using your card, and the Expedia+ Rewards program will award you 250 additional bonus points for choosing a +VIP Access property.
- On the redemption side, you’ll get the best value out of your points if you cash them in for a +VIP Access booking; your points are worth double their usual value at these properties.
When it comes to flights, there’s also an opportunity to put on your travel-hacker hat. You’ll earn Expedia+ points when booking through the site with your Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi as a +gold member, but you’ll also be able to earn frequent flyer miles with the airline you’ve selected. Feel free to stack your points and miles to your heart’s delight!
No foreign transaction fee – The Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi is a good option for folks who travel internationally because it doesn’t carry the dreaded 3% foreign transaction fee common in other cards. However, keep in mind that its EMV chip isn’t PIN capable – if you’re traveling to a destination where PIN technology is the norm, you might want to bring a backup card.
Airline incidentals credit – Every year, you’ll get a $100 credit toward airline incidentals purchased with your Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi. This could cover stuff like baggage fees, in-flight meals and drinks and more on qualifying airlines. As you’re calculating the value of this card, be sure to keep this credit in mind.
Where the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi falls short
Limited redemption options – You only have two redemption options for all the Expedia+ points you’re racking up with the card: 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.
Comparatively low value per point – If you’re looking for a card that will give you a stellar value per point, this one doesn’t fit the bill. Although getting a general value of .7 cents per point on hotel bookings is decent (more with +VIP Access bookings), there are competitor cards that provide well over a penny per point in redemption value if you know how to use them.
Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi vs. the competition
Given the pros and cons of the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi, let’s compare it to a couple of industry heavyweights and see how it does:
Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi vs. Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is one of our favorite travel credit cards, and it’s easy to understand why. With it, you’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend. Since each mile is worth $.01 apiece (about one-third higher than an Expedia+ point), you’re getting a reliable rewards rate of 2%. Plus, you get 5% of your miles back when you redeem.
Speaking of redemption, it couldn’t be easier with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. You simply go online and book your travel as you normally would (including through discount travel sites), then pay yourself back with your miles in the form of a statement credit. What’s more, you can redeem for much more than just flights and hotels. You can use your miles for cruises, campground fees, train fare and much more. If you value flexibility, this card should be on your shortlist.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® will get you started with a solid signup bonus: Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. It charges an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $89. Plus, it carries no foreign transaction fee and comes chip-enabled with PIN capability.
But keep in mind that it also doesn’t provide the annual $100 airline incidentals credit, so in that arena the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi takes the cake.
Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
When it comes time to redeem your points, you have a couple of options. Redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards is one way to cash them in, but you can also transfer your points to a participating frequent traveler program at a 1:1 ratio. If you’re good at squeezing a lot of value out of frequent flyer miles, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card probably gives you a better chance at getting a killer deal on your next trip than the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi does.
Like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides a hefty signup bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. It charges no foreign transaction fee and comes chip-enabled. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card carries an $95.
Like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, it also doesn’t provide the airline incidentals credit. Again, this is something to keep in mind when you’re comparing its ongoing cost to that of the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi.
Should I consider the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi?
All in all, the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi is a solid choice for loyal Expedia users. The complexity of the Expedia+ Rewards program coupled with the ability to stack bonus points, base points and frequent flyer miles will make it appealing to travel hackers.
However, if you’re looking for a card that allows you to earn and redeem a little more simply, you should consider looking elsewhere – one of the cards discussed above is probably a better fit.