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Individuals who love making detailed plans for how to redeem their credit card points will find that the Expedia®+ Card from Citi is one of the best cards around. If used correctly, the card can yield a rewards rate that's unheard of for a card without an annual fee. Unfortunately, the card doesn't garner the best rewards for everyday spending, limiting the type of person who should use this card. The fine print includes some language you'll want to be aware of. Below, we outline everything you need to know about the Expedia®+ Card from Citi and highlight some competing cards to consider before applying.
Expedia®+ Card from Citi: A Great Card for Rewards Maximizers
The great thing about the Expedia®+ Card from Citi is that it earns you 3 points for every dollar spent on Expedia purchases. All other purchases earn just 1 point for every dollar spent. That's on top of the 2 points per dollar you earn as an Expedia rewards member. The value of each point varies, but we estimate them to be worth approximately $0.007, meaning the card has a 3.5% rewards rate on Expedia purchases.
To put into perspective how great a 3.5% rewards rate is, consider that there are very few no-annual-fee cards that offer a rewards rate above 2%. On purchases outside of Expedia, the Expedia®+ Card from Citi performs poorly since it'll only get you a 0.7% rewards rate. This is an area where most other cards usually yield at least a 1% rewards rate.
Therefore, the card is great when used to book travel through Expedia, but rather lackluster when it comes to all other spending. If you're looking for just one card to apply for, there are better cards to be had. But if all you're after is a card to help you get the most out of Expedia purchases, then this is one of the better options.
Since the card offers automatic +silver status, which in turn gets you 10% bonus points, you have the opportunity to earn a lot of points on Expedia.com purchases. For example, let's assume you wanted to purchase a $2,000 flight and hotel package on Expedia.com. Below, we lay out the number of points you'd earn with the card versus the amount of points you'd get without the card.
|Category||Expedia®+ Card from Citi||Without card|
|Base points of 2 points for every $1 spent from Expedia.com||4,000||4,000|
|10% point bonus with automatic +silver status||400||0|
|3 bonus points per $1 spent||6,000||0|
|Total Estimated Value||$73||$28|
Even a solid 2% cash back card would only get you $40 for a travel purchase of $2,000. Therefore, if you always book travel through Expedia, this card will be hard to top. Just keep in mind that booking travel directly, meaning not through Expedia, will get you the aforementioned lackluster 0.7% rewards rate.
There are two major downsides to the card: a foreign transaction fee and the fact that the points you earn can expire. The 3% foreign transaction fee on the card will take a major bite out of any rewards you earn when traveling abroad. To keep your points from expiring, you'll have to earn or redeem points every 18 months.
Bottom Line: We only recommend applying for this card if you plan on booking travel through Expedia at least once per year. Otherwise, there are other cards that may be better suited for you that won't be as limiting.
Redeeming Points Earned Through the Expedia®+ Card from Citi
The points you earn with the Expedia®+ Card from Citi can be redeemed for a variety of things, including hotel stays, car rentals, and discounts on tours and attractions. However, one of the best uses of your points is to redeem them for stays at VIP access hotels. That's because your points are worth twice as much when they're used to book a VIP access hotel. As an added perk, as a +silver member you'll get 250 bonus Expedia Rewards points for booking a VIP access hotel.
How Does the Expedia®+ Card from Citi Compare to Other Cards?
To get a clearer understanding of the value offered by the Expedia®+ Card from Citi, it's important to compare it against a few competing cards. We outline how the card stacks up against similar cards below.
The Expedia®+ Card from Citi vs the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi
For most people, the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi will be a better pick over the Expedia®+ Card from Citi. That's because the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi takes all the available features on the Expedia®+ Card from Citi and improves upon them. For instance, you'll get higher rewards rates, a better bonus, and automatic +gold membership. The only downside to the card is that it comes with a $95 annual fee. However, provided you use the $100 annual air travel fee credit to pay for extra costs when traveling, like checked bags, or for fast-entry programs, like Global Entry, then the card will more than pay for itself. Unless you're strictly looking for a no-annual-fee card, the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi will likely be the better choice between the two cards.
Consider this if…
- You're a rewards maximizer.
- You consistently book travel through Expedia.
The Expedia®+ Card from Citi vs the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Most people would be better off applying for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card over the Expedia®+ Card from Citi. That's because the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers an ample 3% rewards rate on travel, transit and dining purchases. As you'll recall, the Expedia®+ Card from Citi earns a 3.5% rewards rate on Expedia purchases, but outside of that it'll get you a measly 0.7% rewards rate. Simply put, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers more categories where you'll be able to earn a high rewards rate, making it a more versatile card. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card even made it onto our list of the best travel credit cards.
Consider this if…
- You're looking for a card that offers a great rewards rate for travel purchases.
- You're looking for one card to use on everyday spending.
The Expedia®+ Card from Citi vs the Citi® Double Cash Card
If you're a bit confused by the rewards program on the Expedia®+ Card from Citi, consider applying for the Citi® Double Cash Card. It offers a competitive rewards rate that's straightforward: Get 1% back when you buy and another 1% back when you pay (effectively 2% cash back). That high effective 2% cash back rate applies to all purchases, which makes it a better card for everyday spending. The best part of the Citi® Double Cash Card is that you won't have to worry about using a certain card for specific purchases, since you'll always get the same cash back rate. If you're not the type of person to track your credit card spending routinely, then this is one of the better no-annual-fee cards available.
Consider this if…
- You're looking for a card that earns you cash back.
- You're not interested in complex rewards programs.