Expedia+ Card from Citi
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The Expedia+ Card from Citi is the junior version of the Expedia+ Voyager Card. It offers the same complex redemption options, but at a lower earnings rate.
Let’s start with the good: This card has no annual fee and can accelerate your Expedia+ points earnings.
You’ll earn 3 Expedia+ bonus points on every Expedia booking made using the card and 1 Expedia+ bonus point on all other spending. Since the card grants you automatic Expedia+ silver status, you’ll also get a 10% bonus on base Expedia+ points.
But — and here’s the tricky part — the value of Expedia+ points depends on how you use them. The best value comes from using the points towards a VIP Access hotel stay, where 3,500 Expedia+ points are worth a $50 credit toward the hotel. Expedia says your points are worth twice as much when booking a +VIP Access Hotel, and you’ll get 250 bonus points for booking a hotel with this designation.
If you prefer a hotel that’s not labeled +VIP Access, those 3,500 points are worth a $25 credit toward that hotel.
The lowest value use of Expedia+ points would be to book a flight, where it takes 8,000 Expedia+ points to receive up to $50 worth of credit toward a flight. You also have to have enough points to redeem for the entire cost of the flight; you can’t use a combination of points and cash.
If you’re using your earnings toward hotels or flight and hotel packages, you’ll have to redeem your points for a coupon first and then book your travel and apply the coupon to your trip. So, if you have a $500 coupon, and the cost of your hotel stay is $491, you lose the remaining $9 of value. And, the coupons can only be used on one room per booking. This means if you’re a family who needs two rooms, you can only pay for one room with your earnings.
Still, this card is a sub-par choice compared to the Expedia+ Voyager Card. In addition to a lower rewards rate, the Expedia+ Card also dings you 3% on every foreign transaction. This is a charge no decent travel rewards card should carry. For those who are up for the challenge of maximizing Expedia+ rewards, our advice is to pay the $95 annual fee for the Voyager version and get a bigger sign-up, better rewards and no foreign exchange fees.
This card comes with a 15,000 point sign-up bonus after you spend $1,000 within the first three months of opening the account. This could be worth as much $200 towards a +VIP Access hotel or as little as $75 on airfare booked through Expedia.
Who should get this card
Anyone who uses Expedia to book their travel and typically travels domestically can benefit from the Expedia+ bonus rewards of using this card.
Fees and APR
- Pay no annual fee.
- This card has a variable APR of 15.99% to 23.99% on purchases and balance transfers.
- You’ll be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the U.S.
- Late payments will be subject to a variable penalty APR of up to 29.99%, which will apply indefinitely.
Extras, perks and using points
To redeem your points, log into your Expedia account and select which type of redemption you’d like.
How this card compares
Although the Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi has a $95 annual fee, if you’re looking to maximize Expedia points, this card is a better choice. It comes with a bigger rewards structure, an annual $100 airline incidental credit and a few other goodies. You have to be able to stomach a complicated rewards structure, though.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard likely will appeal to those who want the most flexible redemption options for their miles. You can use your earnings to book travel, get a statement credit for travel purchases, or for gift cards and select merchandise. This may be of greater value to you depending on your spending habits.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card‘s hefty sign-up bonus, boosted redemption value when using the Chase portal, and a generous rewards program make this card a stand-out among travel rewards cards offering big value for minimal cost. Since Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used for everything from flights to lodging to cruises, this also makes it one of the most flexible redemption programs among travel cards.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card‘s unlimited 2x miles per $1 spent on all purchases makes it less cumbersome to track than cards with different bonus categories. Depending on your spending habits this could work out better or worse for you in terms of mileage earning potential. One of the best attributes of this card is you can book your travel any way you like, on any site, and then redeem your miles as a statement credit towards that purchase. This makes it a more flexible choice than other cards that require you to use their travel portals for maximum value.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.