Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi

Bankrate Score
Learn about the Bankrate score

If you want a rewards card that will test your mettle, this is it.

Advertiser Disclosure: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertising partners.

For those who enjoy a challenge, the Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi offers some of the best points values available from a travel rewards credit card. But this isn’t a card that allows minimum effort, as calculating your redemption options can be complicated.

Review

Juicing the most value out of the Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi requires a lot of legwork. It’s best if you travel at least a few times a year and book those trips through Expedia. With the Voyager card, you’ll earn 4 Expedia+ bonus points for every $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases. Restaurants and entertainment will net you 2 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 and all other spending earns 1 Expedia+ point per $1. The card also comes with Expedia+ gold status, which gives you an additional 30% points bonus on Expedia bookings.

That bonus could really boost your rewards.

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 toward 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.

The card comes with an $100 annual air incidental travel credit, and if you spend $2,000 within 3 months of account opening, a 25,000 Expedia+ point bonus. The sign-up bonus could be worth as much as $350 if you use it for a VIP Access hotel, or as little as $150 if you use it toward a flight booking.

Who should get this card

Only those who are up for the challenge of making the most of a complicated rewards structure should consider this card.

Advantages
  • If you're willing to put the work in, this card can offer big rewards.
Disadvantages
  • To get the maximum value out of your Expedia+ points can be cumbersome and requires thorough understanding of a complex redemption program.
  • You can only redeem rewards for flights or hotels booked through the Expedia site.
  • If you do'’t use or earn points within 18 months, they’ll expire.
  • You can only redeem your points for a vacation package up to $300.

Fees and APR

  • Annual fee is $95.
  • This card has a variable APR of 14.99% to 22.99% for purchases and balance transfers.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside the U.S.

Extras, perks and using points

Cardholders get Expedia+ gold status, which gives a 30% point bonus on all Expedia.com travel bookings.

If you spend $10,000 on the card in the prior card membership year, get a $5,000 anniversary points bonus.

To redeem your points, log into your Expedia account and select which type of redemption you’d like.

How this card compares

Expedia®+ Card from Citi
Card Details
  • Earn 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening*
  • Points redeemable for $200 towards your stay at a +VIP Access™ hotel*
  • 3 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases including flights, hotels, activities and travel packages*
  • 1 Expedia+ bonus point per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Enjoy Expedia+ silver status each year of cardmembership
  • Earn one Elite Qualifying Hotel Night towards Expedia+ gold status for each increment of $2,500 in purchases made on the card between your January and December billing statements*
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 15.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The Expedia+ Card is the junior version of the Expedia+ Voyager Card. It’s a sub-par choice for both its lower rewards structure and that it charges a foreign transaction fee. It does lack an annual fee, but that also means you won’t get the $100 annual airline incidental credit, either.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Card Details
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard will likely 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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Card Details
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

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.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Card Details
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

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 toward that purchase. This makes it a more flexible choice than other cards that require you to use their travel portals for maximum value.

EDITORIAL NOTE

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.