Expedia®+ Card from Citi

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The Expedia+ Card from Citi offers complex redemption options and no real perks.

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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.

Review

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.

Advantages
  • If you book most of your travel through Expedia, this card offers some of the best 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 don’t use or earn points within 18 months, they’ll expire.
  • You can only redeem your points for a vacation package up to $300.
  • There's a foreign transaction fee of 3% for purchases made overseas.

Fees and APR

  • Pay no annual fee.
  • This card has a variable APR of 16.74% – 24.74%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

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
  • Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Regular APR

17.74%, 21.74% or 24.74% variable based on your creditworthiness

Annual Fee

$89

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% intro for first 12 billing cycles following each BT that posts within 45 days of account opening

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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/Good

Regular APR

17.74% - 24.74% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 Intro for 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
  • 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 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; 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
Credit Needed

Excellent, Good

Regular APR

14.74% - 24.74% (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 towards 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.