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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.