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Blogger
Posts: 3,360
Registered: ‎10-19-2012
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Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket

2 posters mentioned this card in the travel rewards credit card complication thread, so I went to the website to peruse the benefits and rewards. Turns out it offers an annual companion ticket. This is incredible. As far as I know you can use the ticket on any airline. 

But I'm sure there are restrictions. What are they? 

 

Here's what I found on Citi's website:

 

Companion Travel and 15% Travel Plus Discount
In order to enjoy an annual complimentary companion ticket, certain restrictions apply: 48 Contiguous U.S. only; tickets must be booked through our travel benefits provider Spirit Incentives; cardmembers will receive a companion ticket equal to the full value of the lowest available economy fare offered by Spirit Incentives with the purchase of an equal full fare ticket; cardmember must be one of the travelers in the itinerary; minimum 4-day advanced purchase is required; passenger is responsible for all fees, taxes and charges incurred in connection with the companion travel.

 

https://creditcards.citi.com/credit-cards/citi-thankyou-premier-card/additional-information/

 

Additional Cards

Add an authorized user to your account and earn points faster. After all, the benefits of this card are so amazing they're worth sharing - and your authorized user is also entitled to an annual complimentary domestic companion ticket. A $50 annual authorized user fee is charged for each user you add to your account, however this fee is waived for their first year as a cardmember.

 

https://creditcards.citi.com/credit-cards/citi-thankyou-premier-card/

 

So my questions are:

 

1. What the heck is Spirit Incentives?

2. Does Spirit Incentives charge a higher price than what is available on the airline website?

3. Is each authorized user entitled to an additional companion ticket, e.g. if there are 10 authorized users the account will qualify for 11 companion tickets?

 

Any real-life experience would be especially helpful.

 

Super Contributor
Posts: 7,132
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
0

Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket


HiLine wrote:

2 posters mentioned this card in the travel rewards credit card complication thread, so I went to the website to peruse the benefits and rewards. Turns out it offers an annual companion ticket. This is incredible. As far as I know you can use the ticket on any airline. 

But I'm sure there are restrictions. What are they? 

 

Here's what I found on Citi's website:

 

Companion Travel and 15% Travel Plus Discount
In order to enjoy an annual complimentary companion ticket, certain restrictions apply: 48 Contiguous U.S. only; tickets must be booked through our travel benefits provider Spirit Incentives; cardmembers will receive a companion ticket equal to the full value of the lowest available economy fare offered by Spirit Incentives with the purchase of an equal full fare ticket; cardmember must be one of the travelers in the itinerary; minimum 4-day advanced purchase is required; passenger is responsible for all fees, taxes and charges incurred in connection with the companion travel.

 

https://creditcards.citi.com/credit-cards/citi-thankyou-premier-card/additional-information/

 

Additional Cards

Add an authorized user to your account and earn points faster. After all, the benefits of this card are so amazing they're worth sharing - and your authorized user is also entitled to an annual complimentary domestic companion ticket. A $50 annual authorized user fee is charged for each user you add to your account, however this fee is waived for their first year as a cardmember.

 

https://creditcards.citi.com/credit-cards/citi-thankyou-premier-card/

 

So my questions are:

 

1. What the heck is Spirit Incentives?

2. Does Spirit Incentives charge a higher price than what is available on the airline website?

3. Is each authorized user entitled to an additional companion ticket, e.g. if there are 10 authorized users the account will qualify for 11 companion tickets?

 

Any real-life experience would be especially helpful.

 


1. Just a company they use. 

2. Prices seem to be about the same as expedia. However flights are often more limited in selection. Most of the time you'll be flying either the first or last few flights of the day, so timing can be a little too extreme for some people's preferences.

3. If I am not wrong, it is just 1 companion ticket for each card account. Meaning if the main account holder is too busy to make use of the free companion ticket, the AU can make use of it and bring along his/her companion.

 

JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Super Contributor
Posts: 10,308
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
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Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket

As the quotes above states, each authorized user can have a companion ticket.   Remember though that AUs are NOT free with this card, after the first year they cost around ~ $65 (can't remember exact amount) and even in the first year, if you don't add an AU within 2 or months, you pay the AU fee.

 

People have had more success calling Spririt (either for the 15% off or the companion ticket) because they will, in general, have the same flights as any other major system, sometimes you need a supervisor to get it.

 

I think the 15% off is the bigger benefit because it is unlimited, rather than once per year.

 

More details that you would ever want to know:

 

Companion ticket: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1270847-citi-premier-prestige-ty-card-companion-...

15% off: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1192450-new-citi-premier-prestige-15-off-travel-...

Super Contributor
Posts: 7,132
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
0

Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket

Hey longtimelurker, so basically 5 AUs + 1 account holder = 6 free companion tickets then? :smileysurprised:
JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Super Contributor
Posts: 10,308
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
0

Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket

That's what a number of online sources say, I haven't done this myself, just used the 15% off feature.   Looks like each AU is $50, and you pay the taxes and fees on the companion ticket, and it's domestic only, and economy only, and it's once per year, so the exposure isn't all that great.

Member
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎04-04-2013
0

Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket

I have this card, and have used the Companion Ticket benefit.  We actually used it for our honeymoon trip.  Like someone else said, the available flights are limited, and not all airlines are available - for instance, I had a real problem with flights on Airtran/Southwest showing up as available options when I searched for flights on the companion travel website, only to get an error when I tried to book them.  I called Spirit Incentives and was informed that Southwest had opted not to be a part of the program, so any flight that was serviced by Airtran and Southwest was not able to be booked.

 

I did find that the prices were in line with (or even a little less sometimes) what I was finding elsewhere online, so that was nice.  We were able to fly round trip from Atlanta to San Francisco using the companion airfare and only paid about $320 total I believe.

 

The annual free companion ticket is annual relative to your cardholder anniversary date, not the calendar year, so you become eligible for a free companion ticket per year in the month of your cardholder anniversary - so I'm eligible each March, for instance, not January 1.

 

I found it to be a better benefit than I was expecting it to be.

Blogger
Posts: 3,360
Registered: ‎10-19-2012
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Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket

Great info! I wonder why this card isn't more popular. I'd pay 125 bucks for a non-airline-restricted companion ticket any day.

Super Contributor
Posts: 10,308
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
0

Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket


HiLine wrote:

Great info! I wonder why this card isn't more popular. I'd pay 125 bucks for a non-airline-restricted companion ticket any day.


It is somewhat of a niche card.  The moderator of FT's credit card section considers it the best card for those that are interested/willing in travelling in economy rather than premium cabins.  With the 15% discount on base fare (which can easily pay for the annual fee in one purchase), the companion ticket, and things like flight points for each mile flown that convert to TY points when matched with purchases, it is valuable in this space.  It also allows all TY points to be converted to 1.33 cents per point when redeemed for travel (similar to UR's 1.25 cents per mile)

 

But a lot of people are interested in premium cabin travel as a reason for rewards, and for this, especially for international, you need a program that allows transfers to FF programs, and Premier doesn't do this (well, just for Hilton).   And that space is where you get all the 4-10c per point valuations.

 

Also, the card itself is not great at earning points, currently the most it offers is 1.2 points in some categories, rumored to change but hasn't yet.  However, with various 5x cards available (and Forward if you have it) it's not hard to earn lots of TY points that can then be used.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket


longtimelurker wrote:

HiLine wrote:

Great info! I wonder why this card isn't more popular. I'd pay 125 bucks for a non-airline-restricted companion ticket any day.


It is somewhat of a niche card.  The moderator of FT's credit card section considers it the best card for those that are interested/willing in travelling in economy rather than premium cabins.  With the 15% discount on base fare (which can easily pay for the annual fee in one purchase), the companion ticket, and things like flight points for each mile flown that convert to TY points when matched with purchases, it is valuable in this space.  It also allows all TY points to be converted to 1.33 cents per point when redeemed for travel (similar to UR's 1.25 cents per mile)

 

But a lot of people are interested in premium cabin travel as a reason for rewards, and for this, especially for international, you need a program that allows transfers to FF programs, and Premier doesn't do this (well, just for Hilton).   And that space is where you get all the 4-10c per point valuations.

 

Also, the card itself is not great at earning points, currently the most it offers is 1.2 points in some categories, rumored to change but hasn't yet.  However, with various 5x cards available (and Forward if you have it) it's not hard to earn lots of TY points that can then be used.


This is exactly it - it's a very niche product.

 

In addition to having limited uses for things other than coach, you also need to have an equal number of flight miles to spending if you really want to max out the benefits. Not everyone flies 50k+ miles per year, and if you don't fly at least 25k there are probably better benefits out there in a lower AF card.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Blogger
Posts: 3,360
Registered: ‎10-19-2012
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Re: Citi Thank You Premier's companion ticket

I'm going to guess that the majority of travelers only fly economy class. If the Thank You Premier caters to this class of travelers, why call it a niche product? The companion ticket alone more than justifies the annual fee, and the unlimited 15% discount is huge. And if each authorized user is given an additional companion ticket, one account can produce 2 companion tickets for $175 per year for a family of 2.

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