A few weeks ago, I was putting together a round of credit card applications to apply for. One of the cards that caught my eye was the Citi Prestige offering 50000 ThankYou Points and some really great benefits. However, the annual fee is $450 and, while the benefits of the card may justify that price, I was still hesitant.
After doing some more research, I realized that the fee on the Citi Prestige credit card is only $350 for those who have a Citigold checking account. A Citigold checking account has a $30 fee every month (waived for the first 2 months) if you have less than $50000 in your account. Even if I only kept the account until the annual fee on my credit card hit, I did not think the hassle of opening a new checking account and potentially being charged some money for not maintaining $50000 in the account (I don’t have nearly this amount of money laying around) was worth it.
To my surprise, I found a promotion that was awarding 30000 American Airlines miles for opening a new Citigold checking account, making 2 bill payments in two consecutive calendar months and spending at least $750 on the debit card. Now I was more interested in opening a Citigold account! American Airline miles are some of the most valuable out there.
One fun fact about Citi checking accounts is that for your initial funding source, you can use a credit card to fund your account. Barclays was running a promotion for the AAdvantage Aviator Red credit card in which they were offering 50% bonus miles on all purchases until the end of June. I also found reports that, when you fund Citi checking accounts from a Barclays credit card, it is treated as a purchase and not a cash advance.
I was sold on this whole idea!
I opened a Citigold checking account and funded $3000 with my Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red credit card. All I needed to do was fax in a credit card authorization form to Citi for them to fund the account with a credit card. After I opened the account, I messaged a Citi representative to confirm I had the promotion attached to my account. With the 50% bonus promotion, this will get me 4500 American miles. Since I opened the account at the end of June, I was able to make a bill payment to the same Barclays credit card that I used to fund the account and I will do so again in early July. I will use the debit to load my American Express Serve card with at least $750 and then from my Serve card pay my Barclays credit card bill. This will complete the circle of funding a bank account with a credit card and then suing that account to pay off that same credit card to earn some easy miles. After all of this is completed, I will get 30000 American Miles, bringing the grand total of miles earned from opening this checking account to 34500 American miles!
After I had the Citigold checking account open, I applied for the Citi Prestige credit card knowing that having the account will knock down the annual fee to $350. This card offers some amazing benefits for only $350.
34500 American Airlines miles
- $0 fee (I hope to get these miles and close the account before I get charged a $30 monthly fee)
50000 ThankYou Points
- $350 annual fee
I never expected I would be opening a checking account to get bonus airline miles and a reduced annual fee on a credit card. Always be on the lookout for new ways you can increase your mileage balances!
What has been your most unexpected way you have earned miles?