Citi Rewards Platinum Visa + optional Linked Diners Club Card

Review: Citi Rewards Platinum Visa + optional Linked Diners Club Card

What's Hot

  • Earn up to 210,000 bonus Citibank Rewards points
  • Reduced annual fee in the first year, and in future years subject to spending requirements
  • Option to add a Linked Diners Club Card at no charge

What's Not

  • Low points earn rate on Visa spend
  • International transaction fee on Visa spend

X-Factor

  • Travel insurance may cover journeys booked using points

Introduction

Citibank's Citi Rewards Platinum Visa credit card sounds impressive on the surface: after all, it's Platinum plastic with the word "Rewards" in the title, but it's closer to the bank's entry-level frequent flyer card than a higher-tier points earner such as Citi's Signature and Prestige credit card lines.

While the Platinum Visa does provide up to "one point per dollar spent", because this is one point in the Citibank Rewards program – not one airline frequent flyer point – you'll end up with a little less at the end of the day, compared to those higher-level cards.

On the plus side, the Citi Rewards Platinum Visa now comes with the option of adding a Linked Diners Club card onto the account for uncapped points earning within Australia and overseas, and with no international transaction fees on that overseas Linked Diners Club Card spend as an added sweetener.

Citi Rewards Platinum Visa credit card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa + optional Linked Diners Club Card
  • Loyalty program: Citibank Rewards
  • Citibank airline partners (Platinum): Virgin Australia Velocity, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Citibank Rewards points earned per A$1 spent:
         Government and government-related transactions:
    No points at any time using either card
         Other domestic spend on Visa, up to $10,000 per month:
    1
         Domestic spend beyond $10,000 per month on Visa: No points
         International spend on Visa (uncapped): 1
         All eligible purchases in Australia and overseas on the Linked Diners Club Card: 2
  • 1 Citibank reward point ($1 spent on Visa) = 0.4 Velocity points (2.5:1 conversion), 0.33 KrisFlyer miles (3:1 conversion)
  • 2 Citibank reward points ($2 spent on Linked Diners Club Card) = 0.8 Velocity points (2.5:1 conversion), 0.66 KrisFlyer miles (3:1 conversion)
  • Points capping: Applies to domestic Visa spend only, as above. International spend is uncapped, as is all Linked Diners Club Card spend.

Fees, charges and interest: 2/5

  • Annual fee promotion: $49 in the first year
  • Ongoing annual fee: $149, or $74.50 when you spend $24,000 in the previous year
  • Linked Diners Club Card fee: Offered at no extra charge
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $90 (up to 4)
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.99% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.74% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.4%
  • Minimum income requirement: $35,000/year
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights: 2/5

While you'll find higher 'everyday' points earning rates on other cards, the Citi Rewards Platinum credit card is currently offering up to 210,000 bonus Citibank Rewards points for eligible new customers who apply by March 31 2019.

However, that sign-up bonus isn't served as a lump sum: instead, as a bonus 10,000 Citibank Rewards points every month for the first 20 months when you spend at least $1,000 in each statement period, providing up to 200,000 bonus points at the end of the 20th month.

You can also earn an extra 10,000 bonus points by requesting a Linked Diners Club Card during the application process and using it to make a purchase within 90 days of approval: all up, delivering up to 210,000 bonus Citibank Rewards points: that's up 84,000 bonus Virgin Australia Velocity points in total following a 2.5:1 conversion from Citibank Rewards.

That's more than enough for a return Virgin Australia business class flight from Australia's east coast to Perth (71,000 Velocity points, converted from 177,500 Citibank points), or a return trip from the same east coast cities to Denpasar (Bali), flying business class one way and economy class the other (71,800 Velocity points).

With either option, you'd also have enough points left over to book a one-way economy flight on short to mid-length domestic routes like Sydney-Melbourne or Brisbane-Melbourne (11,800 Velocity points, converted from 29,500 Citibank points).

Beyond the sign-up bonuses, you'll earn the most points on eligible Linked Diners Club Card spend, although the earning rate on the Visa isn't as generous.

Airport lounge access: 0/5

Airport lounge access or membership is not a feature offered on this card: for that, look to Citibank's higher-tier Rewards Signature and Prestige credit cards.

Free international travel insurance: 4/5

Being a Platinum card, you'll find international travel insurance included among its perks, which you may qualify for after charging the cost of your overseas flights to either the Visa or Linked Diners Club Card, or have booked your ticket through the Citibank Travel Program.

You may also be covered if your journey was booked using Velocity points or KrisFlyer miles, provided you've transferred at least 15,000 frequent flyer points across to that program from your Citibank Rewards account in the preceding 12 months.

This insurance covers return journeys of up to six months or international one-way travel for up to 31 days after leaving Australia: handy when you've booked your outbound flight but don't yet have a flight back home, when your plans are open-ended.

Extended warranty cover, transit accident insurance, purchase cover and access to a guaranteed pricing scheme are also provided, although the relatively common interstate flight inconvenience insurance is absent. As always, read the policy documents carefully to determine whether the included coverage is right for you and adequately meets your needs.

Citi Rewards Platinum Visa credit card: verdict

With no international transaction fee on Linked Diners Club Card purchases and no points capping on that spend either, regular international travellers may find value in this card, particularly if qualifying for a reduced annual fee by meeting the yearly spending requirements.

However, cardholders who don't travel as much and don't often shop where Diners Club is accepted won't be as impressed with the points earning rate on the Visa, and may find other cards more appealing for scooping up points on everyday purchases.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

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15 Nov, 2018 05:57 pm

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