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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
“Do you know what’s happening with the Citi travel portal?” We receive regular emails asking if we know what’s happening, given that the last updates on this topic happened in November 2022.
Citi first announced updates to its portal in August last year, but the new portal has still not launched. A date for the new portal remains unknown, despite TPG staff inquiring about it multiple times each month for the past several months.
In November 2022, Citi communicated delays with the portal and provided a temporary solution. However, we are approaching March 2023 and the situation remains unresolved: Citi cardholders cannot make bookings for travel past June 2023.
Here’s what we know about what’s happening to the Citi ThankYou travel portal.
Continued delays to the new portal and inability to use benefits
At present, Citi cardholders can book travel only through June 30, 2023. Many of our readers (as well as TPG staff) are planning travel past that date, creating problems with travel planning.
The inability to use points for travel or unlock cardholder benefits beyond this date is a source of frustration for our readers. They often email us expressing frustration that they are paying annual fees for credit cards with travel perks that can’t be used.
Those with the Citi Prestige® Card can use a fourth-night-free perk twice per year on hotel stays of four nights or more. To use this benefit, you must book through the Citi travel portal.
The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Similarly, if you have the Citi Premier® Card, you can enjoy a $100 credit for hotel bookings of $500 or more. Again, you must use the Citi travel portal for your reservations to be eligible.
Thus, the inability to book travel into the second half of the year or into next year makes it difficult to use these cardholder benefits.
So, when will the new portal go live or offer bookings past June 30, 2023? It’s expected at some point in early 2023, according to Citi’s spokesperson. “We are committed to everything being seamless at launch, so we have pushed back the launch date to make sure it’s working correctly on day one.”
A new Citi travel portal is coming
Citi’s existing travel portal — the Citi ThankYou Travel Center — is going away. It will be replaced with a new travel portal.
The new Citi Travel portal is powered by Booking.com and will provide access to more than 1.4 million hotels worldwide thanks to the Booking.com platform.
Citi promises that the new platform will be easier to use and accessible through Citi’s website and mobile app. Cardmembers will be able to customize their payments, choosing which credit card(s) or points to pay with, or a combination of the two.
Another new aspect is 24-hour customer support. Cardmembers will be able to receive help with their bookings around the clock.
You’ll earn points on all paid bookings through Citi Travel. You can also redeem your ThankYou Rewards points at a rate of 1 cent per point toward travel booked in the portal. This means a $150 flight would cost 15,000 Citi ThankYou points.
Related: How to redeem Citi ThankYou Rewards for maximum value
Bonus points promotion: Not live yet
When the new portal finally launches, those with a Citi credit card will be able to earn up to 10 points per dollar spent on Citi Travel bookings. This promotion will start when the new portal goes live and will run through Dec. 31. Your bonus points multiplier will depend on which credit card you use for your booking:
- 10 points per dollar on Citi Travel bookings for hotels, rental cars and eligible attractions with the Citi Prestige Card (no longer open to new applicants) and the Citi Premier Card.
- 5 points per dollar on these bookings with the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card (no longer open to new applicants) and the Citi Rewards+® Card.
The information for the Citi ThankYou Preferred has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
With the delay in launching the new Citi travel portal, we have asked Citi whether the end date for bonus earnings will be extended. We will update this section whenever Citi provides an answer.
Related: The ultimate guide to Citi ThankYou Rewards
These elevated earning rates apply to hotels, rental cars and eligible attractions offered in the Citi Travel portal. Unfortunately, flights are not included in the bonus-earning rates. Once these limited-time earning rates end, Citi will unveil the standard earning rates for travel booked in the portal.
For comparison, several banks have elevated earning rates on travel booked through their respective portals. Here are the points you can earn on these bookings when using a travel rewards credit card:
|Card||Earning rates for portal bookings||Earning rates on other travel bookings||Value of each point*|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||
||2 cents each.|
|American Express® Gold Card||
||2 cents each.|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||
||1.85 cents each.|
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card||
||1.85 cents each.|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||
||2 cents each.|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||
||2 cents each.|
*Values are based on TPG’s latest valuations.
It’s interesting to note that Citi Travel’s elevated earning rates include attractions, which we have not seen with other bank travel portals.
Related: 9 things to consider when choosing to book via a portal vs. booking directly
No changes to Prestige and Premier card portal benefits
The Citi Prestige (no longer open to new applicants) and the Citi Premier cards both offer valuable credits when booking with Citi Travel. These benefits are not changing.
Citi Premier cardholders receive a once-per-year $100 credit for hotel bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, when booked at thankyou.com. This benefit will continue.
Those who have the Citi Prestige will still enjoy their fourth-night-free perk. This benefit is available twice per year and offers a fourth night free on hotel bookings made at thankyou.com.
Related: 4 reasons the Citi Premier Card should be on your shortlist
When the new portal finally launches, it will include several valuable benefits and additions, plus bonus points-earning opportunities. We’re excited to check it out whenever it launches.
Citi’s new portal sounds exciting, and we are anxious for its launch. However, there have been multiple delays that have caused the portal to not launch in 2022 as expected.
The inability to use cardholder benefits — benefits that require booking travel through Citi’s portal — is frustrating for many people. It’s nearly March, yet cardholders can only use the portal to make bookings through the end of June.
Once the new portal is live (or a launch date is confirmed), count on TPG to take it for a test drive to see how well it works and what features are available.