The fact that American Airlines is no longer listed on Expedia.com has some impact in the credit card industry.
Citi’s ThankYou Rewards is Citi’s reward program. Like most other reward program, they have a online travel booking site where you can book your airline tickets if you wish to redeem ThankYou points for your airline ticket. But ThankYou’s online travel booking site is powered by expedia.com! So are we going to see American Airline Flights listed on Citi’s travel site?
Answer is NO. I confirmed this when I called Citi ThankYou. Citi ThankYou confirmed that American Airline Flights will no longer be displayed as a choice on their online travel booking portal. The other airlines not included are SouthWest Airlines (they are not on any online portal) and Allegence.
But the customer representative says that there is a way to use your Citi ThankYou points for American Airline flights. Citi has a department called Wish Fulfilled where you can use your points to redeem a reward that is not on their catalog. So technically, you can call that department and they are able to book an American Airlines flight or even a SouthWest flight for you. But you will need more points than usual. What is usual? Well, 10,000 points gets you $100 in reward. If you use the Wish Fulfilled department, it will “cost more”. When I asked what is the reward points to reward ratio if I were to book an American Airlines flight with them, the representative was not able to give a definitive answer. She said it “depends” on the flight, cost etc!
I also confirmed this fact with a long time reader of our blog Eric, who has a Citi Rewards card.
So if you are looking for a no annual fee rewards card, and you fly quite a bit with American Airlines, then you should not get a Citi reward cards. Instead, consider cards like the Blue Sky from American Express or the Miles by Discover Card, where you can book airline tickets with any travel agent or on the airline’s sight.