Citi Select (post March 2013) - ? worth $700 annual fee

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trippin_the_rift

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Last time I called Pin Point Travel for my free (Paris) hotel room.

Never heard of Octopus Travel.

What's your source for this info that the free hotel deal has been 'enhanced' away?

If true, .... well.... It's more interesting

It was based on my conversation with the rep.

The rep said I only had until March 31 to book (and stay) and this was the last chance ever.
Also told the rooms HAD to be booked using Octopus Travel at their rates. I could find much much lower rates through the hotel site/wotif/lastminute etc but the operator insisted those prices meant nothing and it had to go through Octopus. This was pinpoint that said this.

Maybe I received bad info - who knows..
 

legroom

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It was based on my conversation with the rep.

The rep said I only had until March 31 to book (and stay) and this was the last chance ever.
Also told the rooms HAD to be booked using Octopus Travel at their rates. I could find much much lower rates through the hotel site/wotif/lastminute etc but the operator insisted those prices meant nothing and it had to go through Octopus. This was pinpoint that said this.

Maybe I received bad info - who knows..

Don't we all dislike enhancements, so soon after the other major hiccup ?
 

cove

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I won't drop these cards as they are both Uncapped Visa cards that earn 1.33 and 1.0 points respectively.
Never needed Travel Insurance nor Price Match Guarantee and I did ok in running up a point or two. The high credit limits are handy and I do plan to get a chunk of points from these two cards in the next 12 months.
 
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I won't drop these cards as they are both Uncapped Visa cards that earn 1.33 and 1.0 points respectively
And 3.33pts for o/s spend - I guess to hold / not too hold is one of those totally personal experience / wants / needs thingys.

I hold Cent too - ATPIT I cannot really justify it - I might drop it - I might not - it has a great insurance component - and there is still some AMEX 'enhancements' in the wind which will earn me a bucket of pts if and when it becomes reality - will post info later.

But Select for SQ pts is a god send for me - 1.33pts/$ with most vendors not surcharging is now my main card - no hotel stay / no insurance reqs - just love the earn rate - just gotta keep creating new ways to get the spend rate -> earn outcome up.
 

legroom

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Good to know the thoughts of my fellow Selectors

That's the perennial issue of determining 'value', isn't it?

We all love SQ.

The other SQ card is an AMEX and we all know its hassles.
 

diningdecadence

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I hear there are only about 3,000 select cardholders in the citi portfolio- perhaps they're looking to revamp their super premium option? (With the recent changes to citi business gold also)

if there's the opportunity to have the fee decreased through negotiation/ citi gold then I agree its worthwhile keeping, particularly with the o/s earn rate.
 

ermen

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It was based on my conversation with the rep.

The rep said I only had until March 31 to book (and stay) and this was the last chance ever.
Also told the rooms HAD to be booked using Octopus Travel at their rates. I could find much much lower rates through the hotel site/wotif/lastminute etc but the operator insisted those prices meant nothing and it had to go through Octopus. This was pinpoint that said this.

Maybe I received bad info - who knows..

Yeah its bad info. I started a thread on this after receiving a similar scare. I must say, the communications from pinpoint travel is not the best...
 

kohdeb

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Just to let you know my experience on Citi Select recently with a ~$10k USD overseas purchase made through Paypal. I showed up on my account as PAYPAL AU but charged USD and I only received 2 points per dollar instead of the 5. I also had to pay the 3% currency conversion fee. Does anyone think it would be worth complaining over ~30k points?
 
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Spizz

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Just to let you know my experience on Citi Select recently with a ~$10k USD overseas purchase made through Paypal. I showed up on my account as PAYPAL AU but charged USD and I only received 2 points per dollar instead of the 5. I also had to pay the 3% currency conversion fee. Does anyone think it would be worth complaining over ~30k points?

Yes definetly call them for 30000 points. In the past they have been quick to fix point related issues for me.
 

wafliron

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Just to let you know my experience on Citi Select recently with a ~$10k USD overseas purchase made through Paypal. I showed up on my account as PAYPAL AU but charged USD and I only received 2 points per dollar instead of the 5. I also had to pay the 3% currency conversion fee. Does anyone think it would be worth complaining over ~30k points?

That's an interesting one. Is the 5pts/$1 technically for charges from foreign merchants, or for charges in foreign currencies? If it's the former you might be out of luck - but I'd definitely ring up and complain.
 

Jack_OC

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That's an interesting one. Is the 5pts/$1 technically for charges from foreign merchants, or for charges in foreign currencies? If it's the former you might be out of luck - but I'd definitely ring up and complain.

Unfortunately the T&Cs seem to be pretty clear about this, and I don't think the currency has anything to do with it.

International Spend  means any Eligible Transaction made with a merchant who tells us they are located in a country outside Australia.
 

Jack_OC

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By the way - my two cents worth in response to the question in the OP: I took out a Citi Select card last December, primarily so I could use it for the purpose that they've decided to stop paying points for! I very much doubt if I will be willing to pay the $700 fee again this year.

The general points earn rate is excellent for a Visa, but that in itself isn't enough to justify $700. I already use my Amex Platinum Edge for all supermarket spend as it earns a true 3 pts per $, compared to 1.33 with Citi Select. Also, my Altitude PP is going to convert to Black, and I now have a huge incentive to keep it. So I will probably revert to that for most non-supermarket spend (as it gets 1.5 pts per $, still better than Citi Select), and then Altitude Black MC for merchants that don't accept Amex. It means I'll only get 0.625 points per $ in that latter scenario, but that's a very small proportion of transactions (and generally low amounts), so overall Citi Select is not going to generate more points for me, and definitely not enought to justify $700.

So then it comes down to the other benefits. So far, 5 months in, I have literally not used any of them. I probably will use the free hotel night, and possibly one or two lounge visits with the Priority Pass, but again, that's not worth $700. So unless they drastically cut the fee, I'm off.
 

DaveB

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Agreed, you could only justify this card if you were able to continue using it outside the terms & conditions.
Westpac for SQ and NAB for QF & VA give you the 1.5FF/$ Amex with fees ranging from $150 to $250pa.
If forced to use MC/Visa cards which is a rarity for personal spend, QF is not looking so bad these days with the low cost cards like EDR. I however like the airline options involving SQ so will continue to run the gauntlet with the card and if it is tightened up further or SQ/VA is reduced, will move enough of my banking over to HSBC and get a Premier card providing uncapped 1.25FF/$.
 

Jack_OC

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will move enough of my banking over to HSBC and get a Premier card providing uncapped 1.25FF/$.

The HSBC Premier card doesn’t give you 1.25 FF per $. I bank with HSBC and I’ve had that card for 3 years (as it’s free with the Premier package) but I’ve never used it, as the rewards earn rate is not great, and redemption options are limited (Asia Miles or KrisFlyer only). You get 1.25 HSBC Rewards points per $, but like most other rewards programmes, they convert at 2:1, i.e. 0.625 FF points per $. Or you can opt for the direct earn QF card, but that has an additional $99 fee (on top of the $420 annual fee for the Premier package), and it earns at 1 QF point per $.

I’m strongly considering leaving HSBC too as the Premier package doesn’t provide any benefits that I actually use, other than a discounted home loan rate, but looking around now I can see that there are fee free home loan options available with lower interest rates than my discounted Premier rate.

EDIT: AFAIK other than Citibank and direct earn QF or VA cards, 0.625 Ff pts per $ is the best you can get with Visa or MC. So for me, it's a choice between:
1. Keep Amex Plat Edge and Citi Select (total fees of $849)
2. Keep Amex Plat Edge and Westpac (total fees $299 assuming the upgrade to Black doesn't cost me any more than my current PP - and that's what the letter from Westpac said).

Looks like a fairly straightforward decision as things stand.
 
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DaveB

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The HSBC Premier card doesn’t give you 1.25 FF per $. I bank with HSBC and I’ve had that card for 3 years (as it’s free with the Premier package) but I’ve never used it, as the rewards earn rate is not great, and redemption options are limited (Asia Miles or KrisFlyer only). You get 1.25 HSBC Rewards points per $, but like most other rewards programmes, they convert at 2:1, i.e. 0.625 FF points per $. Or you can opt for the direct earn QF card, but that has an additional $99 fee (on top of the $420 annual fee for the Premier package), and it earns at 1 QF point per $.

I’m actually strongly considering leaving HSBC too as the Premier package doesn’t provide any benefits that I actually use, other than a discounted home loan rate, but looking around now I can see that there are fee free home loan options available with lower interest rates than my discounted Premier rate.

Cheers - you saved me further investigation. I saw the QF 1FF: $1 and just assumed the 1.25 points were not discounted for other airlines given every other card I know never has QF having a higher earn rate to other airline options.
 

legroom

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I already use my Amex Platinum Edge for all supermarket spend as it earns a true 3 pts per $, compared to 1.33 with Citi Select. ...

Citi Select 1:1.33 - KrisFlyer (domestic spend); Overseas spend 1:3.33

AMEX Plat Edge, 1: 3 MR : 2.25 QFF points

So, they are different loyalty programs you were referring to.

BTW, DJ AMEX also offers 1:3 MR earn for petrol as well (which Plat Edge offers only 2 MR).

Many people would be happier with the Krisflyer (cf. QFF) burn rate. Here, YMYV

.So I will probably revert to that (Westpac Black) for most non-supermarket spend (as it gets 1.5 pts per $, still better than Citi Select)...

Now, that is Westpac AMEX vs. Citi VISA so it is not truely apple to apple IMHO.

Further, you need to spend a lot to make a difference between 1.5 and 1.33 !



Having said that, I'd agree that asking $700 for this card is stretching the "value" to its limit.

If you were to spend overseas frequently & in large amounts, this is the right card.

But..... if not, I am not so sure.
 

Jack_OC

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Citi Select 1:1.33 - KrisFlyer (domestic spend); Overseas spend 1:3.33

AMEX Plat Edge, 1: 3 MR : 2.25 QFF points

So, they are different loyalty programs you were referring to.

I don’t know where you’re getting your info on Amex Plat Edge from. The MR points can’t be transferred to Qantas, but they can be transferred at a rate of 1:1 to 7 different FF programmes, including KrisFlyer, Velocity, Enrich, Asia Miles, and, uniquely, Etihad. So as I said, my supermarket spend with Amex Plat Edge earns a true 3 points per $ with any of those airline programmes, compared to Citi Select getting 1.33 points per $, with fewer choices of FF programmes. (And you can also transfer to NZ AirPoints at a rate of 100:1 with Amex PE, if that’s of interest to anyone). My family spends about $2,000 per month at Woolies, so that’s 72,000 FF points per year, versus ~31,000 if we used the CitiSelect for this purpose.

For supermarket spend, this card is by far and away the best option available IMHO. For spending outside of supermarkets and petrol stations, it’s clearly not the best option, but since it has an annual fee of just $150 and it gets you a free domestic return VA flight each year, it more than pays for itself. In summary, I think it’s a no brainer to keep this card, but also have at least one other card for spending elsewhere.

BTW, DJ AMEX also offers 1:3 MR earn for petrol as well (which Plat Edge offers only 2 MR).

I only spend about $150 a month on petrol, so this makes pretty much no difference to me. And I would say not many people spend so much on petrol that 3 vs 2 would make a huge difference.

Now, that is Westpac AMEX vs. Citi VISA so it is not truely apple to apple IMHO.
Further, you need to spend a lot to make a difference between 1.5 and 1.33 !

To be fair, I acknowledged the Amex vs MC/Visa distinction in my original post, but you edited that bit out! I also never said 1.5 vs 1.33 makes Westpac Altitude noticeably better. I’m saying the much lower fee, for a similar number of points, makes it better. I would guess that using Westpac for everything – Amex where accepted and MC where not – would probably average out to about the same earn rate as Citi Select. And since Amex PE and Citi Select are both useless for ATO now, I have to keep the Westpac account going (or get yet another card). And if I have it anyway, why not use the Amex where accepted and get 1.5 instead of 1.33?

If you were to spend overseas frequently & in large amounts, this is the right card.

Yes, I definitely agree with that. But I wonder how many people are in that situation? Bearing in mind many people (myself included) are forced to use a corporate card when travelling on business.
 

legroom

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I was incorrect about the Plat Edge.

My DJ AMEX has a 1: 2.25 QFF transfer rate.

But you are right, Plat Edge is different. It has a 1:1 transfer rate working out to be 1: 3 KrisFlyer earn rate.

FWIW, I stopped using Select from March 1st now and starts using the Westpac SQ card instead for almost everything - well, almost.

But when I go overseas next week, the Select will go with me :D

That's why I started the thread - to gauge AFFers' view on the intrinsic worth of the $700 annual fee.

If it were $300 or $350 even, we will have less of a debate, I'd think.
 

Jack_OC

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I was incorrect about the Plat Edge.

My DJ AMEX has a 1: 2.25 QFF transfer rate.

But you are right, Plat Edge is different. It has a 1:1 transfer rate working out to be 1: 3 KrisFlyer earn rate.

FWIW, I stopped using Select from March 1st now and starts using the Westpac SQ card instead for almost everything - well, almost.

But when I go overseas next week, the Select will go with me :D

That's why I started the thread - to gauge AFFers' view on the intrinsic worth of the $700 annual fee.

If it were $300 or $350 even, we will have less of a debate, I'd think.

Yeah, I will also continue to use Select when it makes sense for the rest of this year - ie anywhere that doesn't accept Amex, and definitely overseas if it's personal spend. But when the fee is due in Dec, that will be it. By the way, prior to their ATO backflip, my plan was to cancel the Westpac cards before the fee is due next month, and then use Plat Edge and Select only. So not only are Citi going to lose my $700 fee, they're going to lose all of my non-supermarket spending too.
 
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