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Citi Cuts Its Travel Rewards Program

The Chicago Sun Times published an article today about how Citi cards will be scaling back their travel rewards program. Beginning March 1st, Citi’s Thank You rewards program will convert from a fixed point system to a variable point system.

They basically doubled the amount of rewards points that are needed for domestic flights as well. So basically a $300 ticket will require 30,000 points. That is twice as many as the 15,000 it requires now. So if you are a Citi travel rewards cardholder I suggest you book your flight now if at all possible.

The bonus miles program is also seeing some changes. For instance, the Citi PremierPass card last year was offering 15,000 bonus points when cardholders made a purchase within the first 2 months of owning their card. That has now not only been reduced to 10,000 bonus points, but the account holder must also make at least $600 in purchases within the first 3 months of owning the card.

Citi is not alone in scaling back its rewards program. Capital One is probably the most recognized credit card company in the U.S. when it comes to rewards programs with their ‘no hassle’ line of credit cards. But they too raised the number of points needed for redemption for flights in October of 2008.

So the bottom line is because of the current credit crisis that is being felt across America, and indeed the world, cuts are being made across the board in order to save money. It’ not even about the bottom line anymore for credit card companies – it’s now about survival.

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