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Citi Ultima Card - how to maximise benefits?

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Old 24-05-2016, 10:39 PM   #16
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I have held the ultima card for 2 years plus now.

The best benefit is the free companion first or business class tickets. They used to give the free ticket even if you buy the lowest fare class but since last year, you need to buy a flexible ticket to get another free ticket. For example, I flew to NYC on JAL last year, a Flexi biz class ticket for about 10k, got another ticket free, so average cost is about $5k. If I had bought the lowest fare ticket on my own, it would have costed me $7k plus. So I save about $4k, which "pays" for the annual fee. This only makes sense if you already travel first or biz class anyway.

Other useful perks are faster point earning, Hilton platinum status and free hotel nights. The RM is helpful to make reservations overseas.

Frankly, if they remove the companion ticket, I don't think I will renew.

One last thing, they give about 80k miles free when you pay the annual fees.
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Old 25-05-2016, 09:02 AM   #17
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I have held the ultima card for 2 years plus now.

The best benefit is the free companion first or business class tickets. They used to give the free ticket even if you buy the lowest fare class but since last year, you need to buy a flexible ticket to get another free ticket. For example, I flew to NYC on JAL last year, a Flexi biz class ticket for about 10k, got another ticket free, so average cost is about $5k. If I had bought the lowest fare ticket on my own, it would have costed me $7k plus. So I save about $4k, which "pays" for the annual fee. This only makes sense if you already travel first or biz class anyway.

Other useful perks are faster point earning, Hilton platinum status and free hotel nights. The RM is helpful to make reservations overseas.

Frankly, if they remove the companion ticket, I don't think I will renew.

One last thing, they give about 80k miles free when you pay the annual fees.
What happened to the 1 night free hotel? thought it was similar to the Citi prestige one?

and i thought it was 150k miles upon renewal?

Hilton diamond i think not hilton plat!
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Old 25-05-2016, 09:27 AM   #18
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I have held the ultima card for 2 years plus now.

The best benefit is the free companion first or business class tickets. They used to give the free ticket even if you buy the lowest fare class but since last year, you need to buy a flexible ticket to get another free ticket. For example, I flew to NYC on JAL last year, a Flexi biz class ticket for about 10k, got another ticket free, so average cost is about $5k. If I had bought the lowest fare ticket on my own, it would have costed me $7k plus. So I save about $4k, which "pays" for the annual fee. This only makes sense if you already travel first or biz class anyway.

Other useful perks are faster point earning, Hilton platinum status and free hotel nights. The RM is helpful to make reservations overseas.

Frankly, if they remove the companion ticket, I don't think I will renew.

One last thing, they give about 80k miles free when you pay the annual fees.
thanks for sharing
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Old 25-05-2016, 09:28 AM   #19
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What happened to the 1 night free hotel? thought it was similar to the Citi prestige one?

and i thought it was 150k miles upon renewal?

Hilton diamond i think not hilton plat!
citi prestige got free night? ok saw the book 4 nights get 1 free promo

heard the ultima promo is book 2 nights pay for 1 night
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Old 25-05-2016, 11:21 AM   #20
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What happened to the 1 night free hotel? thought it was similar to the Citi prestige one?

and i thought it was 150k miles upon renewal?

Hilton diamond i think not hilton plat!
Oops, my bad. you are right, it's 150k miles. The free hotel nights are still there. I like the Hilton diamond status. Just visited the Beijing Waldorf Astoria, got upgraded to a suite, plus daily treats, breakfast and tour. 😀
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Old 25-05-2016, 11:23 AM   #21
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citi prestige got free night? ok saw the book 4 nights get 1 free promo

heard the ultima promo is book 2 nights pay for 1 night
Ultima free nights is book 2 nights, get 1 free night. Book 3,4,5,6 etc nights, also only get 1 free night. Plus usual perks like early/late checkin and out, room upgrade, breakfast and some free credits for spa or food usually.
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Old 25-05-2016, 11:26 AM   #22
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Basically for these kind of high end cards, I think it only makes sense if you are already living this kind of lifestyle then you may reap benefits and savings. If not, no point.

Btw, I think the Citi prestige is a pretty decent card.
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Old 25-05-2016, 03:22 PM   #23
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Basically for these kind of high end cards, I think it only makes sense if you are already living this kind of lifestyle then you may reap benefits and savings. If not, no point.

Btw, I think the Citi prestige is a pretty decent card.
that's true but book 2 nights get 1 night free is quite good. although i was told each trip can only enjoy this benefit twice?

do you have the citi prestige as well? if you do, did they waive the prestige annual fee since you are already paying for ultima? not that the annual fee matters to you
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Old 25-05-2016, 04:00 PM   #24
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Ultima free nights is book 2 nights, get 1 free night. Book 3,4,5,6 etc nights, also only get 1 free night. Plus usual perks like early/late checkin and out, room upgrade, breakfast and some free credits for spa or food usually.
Yea, but citi prestige works the same to. Book 4 night get 1 night free, book 4,5,6,7 etc night, also free 1 night

But for Citi prestige, they are able to get the lowest public rate, so even if got sale also can get.

Yes. hilton diamond is good, only ultima and uob reserve has it, think its an additional addon to the VI platform, given that all other VI dont have it.

But the biz class ticket is a bummer, use so good. and iirc, you can guy 4 tickets and still get two free. now is only primary card holder +1
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Old 25-05-2016, 04:24 PM   #25
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that's true but book 2 nights get 1 night free is quite good. although i was told each trip can only enjoy this benefit twice?

do you have the citi prestige as well? if you do, did they waive the prestige annual fee since you are already paying for ultima? not that the annual fee matters to you
Don't have the prestige card but found out they give deals that ultima don't have, like discounts for Les Mis. But I don't think they will waive the fees. The only time I get auto fee waiver is when I upgraded my Amex Reserve card to the Platinum charge card. I just pay the plat card fees of about 1800 and the reserve card is free.

Of course I care about the fees. I make sure I get back at least the same value from benefits. The ultima makes sense for me right now because I normally travel biz class for long haul anyway.
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Old 25-05-2016, 04:57 PM   #26
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Yes. hilton diamond is good, only ultima and uob reserve has it, think its an additional addon to the VI platform, given that all other VI dont have it.
VI benefits aren't fantastic anyway right? iirc the main benefit is Hilton gold (which is ok but nothing worth jumping at), and the concierge (which you can access with Visa Signature too).
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Old 25-05-2016, 06:07 PM   #27
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VI benefits aren't fantastic anyway right? iirc the main benefit is Hilton gold (which is ok but nothing worth jumping at), and the concierge (which you can access with Visa Signature too).
Yea VI by itself isnt great.
Thats why the bank add on themselves.

Hilton gold is no more tho, its 2 stays to gold.

Concierge, provided by Visa isnt great. the one that Ultima/prestige uses is better.
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Old 25-05-2016, 06:36 PM   #28
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Yea, but citi prestige works the same to. Book 4 night get 1 night free, book 4,5,6,7 etc night, also free 1 night

But for Citi prestige, they are able to get the lowest public rate, so even if got sale also can get.

Yes. hilton diamond is good, only ultima and uob reserve has it, think its an additional addon to the VI platform, given that all other VI dont have it.

But the biz class ticket is a bummer, use so good. and iirc, you can guy 4 tickets and still get two free. now is only primary card holder +1
a little confused about the citi prestige hotels...are they the exact same hotels available from ultima which provides free upgrade, breakfast, late check out etc.?
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Old 25-05-2016, 06:55 PM   #29
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Citi Prestige is very flexible; as long as the hotel booking site allows input of tour operator code (IATA?) you can get the 4th night free. Believe that covers all major hotels and many smaller ones as well. I was able to make a booking on a Hilton flash sale rate recently; coupled with 4th night free it made for a very happy combo.

I like that I'm able to search through various rates myself and just email the concierge with my desired dates/rates/etc. now; no need to call and be put on hold and connect to travel partner zzz.

a little confused about the citi prestige hotels...are they the exact same hotels available from ultima which provides free upgrade, breakfast, late check out etc.?
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Old 25-05-2016, 07:07 PM   #30
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Recently I have been doing some "credit card" shopping around the mid-tier cards, however seems like the perks and rewards are not very useful for someone who is a low spender aka me. I briefly considered using a miles card but given my spending, I would only accumulate around 10-15k miles a year which doesn't seem very useful.
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