Citibank launches a new 2% cashback card!

Citi Double Cash


Citi has done little with its credit card program over the past two years or so, but that’s finally changing. They’ve recently upgraded their ThankYou Points program by adding some new airline transfer partners, and now they’ve introduced a 2% cash back card. It’s 1% when you make a purchase and then another 1% when you pay for it. There is no annual fee. [click to continue…]

British Airways Avios devaluation: maybe not

Following up on my last post, a British Airways apocalypse may actually not be imminent. Commenter Prospero on Gary’s blog wrote,

I received confirmation that the IB+ Partner redemption chart has not actually been changed. It is today essentially what is was prior to the November 2011 revamp. See http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23422126-post117.html

For now I’ll go along with the Dan’s Deals take on things:

Might we see an upcoming British Airways devaluation? Sure. After all as flights get more expensive and the value of a dollar goes down there is mileage inflation as well. Airline consolidation also gives even more ability to devalue miles. That doesn’t mean airlines will kill the golden goose that has provided billions of dollars in income from selling miles to the banks and other partners, but they do have more flexibility to devalue up to a point.

However I don’t think that the Iberia changes prove that imminent changes are inevitable, nor am I running to burn my stash of 500K British Airways Avios for flights I don’t need. If you have flights you want to book anyway, then there’s no reason not to book those now. But otherwise, I’m not panicking at all.

So, who knows? Certainly not me.


To my readers who have British Airways Avios and don’t follow Twitter


UPDATE: Via Twitter, BA has denied changes are forthcoming: “Our fares are always under review but we aren’t aware of any changes to our award chart.”

Don’t panic, but a devaluation may be imminent. Read Gary’s post for the details and then figure out what to do. I’m not saying you should burn every last mile, but if there are any trips you’ve been thinking about booking, you might want to go ahead and do it.

As luck would have it, I booked my last Avios ticket of the year yesterday, so I’m done for a while. But if you’re following the points-n-miles bloggers on Twitter, you’re seeing a lot of vacations being booked.

Do I think they’re about to devalue? It’s not a certainty, but given that Iberia just changed their program I’d be surprised if BA didn’t do the same thing. Gary’s judgment is pretty good, too. We’ll see what happens.

In any case, it’s a reminder not to get too comfortable in any loyalty program. Earn and burn.

Grocery arbitrage in Venezuela!


Over the last year, Venezuela has brought us gasoline arbitrage and currency arbitrage. And now, the powers that be have now created grocery arbitrage:

Attention Venezuelan shoppers: Please proceed to the supermarket checkout for fingerprinting.

That could be a reality if a plan announced earlier this week by the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, goes into effect.

The purpose? Combating shortages caused by rampant smuggling of subsidized food in Venezuela across the border into neighboring Colombia. Maduro says the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item.

According to the BBC, up to 40 percent of subsidized goods from Venezuela are smuggled into Colombia.

Writing in Venezuela Today, consumer advocate Christophe Elioto said the arbitrage is “totally wrong” and reminded consumers that the subsidized program is there for real grocery needs.