NEW PARTNER: Get up to 100,000 Avios from Citigold Wealth Management

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British Airways Executive Club has launched a new financial partnership, this time with Citibank and its Citigold Wealth Management division.

Citi has worked with Avios in Hong Kong for some time and the relationship has now been extended to the UK.

As you will see, this clearly a very niche offering and not something that you should rush into.  There is also a cash equivalent which some people may find more attractive.

Full details are on the Citigold Wealth Management website here.

The headline offer is up to 100,000 Avios for opening a wealth management account.  Looking at the small print, it seems that you can actually earn 150,000 Avios.

Citi Avios wealth management

How it works

This offer runs until 31st December 2018.

To qualify, you need to open a Citigold Relationship account with new money, ie not transferred from another Citi account.  You will receive:

50,000 Avios for funding the account with £150,000

100,000 Avios for funding the account with £650,000

You need to keep the account at that balance for at least two full calendar months, so if you open an account today it must remain funded at that level until the end of July.

You must also complete an ‘Investment Risk Profiling’ form within three months of opening the account.

There seems to be a 2nd bonus ….

Whilst not mentioned on the website home page, when you read the terms and conditions there appears to be an additional bonus of 50,000 Avios available.

This is triggered by making “an advised investment” through your Relationship Manager withing three months of opening your account.

But note the cash alternative ….

Citi is happy to offer you cash instead of Avios.

You can swap the 50,000 Avios for £500 and the 100,000 Avios for £1000.

This makes the decision slightly trickier.  Whilst I tend to get well over 1p per Avios (I have historically got around 1.15p and that is based on very conservative valuations for what I would have paid in cash if I hadn’t use Avios) I will not pay 1p for them.

Avios are illiquid.  Avios can be devalued at any point by the Central Bank of IAG.  I am happy to speculatively pick them up for 0.75p but no more.  Of course, if you redeem more carefully than I do then your maths will be different – for example anyone who ONLY redeems Avios with a 2-4-1 voucher will get better value.

I purposely haven’t gone into the full details of the Citi Wealth Management service.  If you are happy to move such sums of money then you will be the sort of person who does their own due diligence.

You can find out more about the Avios / Citi Wealth Management offer here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Or if you have that much to invest maybe just treat yourself to a Q-Suite sale fare…

  2. Spiral says:

    Not an especially cheap account, as is the case with all these “wealth management” services. There’s a transaction fee of “up to 2%” for investment funds, an advice fee of “up to 1.5%” and a platform fee of 0.5%.

    As the minimum is £150,000, unless you just dumped the cash in there and rejected any advice you’d be losing out big time. If you dumped the cash and kept it in there for 2 months you’d pay £125.

    As for the 50,000 bonus, again assuming that £150,000 minimum and say 50% of the fees above being charged (they are “up to”, after all), you’d pay £1125 for the advice and another £1500 for transaction fees.

    • Yep, think I’ll stick with Vanguard and Fidelity (the latter of which have reduced their fees over the last year or so).

  3. Majunga says:

    Is anybody using them for ISAs?

  4. Alex W says:

    Are there any decent investments/ISAs that have introductory offers/cash and do NOT have rip-off fees? We had advice from SJP and when I looked at the small print it would probably take 5 years just to break even from the fees!

    Avios/miles are a nice bonus but if you’re only breaking even (or making a loss, as some Nutmeg customers have reported on here) then it defeats the object for me.

    At the moment I’m sticking with my Zopa ISA which has a projected return of 5% after fees/defaults. I can post my referral code for a £50 bonus, if I’m allowed.

    • In order to fund introductory offers, they need to make money, which they can only do with high fees.

      For passive investments – just use iWeb for lump sums and Vanguard for regular deposits, provided they have a fund that tracks the indices you want.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      The Ratesetter ‘invest £1000, get £100’ offer is back. If you can find a friend to refer you, they’ll get £50 on top.

    • Newquay Brown says:

      Alex W – I signed myself & wife up for Orbis ISAs in April – invest £100, get £100 matched free – sure enough, both accounts now have £200 base investment in and they’re even up £5 in a month. Can withdraw the lot in 12 months if you like. Unfortunately that ended April 30th – was far better than the Virgin ISA deal and of course that’s not open to repeats this year. Orbis also have a very interesting fee mechanic you’d need to read (but it’s good news), an excellent recent & 10 year record on performance, only 2 funds to choose from. I reckon they could easily repeat the matching offer for new ISA customers so could be worth monitoring.

      • The offer has been run a few times a year for the last few years

        • Newquay Brown says:

          Not bad getting £100 free for joining up = 10,000 Avios, investment requirement £100

          vs 100,000 Avios free for joining up, investment requirement £650,000

  5. I don’t understand why they believe that Avios would be attractive to new clients, unless the sorts of clients they want are the Glasgow chap who bought Avios to go to Iceland.

    I had an account in Hong Kong which I used to play on forex, there were no fees unless your balance dropped below a certain number, and they would send me all sorts of rubbish for various special occasions such as my birthday, anniversary and certain public holidays; often it was physical gold which I just sold to a high street gold dealer and bought gold certificates. Once I got a gift voucher to play tennis with John McEnroe.

    • Moneyback says:

      100,000 is an eyecatching headline figure for advertising.

      As are the Dragons… I see their faces looking excited about Bitcoins on three advertising positions on this page at the moment.

      • Google is banning bitcoin ads in June which will solve that problem!

      • The ads you see are tailored to you, by your browsing history etc.

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          I you are seeing ‘scam’ ads such as Dragons being wowed by some get rich scheme, then they are not being tailored. I recently opted out if Google’s snooping and now I just see con artists rather than whatever I was browsing on Amazon yesterday.

        • I am very happy to have targeted ads because, frankly, you’ll get random nonsense otherwise instead of Marriott Rewards (who seem to be showing today very heavily) or whatever.

          Is it REALLY worse to have targeted ads than random nonsense?! I am far happier seeing stuff that resonates with me.

        • Amazed at how untailored they often are.

          Frequently see ads offering services hundred of miles away.

          Feel bad for the businesses paying for these.

        • That is probably down to your internet routing through a non-local service provider.

        • Monster Munch says:

          Use an ad blocker !

          Nothing beats no ads at all 🙂

        • As per my recent article, HFP is virtually unreadable with Adblock now following their last upgrade.

        • Jimbob says:

          Rob, have you considered a paid for version of HFP? Perhaps for a small premium you could offer users an ad free experience and perhaps a heads up of special offers?
          Would also give users a way to show their appreciation/support for the site.

          Having said that, I don’t find the ads on this site obtrusive

        • What is the point of an ad-free site? All you’d get is weird gaps in the sidebar!

          There are obviously ways of doing it (perhaps giving access to the next days articles by 10pm the previous day) but it would cause logistical issues (they are often not written by 10pm, especially if we are outside the UK in a different time zone) and goes against the spirit of the site.

        • Peter says:

          Adblocker ultimate removes all the ads and leaves the pages layout as it should be. Absolutely no issues with it.

        • Thanks. Still trying to get to the bottom of what browser / blocker combo is causing issues.

    • How do you buy avios as a business to gift? Anyone done it?

  6. Sapiens says:

    This is not too appealing, given the fees.

    The CitiGold FX rates that I have seen are poor. Which is odd given Citi is essentially the 1st / 2nd largest FX dealer in the world.

  7. StewartR says:

    Feels like Nutmeg all over again. My comments from then still stand …. 🙂

    Biggest thing to get here is that your capital (lots of it!) is at risk. This isn’t the same as “buy 6 bottles of wine, that you were going to buy anyway, and get a few Avios thrown in at the side”. If your investment of £150,000 drops just 0.5% … you’ll have wiped out any notional value of avios gained. The markets in 2018 could do that very easily for you!

    Just like Nutmeg – these guys don’t care whether your investments blossom or tank. They make their money in their fees. We all know the Avios they are handing out will be acquired for a fraction of the 0.7p we will be valuing them at. At their end it will be a marketing expense and nothing else.

    Bottom line … if you weren’t already mid way through putting your £150,000 with these guys (because you had already evaluated them as the most effective and cost efficient wealth manager to be in bed with) … then you probably don’t want to touch this with a barge pole. (And no … these guys are not the cheapest although in fairness I have no idea about their effectiveness. Their business is not targeted at retail investors with 10’s of thousands to invest.)

    We must not ohhh and ahhh/get sucked in because you see a big 100k avios offer. Go and open a Amex Gold CC and take your 22k Avios from that. This deal is for a very very select few.


    • It’s how capitalism works. You win some, you lose some. If you don’t take any risks with that money, it will get devoured by inflation anyway.

      • StewartR says:

        🙂 I didn’t say don’t invest.

        I said 1) don’t put your money at risk because you’re chasing Avios … and 2) for most retail investors – there are much cheaper platforms to put your money to work on which would result in a better return in the long term. Fees matter – always.

        Need to remember that if these guys are charge you 1% fees annually on £150,000 investment … that means you’ve just lost £1500 every year you’re with them and you loose that whether your investments are up or down. They get paid either way. With that £1500 you could have bought double the avios, in a sale, these guys are giving you on the side.

        Don’t get sucked in because you see 100k Avios. Big free Avios does not automatically mean good deal.

    • Sussex Bantam says:


    • Nutmeg pays more than 0.7p per Avios, as does Citi (as the cash alternative here shows).

      NO-ONE pays less than 1p. Every time I meet an Avios partner I ask them, and most of the time they are happy to tell me.

  8. OT but does anyone know whether the upgrade to platinum is still available from Amex Gold now that the charge card is discontinued? Presumably you can’t downgrade to the gold charge card again, but could just cancel the platinum and then reapply for gold credit card in 6 months. I can’t find any mention of changes and would like to upgrade for the 20k bonus points if you can still do this!

  9. xcalx says:

    OT Wish I could get a pension adviser that did not charge 4%( it seems every “independent” agent has the same % fees) for advice on me cashing a small pension early. Can’t get my head around having to pay £2000 plus for advice I don’t need as I WILL be cashing the pension early.

    • Nick M says:

      I’m an IFA and my fees are more competitive than that… happy to have a discussion if you like? – NickMartin_ on Twitter / njm42 on Flyertalk (although I don’t log in all that frequently, and so much more likely to notice a comment on here than a private message there!)

    • I know someone who found a template letter on the internet and faked it. Saved him 4%.

      • xcalx says:

        That sounds like something I would be prepared to do. Although on the form from Royal London that I need signing, section 4 asks for the full name of regulated firm and the FCA reference No.

        Also not many local agents have the permission needed ie part 4A FS and M act 2000 article 53A

    • mark2 says:

      Some years ago I wanted some life insurance. I found the lowest rate with a reputable company but they would only deal through an IFA. He spent an hour asking me pointless questions like ‘could I afford the premium’. That was annoying enough, but he was required to tell me his commission which was 10% of the premiums to be paid.

      • xcalx says:

        I just had a laugh looking at the forecast I was given at the start date back in 1983 for this pension
        Pension p/a £10316 lump sum £30948 for premium of £18.50 p/m -30% tax £12.95
        Still had I cashed in back in Jan 2015 for 28k I would have lost out on 22k although the large rises of 2015 to late 2017 have been replaced with a small loss since Oct 2017 I have checked it every 6 month since and think maybe its time to cash in.
        One question for anyone in the know If I let it mature do I still have the option to cash out or would I be stuck with £40~a week for life

        • Nick M says:

          Without seeing all of the actual paperwork I wouldn’t want to confirm anything for certain… but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a policy that forced you to take an annuity at the date you nominated as a “retirement date” you chose 35 years ago. If you leave it, it is likely to continue as it has been doing (unless there are any investment return guarantees etc built in, which would likely cease at the nominated date).

          Have you checked that there aren’t any guaranteed rates attached to the plan? If you contact the provider they should tell you what the various options are if you leave it in situ. Depending on your tax position/other income then it may be more tax efficient to take it out over a couple of years rather than all in one go – there are some decent, inexpensive options available on the market now that give you much more flexibility than a lot of older plans

        • Newquay Brown says:

          You’re typically only forced into the £40 a week annuity scenario if you don’t switch your pension to something better before you’re 75.

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