Last May, British Airways Executive Club launched a new financial partnership with Citibank and its Citigold Wealth Management division.
We covered it at the time but, doing a quick search, it seems that we haven’t mentioned it all in the last 11 months. I thought it was worth running over it again today.
Citi has worked with Avios in Hong Kong for some time so this was not a surprising move, even though BA has its credit card partnerships with American Express in 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.
There is a brand new, totally separate Avios offer for expats who have just moved to the UK. I will look at this separately later in the week.
How the Citi / Avios partnership works
This offer runs until 31st December 2019. It may get rolled over, because it was originally meant to end on 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.
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