Last week we ran an article on Citibank’s attractive Avios offer for expats in the UK via the Citigold Expat scheme.
In the original version of that article, I said that it seemed that Citigold Wealth Management and Citigroup Private Client had dropped their similar offer for UK residents, potentially because Avios is about to launch a major partnership with Barclays Premier.
It turns out that I was wrong. The Avios offer is still alive and well, just slightly lower profile, so I thought for completeness I’d look at it today.
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.
That said, with interest rates at rock bottom, the Avios offer a good return on your money!
What is the Citigold Avios offer?
The headline offer is up to 100,000 Avios for opening a wealth management account.
How the Citi / Avios partnership works
The current iteration of the offer runs until 31st December 2020. It may get rolled over, however, as it was at the end of 2018 and 2019. The 2020 version has different rules to the 2019 iteration.
To qualify, you need to open a Citigold relationship account with new money, ie not money transferred from another Citi account. You will receive:
50,000 Avios for funding the account with £150,000 or equivalents, via Citigold Wealth Management
100,000 Avios for funding the account with £650,000 or equivalents, via Citigold Private Client
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 September.
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.
There is also an option to take a £500 or £1000 Harrods gift card, but I am not considering that here.
The cash alternative 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 am less keen, given my high Avios and Membership Rewards balances, to 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.
Tax is another consideration. The Avios gift will not attract any tax. It is less clear if the £500 or £1000 would be taxable – it depends if it is seen as a ‘rebate’ on investment fees, although you can leave your money in cash if you wish.
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 although the Avios option is only mentioned when you click to the application page here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)