In December we ran an article on Citibank’s attractive Avios offer for expats in the UK via the Citigold Expat scheme.
Citigold Wealth Management has a similar offer for UK residents, which seems to have survived Avios launching its high profile partnership with Barclays Premier.
As you will see, this is a 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 may offer a good return on your money.
What is the Citigold Avios offer?
The headline offer is 50,000 Avios for opening a wealth management account.
How the Citi / Avios partnership works
The current iteration of the offer runs until 31st December 2022, although it has been rolled over for a number of years now.
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.
In the past there has been a second offer of 100,000 Avios for funding the account with £650,000 or equivalents, via Citigold Private Client. I can no longer find any sign of this offer and it may have been withdrawn.
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 April.
Full terms and conditions can be found here (PDF).
But note the cash alternative ….
Citi is happy to offer you cash instead of Avios.
You can swap the 50,000 Avios for £500.
There is also an option to take a £500 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 1.2p 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 American Express 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 British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher will get better value.
Tax is another consideration. The Avios gift will not attract any tax. It is less clear if the £500 would be taxable – it depends if it is seen as a ‘rebate’ on investment fees.
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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.