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Middle Age Miles

One Year of Experimenting and Earning with the Citi AT&T Access More – What Earns 3x TYPs as Online Retail & Travel?

Citi AT&T Access More Mastercard

Introduction

The Citi AT&T Access More card is one of our very favorite credit cards. Much of the love stems from a bonus category that for at least the last 2-3 years has been unique in all of the credit card world – 3x ThankYou Points (TYPs) on online retail and travel purchases. This bonus category gives us 3x earning on a lot of online retail purchases that would otherwise be unbonused, which in turn brings us more points that we can use to travel for less!

Another huge factor in our love for this card stems from the fact that we’ve gotten spectacular retention bonuses on the card for each of the past 2 years. Last week, we wrote a well-received article on our most recent retention call and bonus – Did I Get an Awesome Retention Offer on My Citi AT&T Access More Card? Why yes. Yes, I did. In that article, we promised a follow-up on one year of experimenting and earning with the AT&T Access More card. And that’s where we’re headed today.

It’s been fun to experiment with the AT&T Access More card to see what earns 3x TYPs as online retail and travel. Sometimes things that you don’t expect to earn 3x do, and occasionally things that seem like they should earn 3x don’t. The Wiki at the top of this Flyertalk thread was very helpful and gave us ideas of things to try and places to avoid (however, it’s not entirely clear to me whether this Wiki is kept current).

As a result of experimenting freely with the AT&T Access More card, we found some nice spend opportunities that worked to earn 3x TYPs. As a result, we had high spend on this card during 2018 – much of it “strategic” – and we earned a lot of TYPs!

  • 2018 Spend = $68,500
  • 2018 TYPs Earned = 207,000
    • Worth $2,587.50 toward airfare at 1.25 cents per TYP, booking through the Citi ThankYou travel portal
    • This total includes 35,000 TYPs earned during 2018 from a retention bonus and 10,000 TYPs from the AT&T Access More card’s annual bonus for spending $10,000 during a calendar year

Experimenting and Earning 3x TYPs

Overall Observations Regarding Spend, and Our Key 3x-Earning Categories

Looking back at our 3x spend on the Citi AT&T Access More card for the past year, most of it can be broken down as follows:

  • Bravo app payments
  • MileagePlus X app, to purchase electronic gift cards
  • Walmart Pay at self-checkout
  • “True” online retail purchases
  • Our IT/Computer support company (now dead for 3x earning)
    • This one was actually quite a pleasant surprise for us as we weren’t quite sure why it was earning 3x. Unfortunately, after many consecutive months of 3x earning, it changed to 1x in November.
  • RoomiPay (briefly earned 3x in early 2018; now completely dead as a service/vendor)
    • Ah, RoomiPay. Brilliant while it lasted, but its life span was far too short. RIP, RoomiPay.

The first three of these are valuable in our points-earning strategies. In football terms, Bravo is an All-American; MileagePlusX is All-Conference, and WalMart Pay at self-checkout is a solid starter.

Bravo is an app primarily designed for modest-sized person-to-person payments (www.trybravo.com). You may remember it from a Shark Tank episode that originally aired in late 2017, where Bravo raised $150k from Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner (see a detailed recap here). We’re not sure what the single-transaction limit is on Bravo, but we understand that it may be $500. We have successfully made payments in the $300-400 range with no problem, but we are careful to space them out a bit to hopefully stay under the radar and not kill this golden goose. Bravo charges a 2% transaction fee for person-to-person payments and has consistently earned 3x TYPs on the AT&T Access More card.

The MileagePlus X (MPX) app is a feature of United Airlines’ MileagePlus frequent flyer program (see more information on MPX here). For our purposes, its main feature is that it allows you to purchase electronic gift cards (eGCs), usually for any dollar-and-cent amount of your choice within its limits, for a variety of participating merchants. For your MPX eGC purchase, you earn United MileagePlus miles (usually ranging from 0.5 miles to 5 miles per dollar), plus you can earn points/miles/cashback through the credit card you use. One huge benefit of MPX is that you can make your MPX eGC purchase right at the point of sale, once you know your exact purchase amount. For example, if we’re buying $68 worth of candles at Bath & Body Works (BBW), I can order a BBW eGC on the spot through MPX, for exactly $68 (no worry about keeping up with a GC, and no worry about breakage). For that purchase using my AT&T Access More card, I’ll earn:

  • 5x United miles for a total of 340 miles (this is a 7.0% points rebate at 1.4 cents per mile); plus
  • 3x TYPs for a total 204 TYPs (this is a 3.75% points rebate at 1.25 cents per TYP)

That’s a nice haul. It’s tough to beat a points rebate of 10.75% on a transaction that would otherwise be unbonused spend! In our experience, eGC purchases through the MPX app have reliably earned 3x TYPs on the AT&T Access More card, at all MPX merchants.

We have also found that using the AT&T Access More card through Walmart Pay, at self-checkout, reliably earns 3x TYPs. We’ve tried a number of experiments with the card, Walmart, and Walmart Pay, and this is the one combination – Walmart Pay at self-checkout – that earns 3x TYPs. This payment method also comes with the benefit that you can then easily submit your receipt into Walmart’s “Savings Catcher” feature, which can result in an additional refund in the form of Walmart Pay credit.

What Merchants Earn 3x TYPs on the AT&T Access More?

Here’s a complete list of merchants where we’ve earned 3x TYPs for online retail/travel purchases using the AT&T Access More card:

  • 1-800-Flowers.com
  • 6PM.com (shows on statement as ZAP * 6PM.com)
  • ABT.com (Abt Electronics)
  • Adidas.com (shows on statement as Adidas Online Store)
  • AE.com (American Eagle Outfitters)
  • Amazon.com
    • Includes merchandise, Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Services-Kindle, Amazon Video, and Prime Video; BUT NOT Amazon Prime Membership charge
  • Amazon Marketplace
  • Apple iTunes (shows on statement as APL * iTunes.com)
    • Includes music/video rentals and purchases; BUT NOT monthly subscription for Apple Music
  • Bravo Tip or Pay app
  • BrooksRunning.com (shows on statement as Brooks Sports Web Sale)
  • Francescas.com
  • Google Project Fi (for new cell phone)
  • JCPenney.com
  • JoomUnited.com (online software vendor)
  • Kiehls.com (shows on statement as Loreal *Kiehl’s EComm)
  • LuckyBrand.com
  • MileagePlusX (eGCs through MPX app; successful for all merchants)
    • Successful MPX merchants include: American Airlines (taxes on award tickets); American Eagle Outfitters; Barnes and Noble; Bath & Body Works; Chipotle; Crate and Barrel; Dickey’s BBQ Domino’s Pizza; Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse; Gap; IHOP; J Crew; JC Penney; Jiffy Lube; PF Chang’s; REI; Saltgrass Steak House; Top Golf; Ulta Beauty; WalMart
  • Moosejaw.com
  • NextScripts.com (online software vendor)
  • RoadRunnerSports.com (shows on statement as RRS*Road Runner Sports)
  • Saks.com
  • SignUp (this is a service for running races; our specific race was the Dallas Jingle Bell Run)
  • TennisWarehouse.com
  • Venus.com
  • Viator.com (shows on statement as Viator/TripAdvisor)
  • WalMart & WalMart Supercenter (WalMart Pay at self-checkout)

What Merchants Did NOT Earn 3x TYPs?

Here are a few merchants we’ve tried but didn’t earn 3x TYPs on the AT&T Access More card:

  • Amazon Prime Membership
  • Apple Music subscription
  • CBS All Access (monthly subscription)
  • Gift of College.com (online eGC purchases)
  • Metro State University in Denver (online payment for tuition & fees)
  • Plastiq
  • Rodan and Fields.com (shows on statement as RODANFI*LDS 415273800)
    • This one was surprising as it was a true online purchase of retail merchandise at rodanandfields.com. Coded as “Merchandise – DIRECT MARKETING/DIRECT MARKETERS.”
  • Seattle Meter Parking (thought this might be 3x as online travel)
  • Thomson Reuters / Westlaw (online payment for legal research services; too bad for lawyers!)
  • University of Notre Dame Catalog Bookstore – eFollett/bkstr.com
    • This was surprising, but there may be an explanation. We had one product substitution after the original online order, made when a bookstore rep called to say an item was out of stock. This may have resulted in a change from an online sale to an on-site sale.
  • WalMart (in-store payments other than WalMart Pay at self-checkout)
  • WhiteMountainPuzzles.com
    • This is indeed puzzling. (Ha!) It was an online purchase of retail merchandise.
  • Woot.com payment using Pay with Amazon feature (shows on statement as AMZ*Woot, Inc.)
    • This one was somewhat surprising. It was an online purchase of retail merchandise at woot.com, using the “Login with Amazon” feature to pay (required in order to get free shipping as an Amazon Prime member). Coded as “Services – BUSINESS SERVICES, NOT ELSEWHERE CLASSED.”

Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and we hope we’ve given you some great tips that you can use to earn more points and live your travel dreams with 3x TYP earning. Good luck!

What’s your experience with 3x earning on the Citi AT&T Access More card? If you know of other merchants that reliably do or surprisingly do not earn 3x on the card, please share with us in the Comments!


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20 thoughts on “One Year of Experimenting and Earning with the Citi AT&T Access More – What Earns 3x TYPs as Online Retail & Travel?

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    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Ewejay – You’re most welcome. Many thanks for the comment and compliment, and I hope you’re able to use the info to earn a bunch of TYPs! Thanks for checking out Middle Age Miles, and I hope you’ll put us on your regular reading list. ~Craig

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Mark – Thanks for the comment and compliment. I hope you can use this info to earn a bunch of TYPs and travel for less! And I hope you’ll keep Middle Age Miles in your reading rotation. ~Craig

      And PS in response to your email address – Go Rangers! 🙂 [said somewhat sheepishly, as I don’t believe we have a prayer vs your Bombers this year]

  3. Bill

    Plastiq used to earn 3% on ATTM. Citi said it would stop, it didn’t , but then it finally ended. 🙁

    ATTM earns 3% on AT&T purchases, which includes DirectTV Now.

    Tractor Supply Company online purchase picked up in the store also earned 3%. (pet food / supplies)

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Bill – Thanks for the comment and data points! I definitely remember the good old days when Plastiq earned 3x, but unfortunately it died before I could get my hands on the card. I hope you continue to enjoy Middle Age Miles and we make your regular reading list. ~Craig

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi TimmyD – Thank you for the comment and for the good additional data points on 3x earning! It’s always good to add to the list. I can especially see Groupon and Thrive Market being helpful. I hope you continue to read Middle Age Miles in the future! ~Craig

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  5. HoKo

    Nice content. How are you able to see which transactions are earning 3X? Is there an easy way to do it on the Citibank web interface?

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi HoKo – Thanks for the comment, compliment and question. I’m not aware of any easy way to see which transactions earn 3x on the Citi web interface. I’m able to do it without too much trouble, using the ThankYou Points earning summary on each month’s statement. The summary breaks down points earning into AT&T/Online/Other Purchases, and I then compare that against my charges for the month. I’ve always been able to determine which charges earn 3x vs 1x points that way, by reconciling the charges to the points earning. It helps that we usually don’t have more than a couple of charges a month that only earn 1x.

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Mark – Many thanks for the comment and additional data points. Is your data point on Raise recent? It was my understanding that Raise no longer earns 3x TYPs with the AT&T Access More card. I have never experimented with Raise as the recent online data points seemed to be consistent about Raise earning only 1x. But sometimes things change, so please let us know if Raise is earning 3x again! ~Craig

  6. RMSMKE

    Thanks for the info, very informative.

    I checked out the Bravo app, but was a little concerned when it asked for SSN. Do they consider all payments made via the app to be income?

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi RMSMKE – Thanks for the comment and compliment. I hope you can use the info to generate a bunch of TYPs!

      I hear you about Bravo and your concern regarding reporting of income. My understanding is that Bravo does not report as income; however, they can generate a 1099 upon request. See: https://myaccount.trybravo.com/faq (FAQ #26)

      I hope this is helpful. Thanks again for checking out Middle Age Miles, and I hope we stay on your reading list!

      ~Craig

  7. MMG

    You listed your spend and points earned, but listing your costs (for inorganic or non “true”) spend would be useful to see. So for example, if Bravo is costing you 2% with each use, how much are you paying for your points if you add up all of those, and similar, transactions. Points are great, but I’m more interested in what people are paying for points.

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi MMG – Thanks for the comment and the good question. Bravo indeed charges 2%. Since we’re earning 3x TYPs on those transactions, I look at it as effectively buying TYPs at 0.67 cents each. Even if we just book airfare through the Citi TYP Travel Portal, we can easily get 1.25 cents each for our TYPs. Thus, another way to look at it is that we’re paying 58% for our flights (effectively a 42% discount on all flights).

      The only other inorganic spend was through RoomiPay, which is now dead. The cost varied on those transactions, depending on what kind of promo Roomi offered each month.

      I hope that answers your question, but let me know if there’s something else I can address that would be helpful. Thanks again for the comment and for reading Middle Age Miles! ~Craig

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