Citi Prestige Card… (What You Need To Know)
The Citi Prestige Card falls into a category of “ultra-premium” credit cards and doesn’t quite get the same hype though as the big league cards like the Amex Platinum, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but this is definitely among those ranks and it’s a card that should undeniably be considered for your wallet. These cards will have a “higher than you want” annual fee. $495 a year for the prestige to be exact. But it comes with benefits that most definitely outweigh the annual cost to hold this card in your wallet like a $250 annual travel credit that offsets that cost. Not to mention, the ability to earn ThankYou Points. Which can be redeemed for flights and other great travel benefits. In this this post I will go into detail about the card, what you get with it and how best to use it and what I find most valuable about it. Also why I find ThankYou Points to be valuable.
Citi Prestige Card Sign-Up Bonus
The Prestige card offers a 50,000 point sign-up bonus worth $500 after hitting the $4,000 spending limit within the first 3 months of opening your account. This is a value of $500. (It should be noted that if you have received a new card member sign-up bonus within the past 24 months of opening a Citi Rewards +, ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier/Citi Premier or Prestige, or if you have closed any of these accounts within the past 24 months.
Earning ThankYou Rewards With The Citi Prestige Card
If you are someone who is traveling a lot, eating out a lot or even both, this is an excellent card to consider as you will be racking up a lot of ThankYou Points rapidly.
- 5x the Points on AIRFARE purchases with the airline and OTA’s.
- 5x the points at all RESTAURANTS, BARS and CAFES.
- 3x the points at HOTELS (be mindful of kiosks and certain restaurants inside hotels that may not categorize under this)
- 3x the points on CRUISES.
- 1x the points on everything else. (To make sure you are earning more than 1 point per $1 dollar, combine the Prestige Card with the Citi Double Cash Card to earn 2x the points on the “everything else” category)
The rewards will add up quick. HINT: With easy cash transfer apps out there now, like Venmo, or Zelle, you should be requesting to pay for food at restaurants when you dine with your friends or co-workers, and when the bill comes, have them ay you what they owe. it will boost your points earning. I work as a fireman, I practice this method at work whenever we go out to eat as a crew and then have the guys at my station pay me their share. It’s basically like earning free points.
Citi Prestige Card Benefits
The Prestige Card comes with an annual statement credit for $250, that shows up on your card for things like…
- Airfare purchase
- Taxi, Uber, Lyft, and other rideshares
- Train Tickets
- Rental Cars
- Toll roads and Parking
- Travel Agencies, and Tour Operators
And if you really want to be slick, you can even use that $250 travel credit to pay for an upgrade to a premium cabin seat on a flight. This $250 essentially offsets the $495 annual fee of the card being the fact you were going to spend that money anyway and that really brings down the cost of the card to $245 a year.
Complimentary Lounge Pass Access At over 1300+ Locations Worldwide
The prestige card comes with a Priority Pass that gives you access to over 1300+ lounges in airports around the world and or dining credits (usually $28 in value per person) which is good for you and 2 guests or your entire immediate family members.
You can enjoy free food and beverages as well as alcoholic beverages. Priority pass lounges have many conveniences that make layovers simple. Many of them have complimentary showers for you to clean up after a long flight, massage chairs in some, comfortable seating with great working wifi to get any work done or to just browse this website further 😉 Some lounges will even press your clothes while you shower. The Priority Pass itself is worth hundreds of dollars on its own and it comes complimentary with the card.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Benefit
Apply for your global entry or TSA Precheck and simply use the Prestige card to pay for the enrollment fees which will show up as a credit in your account. This feature can save you so much time at security lines as well as (My personal favorite) save you time when you re-enter the country as you don’t have to stand in the same customs lines that everyone else does. It’s seriously Clutch! This credit can be used every 5 years for when you have to renew your documentation with the Dept. Of Homeland Security.
Complimentary 4th Night Free at Hotels
You can use this feature twice a year but the caveat is, you have to book through Citi’s http://www.thankyou.com or by calling 1-800-THANKYOU and book 4 consecutive nights to get the 4th night for free which can be a great value. You are Capped at only twice a year.
ThankYou Rewards Airline Transfer Partners
This is the spot where this card really shines. ThankYou points are a transferrable points currency that never expire. Using your points to transfer over to different airline loyalty programs can be a huge win. Especially when booking premium cabin awards in business and in first class. I have used my ThankYou Points to book some amazing deals and value that I would never have got by just using the points as a currency through Citi’s travel search engine on their booking portal.
Another really great perk is ThankYou points have a lot of promotions where you can transfer miles with a bonus like 25% more miles when transferring to a partner which will ultimately save you a TON of points in the end. If you can plan travel and utilize that feature, you are winning hardcore!
Cell Phone Protection Plan
If you pay your cell phone bill with your Prestige card and your phone is damaged or stolen, you can be reimbursed for the cost of repairs or a new phone which covers you up to $1,500, up to 5 phones on your bill. This is an annual protection.
Other Types of Benefits
You always have the option to get cash back, gift cards, amazon purchases suing your points, instead of using your points for airfare or travel redemptions. However I find that feature to really be a waste of your points as it doesn’t give them the value in redeeming for cash value. 100 points = $1 if you are cashing out, so your welcome bonus of 50,000 points would be worth $500 if you wanted to just get cash back. hardly a value in my opinion.
Now, this is a major down fall in my opinion an where cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve really lead the credit card game.
Citi used to have really great travel protections built into their card, car rental liability and collision insurance, travel insurance for any medical issues abroad or while traveling, lost baggage reimbursement, and other travel reimbursements. However, as of September of 2019, Citi did away with those built in Travel protections that were offered to it’s card customers.
The card isn’t a fancy metal card that gives you the swag you are probably so desperately desiring (kidding) like The CSR, or Amex Platinum.
Combine Spending With The Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card is a great card that has an unheard of but lucrative reward category of 2% cash back on all purchases. This card can be used in lieu of the Prestige card when you aren’t spending on Travel, Dining Out, or Hotels and need to spend on things like gas, groceries, amazon, and all of your other everyday spending. You can convert your cash back rewards to ThankYou points which help you to capitalize on earning ThankYou Rewards.
My Final Thoughts
You ultimately have to decide whether this card is right for you. I seriously considered dropping my Prestige card before my annual renewal fee came after Citi announced their changes to the card. I Personally was finding more value in having this card over my Sapphire Reserve. However that changed. The reason I kept this card however was due to the incredible return I was getting every month on my credit statement with my ThankYou Rewards. I am just a regular guy, who works as a fireman and was able to utilize the card to earn over 290,000 ThankYou Points in just over a year.
Another reason I really like having this card is for the Transfer partners. I find I get extreme value in using partners like the Lifemiles program with Avianca or Virgin Atlantic to really save on the amount of miles I need in order to find some niche award travel in business class seats or even first class that would normally cost me way more points and miles with other loyalty programs. So I plan to hold onto this card for quite awhile.
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.