The Citi Prestige card comes with many benefits, including a 4th night free for hotel stays but is the $495 annual fee worth it?
What are the Benefits?
The Prestige card stands out because of its great features and benefits for travelers. It offers a $250 travel credit every calendar year and no foreign transaction fees for those who travel internationally.
You’ll also receive credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. This is a great feature because anyone can take advantage of this perk, specifically to make airport lines easier for you.
The card also gives you complimentary access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass Select.
With the Priority Pass, you’re allowed to bring up to two guests and/or immediate family members (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18 years of age). They do charge $27 per additional guest, per visit.
- Cell phone protection
- 4th night free (twice per year)
Citi also offers virtual account numbers, which is a great benefit for shopping online and protecting yourself from fraud.
What are the Rates and Fees?
This card has a $495 annual fee, which is one of the highest for a premium credit card. If you want to add authorized user, there’s a $75 annual fee for each one.
The APR for purchases ranges from 18.99% to 25.99%, based on credit (Source: Citi).
What Has Changed?
Citi has made a lot of changes to perks recently, like being discontinued or greatly devalued. They’ve announced many changes in early 2019, such as:
- 4th night free limited to 2 times per the calendar year
- The annual fee increased from $450 to $495
- $0.01 per point on airfare when redeeming through the Citi travel portal, instead of a 25% bonus
- No more 2x points on entertainment
They also canceled:
- Worldwide Car Rental/Travel Accident Insurance
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Protection
- Baggage/Trip Delay Protection
- Lost Baggage Protection
- Price Rewind
- Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service
- Missed Event Ticket Protection
That list is exhausting but there were good changes:
- 5x points on air travel
- 5x points at restaurants
- 3x points on cruise lines
There’s hope though, Citi did say that they were planning to announce new card benefits.
Currently, you can earn 50,000 Bonus Points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening.
50,000 points are equivalent to $500 that you can redeem for travel without any blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou Travel Center.
50,000 isn’t the highest sign-up bonus they’ve offered. The Capital One Venture card earns the same sign-up bonus with an annual fee of $95.
Credit Score Requirements
The Citi Prestige requires excellent credit which can vary depending on the scoring model and credit bureau. According to Credit Karma, 700 and above is considered a good credit score.
Although your credit score is important, it’s not the only factor. Income and items that appear on your credit report can affect the decision as well.
The Citi Prestige does earn points very nicely. Here’s their points earning system:
- 5x on air travel
- 5x at restaurants
- 3x at hotels
- 3x on cruise lines
- 1x on all other purchases
This is a great card to book flights with and use to pay for meals at restaurants.
There are many options when it comes to redeeming Citi ThankYou points. You can shop and pay with points, buy gift cards, redeem for travel, pay your mortgage, student loan, or give it away to charity.
Air Transfer Partners:
The air transfer partners listed below redeem at a 1:1 point transfer ratio.
- Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air
- Flying Blue
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qatar Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club
Retail Transfer Partners:
Sears Shop Your Way is the only retail transfer partner. 1 Citi ThankYou point is equivalent to 12 Shop Your Way points.
4th Night Free Benefit
The 4th-night free benefit is amazing, many would argue it’s the most valuable perk of the Citi Prestige card.
What is the 4th night free perk?
Citi will pay for the fourth night of your stay at almost any hotel when booking through ThankYou.com, Citi’s travel portal. This perk can save you hundreds and even thousands depending on where you stay.
Although this perk is being devalued and limited to two times for each calendar year, it’s still a great benefit to use.
Citi Prestige Competitors
The Prestige card does have competition within the luxury credit card market. The Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Gold, and Platinum Card are other high-annual fee credit cards that offer luxury perks.
You can even lower the annual fee with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture Rewards card for great benefits at an annual fee of $95.
Although Citi has discontinued and devalued many perks, this card is still competitive. With a high annual fee of $495, it’s actually less when you consider the perks.
$495 – $250 (travel credit) = $245 – $100 (Global Entry) = $145 – 2 free nights at a hotel = Positive!
Once you take these things into consideration, the Citi Prestige may be a great fit.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or credit card issuer. The content on this page is not provided by any entity mentioned. They have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.