Citi Prestige: What Does (and Does NOT!) Count Towards the Minimum Spending Requirement

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The Citi Prestige card has an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 Citi ThankYou points and great travel perks.  (EXPIRED.)

You’ll get a $250 annual credit for airline fees (including airfare) and a $100 credit for Global Entry.  But do these purchases count towards the minimum spending requirement?

Citi Prestige What Does And Does NOT Count Towards The Minimum Spending Requirement

The Citi Prestige Offers Airline Credits (Including Flights!) and 4th Night Free At Hotels!

I’ll explain what counts toward the $3,000 minimum spending requirement.  And what does NOT count.

What Counts as a Purchase?

Link:   Citi Prestige® Card

Link:   My Review of the Citi Prestige Card

I spoke with multiple phone representatives at Citi who confirmed that whenever you swipe your card or enter the card number online, it’s recorded as a purchase.  And it counts towards your minimum spending requirement.

Citi Prestige What Does And Does NOT Count Towards The Minimum Spending Requirement

Any Purchase Where You Swipe Your Card Counts Toward the Sign-Up Bonus

3 Perks That Count Towards Your Minimum Spending Requirement

1.   Global Entry

Global Entry helps you speed through customs after international flights.  And you’ll usually get TSA PreCheck for domestic flights.

It costs $100 to apply for Global Entry.  And the Citi Prestige card will reimburse this fee with a statement credit.  It’s worth it because it can save you lots of time at the airport!

Citi Prestige What Does And Does NOT Count Towards The Minimum Spending Requirement

Get Through Security Faster with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Use your Citi Prestige card to pay the $100 Global Entry fee when you apply online.

Because you’re entering the card number into an online form, it counts as a purchase.  So even though Citi will reimburse the fee within 1 to 2 billing cycles, it still counts towards the minimum spending requirement!

2.   Airline Credits

Citi will reimburse you up to $250 each calendar year for airline purchases.  This includes airfare, baggage fees, lounge access, and some in-flight purchases.  

These purchases also count towards your minimum spending requirement.  Just like the Global Entry credit, it takes 1 to 2 billing cycles to get the statement credit.  This is a great perk that can give you a lot of flexibility!

3.   4th Night Free on Hotel Stays

Another great Citi Prestige benefit is the 4th night free on any paid hotel stay.  Book through the Citi Concierge and pay for 4 nights with your Citi Prestige card.  Then Citi will give you a statement credit for your last night!

Citi Prestige What Does And Does NOT Count Towards The Minimum Spending Requirement

You Can Save Big Money by Using the Citi Prestige Card’s 4th Night Free Benefit

And because this counts as a purchase, your free night goes towards your minimum spending requirement!  This feels especially wonderful when your last night was more expensive than the others! 😉

What Does NOT Count Toward the Minimum Spending Requirement

According to Citi:

Balance transfers, cash advances, returned purchases, fees and finance charges do not count as purchases.

This means that your annual fee is NOT a purchase and does NOT count toward your minimum spending requirement.

Citi Prestige What Does And Does NOT Count Towards The Minimum Spending Requirement

The Annual Fee Will NOT Count Towards Your Minimum Spending Requirement!

You’ll be responsible for paying the annual fee after the 1st billing cycle closes. 

Balance transfers and any purchases that are returned will NOT count, either.

In my experience, it’s a good idea to spend a bit more than the minimum.  That way you don’t have to worry about accidentally falling short and losing the sign-up bonus.

Another trick is to complete the minimum spending requirement within the 1st 2 billing cycles.  If you miscalculated, you’ll still have a month to finish your spending without added stress.

Bottom Line

Citi recently made improvements to the Citi Prestige card.  You’ll earn 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after meeting the minimum spending requirement.  (EXPIRED.)

Any time you swipe the card or enter your card number online, it’s considered a purchase and counts towards unlocking the sign-up bonus.

And purchases Citi later reimburses you for, like Global Entry, $250 in airline credits, and the 4th night free of a hotel stay all count toward your minimum spending requirement.  

The annual fee and returned purchases do NOT count.

Remember there are many ways to complete your minimum spending requirement!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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11 responses to “Citi Prestige: What Does (and Does NOT!) Count Towards the Minimum Spending Requirement

  1. Does the 4th night free benefit have to be used for the account holder or can it be used for others?

  2. I’m wondering if the Global Entry statement credit has to be for the primary cardholder? If My husband used the Citi Executive statement credit for global entry for himself, can he use this one to cover My global entry fee? I am an authorized user on the card if that matters.

  3. If you book a hotel through their concierge service for the fourth night free do you still accumulate points through the hotel chain’s point system?

  4. Do statement credits you get through Citi Pricerewind affect what is counted towards the minimum spend?

  5. I got my 50000 points even before spending 3000 $. I had paid hotel (1000 $) for a friend using citi prestige card but the amount was reversed and another card was used (as that was the first card used for temp auth). Luckily since it was charged and reversed they considered as meeting min spending reqts though my actual spend was only 2000$. I also got bonus points for that . I don’t know if it is a glitch in citi system but to be safe I am still spending another 1000$.

  6. Has anyone compared hotel rates via booking through citi concierge sites vs hotel itself? could it be that the “free night” is not nearly as free once you realize you are paying $50/night or more “surcharge” vis a vis the direct hotel rate?

  7. Is the $250 airline credit good on all airlines; foreign and domestic

  8. @vir. Yes. But you will have to book directly in airlines website and not travel website like orbitz, etc

  9. @LauraR, the global entry credit can be used for anyone as long as the application is paid with your card. Citi doesn’t match the applicant name with the cardholder.

  10. Avrumi Mayesz

    I have the citi aadvantge card can i call in now and downgrade or change for this card is this a pull? It’s going to work will i get the points?

  11. This might be a silly question… Does the annual fee have to be charged to the card it is associated with or can it be paid on another card?