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Now is a great time to sign-up for the Citi Prestige!
The welcome bonus has jumped back up to 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after completing minimum spending. But there have been lots of changes to this card since it was first released.
I’ll show you what’s changed, and help you decide if it’s a good deal for you.
Citi Prestige 50,000 Point Bonus
The card comes with:
- 3 points per $1 you spend at airlines, hotels, and travel agencies
- 2 point per $1 you spend at restaurants and select entertainment (includes movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions)
- $250 statement credit for airline fees such as airfare and baggage fees appearing on your statement from December to the following December
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry application fee
- Priority Pass Lounge access for primary cardholder and up to 2 guests (additional guests $27 per person, per visit)
- 4th night free (average price of all 4 nights) at any hotel booked through Citi Prestige Concierge and paid in full with your card.
- No foreign transaction fees
The $450 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year. But with the card’s travel benefits, this could still be worth it to lots of folks!
Not the Card It Was Before
While the Citi Prestige is still a very good card, it’s not as valuable as it was before! Because Citi has eliminated or weakened some of the best travel perks that come with the card.
1. Sign-Up Bonus
Citi has made it more difficult to earn the Citi Prestige welcome offer, because they’re now restricting sign-up bonuses to once per “brand” every 24 months.
And while I like that they’ve increased the sign-up bonus to 50,000 Citi ThankYou points, they’ve also increased the minimum spending to $5,000 in 3 months.
The previous offers were:
- Earn 50,000 points for spending $3,000 in 3 months
- Earn 40,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months
This puts the Citi Prestige minimum spending in line with other premium cards, like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite(TM) MasterCard®, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card.
2. 4th Night Free Perk
But now it will give you the average price of all 4 nights. So you’re basically getting 25% off a 4-night stay.
3. American Airlines Perks
In the past, the Citi Prestige gave you and your immediate family, or 2 guests, access to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges as long as you were flying American Airlines that day. New applicants will NOT get access to Admirals Club lounges.
Also, Citi Prestige cardholders were able to get 1.6 cents per Citi ThankYou point when you used them to buy American Airlines tickets through the Citi ThankYou portal, and 1.33 cents per point for all other airlines. New applicants will now only get 1.25 cents per point when booking any flight.
4. Three Free Rounds of Golf
If you’re not a golfer, this won’t affect you. But for serious golfers, this perk may have saved hundreds! Some courses charge $200+ for a weekend round of golf!
Note: These perks are still available to current cardholders through July 23, 2017.
Is the Citi Prestige Still a Good Deal?
It’s a card that will save you lots of money long after you’ve used the sign-up bonus. If you travel fairly often, you can easily make up the $450 annual fee.
When you are approved for the card, you will receive the $250 airline statement credit this year, and again in January. So you’ll get $500 in statement credits before you pay your 2nd annual fee!
You can also save more than the annual fee just by using your 4th night free perk 1 time at an expensive hotel.
Plus, you’ll get a Priority Pass Select membership with guest privileges, which is worth hundreds.
Note: Other cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, offer similar benefits to the Citi Prestige (travel credits, lounge access, etc.) for a similar annual fee. So analyze the benefits of each card before you apply!
But there have been negative changes to the Citi Prestige since it was first released, like:
- Higher minimum spending requirement
- No American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access
- Citi ThankYou points worth less than before when buying airfare through the Citi ThankYou portal
Emily and I don’t earn anything from this card, but we’re committed to sharing the best offers with our readers!