Should You Apply for the Citi Prestige, Premier, Both Cards, or Neither?!

Should You Apply for the Citi Prestige, Premier, Both Cards, or Neither?!

Million Mile SecretsShould You Apply for the Citi Prestige, Premier, Both Cards, or Neither?!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Now that there are improved sign-up bonuses on both the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier cards, folks have asked which card is a better deal.

These are both excellent cards with a 50,000 Citi ThankYou point sign-up bonus after completing minimum spending requirements.  That’s enough for at least $625 in Big Travel (or more) with each card!

Should You Apply For The Citi Prestige Premier Both Cards Or Neither
Both the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier Cards Will Get You Lots of Big Travel – Which Should You Choose?

But each card has different perks!  So the best card for you depends on how you like to travel!

Who Should Consider the Citi Prestige?

Link:   Citi Prestige

Link:   My Review of the Citi Prestige Improved Offer

If you buy paid tickets frequently (or pay lots of airline fees), enjoy free airline lounge access, or fly American Airlines or US Airways often, the Citi Prestige card may be a better choice for you. 

That’s because with this card, you’ll get:

  • A $250 statement credit for airline fees such as airfare and baggage fees appearing on your statement from December to the following December
  • Access to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges for the primary cardholder, immediate family, or 2 guests, as long as you’re flying on American Airlines or American Eagle that day
  • Priority Pass Lounge access for the primary cardholder and up to 2 guests (additional guests $27 per person, per visit)
  • A better rate when you use your points to pay for American Airlines or US Airways tickets (1.6 cents per point vs. 1.33 cents per point on other airlines – so the 50,000 ThankYou point sign-up bonus is worth $800 in American Airlines flights)
Should You Apply For The Citi Prestige Premier Both Cards Or Neither
The Citi Prestige Lets You Relax in Admirals Club Lounges for Free If You’re Flying on American Airlines That Day

And if you want to save time waiting in airport lines, you can get a $100 Global Entry fee credit with this card.

The $450 annual fee is NOT waived for the 1st year.  But because you’ll get $250 in airline fee credits per calendar year, if you apply now and spend $250 in 2015 and $250 in early 2016, you’ll earn credits that more than make up for the annual fee!

Should You Apply For The Citi Prestige Premier Both Cards Or Neither
If You’ll Spend More Than $250 per Calendar Year on Airfare or Airline Fees, You’ll Earn Statement Credits Worth More Than the Annual Fee

And that’s not even considering the value of lounge access, the $100 Global Entry credit, and other perks like:

  • 4th night free when you book 4 consecutive nights at any hotel (must be booked through Citi Prestige Concierge and paid in full with your card)
  • Free golf at more than 2,400 courses around the world

So you should consider the Citi Prestige if you:

  • Will likely spend $250 on airfare (or fees) before your last 2015 statement and another $250 on airfare in 2016 before the annual fee is due
  • Are interested in getting a good deal (with no blackout dates) when using your Citi ThankYou points to buy tickets on American Airlines
  • Travel often and are considering applying for Global Entry to avoid waiting in long airport lines when returning to the US or to get through security faster on domestic flights
  • Enjoy free airport lounge access
  • Are planning a paid hotel stay and could use the 4th hotel night free perk

Who Should Consider the Citi ThankYou Premier?

Link:   Citi ThankYou Premier

Link:   My Review of the Citi ThankYou Premier Improved Offer

If you’re not as frequent a traveler, don’t buy paid tickets often, and prefer a lower annual fee, the Citi ThankYou Premier might be a better choice.

That’s because the annual fee is $95 and is waived for the 1st year.

Should You Apply For The Citi Prestige Premier Both Cards Or Neither
Don’t Like a High Annual Fee? The Citi ThankYou Premier Might Be a Better Choice for You

Like the Citi Prestige card, you’ll earn 50,000 ThankYou points after meeting minimum spending requirements.

If you use the points to buy airline tickets through the ThankYou Travel Center, they’re worth 1.25 cents per point (on all airlines).

With the Citi ThankYou Premier, there’s NO bonus for American Airlines or US Airways purchases.  So the 50,000 point sign-up bonus is worth $625 in airfare.

(On the other hand, the 50,000 point bonus with Citi Prestige is worth at least $665 in airfare because with that card, each point is worth 1.33 cents when you book a flight.  Or 1.6 cents when you book American Airlines or US Airways flights.)

Should You Apply For The Citi Prestige Premier Both Cards Or Neither
You Can Transfer ThankYou Points to Get Big Travel on Airlines Like Singapore Airlines

With either the Citi ThankYou Premier or the Citi Prestige card, you can also transfer your Citi ThankYou points to airline partners like Singapore Airlines or Air France / KLM Flying Blue.  I explain in more detail here.

The Citi ThankYou Premier does NOT offer extra perks like airport lounge access or statement credits for airline purchases, but it doesn’t come with a big annual fee, either.

Folks who should consider the Citi ThankYou Premier:

What About Applying for Both Cards?

Readers have asked if you can get both cards.  Yes, you can!  But there are some rules to keep in mind:

  • Citi will only approve 1 application per day
  • You should wait at least ~8 days between applications
  • They won’t approve more than 2 applications in ~65 days

If you already have a lot of Citi cards, you may not be approved for both cards.  That’s because there’s a maximum amount of credit Citi will extend to you.

Should You Apply For The Citi Prestige Premier Both Cards Or Neither
Already Have a Lot of Citi Accounts? You Might Not Be Approved for Both Cards

You could consider closing or lowering credit lines on your other cards to increase the likelihood of having both applications approved.  But there are no guarantees!

That said, with the sign-up bonus from both cards could earn you 100,000 Citi ThankYou points.  That’s worth a lot of Big Travel such as $1,600 in American Airlines flights (because you can transfer all the points to the Citi Prestige card).  Or award flights to Europe or Hawaii

A Good Deal for Most, but Not All

Before you apply for either card, think about your travel plans and how you’ll use the points.

If none of Citi ThankYou’s airline and hotel partners fit into your travel goals, other cards might be a better choice.  For example, none of their airline partners are US-based.

Should You Apply For The Citi Prestige Premier Both Cards Or Neither
If You’d Rather Fly Southwest, Other Cards Might Be a Better Deal

So, for example, if you only like to fly United Airlines or Southwest, you might be better off with other cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, because United Airlines and Southwest are Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.

That said, you can always use Citi ThankYou points to buy paid tickets through the Citi ThankYou travel center.

And points earned with either card do NOT expire, so even if you don’t have firm travel plans now, you may find a use for the points in the future!

Bottom Line

The Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier cards each currently have a 50,000 Citi ThankYou point sign-up bonus after you complete minimum spending requirements.

You can get both cards.  (Though not on the same day!)

But if you’re deciding between the 2, consider your travel plans, how often you fly, and whether extra perks like lounge access are important to you.

The Citi Prestige is a better choice for folks who fly frequently (especially on American Airlines and US Airways) and buy paid tickets.  Plus it offers lounge access and statement credits.  But the annual fee is $450.

The Citi ThankYou Premier has a $95 annual fee which is waived for the 1st year.  But you won’t get many extra benefits, and there’s no bonus for spending your points on American Airlines and US Airways tickets.

Folks who are slowly starting out with miles & points might do better by skipping these offers and applying for a card with better airline and hotel transfer partners such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Thank you points can be used to book southwest tickets through the travel center. I just did this the other day no problem!


I believe the 2 applications within 65 days does not include business cards and is for personal cards only.

For business cards, I believe there is a separate limitation of 1 business card application every 95 days.


You can combine Citi ThankYou points from separate accounts.

I have citi TY card, if i apply for citi premier and cancel the card after geting 50k points what will happen to my TY points?

The Premier card also has the broader 3x points travel bonus category, whereas the Prestige only does 3x on airlines and hotels. That coupled with the fact that I don't fly AA/US that much and hence would almost never have to use their lounges, the Premier works better for me.

Does the 2 applications within 65 days include business cards or exclude business cards? If I have applied for one business and one personal, can i apply for another personal within 65 days or have i used up my quota?

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