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!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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