More Negative Changes Coming to Citi Prestige Card

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I recently wrote about the changes to the Citi Prestige’s sign-up bonus and minimum spending requirement.  And the news that the card will no longer offer Admirals Club access.

Now via View From the Wing, there are more negative changes beginning July 23, 2017!  

Citi ThankYou points won’t be worth as much when you redeem for flights through their portal, the 4th hotel night free perk will work differently, and there will be no more free rounds of golf.

Search For Cheap Airfare Like A Pro Part 2 More ITA Matrix Tricks
With the Negative Changes Coming to the Citi Prestige Card, I’m Relieved the $250 Credit Towards Airfare (or Airline Incidentals) Each Calendar Year Is NOT Going Away

Let’s take a look at these changes and see if the card still makes sense for you!

Changes to the Citi Prestige Card

Link:   Citi Prestige New Link (40,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus)

Link:   Citi Prestige Old Link (50,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus)

Link:   My Review of the Citi Prestige

Recently, the sign-up bonus for the Citi Prestige card decreased and the minimum spending requirement increased.

And although the higher 50,000 Citi ThankYou point offer is still available, I doubt it will last long.  So sign-up now if you want the card!

But what else is changing?

Less Value for Citi Portal Flights Using Citi ThankYou Points

Currently, when you have the Citi Prestige, you can redeem points at a rate of 1.6 cents each for American Airlines and partner flights, and 1.33 cents each on other airlines with no blackout dates when you book through the Citi Travel Center.

Starting July 23, 2017, your Citi ThankYou points will be worth 1.25 cents each for bookings made through the Citi Travel Center no matter which airlines you fly.

This is disappointing, but there’s still time (almost a year!) to use your ThankYou points at the higher rate!  Once the changes take place, the new 40,000 Citi ThankYou point sign-up bonus for the Prestige will be worth $500 in flights.

Consider Award Flights Instead

This make transferring your Citi ThankYou points to partner airline programs like Flying Blue even more appealing.  See my Sweet Spot post for getting a great deal using Flying Blue to fly to Hawaii on Delta!

Changes to the 4th Night Free Perk

Getting the 4th night free on paid hotel stays is one of my favorite perks of the Citi Prestige card.  But starting July 23, 2017, the amount you’ll be refunded for your 4th night will be based on the average nightly cost of your stay.  NOT as it is now — the actual cost of the 4th night.  And they’ll no longer refund taxes.

So, in some instances, the 4th night won’t be completely free (like it is now).  Because the average nightly cost of your 4 night stay could be less than the cost of the 4th night.  Plus, you’ll have to pay any taxes due.

This change isn’t the end of the world, because you can still combine this perk with other hotel promotions to save more.

No More Free Golf

The Citi Prestige will no longer offer 3 (or 18!) free rounds of golf.  Sorry, golf fanatics!

More Negative Changes Coming To Citi Prestige Card
Starting July 23, 2017, the Citi Prestige Card Will No Longer Offer 3 Free Rounds of Golf!

Is the Citi Prestige Still a Good Deal?

Even with these upcoming changes, you’ll STILL get a $250 credit for airfare or incidentals (like bag fees) each calendar year.  So paying the $450 annual fee still makes since if you can redeem the credit twice, once in 2016 and again in 2017 (for $500 back).

Also, 50,000 Citi ThankYou points will still be worth $625 in airfare booked through Citi’s Travel Center after the changes take place.  And you still have ~1 year to redeem your points at the higher rate (worth $800 on American Airlines)!

Speed Through Security Lanes

The Citi Prestige also offers a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.  So again, the higher annual fee might be worth it to some.

After you’ve had the Citi Prestige for a year, it’s harder to get enough value from the card to offset the $450 annual fee.

Relax in the Lounge

But if you enjoy the airport lounge access, you might decide to keep the card.  Because you’ll get Priority Pass with unlimited visits and 2 free guests.  And that perk alone can be worth hundreds of dollars!

And by using the card you’ll earn Citi ThankYou points that you can transfer to airlines for award flights.

Bottom Line

Great deals rarely last long in our hobby.  And the Citi Prestige offer has been terrific!  With these changes, Prestige will still be a good deal, but perhaps only a must-have card for certain folks.

After July 23, 2017: 

  • The value of the Citi ThankYou points from your Citi Prestige card will decrease when you use them to book flights through the Citi Travel portal
  • No more free rounds of golf
  • 4th hotel night free perk will change (but it’s still a good deal)

Here’s a link for the higher 50,000 Citi ThankYou point offer (instead of the new 40,000 point offer) but the link is not likely to last.  Be sure to take screenshots of the application page just in case.

You’ll have almost a full year to redeem your Citi ThankYou points for airfare at a higher rate through the Citi Travel portal before the changes go into effect.

The $250 per calendar year credit for flights and airline incidentals along with the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit and the 4th night free perk still make the $450 annual fee worth it for many folks!

Emily and I don’t earn anything from the Citi Prestige, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals.

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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