|Highlights||Credit Card Feature|
|Things We Like||Welcome offer of 40,000 bonus points|
|Our Least Favorite||$450 annual fee|
|Our Verdict||Great card for $250 Air Travel Credit each year|
Citi Prestige® Card, a partner card, is one of the strongest cards in the market when it comes to handsome rewards for the avid traveler, and I should know because it's one of my most frequently used cards. Although it has a $450 annual fee, this card comes packed with many special perks and benefits for people who like to earn rich travel rewards, such as complimentary hotel stay and airport lounge visits. In this Citi Prestige® Card review, I'll go through all the features of this card so that you can maximize the value of it for free travel and share with you what I like most about Citi Prestige® Card.
Things We Like About Citi Prestige® Card
Earn 40,000 bonus points after using this card to make $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your card account. These 40,000 bonus points are worth up to $532 on a flight with any other airline or $400 in gift cards. As someone who loves to travel, my personal preference is redeeming these ThankYou points for free travel.
$250 Air Travel Credit annually. According to the T&Cs, this $250 Air Travel credit can be "applied to air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases". In my opinion, this $250 credit takes a big chunk out of the annual fee and is an annual benefit, which makes this card even more appealing. This credit is available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December. How it works is this: Once the primary cardmember or authorized user has charged the qualifying air travel expense to your card account, this $250 credit will be credited to your account 1-2 billing cycles later. As long as your account is open and in good standing, you'll get this $250 credit each year!
Earn 3 points per $1 for air travel and hotel purchases charged to this card. Every dollar you spend on purchases from travel agencies, airlines and hotels lets you earn these 3 points.
Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on entertainment and dining. You will earn double points on all your restaurant and entertainment purchases. Entertainment purchases include purchases from record stores, theatrical promoters, movie theaters, sports promoters, tourist attractions, amusement parks and video rental stores.
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases. This means that every $1 you spend on purchases with this card earns 1 point.
You can transfer your points to airline partners. This is my favorite benefit of Citi Prestige® Card as I get to transfer my ThankYou Points to participating airline loyalty programs of my choice, at the rate of 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,000 frequent flyer miles (1:1 ratio).
Airline transfer partners (1:1 ratio) include:
- Asia Miles
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Etihad Guest
- Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Virgin America Elevate® (1,000 ThankYou Points gives you 500 Elevate points)
For now, you can't transfer your points to domestic airlines like United or Southwest. If you prefer to transfer your points to domestic airlines, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is a better choice. Also, as of now, only Citi Prestige® Card and Citi Chairman card let you transfer points to airline partners. But the good thing is, Citi lets you combine your ThankYou points from other Citi cards into one account, in which case you can use the Citi Prestige® Card as the account to transfer your points to airline partners.
You can also transfer your points to hotel loyalty programs. The most attractive hotel partner program is the Hilton HHonors rewards program, as you get a rate of 1,500 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points for every 1,000 ThankYou Points transferred.
ThankYou Points can be redeemed for hotel stays, flights, travel certificates, gift cards and more. You can even Shop with Points at amazon.com. The Citi ThankYou network provides a broad variety of ways in which you can redeem your points, including transferring them to other popular loyalty programs. If you choose to redeem for travel, it's worth noting that points are worth more when you book flights with American Airlines.
Unlimited points. There is no cap on the amount of points you can earn and collect. Since ThankYou Points don't expire, you aren't under any pressure to redeem them within a specific time frame.
Complimentary 4th night for any hotel stay when you pay for your full hotel booking with this card and book 4 consecutive nights. If you stay at hotels just 5 times a year with your average hotel stay being 4 consecutive nights or more, the free nights you receive will probably make up for the card's $450 annual fee. You have to book your hotel stays through Carlson Wagonlit Travel in order to enjoy this money-saving benefit.
Complimentary access to Admirals Club® and Priority Pass Select lounges. This is an invaluable benefit for frequent flyers, as you and up to 2 traveling companions will enjoy complimentary entry to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass Select. You also get complimentary access to American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges for you and either your immediate family, or up to 2 traveling companions, when at least part of your travel is with American Airlines.
Complimentary golfing. If you enjoy playing golf, you will appreciate the 3 rounds of golf offered on a complimentary basis every calendar year. This applies to over 2,400 public and private golf courses around the globe. Book at least 3 days in advance through the Citi Prestige® Golf Portal.
$100 application fee credit for Global Entry so that you can take advantage of expedited clearance upon re-entry into the US. Although you will have to undergo an interview and background check before enrollment, this service can save you a lot of time if you travel outside of the country frequently. You receive a $100 credit towards your Global Entry membership.
MasterCard® Airport Concierge™ service. Get shuttled from gate to gate, have your luggage ported or receive immigration assistance at over 450 airports around the world.
Travel insurance when you pay your full travel bookings with your card. This includes travel accident coverage for you and your family (spouse and eligible dependent children), trip cancellation/interruption insurance of up to $1,500, trip delay coverage of up to $250, and emergency evacuation and transportation coverage up to $100,000.
Auto Rental Insurance protects vehicle rentals you charge to this card with coverage of up to $50,000 against collision or theft, as long as you turn down the insurance offered by the auto rental agency.
Lost/delayed baggage coverage. If your luggage is delayed or lost in transit, you will be covered for up to $3,000 ($2,000 for New York residents).
No foreign transaction fee means that you can enjoy shopping like a local without having to pay any transaction fees when paying for purchases with this card internationally.
Chip technology for ease of use outside of the US and safer transactions.
Our Least Favorite Things About Citi Prestige® Card
$450 annual fee. This card has a $450 annual fee, so if you don't expect to use the many benefits it offers, it may not be worth it for you. That said, if you travel and stay at hotels often, then the potential savings you could get with this card, along with the $250 annual airline credit, are huge compared to the annual fee. If you prefer a card with no annual fee that also lets you earn ThankYou Points, you could consider Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card.
No low intro APR period. Right from the beginning you get a 15.99% variable APR for both purchases and balance transfers. This card will benefit you most if you pay off your balance in full by the payment due date every month, since that way you will avoid paying interest altogether.
How Other Cards Compare With Citi Prestige® Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express, a GET.com advertiser, is a close competitor of this Citi Prestige® Card, and gives you many similar benefits. One major difference is that this American Express card is a charge card and not a credit card like Citi Prestige® Card, meaning you have to pay back all the purchases you made with your card at the end of each billing period. After you successfully apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express and use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases over your first 3 months as a card member, you get 40,000 points. That's a bit less than the offer you currently get with the Citi card. You get up to $200 airline fee credit each year, which can cover baggage fees and other incidental charges at 1 airline of your choice. On the other hand, the $250 air travel statement credit you get with Citi Prestige® Card can be used to cover air travel purchases made with your card as well as incidental fees, so you get a bit more flexibility. Using a The Platinum Card® from American Express lets you enjoy complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges (The Centurion® Lounge, Delta Sky Clubs®, Airspace Lounges and the option to enroll in Priority Pass™ Select on a complimentary basis). Citi Prestige® Card, for its part, gives you complimentary access to Admirals Club® and Priority Pass Select lounges. You get a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓™, similar to what you get with Citi Prestige® Card. This card uses the Membership Rewards® program from American Express, while Citi Prestige® Card uses the ThankYou® rewards program. Both of these rewards programs offer excellent options for earning and redeeming miles. This card gives you access to many American Express dining, travel and lifestyle perks, but if you travel a lot, you may find that Citi Prestige® Card (as a MasterCard) is more widely accepted.
Citi Prestige® Card's attractive signing bonus, along with the annual $250 airline credit and $100 Global Entry credit, make it a hard-to-beat travel rewards credit card. Pedro Pla
Citi Prestige® Card is an excellent credit card for those of you who like to collect airline miles just by spending on everyday purchases, and I feel it offers more real savings and useful privileges than other cards in a similar category. The 40,000 bonus points you earn after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months, combined with the points you earn on all your purchases will be a solid boost to your airline miles collection. The $250 Air Travel Credit, plus the $100 credit towards Global Entry, are awesome perks which make the annual fee pale in comparison, considering all the other benefits. If you travel outside of the US frequently, the card's EMV chip technology, no foreign transaction fee benefit, concierge service and travel insurance will make your trips more pleasant and help give you more peace of mind.
As I mentioned earlier, Citi Prestige® Card is one of my favorite cards for earning airline miles, which helped me reach my goal of one million miles which I used to redeem for US$54,000 worth of Round-the-World tickets on Business Class. It's a card that actually delivers the goods. If you want to enjoy solid travel benefits and earn good rewards points, I recommend you apply for this Citi Prestige® Card.
Pedro Pla is co-founder of GET.com. He has been around the globe several times and considers collecting air miles and points from credit cards to be a hobby, if not, an obsession. Email: email@example.com.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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