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Citi Prestige® Credit Card review

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Get even more points on air travel and restaurant spending.

  • Get this card if you spend heavily on airfare and dining.
  • Pick something else if you want accelerated rewards on all travel purchases.
  • Apply with a good to an excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

50,000

Points as welcome offer

Up to 5x

Points

$495

Annual fee

17.49% to 25.49%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Product NameCiti Prestige® Credit Card
Card typeVisa
Annual fee$495
Purchase APR17.49% to 25.49% variable
Balance transfer APR17.49% to 25.49% variable
Balance transfer fee$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance rate26.99% variable
Cash advance fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Penalty APR29.99% variable
Foreign transaction feeNone
Interest free periodUp to 23 days
Late payment feeUp to $39
Returned payment feeUp to $39
Additional cardholder fee$75

The basics

The Citi Prestige® Credit Card was reintroduced in January 2019 and comes with a mix of positive and negative changes. Regardless, it’s still a strong player in the luxury travel game.

The best change: Revamped rewards

Previously, you’d earn 3x points on airfare and hotels, and 2x points on restaurant and entertainment spending.

Now, you’ll earn 5x points on airfare and restaurants and 3x on hotels and cruise lines.

The card’s 5x-point categories lead the luxury travel market.
High-class travel benefits

One benefit that sets the Citi Prestige® Credit Card apart is its fourth-night-free option for eligible hotel stays. Unfortunately, this benefit will be capped at two times per calendar year starting September 1, 2019.

Changes to watch out for

Note that the Citi Prestige® Credit Card’s annual fee used to be $450. Now it has a $495 annual fee.

Another premium credit card

Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™

  • Stainless steel—Outweighs the competition with 22 grams
  • 2% point value when you redeem for airfare
  • 1.5% point value when you redeem for cash back
  • Enjoy 24/7 access to Luxury Card Concierge
  • $100 annual airline credit toward qualifying airline purchases
  • $100 Global Entry application fee credit
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The perks

  • Signup bonus: 50,000 ThankYou points.
    Earn this after making $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. According to Citi, this bonus is currently worth $500 toward travel.
  • Rewards: Up to 5x points.
    Earn a stellar rewards rate of 5x points on air travel and restaurants and 3x points on hotels and cruise lines. You’ll earn 1x points on all other purchases. Note that your accelerated points are excluded from travel categories such as car rentals, trains or taxis — points are only applicable for hotels and cruise lines.
  • Travel credits: Up to $250 every calendar year.
    Travel credits will be automatically applied to your billing statements when you use your card for eligible travel.

    This card’s credits used to apply only to air travel. Now, Citi has expanded their application to many more travel categories — including airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, taxis and more.

    Here’s how the card’s travel credits hold up against those of other premium travel products:

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Citi Prestige® Credit Card The Platinum Card® from American Express
    Annual travel credit $300 for eligible travel purchases $250 for eligible travel purchases $200 for airline incidental fees only
  • Airport lounge access: Over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.
    You’ll have access to these lounges when you receive a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.

Is the annual fee worth it?

Is the $495 annual fee for the Citi Prestige® Credit Card worth it?

First, let’s look at its rewards

According to Citi, ThankYou points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for eligible travel. You’d need 49,500 points to break even on the card’s annual fee with rewards alone.

That’s $9,900 spent on air travel or restaurants, $16,500 on hotels or cruise lines or $49,500 on other purchases.

Luckily, you don’t have to rely on spending alone to get value from it.

The Citi Prestige® Credit Card boasts other valuable features
Benefit Estimated annual value
Complimentary fourth night stay $500
Priority Pass Select membership $429
Annual travel credit $250
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit $20

This adds up to $1,199 in annual value, which comfortably exceeds the card’s annual fee. This doesn’t even include the card’s travel or purchase protections.

You’ll also like …

  • Complimentary fourth-night hotel stay on eligible bookings.
    Get a fourth night free reward when you book a hotel stay of at least four consecutive nights through Citi’s ThankYou portal.

    Take advantage of this benefit now. Starting September 1, 2019, it’s only valid for a maximum of two times per calendar year.

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
    Pay for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application with your Citi Prestige® Credit Card, and you’ll receive a statement credit. You’ll receive one credit every five years.

    A Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership lasts five years. Some travel cards offer an application credit every four years, which might help if you want to re-apply before your membership expires.

Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck: Which should you apply for?

  • No foreign transaction fees.
    Use the Citi Prestige® Credit Card abroad without incurring transaction fees on your purchases.
  • Point transfers.
    You can mostly transfer your at a 1:1 ratio to 16 airline and retail partners. This can help you get higher than a 1-cent-per-point value for your rewards.

Citi Prestige® Credit Card transfer partners

Almost every Citi airline transfer partner offers a regular transfer ratio of 1:1.

Citi may offer promotional transfer ratios. In February 2019, for example, Citi cardholders could transfer 1,000 ThankYou points for 1,250 miles in Turkish Airlines’ Miles & Smiles program.

As of this writing, the only program in which you’ll receive less than a 1:1 ratio is JetBlue TrueBlue. Convert 1,000 ThankYou points to 800 TrueBlue points.

Citi’s airline transfer partners

Citi is missing a major domestic-airline transfer partner, such as Delta, United or American. However, it has a strong stable of international-airline transfer partners.

  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles.
  • Asia Miles.
  • Avianca LifeMiles.
  • Etihad Guest.
  • Eva Air.
  • Flying Blue.
  • Garuda Indonesia.
  • JetBlue TrueBlue.
  • JetPrivilege.
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich.
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer.
  • Qatar Privilege Club.
  • Singapore Airlines.

Citi’s shopping partner

You can transfer your points at a 1:12 ratio to Shop Your Way, the loyalty program for Sears and Kmart.

  • Travel and purchase protection.
    Enjoy insurance for lost baggage, delayed baggage, trip cancellation, trip interruption and car rentals. Also, receive purchase protection, extended warranties and Price Rewind on eligible purchases.

    With Price Rewind, Citi will look for lower prices on purchases you’ve made with your card. If it succeeds, it will refund you the price difference.

    Citi will send coverage details if you’re approved for the card

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee: $495.
    Here’s how this annual fee stacks up against the costs of other premium travel cards:
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Citi Prestige® Credit Card The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual travel credit $450 $495 $550
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable.
    If you make a late or returned payment, Citi may apply the penalty APR to all of your balances indefinitely.

Compare travel rewards cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
60,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 10/30/2019.
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

You can apply for the Citi Prestige® Credit Card if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old.
  • Have a valid Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

Required information

  • Full name.
  • Date of birth, Social Security number and citizenship status.
  • Home address.
  • Primary phone number and email address.
  • Total annual income and monthly mortgage or rent payment.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for the Citi Prestige® Credit Card if you have a good to excellent credit score of 670 or above.

What do customers say about the Citi Prestige® Credit Card?

Some longtime customers say Citi has devalued their points over the years. Consider spending your rewards consistently to avoid this.

Other customers say they have put the card’s fourth-hotel-night privilege to good use, and they’re disappointed that Citi will cap the benefit in September 2019.

Citi is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it has an F rating from the agency. Out of 133 customer reviews, it has an average rating of one star out of five.

The bank has over 3,600 customer complaints as of March 2019. Most of them have been answered or resolved, according to the BBB.

How to apply for the Citi Prestige® Credit Card

  1. Navigate to the Citi Prestige® Credit Card page and click Apply now.
  2. Complete the application with details such as your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, contact information and financial information.
  3. Review your details and submit your application.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Activate your card and register an online account. You can start using your card immediately after activation.
    Make an online account to view your balance any time and pay your bills. Consider setting up automatic payments to avoid late fees.
  • Avoid late and returned payments. These may saddle you with a penalty APR of 29.99% variable on all of your balances.
  • Contact customer service. Call the number on the back of your card to reach Citi support. If you don’t have your card, call 800-950-5114.
    You can also log in to your Citi account to chat with support.

How do I redeem miles from the Citi Prestige® Credit Card?

Go to Citi’s ThankYou Rewards portal to redeem your points. Log in with your Citi account.

Here are a few redemption options:

  • Travel, such as flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises
  • Gift cards
  • Shop with points at places such as Amazon, Expedia and Best Buy
  • Statement credit
  • Online bill pay
  • Point transfers
  • Cash rewards
  • Charitable contributions

According to Citi, travel redemptions give you a 1-cent-per-point value. Gift cards typically give you the same value. With other redemption options, you may receive a lower value.

Bottom line

The card’s best new change is the accelerated points on air travel and dining. These are truly market-leading rewards.

Unfortunately, the card’s fourth-night-free benefit will be capped to two uses per year in September 2019. But you can still leverage it as much as you want until then, and the card boasts other luxury travel features.

If you’re not sure the Citi Prestige® Credit Card is right for you, compare other travel credit card options.

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