The Citi Prestige Card Review: $400 Gets You What Exactly?

March 13, 2013 No Comments »
The Citi Prestige Card Review: $400 Gets You What Exactly?

Citi just recently revamped its “Prestige Card,” which as the name suggests, is only reserved for the company’s wealthiest clients.

Well, if you’ve got $400 to spare on an annual basis, it’s for you as well, whether you’re rich or not.

So what makes this credit card to prestigious anyway? Let’s dig into the details to find out.

30,000-Point Opening Bonus Offsets $400 Annual Fee

I hate to say it, but the first thing that jumped out at me with Citi Prestige was the staggering $400 annual fee, which isn’t waived for the first year.

There’s also a $50 annual fee for each authorized user. Compare this to the $450 annual fee on the Amex Platinum Card, or the $95 annual fee on Chase Sapphire Preferred.

So there must be some good rewards here if you’re paying $400 just for the privilege of carrying the card in your wallet, right?

Well, part of that $400 is offset thanks to a 30,000 ThankYou Points opening bonus offered with Citi Prestige.

If you spend $2,000 within the first three months of account opening, those 30,000 points are good for $300 in cash, statement credits, travel, gift cards or other merchandise. That still leaves you with a $100 deficit.

Citi Prestige Is a Travel Rewards Credit Card

But fear not, Citi Prestige also comes with a $200 annual statement credit for airline fees, such as in-flight food and beverages, baggage fees, and upgrades.

Still not enough? You also get a complimentary economy-class companion ticket to any destination in the world when you book a full-fare ticket via Citi’s travel benefits provider.

You can also book discounted airline tickets through Citi at 15% off.

And that’s not all. You earn Flight Points for every mile flown, at one point per mile.

The catch: ThankYou Flight Points are not transferred to your ThankYou Member Account unless you earn an equal or greater number of ThankYou Points from purchases.

So you can’t just fly all over the world and accrue Flight Points without actually using the Citi Prestige card for purchases.

The card also provides a ton of travel benefits, such as airport lounge access, concierge service, and a $100 Global Entry application fee credit (expedited traveler program).

You also get complimentary Hilton HHonors Gold status, room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, and complimentary daily breakfast for two.

Finally, you can receive a complimentary night at over 800 luxury hotels and resorts twice a year with a minimum three-night consecutive stay.

How to Earn Points with Citi Prestige

relationship bonus

You get one ThankYou Point for every dollar spent, and double points at dining establishments, including fancy restaurants and fast food restaurants.

As noted, you also receive Flight Points for each mile flown, and those translate to ThankYou Points if you spend enough on the card.

Additionally, there is a relationship bonus awarded at the end of each membership year (the date you become a cardholder).

For those who spend less than $50,000, a 5% points bonus is offered. So you’d wind up with 52,500 ThankYou Points.

If you spend between $50,000 and $99,000, the annual bonus jumps to 10%. And it rises to 20% for $100k annual spenders.

The bonuses get even bigger if you have a Citigold or Citi Private Bank relationship. Take a look at the big bonus percentages above.

There is no limit to the amount of points you can earn, and they do not expire.

And you get 33% more value for your ThankYou Points if redeemed for airfare. So 50,000 points equates to 66,500 points, or $664 in value.

The Card Makes Sense If You Travel

In other words, if you like to travel, that $400 annual fee could easily be eclipsed with the many benefits offered via Citi Prestige.

There’s also the peace of mind of knowing your credit card will be accepted abroad, as it relies on chip-based technology, which is now the norm overseas.

You also won’t be subject to any foreign transaction fees with this card, another way to save some money.

When it comes to the credit card APR, you’re looking at a variable 15.24%, with no promotional period for balance transfers.

That said, it’s not the card you want to carry a balance on, or use for balance transfers. It’s only good for those who pay their credit card balance in full.

So if you’re a world traveler and a big spender, Citi Prestige should definitely be included in your credit card comparison.

Tip: If you just want to earn cash back, take a look at the fee-free Blue Cash Everyday Card instead.

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