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Of the premium travel credit cards, the Citi Prestige® Card is possibly the most interesting. It’s possible to get complimentary hotel nights at luxury hotels and airport lounge access. However, the Citi Prestige has revamped many of its card benefits. Some changes are good and others are not so good.

Citi Prestige review
Learn how to get complimentary hotel nights with this Citi Prestige review. Photo by Julius Silver from Pexels

The Citi Prestige Card takes a unique approach to maximizing your travel purchases. This card can be most valuable if you redeem points for award flights. Let’s take a further look to determine if it is right for you.

The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

In-Depth Citi Prestige Review

Many considered the Citi Prestige to be the best premium travel credit card a few years ago. Then, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® launched in 2016 and The Platinum Card® from American Express relaunched soon after. The Citi Prestige® Card has been stuck somewhere in the middle of both cards.

Below are the latest perks that you get with the Citi Prestige Card.

50,000 Bonus ThankYou Points ($500 Travel Value)

You can earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou points by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth $500 when booking any travel in the ThankYou Travel Center.

The Citi Prestige Card no longer offers a travel redemption bonus when booking award flights on the ThankYou Travel Center. This benefit disappeared on September 1, 2019. As a result, this is the least valuable of the premium travel credit card bonus offers.

Also, you will only be able to qualify for this bonus when you haven’t already earned a bonus for another Citi ThankYou-family credit card or if you’ve closed an account in the most recent 24 months. These cards include the Citi Rewards+℠, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier℠ or Citi Prestige®.

Earn Up to 5x ThankYou Points on Purchases

Each card purchase earns ThankYou points per $1 spent:

  • 5x points on air travel
  • 5x points on restaurants
  • 3x points on cruise lines
  • 3x points on hotels
  • 1x points on everything else

The Prestige Card no longer earns bonus points on entertainment purchases.

Also, this card no longer qualifies for a Citi relationship bonus to earn extra points. Citigold members can still get an annual $145 statement credit plus $25 per authorized user.

Redeeming ThankYou Points

Your points are most valuable when booking award travel. Each point is worth 1 cent each on the ThankYou Travel Center. Each point can also be worth 1 cent each for gift cards.

Transferring ThankYou Points

The most valuable redemption option for the Citi Prestige (and some of the best Citi credit cards) can be transferring your points at a 1:1 ratio to the Citi ThankYou airline partners:

  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Aeromexico
  • Asia Miles
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air
  • Flying Blue
  • JetBlue
  • JetPrivilege
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Redeeming your points directly through the airline can easily make each point worth more than 1 cent each. Keeping them for first-class and business class flights are usually your most lucrative option. Each point can usually be worth as much as 6 cents each on these flights.

You can book parter flights for domestic airlines through many of these transfer partners. But these partners can be frustrating if you want to transfer them directly to a major domestic airline. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and JetBlue as 1:1 transfer partners. And, your points are worth 1.5 cents each when booking award travel on the Chase travel portal.

Travel Perks

The Citi Prestige is a premium travel credit card because of its many additional travel benefits. Whether or not you can use these benefits will help you decide if the Citi Prestige is worth it.

4th Hotel Night Free

This signature benefit gives you the 4th night free (you still pay the fees and taxes and fees) on a 4+ night stay. You will need to book the stay through the ThankYou travel portal. If you stay at expensive hotels, this perk alone can save you more money than you pay in the $495 annual fee.

Effective September 1, 2019, you can only use this benefit twice per the calendar year. If you already own the Prestige Card, any hotel bookings made before September 1, 2019, don’t apply toward the new restriction.

If you’re interested in other credit cards that earn free nights, check out some of the best hotel credit cards.

$250 Travel Credit

Each year, you also get a $250 travel credit. This credit now applies to all travel purchases. Previously, it was only for airfare.

This credit is $50 more than the Platinum Card from American Express (that only applies to airline fees). But, it’s $50 less than the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit which also applies to your first yearly travel purchases. However, the Reserve’s annual fee is $550.

Priority Pass Select

You will get complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge membership. This benefit is standard with the other premium cards. However, the Platinum Card from American Express gives you access to networks like the Centurion, Delta Sky Club, and Plaza Premium.

Other Travel Benefits

Additional travel benefits include:

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Discounted green fees at over 2,000 golf courses worldwide
  • Citi Entertainment (access to ticket presales, dining, and unique experiences)
  • 24/7 concierge service
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cell Phone Protection

Citi removed many of their purchase protection benefits from their ThankYou credit card lineup in late 2019. One non-travel benefit you may enjoy is up to $1,500 in annual cell phone protection. Coverage extends to five phones on your monthly bill.

Annual Fee

The annual fee for the primary card is $495. Each additional card is $75 per year.

Citi Prestige Review: The Positives and Negatives

Pros

  • 4th night free for two 4+ hotel night stays per year (minus food and taxes)
  • $250 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access
  • Earn 5x ThankYou points on air travel and restaurants
  • $1,500 in annual cell phone protection

Cons

  • Most 1:1 airline transfer partners are for international airlines
  • No point redemption bonus for award flights
  • $495 annual fee is high if you don’t use the air travel and hotel benefits
  • The signup bonus is less valuable than similar premium cards

When the Citi Prestige Is Worth It

  • Can use the $250 annual travel credit and complimentary hotel nights
  • Like the 1:1 airline transfer partners
  • Want Priority Pass airport lounge access
  • Earn 3 or 5 points per $1 on travel purchases

When the Citi Prestige Isn’t Worth It

  • You can’t use the complimentary hotel night benefits
  • The 1:1 airline transfer partners don’t offer award flights you use
  • Don’t want to redeem your points for award travel at ThankYou Travel Center

Summary of the Citi Prestige Review

In summary of this Citi Prestige Card review, we’ve learned that it can be a good option if you want to earn up to 5 points per $1 on air travel and dining. But, you need to easily be able to redeem your ThankYou points and use the hotel and air travel benefits. If so, the Citi Prestige might be a nice fit in your wallet.

FAQs

Is the Citi Prestige worth it?

The Citi Prestige can be worth it if you can use the card’s complimentary travel benefits.
These benefits include:

  • 4th hotel night free on a 4+ night hotel stay (up to 2 stays per year)
  • $250 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • 1:1 airline transfer partners
  • Earn up to 5 points per $1 on select travel and dining purchases

What is the Citi Prestige?

The Citi Prestige Card is a premium travel rewards credit card. Most travel credit cards only let you earn and redeem points but don’t offer “fringe benefits” like airport lounge access or travel credits.

The Citi Prestige offers the following complimentary travel perks:

  • 4th hotel night free on a 4+ stay
  • $250 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass airport lounge member
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • 1:1 airline transfer partners including FlyingBlue, JetBlue, and Singapore Airlines
  • No foreign transaction fee

Although the Prestige has an eye-popping $495 annual fee (plus $75 per additional user), the travel benefits can be worth more than your annual fee. Although you spend more upfront, you can spend less over the course of a year.

If you can the most of it, it can be one of the best travel credit cards.

Is the Citi Prestige card metal?

Yes. The Citi Prestige is made of a metal alloy. It weighs approximately 18 grams which makes it one of the heaviest metal credit cards. For comparison, the Platinum Card from American Express weighs 18 grams but the Chase Sapphire Reserve weighs 13 grams. A plastic credit card usually weighs 5 grams.

Learn more: Best metal credit cards

How much are Citi Prestige points worth?

Your Citi ThankYou Prestige points are worth 1 cent each when redeeming award travel or gift cards in your Citi ThankYou account. Points can be worth be when transferring to one of the ThankYou airline partners. After transferring at a 1:1 ratio, they can be worth as much as 6 cents each on select first class and business class flights.

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Josh Patoka

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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