Citi Prestige® Card
There is no shortage of rewards credit cards on the market today, and customers are being presented with lots of options when it comes to premium travel cards.
The Citi Prestige Card issued by Citibank offers a compelling welcome bonus and competitive benefits for travelers who do not want to be tied down to a specific frequent-flyer program or stay at a specific hotel chain. With its array of perks, Citi Prestige gives both the Platinum Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card a run for their money.
Customers can get up to $640 in value with the sign-up bonus alone when redeeming the points toward flights through the ThankYou Travel Center, and it’s possible to get even more value when transferring points to the ThankYou program’s travel partners.
Although the card’s annual fee of $450 (not waived for the first year) is a bit steep, it’s easy to offset the fee with a $250 air travel credit, which effectively drops the annual fee to $200 for frequent travelers. Throw in the 4th Night Free benefit, $100 Global Entry application reimbursement and Priority Pass Select Membership, and it’s easy to make this card work for you and receive excellent value that exceeds the membership fee.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Citi Prestige® Card offers and the value of the Citi ThankYou® points you earn.
Sign-Up Bonus: Citi Prestige Card offers new card members a welcome bonus of 40,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of opening an account.
$250 Air Travel Credit: The card offers travelers a $250 air travel credit, which automatically applies to purchases made directly with airlines, including airfare and upgrade costs, airline taxes on award tickets, in-flight meals and entertainment, baggage fees, etc. The credit is offered once per calendar year, which means it’s possible to receive a total of $500 in credits before the second membership year’s annual fee is due.
Global Entry: Additionally, cardholders who enroll in Global Entry, a trusted traveler program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, receive a $100 application fee reimbursement once every five years. Global Entry lets passengers breeze through immigration upon arrival in the U.S. Keep in mind that Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck membership, which means passengers can keep their shoes on and laptops in their bags when going through airport security areas.
Priority Pass Select: Card members automatically receive Priority Pass Select Membership, and it’s a lifesaver for those who frequently travel internationally. Priority Pass is a network of about 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. Chances are, you can find a lounge almost anywhere in the world to get a bite, a beverage and relax away from the busy terminal. Membership includes access for the cardholder and up to two guests, which means your travel companions can join you at no extra cost.
4th Night Free: Citi Prestige cardholders qualify for one of the best perks in the credit card world—4th Night Free. To qualify for the perk, you must book a four-night hotel stay with the Citi Prestige Concierge and use the card to pay for the reservation.
What You Get
- Earn 40,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Annual $250 air travel benefit
- $100 credit for Global Entry fees
- Priority Pass Select membership offering access to 900+ airport lounges
- 4th Night Free for hotel stays booked through the Citi Prestige Concierge
ThankYou points do not expire as long as the card remains open and the account is in good standing. However, closing the card will make all the hard-earned points disappear. To prevent the points from expiring, cardholders can transfer them to one of Citi’s travel partners prior to closing their card account.
Another option is to combine the points with another card that’s part of the ThankYou Rewards program, such as Citi ThankYou Premier. However, those points have a lifetime of only 60 days before expiring, so make sure you use them before the window closes. It is also possible to send your ThankYou points to a family member with an active account to keep them alive for 90 days.
What is the value of the ThankYou® Points?
Citi Prestige Card is part of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program. ThankYou points can be redeemed at a rate of 1.33 cents per point toward travel on any airline or 1.6 cents per point toward flights on American Airlines when booked through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center.
So, the card’s sign-up bonus is worth $640 when redeemed toward AA flights or $532 when redeemed toward any other flight. Flights that are booked with points through the ThankYou Travel Center are eligible to accrue both redeemable and elite-qualifying miles.
Unfortunately, the redemption rate will drop to 1.25 cents per point, no matter the airline, on July 23, 2017, which will reduce the value of the sign-up bonus to $500.
Points transferred to one of the loyalty programs that partner with the ThankYou program can generate a higher value, depending on the class of service booked and the season of travel, which affect the cost of revenue flights. Transferring to the right airline and utilizing the right award chart can yield a high return.
Citi ThankYou transfer partners are JetBlue TrueBlue, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair Asia Miles, Etihad Guest, EVA Air, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Garuda Indonesia, Hilton Honors, Jet Airways Jet Privilege, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qantas, Qatar Privilege Club, Sears Shop Your Way, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Royal Orchid Plus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Avianca LifeMiles. In most cases, points transfer at a ratio of 1-to- 1 and transfers are free.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Citi ThankYou Points
The best way to redeem ThankYou points is for travel on American Airlines at the current rate of 1.6 cents per point through the travel portal. Cardholders will typically get a better deal through the ThankYou Travel Center than by transferring points to American and redeeming AAdvantage miles directly with the airline. Not to mention, a ticket purchased through the portal with ThankYou points accrues redeemable miles, and an award ticket does not. You’ll have to hurry, though, since the redemption rate will drop to 1.25 cents per point on July 23.
Transferring ThankYou points to the program’s airline partners offers some great opportunities to maximize value. For instance, Air France and KLM’s frequent flyer program, Flying Blue, has some great redemption opportunities when it comes to booking award flights from the United States to the Caribbean and to Hawaii. Economy redemptions cost just 30,000 Flying Blue miles for a round-trip flight operated by a SkyTeam partner Delta Air Lines. In comparison, both Delta and United Airlines require 35,000 miles for round-trip flights to the Caribbean and 45,000 miles for flights to Hawaii in economy class.
Singapore Airlines is known for its Suites cabin that is available on certain routes, such as New York City to Frankfurt and San Francisco to Hong Kong. Singapore recently devalued its frequent flyer program, KrisFlyer, but it also got rid of exorbitant fuel surcharges, which evened things out in the end. Provided you find Saver fare availability, you can book one of these luxurious suites by transferring ThankYou points to KrisFlyer.
New York–Los AngelesEconomy class
Miles price25,000points+$11 fee
Honolulu–Los AngelesEconomy class
Miles price30,000points+$11 fee
Los Angeles–AustinEconomy class
Miles price19,380points+$0 fee
Los Angeles–HavanaEconomy class
Miles price30,000points+$11 fee
Los Angeles–LondonEconomy class
Miles price41,250points+$314 fee
Miles price50,000points+$76 fee
Orlando–Las VegasBusiness class
Miles price62,500points+$29 fee
Miles price42,408points+$0 fee
Miles price34,000points+$27 fee
New York–MadridBusiness class
Miles price84,000points+$23 fee
New York–Tel AvivBusiness class
Miles price178,750points+$529 fee
Houston–Punta CanaBusiness class
Miles price46,000points+$47 fee
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays1 partners1 part.
Although ThankYou points transfer to Hilton Honors at a rate of 1-to- 1.5, the option doesn’t present the best value for your points. Hilton has completely re-branded its loyalty program, did away with hotel categories and introduced dynamic award pricing. Although there’s still value in the Hilton Honors program, ThankYou points are worth more than Hilton Honors points when transferred to other partners.
Gift Cards101 partners101 part.
ThankYou points can be redeemed for merchant gift cards from more than 100 popular retailers in the ThankYou Rewards collection at a rate of 1 cent per point. That means the sign-up bonus is worth just $400 in gift cards, which is significantly lower than the value achieved by booking travel.
Car Rental3 partners3 part.
The Citi ThankYou program partners with three major car rental companies. That might not sound like a lot, but there’s likely to be an Avis, Budget or Alamo wherever you’re traveling.
It is possible to redeem ThankYou points as cash back in the form of credits applied to your statement, but as with gift cards, this won’t yield the most value. Hence it’s not the best use of your points.
Citi Prestige makes accumulating ThankYou points an easy task for someone who travels and dines out frequently. The card earns 0 ThankYou points per dollar spent on airfare and hotels, 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, and 1 X point per dollar spent on purchases in all other categories. There’s no cap on the number of points you can earn, and thanks to the card’s bonus categories, you’ll be earning points quickly.
Your Monthly Charges
Rewards You Will Earn Annually24,000points$437in dollar value
- All Other Purchases
Air travel and hotel spending are rather straightforward bonus categories. For the bonus points to
apply, airfare must be purchased either directly with airlines or travel agencies, and rooms must be
booked directly with hotels or travel agencies.
Dining includes fast-food restaurants, high-end fine dining establishments and anything in between,
such as cafes, lounges and bars.
Entertainment is a broad category that includes live performances, such as Broadway shows or concerts; movie theaters; amusement parks; aquariums; zoos; tickets to sporting events, such as NCAA and professional events; art galleries; and museums.
Complimentary Lounge Access
A free Priority Pass Select membership gives you access about 1,000 airport lounges around the world.
$250 Airline Credit
Get up to $250 worth of statement credits annually toward airfare, upgrades, incidental fees and more.
Free Concierge Service
Get around the clock access to a team of experts that can help with everything from dinner reservations to finding a special gift. Great resource for any travel and entertainment requests.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Never pay an extra fee for using your card in a foreign country.
Get a $100 application credit every five years. Includes TSA PreCheck.
How Much Do You Have to Spend to Cover the Annual Fee?
The ThankYou Prestige card’s annual fee is $450 , which means that you have to get a lot of value out of the card to cover the cost. However, as we discussed earlier, the air travel credit effectively reduces the annual fee to $200, which is much easier to swallow.
Depending on how you use your ThankYou points, your valuations will be slightly different. If you get a modest value of 1.52 cents per point, you’ll have to spend $13,072 on the card annually after the first year to cover $200. Using the card for purchases that fall into bonus-earning categories makes breaking even easier.
Unfortunately, the annual fee is not waived for the first year. However, after taking into account all the benefits, including the first-year sign-up bonus, air travel credit, Global Entry enrollment reimbursement and the 4th Night Free, the benefits add up substantially and are worth more the fee.
- Balance Transfer Fee
- Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
- Annual Fee
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $35
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
Your Average Monthly Spend
Months to Cover Annual Fee
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $8,242 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Citi Prestige® Card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Citi Prestige® Card
Citi Prestige is one of the best premium rewards credit cards on the market. Below are the most useful perks that come with the card.
- Sign-Up Bonus: The 40,000 points sign-up bonus is worth at least $532 when redeemed for airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, and potentially even more when transferred to travel partners. The value of the bonus is enough to wipe out the first year’s annual fee.
- 4th Night Free: Each time you use the Citi Prestige Concierge service to book a stay that is four nights or longer, you get one night free. The more often you stay, the more money you save.
- $250 Air Travel Credit: The air travel credit is easy to use and helps offset the annual fee substantially. Every time you pay for flights, upgrades, taxes on award tickets, checked baggage, seat assignments, and in-flight meals and entertainment, the statement credit applies automatically.
- Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points on airfare, hotels, dining and entertainment—all the categories in which frequent travelers spend the most money. The points add up for another redemption in no time!
- Excellent Travel Insurance Benefits: You’ll have peace of mind when it comes to unforeseen travel circumstances by simply using the Citi Prestige Card to pay for your trips. Coverage includes worldwide car rental insurance, trip delay/cancelation, lost/delayed baggage protection and roadside assistance, among others.
Should You Get the Citi Prestige® Card?
If you’re looking for a premium travel rewards card that offers a decent sign-up bonus, flexible rewards and the ability to transfer to travel partners, then Citi Prestige makes for a good option.
Although the card’s annual fee of $450 is not waived for the first year, you can enjoy all the benefits, such as free lounge access and concierge service, essentially for free because the value of card’s 40,000 points bonus more than offsets the cost. In fact, you’ll easily be making money once you factor in the annual $250 air travel credit, the 4th Night Free benefit and the Global Entry enrollment fee credit.
The card’s flexible ThankYou points can be redeemed for various items, including travel through ThankYou’s website, award flights with the Citi’s airline partners, merchant gift cards and statement credits. Having redemption options means your points aren’t under a huge risk of devaluation. The Citi Prestige Card is great choice for frequent travelers who fly often, enjoy lounge access and regularly stay at hotels.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- No, Citi Prestige does not charge foreign transaction fees, which makes this card great for international travelers. Depending on the card issuer and the card network, foreign transaction fees typically apply to all purchases made outside of the U.S. and can vary between 1 percent and 3 percent per transaction. Carrying a card that waives foreign transaction fees can help save a substantial amount of money on purchases made overseas. Citi Prestige is also a MasterCard, so you can rest assured that it’d be accepted by many merchants worldwide.
- How does the 4th Night Free benefit work?
Every fourth night of a qualifying hotel stay is free. The booking must be made through Citi Concierge by phone at 800-508- 8930 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you must pay for the entire stay with your Prestige card.
Reservations made before July 23 will qualify for a credit based on the cost of the final night, plus any applicable taxes. Reservations made after July 23, will receive credit based on the average cost of the four nights, minus taxes. It’s possible to save thousands of dollars annually with this benefit alone.
The number of free nights per year is not limited. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to receive two or three complimentary nights on an eight- or a twelve-night stay at the same property. Cardholders cannot book two rooms at the same hotel and qualify for the rebate twice. Hotel rates with other promotional nights, such as third or fifth night free, qualify for the benefit. All-inclusive properties are eligible for the benefit, but rooms in yachts, riverboats, cruises, campgrounds, castles, safaris, villas or apartment rentals do not qualify. The statement credit can take up to two billing periods to apply.
- There’s no cap on the ThankYou points you can earn with the Citi Prestige Card. The more you use your card, the more rewards you earn. The card earns 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on airline tickets and hotel bookings, 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar for everything else. All purchases earn miles, except returns and rebates.
Compare ThankYou® Cards
Citibank offers a few other credit cards in its ThankYou Rewards lineup: Citi ThankYou Preferred, Citi ThankYou Preferred for College Students and Citi ThankYou Premier. Neither of the Preferred Cards charges an annual fee. The Premier card costs $95, but it’s waived for the first year.
Other ThankYou® cards
The standard Preferred card comes with a welcome offer of 0 ThankYou points after making $0 in purchases within three months of opening an account. The card earns 2 points for dining and entertainment, and 1 point for everything else.
The Preferred Card for College Students awards new card members 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 within the first three months of account opening. The card earns the same 2 ThankYou points for dining and entertainment, and 1X point on everything else.
The Premier card offers a bigger sign-up bonus of 0 ThankYou points after spending $0 in the first three months. The card earns 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on travel (including car rentals, gas and parking), 2 points on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar for all other purchases.
Since the Premier card comes close to the Prestige card in terms of sign-up bonus and it offers the same earning potential for everyday purchases, you may be wondering why you’d pay an extra $350 in annual fees for the Prestige card. The simple answer is the benefits. There’s no comparison between the two cards once you consider the free lounge access, the airline credit, the Global Entry fee reimbursement and the 4 th Night Free benefit. If you’ll use those benefits, the Prestige card is well-worth the extra cost.
Compare the Citi Prestige® Card to Other Cards
Citi Prestige is a great option when it comes to premium travel cards. However, there are other premium cards on the market that are worth mentioning. Most of the cards below offer a healthy chunk of flexible rewards with the ability to transfer points to travel partners.
The Platinum Card from American Express offers the biggest sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points, but it also charges the highest annual fee of $550 that is not waived for the first year. However, the Membership Rewards program’s travel partners include something that Citi ThankYou does not have — a domestic airline that’s part of a major airline alliance.
Membership Rewards partners with Delta Air Lines, which is a member of the SkyTeam alliance. Amex Points can be transferred instantly to Delta at a 1-1 ratio. Citi Prestige has only one domestic airline partner, JetBlue, and the transfer ratio isn’t the best — 1,000 ThankYou points to 500 TrueBlue points.
The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN lets small-business owners earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000, plus an additional 25,000 points after spending another $10,000 within the first three months of card membership. The annual fee is $450 .
One great benefit of the Enhanced Business Platinum Amex card is a 35-percent point rebate that’s applied whenever points are redeemed for economy flights on the cardholder’s annually selected airline, or for any premium-class flights on any airline via American Express Travel. The Business Gold Rewards card from American Express OPEN is offering new cardholders a welcome
bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. The card’s annual fee of $175 is waived for the first year.
The best benefit of the Amex Gold Business card is that it offers 3X points for one category of purchases that the cardholder chooses. Options include: airfare purchased directly with airlines, U.S. advertising in select media, U.S. gas stations, U.S. shipping or U.S. computer hardware, software and computing purchases made from select providers. The remaining four categories earn 2 points per dollar (capped at $100,000 annually). All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Excellent credit score
Pay with pointsYes
Flights TypeDomestic and International
AllianceStar Alliance, SkyTeam, OneWorld
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Citi Prestige® Card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with the MasterCard card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 16.74% to 24.74% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 23 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- The manufacturer’s warranty will be extended for any purchase you make on the Prestige card.
- Purchase Protection:
- Covers you for repairs or a refund if purchases made with your Citi card are damaged or stolen within 120 (90 days for New York residents).
- Return Protection:
- If you try to return an item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, Citi may refund you the purchase price.
- Missed Event Ticket Protection:
- If for any reason you’re unable to attend a concert or a sporting event, Citi will reimburse you the cost of up to $500 per ticket, including service fees, as long as you pay for the tickets with the Citi Prestige Card. Up to $5,000 per year per account is covered. Covered circumstances include losing a ticket, canceled event or an accident on the way to the event, among others
- Citi Price Rewind:
- Citi automatically searches for a lower price for the registered items you pay for with your card at hundreds of online merchants. If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 25.99% Variable ±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
Security and Protections
Citi provides its card members with a level of security that offers a peace of mind. The Citi Prestige card comes with a variety of features that help protect you against fraudulent charges and identity theft.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to get notified when a large transaction posts to your account, there is an unauthorized withdrawal, or if your bill is due.
- Banking on the Go:
- Track your account with Citi’s mobile app.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Credit Score Monitoring and Reports:
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries made on your history.
- Citi Identity Theft Solutions:
- Provides assistance contacting credit bureaus and filing police reports if you experience identity theft.
- Fraud Early Warning:
- Monitors your account and takes appropriate actions to detect suspicious activity and prevent fraudulent charges.
Most Citi cards, including the Prestige, are compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay—mobile wallet services that provide a quick and easy way to make payments at participating merchants. Purchase protection, such as damage and theft, applies every time you tap and pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
Master Card Travel Benefits
- Worldwide Car Rental Insurance:
- When you pay for a rental car with the Prestige card or with ThankYou points, Citi will cover up to $100,000 toward the cost of repairs if you get into an accident. The coverage is secondary to your personal car insurance within the United States. It is primary coverage when the rental takes place outside of the U.S.
- Baggage Delay Insurance:
- In the case of a checked luggage delay of three hours or more, cardholders are covered for up to $500 per traveler as reimbursement for the cost of essential items, such as toiletries or a change of clothes.
- Trip Cancelation and Interruption Protection:
- If you have to cancel, cut short or extend a trip because of covered reasons, such as sickness, injury or death, you could be compensation up to $5,000 per person per trip. To be eligible for the benefit, at least a portion of the trip must be paid with the card or ThankYou points.
- Trip Delay Protection:
- If a trip scheduled by a common carrier, such as an airplane, train, ferry or cruise ship, is delayed by more than three hours, the cardholder is covered up to $500 in expense reimbursement per traveler per trip. To be eligible for the benefit, at least a portion of the trip must be paid with the card or ThankYou points.
- Lost Baggage Protection:
- In the case of a checked luggage being lost, stolen or damaged, cardholders are eligible for coverage of up to $3,000 per bag ($2,000 for New York residents) or up to $10,000 per trip maximum. To be eligible for the benefit, at least a portion of the fare must be paid with the card or ThankYou points.
- Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service:
- Citi will send help 24/7 to any of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Roadside assistance covers the primary cardholder for towing, jump starts, flat tire changes and lockout services. To be eligible for the benefit, cardholders must be inside the vehicle. An ordinary tow-truck must be able to have access to the car.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance:
- Emergencies happen. Citi will help the cardholder with emergency travel arrangements; transfers of cash from a family member, friend or business account; visa and immunizations; and more.
- Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance:
- This coverage offers financial help of up to $1,000,000 to cardholders or their loved ones in case of death, losing limbs, speech or hearing due to an accident on a common carrier, such as airplane, bus, train or a ferry. To be eligible for the benefit, at least a portion of the fare must be paid with the card or ThankYou points.