The Citi Prestige® Card is one of the most expensive offers on the market, but strong perks, good signup bonus and nice reward rates of this card in hands of smart traveler very soon will pay back high annual fee. Overall we consider the Citi Prestige® Cards one of the top priorities for any frequent traveler.
- Great signup bonus – 40,000 ThankYou® points,
- Good rewards rate – 3 ThankYou® points for travel purchases, 2 ThankYou points – for entertainment and dining out, 1 ThankYou® point for all other purchases,
- Great set of additional perks and benefits,
- Increased redemption rate for travel purchases.
- High annual fee,
- Excellent credit score is required.
You get a 40,000 ThankYou® points signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on this card in purchases within first 3 months. For each $1 spent towards travel purchases you get 3 ThankYou® points. You also get 2 points for each $1 spent on dining out and entertainment activities, and 1 ThankYou® point on all other purchases. There is no limit on amount of points you can earn and points never expire until you close your account.
Rewards and redemption rate on travel purchases make this card one of the best credit cards for frequent travelers. When you redeem your points on airfare, you get a 25% redemption rate increase. Thus, unlike standard redemption rate 1 cent per 1 points, points redemption on travel with the Citi Prestige® Card grants you 1.25 cents per 1 point. For example, your signup bonus if redeemed for travel will be worth of $500 compared to $400 if redeemed for other purchases. Moreover, not only airfare and hotel stays are counted as “travel”, but also taxis, public transportation, motels, campgrounds, cruises, etc.
However, the way the Citi Prestige® Card defines whether purchase falls into “entertainment” category is vague – it depends on merchant’s code which may not belong to “entertainment” even if its service looks like it. What is definitely recognized by the Citi Prestige® Card as entertainment are movie theaters, video rental stores and record stores, as well as amusement parks.
Of course, if you prefer to redeem some amount of your points on another type of purchases, Citi ThankYou® Rewards Collection offers a wide range of options – starting from regular gift cards to charity donations. The least profitable option to utilize points is to redeem them for statement credit – in such case you get only 0.5 cents per 1 point.
Also, you can transfer points (starting from 1,000 points) to the list of airline and hotel loyalty programs with 1-to-1 points rate. The only exceptions are JetBlue airlines, which gives you 0.8 JetBlue points for 1 ThankYou® point, and Hilton HHonors program, that grants you 1.5 HHonors points for 1 ThankYou® points.
Here is the full list of the Citi Prestige® Card transfer partners:
- Virgin Atlantic
- Thai Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- EVA Air
- Cathay Pacific
- Air France/KLM
Moreover, each year you receive a $250 Air Travel Credit that might be applied to flight-related expenses, such as airfare itself, luggage fees, class upgrade, and others. In fact, Air Travel Credit is a way to diminish the Citi Prestige® Card annual fee for the first year. The trick here is that your annual fee is counted on a rolling basis, i.e. you pay annual fee after a year of the card use. At the same time, you receive Air Travel Credit each calendar year, which means that if you get the Citi Prestige® Card at the end of the year, to the moment when you have to pay annual fee you will get Air Travel Credit twice.
Air Travel Credit might be used towards reimbursement of expenses booked directly at the airline. Purchases made through travel agencies and services are not eligible for reimbursement.
Card perks and benefits
The Citi Prestige® Card participates in the World Elite Mastercard® payment program, and its holders can enjoy all the benefits provided by the World Elite. These benefits include 24/7 Concierge Service, Auto Collision Damage Waiver and many others. To learn more about features of World Elite Mastercard®, read our review of this program.
Perks and benefits of the Citi Prestige® Card are not limited to the ones offered by World Elite Mastercard® – a list of additional juicy features are provided by Citi itself.
Citi Private Pass®. Citi Private Pass® is designed especially for those who wants to get a maximum entertainment-related rewards from the Citi Prestige® Card. Private Pass® is an online portal that grants exclusive access to tickets pre-sales, VIP tickets, tickets at special price, etc., at numerous concerts, theaters, dining and sport events. Sometimes at Private Pass® you can even buy tickets for events that are already sold out at regular merchants. You also can visit Behind the Scenes events available only for Citi cardholders. If you bought ticket through Citi Private Pass® and by some reason you missed event, just use Missed Ticket Protection to get reimbursed.
The only limitation of Citi Private Pass® is that it sells tickets for events throughout US; events abroad are not available.
Citi Price Rewind. This service is your protection against untimely sales. If you make a purchase, register it at Citi Price Rewind that will track item’s price at the most popular merchants. If within 60 days after date of the purchase item will appear on sale, you will get a reimbursement of the price difference.
Exclusive Lounge Access. With the Citi Prestige® Card you get a complimentary access to the 850 airport lounge zones worldwide through Priority Pass Select program. When visiting Priority Pass lounge zones, you are allowed for up to two guest or immediate family members.
This is quite valuable bonus because Priority Pass Select membership by its opportunities is equal to Priority Pass Prestige, which costs $399 for membership annually. With the Citi Prestige® Card you get Priority Pass membership automatically.
Hotel benefits. If you book a hotel stay no shorter than 4 consecutive nights through Citi Prestige® Concierge, you can enjoy 4th night for free. This option is available at any hotel for your choice. To be eligible for this complimentary benefit, you must pay in full for hotel stay from your Citi Prestige® Card. Cost of the 4th night will come back on your card in a form of a statement credit. Users authorized to your Citi Prestige® Card are not eligible for this benefit.
Although to receive 4th complimentary night hotel stay must be booked through Citi Prestige® Concierge, you still earn reward points on hotel booking.
Airport Concierge Service. Although this service is provided not by the Citi, but by the Mastercard®, the Citi Prestige® cardholders get a 15% discount on Airport Concierge Service. This service provides you experienced assistance at the airport. If you need to arrange fast-track through immigration control, meeting at the plane door, etc., Airport Concierge Service is ready to help.
How much it costs
Annual fee is $450, and additional $50 for each user you authorizes to the card. Variable 16.74% - 24.74% APR on purchases and balance transfers applies. APR for cash advances is 26.24%. Penalty APR up to 29.99% might be applied indefinitely if you make late payments or payment is returned. Foreign transaction fee is 0%. Penalty fees up to $35 applies for each late or returned payment.
Comparison with other cards
Here we compare important quantitative features of the Citi Prestige® Card with other travel credit cards.
Citi Prestige® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
BankAmericard Travel Rewards®
$95 waived for the first year
$89 waived for the first year
3 points per $1 on travel, 2 points per $1 on dining and entertainment, 1 points per $1 on all other
2 points per $1 on travel and dining, 1 point per $1 on all other
2 miles per $1 on all
Up to 2.62 points per $1 on all
Up to 1.25 cents per 1 point
Maximum 1.25 cents per 1 point
Up to 1 cent per 1 point
1 cent per 1 point
APR on Purchases
|16.74% - 24.74%||16.99% - 23.99%||16.74%, 20.74% or 23.74%|| |
15.99% - 23.99% APR (0% first 12 months)
As you can see, the Citi Prestige® Card is one the most expensive travel cards when it comes to the annual fee. However, it has best rewards rate and redemption rate on travel. In combination with bunch of additional perks this card must be one of the top priorities of any frequent traveler.
The bottom lineDespite its high annual fee, the Citi Prestige® Card beats it with great rewards for travel, dining out and entertainment, as well as with good redemption rate for travel and list of additional exclusive travel benefits. We strongly recommend this premium travel card for frequent travelers who prefer to redeem their points on travel.
Although rewards and benefits of this card are mostly travel-oriented, it also will be quite valuable for customers interested in entertainment. Good rewards rate for entertainment activities and Citi Private Pass® will grant you unforgettable entertainment options.