Is Citi Planning Changes to the Prestige Card?

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I got an email from Citi asking me to take a survey put together by ISG Research (Insight Strategy Group).

Citi's

Citi’s rather vague email

The subject was, “We want your feedback on the best credit card rewards programs.”

But once I got into it, I realized they were asking about the Citi Prestige card.

The email even said, “Cardmember since 2015,” which was the year I got my Citi Prestige card.

In the survey, they ask the respondent to consider several mash-ups of card features and select the best option.

They throw around current Citi Prestige features like the 4th night free, annual fee, transfer partners, and ancillary benefits like the 3 free rounds of golf.

What is Citi considering?

Citi asks about an adjustment to the 4th night free perk, including:

  • Reimbursing actual room cost, but not taxes or fees
  • Limiting the perk to 2 times per year
  • Giving a straight 25% percent off instead of the 4th night free(to balance an expensive 4th night)

There’s some play about the travel perks, notably the $250 annual airline credit. They ask you to balance:

  • A $200 annual credit
  • Free checked bags
  • $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Free in-flight wifi

They even ask about the points-earning structure and mention an increased value when transferring points to Hilton, specifically.

Most alarming is they seem hyper-focused on raising the annual fee. Or cutting benefits for the sake of a lower annual fee.

The changes result in a fee somewhere between $400 and $550 per year. I guess it would depend on what exactly gets added or taken away.

Finally, they ask you to rank your top 3 choices for an ideal travel card.

Here are some snaps from the survey:

2016-05-31_09-26-18

Citi survey #1

2016-05-31_09-25-07

Citi survey #2

2016-05-31_09-24-04

Citi survey #3

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Rank the top 3

A few more thoughts

I really, really, really don’t want Citi to change the Prestige card. I love it as-is.

In fact, it’s perhaps my favorite credit card right now. It’s saved me over $2,000 since I’ve had it!

My favorite credit card rn

If they change anything at all, I’d like them to expand the 3X travel category to include gas and other travel-related purchases instead of just airfare and hotel stays. That, in my opinion, would bury the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

They also asked about the possibility of including Hilton Gold status with the card, which would put it in line with the AMEX Platinum Card. And about various ways to access airline lounges.

Another cool question was about combining ThankYou points and the 4th night free benefit. And receiving the 4th night free credit upfront instead of waiting for it to post as a statement credit within 1-2 billing cycles.

However, I’d rather have the card as-is for $450 a year than pay more for it. Unless the perks are really good.

Bottom line

Something is afoot at Citi. It seems they are taking a hard look at the Citi Prestige card in particular.

These changes, if they happen, are hopefully a while away. My main takeaway from this survey is to enjoy the perks while they’re still around. Because they won’t last forever.

I’ve long worried Citi Prestige benefits have been, to date, a little too generous. Perhaps Citi agrees and is considering a raise in the annual fee. Or cutting the benefits in exchange for a lower annual fee.

What do you make of this survey? Which features would you want to see added (or removed and replaced with others)?

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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  1. I receive the same survey a month or so ago. I hope they don’t change it too much. It’s a great card and I’ll keep it for the longhaul.

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