Citi Prestige by the Numbers

I’m a numbers guy.

citi prestige

Here’s looking at you, kid

I’ll keep this page updated with my experiences reaping value from the Citi Prestige card, which I opened in November 2015. Here are my first impressions of the card.

I’m currently paying the $450 annual fee after I didn’t have luck getting a lower annual fee in-branch.

To get the lower $350 annual fee you could open a Citigold account, fund it (and even earn American Airlines miles by spending $1,000 on purchases, and completing 2 bill payments per month for 2 months), downgrade to a basic checking account, and leave $1,500 in it. I might consider this once I’m settled in after my impending move to Dallas.

In any regard, here’s a record of my adventures with Citi Prestige:

Year 1 (November 2015 to November 2016)

Total: $3,289

Comments

  1. Um, how did you manage to get the $250 flight credit TWICE in both one 12-month AND one calendar year?

    (November 15 purchase of Martinique flights and December 17 purchase of Dallas flights)

    • Yes! Great question, glad you asked.

      I’m posting these credits based on purchase date NOT when they actually post.

      And getting the $250 annual travel credit twice from the $450 annual fee was the biggest reason I urged peeps to apply ASAP in this post: http://outandout.boardingarea.com/citi-prestige-no-luck-getting-a-350-annual-fee-in-branch-and-why-to-apply-asap/

      I got the first $250 credit for the November flights in December. And another $250 credit for the December flights in January.

      Because the credit runs December through December, and I opened the card in November, I was able to use it twice (once for the flights in November before the December statement closed, and again after it closed). The annual fee also posted on the December statement.

      All-in-all, I paid $450 but got $500 in flights in the 1st 2 months of having this card. And the rest is gravy almost all of 2016.

      Of course, if you get the card now, you can get a $250 flight credit. And again after the statement closes in December. So it’s actually always possible to get the credit twice in a year from the card’s annual fee.

      Hope that was a clear explanation!

  2. Harlan,

    Do you really need to open the card in November to get the $250 twice? It seems like you should be able to get the $250 airline credit twice, even if you open the card in any month of the year. Am I right?

    • You are absolutely right. The only advantage with opening it in November is that you get the $250 statement credit 2 months back-to-back (December and January).

  3. This is a cool part of your blog! I hope you keep it up. I know a lot of people that initially laugh at me for having a card with a $450 AF (though I did get it reduced to $350 with opening a Citigold). When I list out the savings, similar to yours but not as much, they can’t believe a credit card offers such a benefit. I love my Prestige

  4. Wondering if those Lounge access are things that you’d have paid otherwise… I tend to only use the lounges that I have free access to, and I’d not pay for it, since $35 per person of airport food… you can get a better deal pretty much in any airport restaurant.

    • It’s probably about 50/50. Mostly because I like the free drinks, and I tend to spend about an hour each visit. Sometimes I go just because I have access (I don’t include those visits here). But sometimes I definitely get my “money’s worth” in food and drinks over the course of an hour or more.

      Here, I only include the visits where I feel like I’ve gotten outsized value from having the Citi Prestige card. Otherwise every other entry would be for lounge access.

      Thanks for asking that question! You have an extremely valid point.

  5. That’s what I thought, but I was hoping you discovered some kind of loophole. BTW, how are you liking Dallas? We’re in super expensive Denver, and I’ve been tossing around the idea of relocating to a cheaper state like Texas. Though, the weather in CO has certainly spoiled us.

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