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Oh, Citi Prestige. How prestigious you once made me feel. You’re probably still my favorite card overall, but your shine has tarnished since I fell for you in November 2015.
Since then, you’ve returned well over $2,000 in value for me. And you’re still giving.
But, cruel winter awaits. As of July 23rd, 2017, you can’t have my heart any more. I’ll have to take it back. You’re going to change.
Like a trojan horse, Chase unleashed the Chase Sapphire Reserve which now blows you out of the water.
Citi, you were competing so well. What happened? (My guess is they were losing too much dinero.)
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A once-great card that’s now only worth it if you have a lot of paid hotel stays of 4+ nights.
You will earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. That’s easily worth $532, as Citi ThankYou points points are worth 1.33 cents each toward travel booked through Citi. And $640 toward American Airlines flights booked through Citi at the rate of 1.6 cents each. So, a decent sign-up bonus.
But beginning July 23rd, 2017, Citi will take away:
- The 1.6 rate toward redeeming points on American Airlines flights AND the 1.33 rate on other airlines (down to 1.25 like Citi ThankYou Premier – oops!)
- The 3 free rounds of golf
- American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access (this is already gone for new cardmembers)
- Taxes and fees from the 4th night free, and move to a 25% discount (an average of all the nightly room rates)
So basically… it’s the Citi ThankYou Premier card with a hotel perk.
Note that if apply for the card now, you will NOT get Admirals Club access. But you’ll still get the Priority Pass Select card, which could be worth it for some peeps.
This card will still have 3X on airfare and hotel stays, and 2X on dining and entertainment.
But! Citi ThankYou Premier has a broader 3X category for ALL travel purchases including gas. And a much lower $95 annual fee.
And now Chase has said hoo-hah by adding a 3X category for travel (not for gas) and dining to the new Sapphire Reserve. So the piddly categories on Citi Prestige seem… not so great.
However, if you have a lot of paid hotel stays, you can easily recoup the card’s $450 annual fee with two or three bookings – that’s worth something.
But if you like racking up Citi ThankYou points, there are better cards (Citi ThankYou Premier and Citi AT&T Access More).
Also remember, Citi now limits the sign-up bonus per family of cards. So if you’ve opened OR closed another ThankYou points-earning card in the past 24 months, you can’t earn the sign-up bonus.
Yep, just “Cool.”
The bonus categories no longer feel “bonus-y” and that they’re going to cut their flagship perks is a huge blow to the value of this card.
Again, if you pay for a lot of hotel stays, it IS worth it to keep this card for the 25% perk.
And if you don’t have the Chase Sapphire Reserve *cough*, it’s nice to earn 3X on airfare and your hotel stays. So basically just book hotels with this card. I’d say that’s cool, wouldn’t you?
Keep or DTMFA: Keep.
- Link: Apply for Card Offers
Quite simply, if it’s giving you value, then there ya go.
If you want to earn 3X Citi ThankYou points for travel, get the Citi ThankYou Premier. Because you can also book travel at a value of 1.25 cents per point (note that Prestige is still superior until July 23, 2017 with 1.6 for American Airlines and 1.33 for other airlines).
Also keep if it’s easy for you to rack up Citi ThankYou points across multiple cards, because that DOES add up and adds value to each card (the idea of synergy).
The best reason to keep it though
I have to sing the Citi Prestige card’s unsung song: they have the BEST trip and baggage delay coverage of ANY card – only 3 hours!
A 3-hour delay and I can start feeding myself? Well hell, I’ve been delayed 3 hours a time or two.
Other premium cards, including the precious Chase Sapphire Reserve make you wait 6 hours. And oddly enough, the Chase Sapphire Preferred AND Citi ThankYou Premier have it as 12 hours (!).
For that reason alone, I consciously book my airfare on this card exclusively.
But when and if I ever get the Chase Sapphire Reserve (Update: I got it!), I’ll still charge airfare to Citi Prestige because of this benefit and 3X Citi ThankYou points. Plus, I can easily get award flights with Citi ThankYou points – they still have value.
Citi Prestige leads for trip and baggage delay. If you live in a hub where weather is prone to cause delays (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, even New York), I’d give a second thought to this card. Especially if you have a lot of paid hotel stays (did I just type that for the like fifth time? Geez!). There, I sang my song.
I will personally keep this card for as long as I can recoup the annual fee easily. After that, sayonara, I’ll pay for my own food if I’m delayed.
So what do you make of this assessment of Citi Prestige? Still a good card… or nah?
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.