Yes! Instantly Approved for Citi Prestige!

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I just had 3 rum and cokes and bit the bullet.

I’m now the proud owner of a Citi Prestige card.

I was worried about not being instantly approved online because I’ve heard that lots of folks with perfectly good credit have had their applications “denied,” then approved after a few days of waiting, which sounds stress-y.

So, a bit drunkenly but full of courage, I approached the Citi Prestige application.

My experience applying for Citi Prestige

Link: Get a Travel Rewards Card

Is there any screen that gets your heart racing more? Geez!

Is there any screen that gets your heart racing more? Geez!

I decided to just do it, unsure of what to expect.

And then…



The approval screen popped up. Instantly approved with a $19K limit! I’m beyond excited!

I clicked through a few more screens, and confirmed the annual fee of $450. Which I’m OK with considering it’s not possible to lock in the $350 annual fee any more.

That's fine, man. I'll get so much more out of it

That’s fine, man. I’ll get so much more out of it

A few minutes later, I got an email confirming the info and telling me to look out for a FedEx shipment within 3 days.

a screenshot of a credit card

Already planning another trip!

I’m honestly so excited. I’ll use the $250 airline credit right away because it’ll reset next month. Then I’ll get another $250 to use, for a total of $500. That already more than covers the $450 annual fee.

And, I’ll use the 4th night free perk like a mofo. 

This card also comes with Admirals Club and Priority Pass lounge access with together are worth $900, and free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (but go for Global Entry because it includes PreCheck!).

Now that I’ve taken the plunge, I’m already seeing the possibilities with this card.

The 50,000 Citi ThankYou point sign-up bonus is worth at least $800 on American Airlines flights alone! That’s because each Citi ThankYou point is worth 1.6 cents each when you redeem for American Airlines flights – even codeshare flights!

This’ll be a great chance to explore Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer and maybe FlyingBlue promo awards.

And overall, I’m excited about learning about a new program and maximizing the perks. Bring it on!

Bye, AMEX Plat!

C yaaa

C yaaa

Now that this deal is done, it’s time to say goodbye to the AMEX Platinum Card.

I can’t have 2 cards with a $450 annual fee, and at this point Citi Prestige is worth more and will get me more benefits than the AMEX Platinum Card.

I’m also going to go ahead and downgrade my EveryDay Preferred to an regular no annual fee EveryDay card to keep my points alive and transferable. So, pretty much, goodbye AMEX. It’s been real (and actually not that great if I’m being honest).

What it all means

Citi is making huge strides recently, and it’s time I took notice.

AMEX, to me, is a floundering brand that isn’t trying any more. That leaves Chase and Citi as the heavy hitters in the credit card points space.

It’ll be interesting to watch them compete (because when banks compete, you win!).

I’ll lose 4.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points at grocery stores, but meh, I buy most things from Costco anyway. And they’re switching to Visa in March 2016. So the AMEX thing wouldn’t last anyway.

Interesting developments are happening, and I’m excited to start using Citi Prestige, its ThankYou points system, and the many perks it has.

Bottom line

Whatever glitch was causing peeps to get kicked out of Citi Prestige applications seems to be fixed. I was instantly approved with a pretty high limit instantly online.

Because you probably shouldn’t hold out for a reduced annual fee, 50,000 Citi ThankYou points online might be as good as it’s going to get for the time being.

Which is fine because you can recoup $500 in airline credits nearly right away.

I was nervous about applying, but I shouldn’t have been. And now I’m looking forward to getting rid of/downgrading my AMEX cards and moving into a Chase/Citi combo for the bulk of my spending (with a little Fidelity AMEX and Discover It thrown in for good measure).

If you decide to sign-up for this card, thank you thank you for clicking through my links!

Would love to hear opinions about Citi Prestige – does it hold the same allure to you as it did (does) for me?

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. I applied in branch last week and got the $350 annual fee offer with 50k typ for $3k spend in 3 months. Got the card in the mail 3 days later. Did not need to have citigold and I only have credit card accounts with citi

    • Yes, I tried to get that same offer. But as of today, I couldn’t. Not sure if it’s over or what, but I wanted to be sure to get the $250 annual airline credit twice.

      I’m in the same boat, only have credit cards with Citi. The banker seemed surprised that the annual fee had gone up in-branch.

  2. Just to note again, anyone can get the $350 fee with a Gold account. As you noted previously, though, that entails either paying a monthly fee or giving them $50K in savings/checking. Or $15K in a business account.

    As another reminder, all the physical Citi branches in TX were sold earlier this year.

    • Yes sir, thanks for noting the workarounds!

      I think I’ll leave my monies where they are and pony up the extra $100. But for some, it might be worth it to have a Citi checking relationship, definitely.

      I won’t look for a Citi branch in Texas once I get there full-time. Seems odd though, as some of the country’s largest cities are there!

    • Danke! Can’t wait to get started. I’m going to seriously track how much I save the 1st year with this card. Looking forward to it. Gonna go full nerd with this one!

  3. Any idea what gift cards you are going to target? I’ve hear AA and SW work not Alaska. I’m hoping that’s not true though.

  4. The $350 AF will persist if you sign up for Citigold, enjoy several months without a fee being charged, then downgrading to free checking. Citi won’t come back and add the AF.

  5. I did the same thing and cancelled my Amex platinum. Now how do you redeem AA flights using the 1.6 thank you points ?

  6. Harlan, Your blog on these cards is very helpful. I’m in the same boat as I have the AMEX Plat MB edition and since I travel with my wife and family I end up racking several $27 charges for Priority Pass! I called AMEX trying to see if they can do something about this and the response I received is to get a $100 one time offer for a discounted second card for my wife -I still have to pay the extra $75 and I will have to pay the full amount next year at renewal. I don’t think AMEX is realizing how much competition they have now with Citi and Chase and they are relying on their past reputation. As far as the benefits go, the AMEX $200 airline credit is not worth it as I’m mostly an international traveler but the Citi $250 -as you correctly stated- a much better benefit. I think I’m going to switch soon to Citi Prestige.

    • I found the AMEX benefits restrictive, too. Very much looking forward to what Citi Prestige has to offer. I just made the leap and it sounds like it would be a good choice for you, too!

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