Citi Prestige Card Review
The Citi Prestige card is one of the more expensive options available. However, it comes with benefits that can be huge for cardholders. Is the Citi Prestige card worth it? We’ll outline the pros and cons below. This way, you’ll know whether or not this is a card you want to add to your wallet.
Citi Prestige Card Pros
1. Priority Pass
Cardholders with the Citi Prestige get Priority Pass. This service makes traveling and waiting in airports more convenient. You’ll get access to hundreds of airport lounges across the country free of charge. This is great for frequent flyers who want a chance to rest in comfort and style between flights. So all you have to do is show your card, scan it, and you’ll gain access.
You get bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months of having the card. Depending on where you fly, that’s like two or three ticket purchases. You can use these points to redeem rewards whenever you like. If you don’t make the spending limit in four months, you won’t get your sign up bonus.
3. Rewards Rate
This card has a very generous rewards rate for their cardholders, but how much are Citi Prestige points worth? You earn five points for every dollar you spend at restaurants and for air travel. You earn three points per dollar on cruises and hotels. Every other purchase will earn you one point per dollar spent. The points never expire, and you can stack them as long as you want.
4. Complimentary Hotel Stay
Twice a year, Citi Prestige cardholders get two complimentary fourth-night hotel stays. You do have to book four consecutive nights in a row for this to work. Additionally, you have to book through the ThankYou.com portal. However, this can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars in savings each year.
5. No Blackout Dates
One of the most frustrating things about traveling and using points is blackout dates. However, the Citi Prestige card makes this a thing of the past. There are no blackout dates with this card. This means you can book flights 365 days of the year without a problem. It’s especially useful for holiday travel.
6. Several Redemption Options
Unlike some cards, you have a host of ways to redeem your points with this card. You can use them for travel and airfare. However, you can also redeem cash, merchandise, and dozens of gift cards. Since the points don’t expire, you could easily stack them for larger redemption offers. You can pool them with other Citi cards too!
7. Transfer Points
There are 13 travel partners connected to Citi. You can transfer your points to any of these 13 partners. The points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. This is convenient if you don’t normally travel with one specific airline or travel agency. You’ll still get to use your points when you travel, no matter the airline.
8. Annual Travel Credit
Each year that you use your Citi Prestige card and keep it in good standing, you get a credit. This is a $250 credit, and Citi will apply it automatically. It’ll show up each year and apply to your eligible travel purchases. The great thing is that you don’t do anything extra for this credit.
9. Cell Phone Protection
If you pay your cell phone bill each month with your Citi Prestige card, you’ll get additional protection. This protection doesn’t cost you anything. They’ll reimburse you the cost to repair or replace your phone if it gets stolen or damaged. So this protection plan works for up to five phones and $1,500 in yearly benefits. Another credit card that offers this is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card.
10. Banking Annual Credit
If you’re a qualifying Citigold client, you’ll earn $145 in statement credits each year. To get this credit, you have to have a Citigold account. Every authorized user you have on your account will earn you a $25 statement credit. Again, you do nothing but keep your card in good standing to automatically earn it. Review travel offers for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry credit cards.
Fraud and identity theft are huge problems. However, the Citi Prestige card protects cardholders. They monitor your account and sent you early fraud warning signs. They’ll also reimburse you for fraudulent purchases. This will help you get your life back on track much quicker.
Citi Prestige Card Cons
1. Annual Fee
This card is one of the most expensive available on the market today. Each year, you’ll pay $495 just for having the card open. It doesn’t matter if you use it all of the time or not. You’ll pay this fee. This makes you spend more in order to justify the high annual fee amount.
2. Have to Book Through the Citi ThankYou Portal
In order to earn points, you have to book all of your travel through the Citi ThankYou Portal. If you forget or don’t do it, you won’t earn points on your purchase. While this isn’t the worst thing in the work, it can be inconvenient.
3. ThankYou Point Value
Although you can earn a lot of points, ThankYou Point values are relatively low compared to other cards. They’re roughly one cent per point with airline points being 1.25 cents per point. So, 100 points is a dollar. If you travel a lot, you can make this work for you. However, it also means your signup bonus is on $50.
Is the Citi Prestige Card Worth It?
The short answer is that it depends. If you travel a lot, you could outweigh the steep annual fee. You also earn some great luxury travel benefits. So, we’d say that it is worth it for higher spenders and frequent travelers.
However, if you don’t travel or spend a lot, it’s going to be difficult to offset the fee. It’s also difficult to combine your points due to the relatively low point value. Finally, take a look at your spending and travel habits while you weigh the pros and cons. This will help you decide if the Citi Prestige card is a good fit or not.
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