Editor’s Note: This Citi Prestige Card review is part of our travel deal series. A series of reviews aimed at exposing great travel products and credit cards, like the Citi Prestige, that can aid in enhancing your points and miles travel balance.
Citi Prestige Card Review – Travel & Airline Credit Card Benefits
Well, almost free golf. The Citi Prestige Card comes with a plethora of benefits and hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars in value, but not without an annual fee (the nice thing is, the benefits far outweigh the annual fee). While I would normally say YMMV, the benefits attainable with this MasterCard travel product are undeniable.
New Citi Prestige card holders can net themselves a 50,000 signup bonus simply by spending a very realistic $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. What does 50,000 points with the Citi Prestige card get you? Ours, and Citi’s valuation puts it at a flight worth $800 with American Airlines (and US Airways while they’re still US Airways). Outside of American, other airlines aren’t too far behind at 50,000 points equaling around a $665 flight. For the best redemption options checkout the Citi ThankYou redemption center in your online credit card account.
Flying not your thing? You could get $500 in gift cards for the signup… but you shouldn’t be applying for this card if that’s your plan.
Note that in the past, there have been 100k Citi Prestige offers and some subtle differences with the 50k offer.
Earning Potential with the Citi Prestige Card
While the signup bonus value is immense in and of itself, earn yourself 3x ThankYou points on ALL air travel purchases, hotel spend and travel agencies. In addition, get 2x points on any dining expenses at restaurants as well as entertainment. “Entertainment” is for select merchants only — for the most part live sporting events, movie theaters, live shows and concerts, ticketing agencies, tourist attractions, music stores and video rental stores.
This is huge. The Citi Prestige Card is essentially offering up to $500 in airline credits with one annual fee. If you get the card now, purchase air travel, and then purchase another flight next year, you’ll essentially be getting two $250 airline credits before you need to pay the second annual fee. It’s also a versatile benefit. You don’t need to spend the $250 credit in one transaction. You can purchase multiple flights and Citi will cover up to $250 of those purchases.
$ 100 Global Entry or TSA Pre Check Fee Credit
A very lucrative option and worth every dedicated traveler having — Citi Prestige makes it easier to sail through customs with Global Entry. The Citi Prestige card offers ONE global entry or TSA Pre Check $100 credit every 5 years to the primary card holder. Note that Global Entry (GOES) includes TSA Pre Check, so it’s better to just go for GOES. While Citi covers the cost here, the process in and of itself is exclusively related to the US government Global Entry program. Learn more about the procedure at GlobalEntry.gov.
Citi Prestige Priority Pass Select
Two crucial things to keep in mind here — Citi Prestige Card members will get prestige (unlimited) lounge access through Priority Pass and should not be charged for bringing two guests along — as it is understood currently*.
Admirals Club Access
Any Citi Prestige Card holder is permitted up to 2 Guests or immediate family members to bring into the Admirals Club at participating airports. You’ll need to show the Admirals Club either your boarding pass or standby ticket to prove you’re about to travel on an American Airlines affiliated flight. Admission is valid for such parties 12 hour’s before or after arrival at the airport. While this is a great benefit, unfortunately redemption at Admirals Club lounges doesn’t include airlines outside of American, including US Airways for the time being. Click to check out Admirals Club locations around the world.
This benefit, while great, isn’t really the most significant benefit you get with the Citi Prestige Card. That said, you are able to earn points on stays booked in this fashion. In addition, despite the fact you’re supposed to owe taxes and fees on these bookings, we’ve heard reports of some customers not being charged. Before anything is confirmed, your eligibility will need to be confirmed by the concierge department. You’ll then need to provide details of your travel requests and ideal itinerary, so have it on hand.
No Foreign Transaction Fees with Citi Prestige
Extreme flexibility and ease of use with the Citi Prestige card. It’s a MasterCard, so it’s accepted at most locations globally. You’ll also get no foreign transaction fees on any purchases abroad.
Transfer your Citi ThankYou points to the airlines and hotel partners listed below at a 1:1 ratio (except for Hilton at 1:1.5). Note that transfer times could exceed 14 business days, and once you’ve submitted a request you can’t cancel it.
- Asia Miles
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Flying Blue (Air France)
- Garuda Indonesia
- Hilton HHonors
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
Note that this benefit is for the primary cardholder only. You’ll need to reserve your tee time at least three days in advance with your Citi Prestige card per Doctor of Credit.With the Citi Prestige Card, card holders can get themselves, essentially, 6 free rounds of golf at courses that range from the most prestigious to basic municipal rounds. Yes, the card member agreement says 3 rounds of gold per calendar year. But if you get the card now, you can play 3 rounds this year and also 3 next year for just one annual fee. Make some room in your calendar and checkout citiprestige.golfhub.com to see which courses you’re eligible to play around the world.
There is a $ 450 Annual Fee with Citi Prestige… that is NOT Waived
Yes, I know it seems hefty. But scroll up and look at everything we just discussed. The $250 airline credit alone cuts this in more than half. Add to that the $100 Global Entry fee coverage, a free hotel night and added value through booking American flights and 3 rounds of 18… to name a few benefits.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
In short, the $450 annual fee attached to the Citi Prestige card is more than worth it given the benefits, assuming you’ll use them. Note that you’ll get the most of of this credit card if you’re a frequent traveler, especially if you travel frequently on American Airlines. Airport lounge access and 3 yearly rounds of golf cover the fee alone. Not to mention the current 50k signup bonus and $250 annual air travel credit. While Citi ThankYou points aren’t as flexible as say SPG or AMEX Membership rewards, this card is still an incredibly lucrative option to have.
Apply for the Citi Prestige Card
You can apply for a more lucrative 50k Citi Prestige Card offer here while available.
The current public 50k Citi Prestige application can be found here.
Note that there had been targeted 100k Citi Prestige offers in the past. Should we find those links again we’ll keep you posted.