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The Citi Premier® Card and Citi Prestige® Credit Card* both come with a similar array of benefits, including travel-focused rewards structures and some premium perks. However, while the Citi Premier Card is accepting new applications, the Citi Prestige is no longer available to new customers (meaning if you don’t already have this card, you can’t apply for it). That said, if you already hold the Citi Prestige, it’s worth comparing the two to make sure you have the right card for your circumstances.
|Cards||Citi Premier||Citi Prestige|
|Welcome bonus||60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening||N/A|
Citi Premier vs. Citi Prestige highlights
Welcome bonus winner: Citi Premier
Since the Citi Premier is the only card of the two that is currently accepting new applicants, it’s by default the winner when it comes to the welcome bonus. The Citi Premier offers an 60,000-point bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. These points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at ThankYou.com.
Rewards rate winner: Citi Premier
While both cards offer rewards in the form of Citi ThankYou points, the Citi Premier Card has the edge when it comes to rewards categories that work for most cardholders. The Premier earns 3X points on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases, along with 1X points on everything else. If you use the Citi Premier as an everyday credit card, you’ll be in a good position to earn plenty of ThankYou points.
One exception is if you plan to use the Premier primarily for travel expenses. In that case, the Citi Prestige — which earns 5X points on air travel and restaurant purchases and 3X points on hotel and cruise line purchases — may be a better fit.
Annual fee winner: Citi Premier
The Citi Premier Card also has the edge when it comes to the annual fee. The card only charges a $95 annual fee, while the Citi Prestige charges a whopping $495 annual fee. Lower annual fees make it more likely that you’ll recoup the fee through a combination of rewards and other perks.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Which card earns the most?
Whether the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige Card earns the most depends on what kind of purchases you make.
If you primarily use your card on expenses like groceries, dining, gas and travel, the Citi Premier is likely a better fit — meaning you might consider switching from the Prestige to the Premier. However, if you primarily use your card exclusively for travel purchases, like airfare and dining out, you might be better off sticking with the Citi Prestige.
Citi Premier vs. Citi Prestige spending example
Everyone’s budget is different, so the amount you spend on groceries, gas, dining and other expenses in a given year may not be the same as another cardholder. But let’s take a look at a spending example of how these two cards compare in terms of annual rewards earnings.
|Category||Annual spending||Citi Premier||Citi Prestige|
|Restaurants||$2,500||7,500 points||12,500 points|
|Supermarkets||$9,500||28,500 points||9,500 points|
|Gas stations||$1,500||4,500 points||1,500 points|
|Hotels||$1,000||3,000 points||3,000 points|
|Air travel||$1,000||3,000 points||5,000 points|
|Cruise lines||$500||500 points||1,500 points|
|Other spending||$5,000||5,000 points||5,000 points|
|Annual total||$21,000||52,000 points||38,000 points|
As illustrated in the example, while the Citi Premier may have lower rewards rates in a few categories, it still rewards much broader areas of spending compared to the Citi Prestige. If you’re not spending a lot on air travel, restaurants and other travel-related expenses, then you’re probably better off downgrading your card to the Citi Premier.
However, if you primarily spend on travel-related purchases or frequently travel throughout the year, the math might look a little different. For example, if you instead spend $6,000 per year on restaurants and $5,000 per year on air travel, you’ll earn 5X points on all of that spending, for a total of 55,000 points in just these two categories.
Why should you switch to the Citi Premier Card?
The Citi Premier has a variety of attractive benefits for cardholders, including rewards on supermarket and gas station purchases as well as a generous welcome bonus and travel benefits. Keep reading to determine whether you should get the Citi Premier Card.
This top Citi credit card comes with some nice additional benefits. First off, you’ll get a $100 annual hotel savings benefit when you use your card to book a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) through ThankYou.com (or 1-800-THANKYOU).
This card also comes with access to both Citi Concierge and Citi Entertainment. Plus, you can enjoy World Elite Mastercard benefits like a complimentary ShopRunner membership and a $5 Lyft credit after you take three rides in a month.
The best way to maximize your rewards is to transfer your ThankYou points to a high-value Citi airline or hotel partner. Doing so can boost your points value up to 1.9 cents apiece, according to our latest points and miles valuations.
Other redemption options for this card include travel through the Citi portal, direct deposits, personal checks, statement credits, payment credits (toward an eligible mortgage or student loan), gift cards, shopping with points via Amazon and PayPal and donations to charity.
Recommended credit score
Why should you keep the Citi Prestige Card?
While the Citi Prestige is no longer accepting applicants, there are a few reasons why you might want to consider keeping this card — including its hefty travel credit, lounge access and hotel benefit.
The Citi Prestige comes with many benefits that may make it worth keeping. Most prominently, it includes a complimentary fourth-night-free hotel stay. When you book a hotel for four consecutive nights through Citi’s travel portal, you’ll only need to pay for three of the four nights (and taxes and fees). Plus, you can claim this benefit up to two times per calendar year.
The card also offers up to $250 in statement credits toward eligible travel purchases each year. Some travel purchases that qualify for this benefit include airfare, hotels, trains, taxis and parking garages.
Further, holding the Prestige gets you (and up to two guests) access to Priority Pass Select airport lounges across the globe. You can also get up to $100 in credits toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Lastly, similar to the Premier, this card comes with access to Citi Concierge, Citi Entertainment and World Elite Mastercard perks.
Like the Citi Premier, rewards can be redeemed for travel through the Citi portal, points transfers to a Citi airline or hotel partner, cash back, payment credits, gift cards, shopping via Amazon and PayPal and donations to charity.
Recommended credit score
The Citi Prestige required applicants to have an excellent credit score (740 to 850).
The bottom line
While the Citi Prestige Card offers some luxury travel perks, it really only makes sense to keep if you do a lot of traveling each year. If your day-to-day expenses trend more toward groceries, gas and takeout, the Citi Premier Card may be worth switching to — especially since it still has competitive rewards rates on travel-related categories like hotels and air travel, along with a much lower annual fee.
*The information about the Citi Prestige® Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.