Citi Prestige® Card review

Bankrate Staff  in  Excellent Credit How we rate our cards  | 

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Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Annual Fee:
$495
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
16.99% - 23.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness*
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

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Best for travelers with excellent credit

  • Rewards rate: 5x points on air travel and restaurant purchases; 3x points on hotels and cruise line purchases; 1x point on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: 50,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening
  • Annual fee: $495
  • Purchase intro APR: None
  • Balance transfer intro APR: None
  • Regular APR: 16.99 percent–23.99 percent variable

The Citi Prestige® Card is a premium travel credit card offering select luxury travel perks for frequent flyers. While its $495 annual fee is not for the fainthearted, regular travelers can make their money back easily by taking advantage of Citi Prestige benefits like a complimentary fourth-night hotel stay and annual travel credit. The card has a generous rewards rate too, so you can accelerate your ThankYou points balance and get more for your spending.

Citi Prestige current welcome offer

The Citi Prestige comes with a respectable 50,000 ThankYou points if you spend at least $4,000 in the first three months. According to Citi’s website, this sign-up bonus is redeemable for $500 in travel if you book through the ThankYou Travel center—effectively offsetting your entire annual fee in the first year.

While this is a solid bonus, Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a similar welcome offer for qualifying cardholders. But 60,000 Chase points (after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening) is worth $900 in travel—or 50 percent more—if redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Rewards

Citi’s ThankYou program is up there with the best rewards programs. You can earn points easily, and there are many redemption options with a decent value. Earned points won’t expire as long as your account stays open, though points that are shared or purchased have an expiration date. You can easily manage your points on ThankYou.com.

Earning rewards

As with most credit cards, building points is about using your card as often as possible. In the case of Citi Prestige, it’s best to use it for flight and restaurant purchases to earn 5x points and when you pay for hotels and cruises to earn 3x points. Restaurant purchases include cafes, bars, lounges and fast-food restaurants.

Redeeming rewards

Rewards redemption is where Citi Prestige comes into its own. You can use points to cover recent travel purchases (such as flights, hotels and car rentals), redeem them for a gift card, pay for purchases at participating retailers, receive them as cash back, donate them to charity or even share them with another person who has a ThankYou account.

What’s particularly special about the Citi Prestige is that points earned on this card (and the Citi Premier® Card) can be transferred to a partner airline loyalty program at a transfer ratio of 1:1. Points transfer at this ratio is not available with other Citi credit cards.

How much are points worth?

According to The Points Guy’s point and mile valuations, a ThankYou point is worth around 1.7 cents. This is a fair estimate for the Citi Prestige given the availability of points transfer. However, point value does vary between redemption options. For example, redeeming for gift card and travel purchases yields a lower value of one cent per point.

Citi Prestige: Benefits

We love the Citi Prestige benefits the card offers. If you travel regularly, these perks will lift your travel experience and more than justify the hefty annual fee.

Travel perks

  • Complimentary hotel night. The Citi Prestige 4th night reward offer is by far the most popular benefit—simply book a hotel for four consecutive nights and you’ll only have to pay for three. You can claim this benefit up to two times a year.
  • Annual travel credit. Enjoy $250 in travel credits every calendar year. Through Dec. 2020, supermarket and restaurant purchases will also count toward the travel credit.
  • Complimentary VIP lounges. You and up to two guests can access hundreds of VIP lounges worldwide.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit. Get up to $100 back in fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every five years.
  • Concierge service. Cardholders are entitled to Citi’s Concierge service which gives you access to a personal assistant who can help with travel planning, shopping, restaurant reservations and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees. You can give the standard 3 percent charge on foreign transactions a miss when using this card overseas.

Protection

  • Lost Wallet® Service. Travel with peace of mind knowing you can get emergency card replacement if your wallet is lost or stolen.

Banking relationship rewards

  • Annual credit. If you open a qualifying Citigold account and continue to be a Citi Prestige cardholder, you can earn $145 statement credit every year.

Rates and fees

The Citi Prestige has an annual fee of $495 and a further $75 for an additional authorized user, but there are no foreign transaction fees. Late payment triggers a fee of up to $40, and a penalty APR of 29.99 percent variable may apply.

In line with other travel rewards credit cards, there are no introductory APR periods with the Citi Prestige. The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3 percent of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.

How the Citi Prestige Credit compares to other premium travel credit cards

The Citi Prestige’s main rivals are the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express. Both of these cards are loaded with more benefits but have a higher annual fee of $550. Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3x points on travel and dining (after earning your $300 travel credit), but you’ll get $300 annual travel credit and 50 percent more value when redeeming points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

The Platinum Card, on the other hand, offers 5x points for flights and prepaid hotel purchases booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and up to $200 in Uber cash every year for rides and eats.

Card Annual fee Rewards Welcome bonus APR
Citi Prestige $495 5x points on air travel and restaurant purchases; 3x points on hotels and cruise line purchases; 1x point on all other purchases 50,000 points if you spend at least $4,000 in the first three months 16.99% to 23.99% variable
Chase Sapphire Reserve $550 3x points on travel and dining; 1x point on all other purchases 60,000 points if you spend at least $4,000 in the first three months 16.99% to 23.99% variable
The Platinum Card from American Express $550 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel; 1x point on all other purchases 75,000 points if you spend at least $5,000 in the first six months See Pay Over Time APR

Best cards to pair with Citi Prestige

To fast track your ThankYou points, you could pair this card with the Citi® Double Cash Card. While you’ll earn 2 percent cash back on purchases—1 percent when you buy and 1 percent when you pay—you can convert cash back rewards into ThankYou points at a ratio of $1 to 100 points. The best part? It has no annual fee.

If you want more rewards for everyday spending, the Blue Cash EveryDay® Card from American Express is another option with no annual fee. It’ll give you 3 percent cash back on the first $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1 percent), as well as 2 percent at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.

Bankrate’s Take—Is Citi Prestige worth it?

If your life or work involves regular travel, then you can no doubt get a lot of value from this card. Once you take into account benefits like the $250 travel credit and the complimentary 4th night free for hotel stays, the Citi Prestige annual fee looks pretty reasonable. While it has fewer benefits compared to other premium travel cards, it’ll also cost you less in annual fees.

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.