Citi Prestige® Credit Card Review

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Citi Prestige® Card snapshot

If you want one of the best travel credit cards, in my opinion, the Citi Prestige® Card (Citi is a CreditSesame.com advertiser) just may be the ticket. It provides more than just your average credit card rewards. It can open the door to lifestyle upgrades. This card offers cardmembers luxury travel benefits that include everything from complimentary access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass™ Select to hotel night benefits.

Citi Prestige® Card Highlights

Highlights 
Annual fee$450.00
Foreign transaction feeNone
Rewards programEarn three points for every $1 spent on air travel and hotels, two points for every $1 spent on dining at restaurants and select entertainment, and one point for every $1 spent on other eligible purchases
Bonus offerEarn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
A good card for someone who- Flies frequently
- Wants a 24/7 concierge service
- Wants exclusive entertainment and travel benefits
- Is willing to pay a high annual fee
Not a good card for someone who- Doesn't travel very much
- Doesn't spend much or very often on the card
- Doesn't want to pay a high annual fee

Citi Prestige® Card basics

The Citi Prestige® Card offers 3 ThankYou® Points for every dollar that you spend on air travel and hotels. You can also earn 2 ThankYou® Points for every dollar you spend on select entertainment and dining out in restaurants, plus 1 ThankYou® point for each dollar spent on other types of eligible purchases.

Qualifying new cardmembers can earn 50,000 bonus points after making $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The annual fee is $450.

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Citi Prestige® Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

ChaseSapphirePreferredWith the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card qualifying new cardmembers can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

You can earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases worldwide.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, after the first year the annual fee is $95.

Conclusion: There are some subtle differences between the two cards. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card having the obvious upper hand when it comes to the annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the better deal for qualifying new cardmembers with its 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening over the Citi Prestige® Card’s where you can earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The Citi Prestige® Card’s 2X ThankYou® Points out-earn the competition in the entertainment category as well as out-earning with 3X ThankYou® Points on air travel and hotels.

Citi Prestige® Card vs. JetBlue Plus Card

The JetBlue Plus Card is currently running a promotion where new cardmembers who qualify can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

The Citi Prestige® Card is comparable with the JetBlue Plus Card in that both offer 2 points per $1 for dining at restaurants and 1 point for other types of purchases. With the JetBlue Plus card you can earn 6 points per $1 on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other eligible purchases. The Citi Prestige® Card offers 2 points for entertainment, while the JetBlue Plus Card does not.

The Citi Prestige® Card has the $450 annual fee, versus the JetBlue Plus Card’s $99 annual fee. The JetBlue Plus Card does award 5,000 points each year after your account anniversary.

Conclusion: The JetBlue Plus Card’s bonus offer is easier to qualify for due to the lower spend requirement. But this card doesn’t offer the same level of top-tier benefits offered by the Citi Prestige® Card. The JetBlue Plus Card may be more aligned with the budget traveler. The Citi Prestige® Card may be more aligned with individuals who enjoy luxury perks.

Citi Prestige® Card vs. Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard is all about the miles. New cardmembers who qualify, for a limited time, can earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit.

The Citi Prestige® Card beats out the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® on rewards for hotel and air travel spending, but falls short next to the Arrival Plus™ card’s 2X miles on all eligible purchases.

The Citi Prestige® Card’s $450 annual fee is higher than Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®’s $89 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.

Conclusion: Big hotel and air travel spenders will get more bang for their buck with the Citi Prestige® Card, while everyday spenders who don’t have a strong need for airport lounge access will probably earn more with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. They may forego the Prestige® Card’s perks, though.

Citi Prestige® Card rewards

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Earning points is easy with the Citi Prestige® Card, since you are rewarded every time you shop. Points have no upper limit and never expire. Here’s the breakdown for earning on purchases:

  • 3X ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on air travel and hotel
  • 2X ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on select entertainment
  • 2X ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on dining out at restaurants
  • 1X ThankYou® Point Per $1 spent on other eligible purchases

Use fewer ThankYou® Points – fly more

The Citi Prestige® Card gives you the opportunity to make your points worth more when you redeem them for flights, instead of redeeming them for non-air travel purchases, if you book through the Citi® ThankYou® Travel Center.

Points Transfer

As a Citi Prestige® cardmember, you can use Point Transfer to transfer your qualifying and available ThankYou® points to participating airline and hotel loyalty programs, so that you can get your flights faster or stay on your trip even longer. There is no fee for this service and the minimum transfer amount is only 1,000 points.

Use ThankYou® Points to shop

Citi Prestige® lets you use your ThankYou® Points to shop at participating online merchants such as Amazon.com.

Customize your ThankYou® Points

You can turn almost any reward idea you have into a reality.

Merchandise and gift cards

Use your accumulated ThankYou® Points to get gift cards that you can use at many brand-name retailers.

ThankYou® Select and Credit

Convert your points to cover the purchases of select everyday items like groceries or entertainment.

Give your points away

Citi Prestige® allows you to make charitable donations to many organizations by using your available ThankYou® Points.

Citi Prestige® Card pros

yesSome features really make the Citi Prestige® card stand out.

Exclusive event access: The Citi Prestige® card lets you gain access to exclusive events through the Citi® Private Pass Beyond and Citi® ThankYou® Events. Both offer world class experiences, but Citi® Private Pass Beyond literally goes beyond by giving you the opportunity to attend sporting events, private concerts and other events, and even share some red carpet experiences.

Frequent traveler transfer partners: Citi Prestige® allows you to travel internationally with ease by allowing you to transfer your ThankYou® Points to participating airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Air travel credit: Each year, Citi Prestige® offers you up to $250 in air travel credits for expenses that occur through the airline, such as bag fees, upgrades, and in-flight meals and entertainment. They will even go back and apply a credit to your statement if they discover you have an expense that qualifies.  In addition you can get up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre √®.  Once approved for Global Entry by the U.S. Government, you can bypass long lines and enjoy expedited entry into the U.S. These benefits can offsets a good portion of the card’s annual fee.

Round-the-clock concierge: When you need something, the Citi Prestige® card concierge is there to help. The concierge assist with making your dinner reservations, to helping you arrange a last-minute trip. They even can provide you with assistance if you have an emergency while you are traveling practically anywhere in the world.

What makes this card go from good to great

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24/7 concierge service isn’t the only luxury benefit this card includes. You’ll also get:

Airport assistance: Whether you’re arriving or departing, you can receive personal attention and assistance through the Mastercard® Airport Concierge service at over 450 airports around the globe.

Airport lounge access: Complimentary access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass™ Select so you can relax in an airport lounge before your flight. Simply present your Citi Prestige® Card and your boarding pass to gain entrance.

Complimentary hotel nights: Book four consecutive nights at a hotel and get a complimentary fourth night stay when you use the Citi Prestige® Concierge service. This benefit comes in the form of a credit to your statement.

Global Entry application fee credit:  Up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre √®.  Once approved for Global Entry by the U.S. Government, you can bypass long lines and enjoy expedited entry into the U.S.

noCiti Prestige® Card cons

There is no such thing as the perfect credit card, so let’s take a look at where the Citi Prestige® might fall short.

Travel partners are limited compared with other rewards cards.

Many individuals may not be able to qualify for this card.

The annual fee is definitely a deal-breaker for many individuals. Also, it presents a high hurdle to clear when it comes to earning rewards that outweigh the fee, dollar for dollar. Better to consider the fee the cost for luxury.

Should you get this card?

If you love to travel and want a card that compliments your luxury lifestyle, the Citi Prestige® Card is one of the best cards on the market. It’s services and perks may make the card’s high annual fee seem downright affordable.


Editor’s Note: The information related to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by CreditSesame.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Disclosure: Credit Sesame is an independent comparison service provider. Reasonable efforts have been made to maintain accurate information throughout our website, mobile apps, and communication methods; however, all information is presented without warranty or guarantee. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any credit card issuer. Any opinions, analysis, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. All images and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Responses 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.

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Published July 12, 2016
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