Citi Prestige Credit Card Review
Being one of the most expensive cards to carry, does the Citi Prestige card offer enough benefits to earn its keep? Find out that and more in this comprehensive review.
As one of the most expensive credit cards to own, the Citi Prestige card truly lives up to its name – it positively radiates prestige in terms of its benefits and what it has to offer cardholders.
With a host of features that make even everyday purchases more convenient and rewarding, you'll find everything you need to know about the Citi Prestige Card here in our helpful Consumer's Guide.
Let's take a closer look:
The Citi Prestige credit card is one of the top rated and most popular high-end consumer credit cards. It is primarily targeted to luxury travelers.
There is only one Citi Prestige card, but there are a variety of other Citi cards available, including different travel rewards cards.
Compared to Other Citi Cards
Citi offers a wide range of credit cards – some focused on cash back, others focused on rewards points (known as ThankYou points) and still others devoted purely to helping you earn travel rewards such as points or miles when using a certain airline or staying in a specific hotel chain.
Most of the Citi travel credit cards are centered around specific airlines, such as the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, which caters to American Airlines AAdvantage miles users, or the Citi ThankYou Premier Card which lets you earn points for every travel purchase, including airfare (not limited to one specific airline), gas, hotels, car rentals and more.
Where the Prestige truly shines is the fact that it offers the most points and the best discounts out of all of Citi's travel cards.
Because there's no limit to the number of points you can accrue, it is an especially lucrative card for frequent travelers.
Citi's Prestige credit card comes with a host of benefits including special offers designed to entice travelers. Their most notable benefits include:
This is one of the most valuable points offers currently available to the public. Your points don't expire and you can collect an unlimited number of points.
What's more, there are no blackout dates on when you can and cannot take your flights, and your points can be redeemed for a wide variety of rewards including gift cards, travel and cash.
You can also pool points with your other Citi cards or transfer them to over a dozen different travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.
It's always a smart idea to transfer your points to a mileage program rather than using them directly toward the cost of a ticket, since you will almost always get a better value out of your points.
One of the best features of the Citi Prestige card how you earn points. Understandably, even premium cards have to put limitations on how many points they give you for purchases.
The Citi Prestige card gives you bonus points if you travel often. For example, you can get:
- 3x points on hotels and airfare
- 2x points on dining and entertainment
- 1x point per dollar on everything else.
Many credit card consumers get sticker shock when they look at the Citi Prestige's $450 annual fee, but keep in mind that every year, you get a $250 airline credit.
In actuality, the first year you can get $500 worth of airline credits. This is because airline credits are based on the calendar year, while your annual fee is based on the year you became a cardmember.
This $250 credit can be used for any direct airline purchase, including tickets, taxes on mileage tickets, and so on.
If you spend $250 or more on airlines (and if you're the owner of a Citi Prestige card, it's highly likely you do!), then you'll immediately see the inherent value in the airline credit benefit.
Another Great Bonus:
What's most beneficial about this option is that it won't cost you twice as much to take advantage of it.
You can even combine this offer with hotel-specific offers (such as third or fifth stay free), making it an incredibly flexible benefit.
If you book using the Citi Prestige Concierge service, you'll still accrue hotel points and such as you normally would, making this an incredible value no matter which way you look at it.
Bonus for Air Travel:
Priority Pass membership, which is yours free with your Citi Prestige card, gets you access to over 900 airport lounges around the world – no matter which airline you're traveling on.
You can even bring up to two guests with you.
Want to exercise on your flight layover or catch up on your emails? Priority Pass lets you do so in comfort and style.
No matter where you go, international travel is a pain. All those long lines, taking off your shoes, taking your laptop or liquids out of your bag…
With the $100 global entry credit, you won't have to do any of that, plus you'll get TSA Pre-Check and expedited screening. It lasts for five years.
Incredible Travel Protection
The travel protection is one of the biggest benefits of the Citi Prestige card.
Not only do you get Citi's regular purchase protections, like return protection and Price Rewind, but you also get Citi's worldwide travel insurance, which applies to you as well as other travelers who are on the same booking as you. It includes:
Three-hour Trip Delay Insurance – Up to $500 per traveler for covered expenses which include meals and lodging
Medical Evacuation coverage – If you are critically injured while traveling, this coverage will pay up to $100,000 to evacuate you to your home or a hospital
Trip Interruption/Cancellation Insurance – If your trip is interrupted because of sickness, severe weather or injury, you are covered up to $5000 per traveler
Baggage delay insurance – If your bags are delayed for three hours or more, you get up to $500 per covered traveler per trip
Lost baggage insurance – In the event your bags are lost, damaged or stolen, you can get up to $3,000 per covered traveler per trip
Roadside assistance – Includes tire changes, lockout service and free towing up to 10 miles
Worldwide car insurance – If your rental car is stolen or damaged, you can get up to $100,000 worth of coverage. This insurance is secondary insurance in the U.S. and primary insurance in all other countries.
Compared to Other Rewards Cards
There are numerous other rewards credit cards out there, and even travel credit cards, but many of them only offer points that can be redeemed for travel (not for dining, entertainment or merchandise), and certainly don't offer a sign on bonus as high as the Citi Prestige card does (currently 75,000 points if you spend $7500 or more within the first three months of opening your account).
The Citi Prestige card allows you to redeem your points for things beyond travel.
If you book your travel through Citi's travel portal, you can even get a 30% bonus on points.
Your Questions, Answered
What are the transfer rates for the Citi Prestige credit card?
You can transfer points to the Citi Prestige credit card and pool them with other Citi credit cards to have access to an even larger amount of points that you can redeem for a wide range of rewards.
As part of Citi's "Thank You" program, your points will often transfer into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio, but make sure you check with the specific airline you're traveling to see if the ratios are different.
There is a balance transfer fee of 3% or a minimum of $5, whichever is greater.
What is the minimum credit score one should have before applying for a Citi Prestige credit card?
Since the target audience for the Citi Prestige credit card is luxury travelers, it's worth noting that you should have an Excellent credit score in order to successfully apply for this card.
An excellent score is 750 or above. Even if your credit score falls a little below this number, you can still apply since your credit score is not the only factor that credit card issuers look at when determining your creditworthiness.
What are the other fees associated with the Citi Prestige credit card? e.g. Annual fee, Late fee, Foreign transaction fee, etc.
The Citi Prestige credit card has no foreign transaction fees, and since it's a Mastercard, it's accepted in many foreign countries. There is, however, the notable annual fee of $450, but remember that you get a $250 air travel credit every year in addition to the host of other benefits only available with this card. The maximum late fee amount is $35 and the maximum penalty APR is 29.99%. The regular APR is variable, ranging from 16.74%-24.74% depending on your creditworthiness.
Are there any bonuses that come with the Citi Prestige credit card? e.g. Sign-up Bonus, Introductory APR offer, 0% interest for an amount of time, etc.
Currently, there is a sign up bonus of 75,000 points (approximately an $850 value) if you spend $7,500 or more on travel expenses (including airlines) within the first three months of opening your account.
If you frequently travel for business, pleasure, or philanthropic reasons, the Citi Prestige is one of the best travel credit cards you can own.
What have other customers said about the Citi Prestige credit card?
Most of the customers who own the Citi Prestige credit card are frequent travelers and love the convenience and ease of use of having the card – particularly for easy access to clean, comfortable airport lounges and fast travel check-ins.
Obviously, the card's high annual fee is not for everyone, but for travelers who want to maximize the luxury they experience at home and abroad, the Prestige is a solid card with a wealth of benefits.
Frequent luxury travelers also like the built-in insurance protections they get with the Citi Prestige credit card, including the smart chip technology to help safeguard the card even more.
These, along with the ability to earn 3x more points when putting travel expenses on the card make it truly one of the most popular travel credit cards.
How can the rewards be used? i.e. travel, cash back, specific store rewards, etc.
You can use your rewards points through Citi's ThankYou Rewards portal on a wide range of items, including travel, dining, entertainment, merchandise and gift cards.
The ThankYou rewards program is one of the largest credit card rewards programs available, and having a wide variety of rewards to spend points on is an enticing bonus, however, it's recommended that you transfer your points into airline miles to get the most value for your money!
Check with your preferred airline to see what your points to miles ratio will be before you transfer.
What specific travel perks does the Citi Prestige card offer? e.g. concierge service, travel upgrades, etc.
As noted above, not only can you get a 30% bonus by booking your travel online through Citi's trip portal, but you also get valuable travel perks at home and abroad, including the various types of insurance to protect you in the event your trip is delayed or canceled, your luggage lost and much more.
These features, along with fast check-in worldwide, airline travel credit, free hotel 4th night stay and much more make the perks of this card balance out the high annual fee.