Review of the Citi Prestige® Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Aug 01, 2016 | Updated Sep 20, 2019

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The Citi Prestige Card is a top-level travel rewards card, providing great rewards and benefits for a hefty annual fee.

But don’t let the fees scare you away: this card offers the opportunity to earn a lot of points in a number of different ways, and the extra benefits are easily worth hundreds of dollars per year.

The Prestige Card is designed for frequent travelers, who will spend thousands of dollars in the air and at hotels each year. If that sounds like you, this card could end up saving you quite a bit of money, and make your trips much more enjoyable as well.

There are four cards from Citi that earn ThankYou points, with the Prestige at the top of the pack:

Card Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Rewards
Citi Rewards+ Card $0 3%
  • 2X ThankYou points at supermarkets and gas stations
Citi Rewards+ Student Card $0 3%
  • 2X ThankYou points at supermarkets and gas stations
Citi Premier Card (Review) $95 0%
  • 3X ThankYou points for travel
  • 2X ThankYou points for dining and entertainment
Citi Prestige® Card (This review) $495 None
  • 5X ThankYou points on air travel and restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points on hotels and cruise lines

Keep reading to learn more about this card, and find out if it’s the right one for you.

The Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5X ThankYou points per dollar spent on:
    • Air travel
    • Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points per dollar spent on:
    • Hotels
    • Cruise lines
  • 1X ThankYou point per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus ThankYou points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $500–1,000 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 12.5%–25%

You can redeem your points for statement credits if you’d like, but you can find a better value by transferring them to a partner airline.

There are a number of travel partners:

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Asia Miles EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Etihad Guest Flying Blue Malaysia Airline Enrich
Qantas Frequent Flyer Qatar Airways Privilege Club Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Virgin America Elevate

The Benefits

Perks

  • Points Transfer

    Transfer your points between participating retail and airline loyalty programs. More information here.

  • Annual $250 Travel Credit

    Every year you’ll get an automatic $250 credit to use for practically any travel expense, like airline tickets, hotel rooms, travel agencies, and more.

  • Complimentary 4th Night Stay

    Get one free night with no black-out dates if you book four nights in a row through ThankYou.com, and pay using your card, ThankYou points, or a combination of both. Capped at two uses per year.

  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership

    You and your authorized users can access Priority Pass lounges at no charge, and with no need to enroll. Immediate family or up to two guests can enter as well.

  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit

    If you pay for the application for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85) with your card you’ll receive a statement credit for the fee, once every five years. These programs provide expedited screening at certain airports.

  • Citi Prestige Concierge Service

    Call 1-877-288-2484 any time for non-emergency help with travel, shopping, entertainment, and much more. You can also email [email protected].

  • Golf Benefit

    Special access to over 2,000 public and private legacy golf courses around the world: USA, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

  • World Elite Car Rental Program

    A complimentary elite membership with select National, Avis, and Sixt.

  • Citi Private Pass

    Exclusive access to music, sports, and dining events.

  • Free FICO Credit Score

    View your FICO Bankcard Score 8 for free any time you’d like, based on your Equifax credit report.

Security

  • Zero Liability Protection

    You won’t be held responsible for fraudulent or unauthorized activity (contact customer support immediately if you suspect fraud).

  • Fraud Early Warning System

    Monitors your account to detect suspicious activity as quickly as possible.

  • The Lost Wallet® Service

    Emergency card replacement service.

  • Citi QuickLock

    Lock your card to instantly block new transactions and cash advances until you unlock it, which can help if you lose your card. Recurring transactions, payments, balance transfers, and credits will not be blocked.

  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions

    If you become a victim of identity theft, Citi will work with you to contact the TransUnion credit bureau and submit a police report, as well as provide other assistance.

  • Virtual Account Numbers

    Create virtual account numbers to provide better security when shopping online.

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection

    Purchases are covered for 90 days against theft or damage; up to $10,000 per item, up to $50,000 per year.

  • Extended Warranty Protection

    Eligible warranties of 5 years or less can be extended by up to 2 additional years; up to $10,000 per item.

Travel

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined; up to $75,000.

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
$495 17.99%–25.99% Variable 17.99%–25.99% Variable 27.49% Variable None
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Up to 29.99% Variable Up to $39 Up to $39

As you can see, this card is quite expensive at $495 per year. That’s about as pricey as credit cards usually come.

If you plan on using this card, check your spending habits to ensure that you’ll be getting plenty of value from it. You can see how much you’ll need to spend to make it worth it in the next section, because you don’t want to just be carrying around an expensive piece of plastic.

Remember that you can make this card a lot less expensive to use by simply paying off your balance in full each month. Even if you can’t pay the whole thing off, paying as much as you can will reduce your interest charges, and it’s good for your credit too.

The Bottom Line: 5 Out of 5 Stars

The Citi Prestige Card offers a wide swath of rewards and benefits, designed for travelers who fly with a variety of airlines and stay at different hotel brands.

Instead of providing points at a particular airline or hotel, this card lets you earn points no matter who you’re traveling with or where you are. This makes it more versatile than many other travel cards, which might be branded with a specific airline or hotel.

This is a very expensive card, so examine your spending habits carefully before making a decision. Do you travel frequently, giving you a lot of opportunities to earn points? Let’s take a look at how much you’ll need to spend each year to make it worth the annual fee.

To get earn $495 worth of rewards, you’ll need to earn 49,500 points if you’ll be redeeming for one cent per point. You could do that by spending $9,900 on airlines and dining, earning at the 5X rate. If you get a point transfer that provides a better value per point you’ll need fewer points.

In addition to the points you earn from purchases, you’ll also have that 50,000 point bonus for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This will pay for that annual fee for the first year.

And that’s just counting the points you can expect to earn. You’ll also get that $250 annual travel credit, the opportunity to earn free nights, access to airport lounges around the world (plus other perks that come with Priority Pass Select membership), and other cost-saving benefits at airlines and hotels. Just remember to make use of these extra features to make your card as valuable as possible, reducing the impact of that yearly fee.

We gave the Citi Prestige Card 5 out of 5 Stars because it’s one of the top-tier general-purpose travel rewards cards. The annual fee may seem high at first glance, but this card isn’t meant to grow old just sitting in your wallet – it’s designed to be used fairly often. When you take a look at how you can earn points and the many cost-saving extra benefits included, the fee starts to seem very reasonable. As long as you use this card enough, it should be a valuable addition to your travel routine, making your flights and hotel stays cheaper and more enjoyable.

Want to learn more or apply for this card? Just click the name below.

Not the right card for you? Check out our picks for other great travel cards in The Best Travel Credit Cards.

Was this review helpful to you? Go ahead and share it with a friend! And if you use the Citi Prestige Card, click here to leave your own reviewwe’d love to hear from you!

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