Editor’s note: This card is no longer open to new applicants, but we’ve updated this article with new information about the Citi travel portal. Citi is a TPG advertising partner.
Citi Prestige® Card overview
The Citi Prestige® Card is still a valuable part of the premium travel credit card market despite losing numerous perks over the years. Although the card is no longer open to new applicants, its valuable earning rates and remaining perks may still make it an attractive travel rewards credit card for some current cardholders. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Citi’s credit card lineup went through massive changes in 2019. And the Citi Prestige, Citi’s most-premium travel credit card, saw significant changes.
On the positive side, Citi improved the card’s earning rates, but massive devaluations also hit the Prestige via a raised annual fee, stripped protections and caps on benefit usage. These devaluations weren’t the first for the card, which once offered perks such as unlimited Admirals Club access and free rounds of golf.
Then, in mid-2021, Citi stopped accepting new applications for the Citi Prestige. Although this card isn’t open to new applicants, current cardholders can continue to use and benefit from the card.
Frequent travelers will be able to get the most out of the earning rates and benefits of the Citi Prestige. With a high $495 annual fee, this card is only worth it if you know you’ll take full advantage of its benefits. The Citi Prestige’s most valuable perks include:
- 5 points per dollar spent at restaurants, airlines and travel agencies.
- Two fourth-night-free awards a year.
- An annual travel credit of up to $250.
- Priority Pass Select membership.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment fee credit every five years.
If you don’t travel frequently, you may be better off with a lower-annual-fee mid-tier travel card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Citi Premier® Card. And if you’re looking for different top-tier luxury benefits, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Related: Even though the Citi Prestige has lost a lot of benefits, I’m still keeping mine (for now); Here’s why
Citi Prestige welcome offer
The Citi Prestige isn’t currently available to new applicants. So, you can’t apply for this card and earn a sign-up bonus.
However, you could apply for the Citi Prestige’s lower-annual-fee sibling, the Citi Premier® Card.
And two of the other top travel rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s 60,000-point bonus (after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening) is worth $1,200 according to TPG valuations. And the Amex Platinum currently offers an 80,000-point welcome offer (after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the card in your first six months of card membership) that we value at $1,600.
Related: So close, yet so far: Comparing the Platinum Card from American Express and the Citi Prestige Card
Earning points on the Citi Prestige
An essential part of evaluating a card is assessing how easily you can earn points through spending. Luckily, earning is one area where the Citi Prestige has improved.
To coincide with the launch of Citi Travel with Booking.com, Prestige cardholders can earn 10 points per dollar on bookings for hotels, rental cars and eligible attractions when booking through the portal through June 30, 2024.
After that, you’ll return to the following standard earning rates:
- 5 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants, airlines and travel agencies (8.5% return based on TPG’s valuations).
- 3 points per dollar spent at hotels and cruise lines (5.1% return).
- 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases (1.7% return).
However, remember that Citi removed travel protections from its cards in 2019. So, despite the effective 8.5% return on airfare, I usually use a credit card that provides travel insurance when booking flights. And I typically use a hotel credit card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve when paying for hotel stays. As such, I usually only use my Citi Prestige at restaurants, cafes and bars.
Related: How to earn 5x points on dining, airfare and more with the Citi Prestige Card
Redeeming points on the Citi Prestige
You can transfer your Citi ThankYou points to 16 airline and hotel partners:
- Aeromexico Club Premier.
- Avianca LifeMiles.
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.
- Choice Privileges.
- Emirates Skywards.
- Etihad Guest.
- EVA Air.
- Flying Blue.
- Qantas Frequent Flyer.
- Qatar Privilege Club.
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
- Thai Royal Orchid Plus.
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles.
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
- Wyndham Rewards.
Some of the Citi ThankYou transfer partners overlap with Amex, Chase and Marriott. But I’ve found it useful to have a variety of transferrable currencies. If you’re unsure which transfer partners are best, here are some ideas for redeeming Citi ThankYou points on Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld carriers.
You can also use your Citi ThankYou points to redeem for travel through Citi’s travel portal. Doing so will usually provide less value than transferring to airline partners. But, depending on your travel goals, there may be times when doing so works best for you.
Related: Is Citi ThankYou Rewards the most underappreciated and misunderstood program?
Citi Prestige benefits
As previously mentioned, Citi eliminated most of its travel and shopping protections and devalued certain perks in 2019. But there is still much to love about the card’s offerings.
Fourth night free
The Citi Prestige fourth night free perk has long been considered the most valuable benefit of the Citi Prestige.
The fourth-night-free benefit works like this: Citi will pay for the fourth night of your stay at virtually any hotel when you book through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. However, you can only use this benefit twice each calendar year. And the fourth night free is based on your average nightly rate, excluding taxes and fees.
Remember that because bookings must be made through the Citi ThankYou travel portal, you generally won’t earn hotel loyalty points or receive elite benefits. And be sure to compare prices with several other booking methods, as the fourth-night free perk won’t always provide the best value.
Related: How valuable is the Citi Prestige’s 4th-night free when booking mid-tier hotels through Citi ThankYou?
Up to $250 travel credit
Citi Prestige cardholders get a travel credit of up to $250 every calendar year for travel purchases. Specifically, you’ll automatically get a statement credit for the first $250 of travel purchases you make each year.
This credit applies to a wide variety of travel purchases, including purchases from airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies, travel aggregators, tour operators, commuter transportation, ferries, commuter railways, subways, taxis, limousines, car services, passenger railways, cruise lines, bridge and road tolls, parking lots, garages and bus lines.
This credit effectively lowers the $495 annual fee to $245 since everyone with the Citi Prestige card can easily use this credit.
Related: How credit card issuers classify travel and dining purchases
Global Entry statement credit
I love having Global Entry — it’s saved me from standing in countless hours of TSA security and U.S. Customs lines. Citi Prestige cardmembers receive an up-to0$100 credit every five years that can be applied toward a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
Several other cards also offer a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry statement credit. But, if you’ve already enrolled in either of the two programs, you can use the credit for a family member or friend’s application.
Related: Denied for Global Entry or PreCheck? Here’s how to appeal
Priority Pass lounge access
As a Citi Prestige cardholder, you’ll also get access to the Priority Pass lounge network. The Priority Pass network includes more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.
Citi Prestige cardholders get a Priority Pass Select membership that provides complimentary lounge access for the cardholder, immediate family members, and up to two guests. There are some excellent Priority Pass lounges in the U.S., but most of the best Priority Pass lounges are outside the U.S.
Several other cards offer Priority Pass lounge access. But, unlike Amex-issued Priority Pass memberships, Citi-issued memberships still offer the Priority Pass restaurant benefit.
Related: How valuable is a Priority Pass lounge membership?
When you pay your monthly cellphone bill with your Citi Prestige Card, this protection will cover you against theft and damage for up to five phone lines. You can get up to $1,000 per claim and $1,500 per 12-month period. However, each claim is subject to a $50 deductible.
The Citi Prestige doesn’t offer bonus points on cellphone services. But, you may want to pay your monthly cellphone bill with your Citi Prestige, even though you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar spent.
Related: Credit cards that cover cellphone loss and damage
Extended warranty and purchase protection
Citi Prestige cardholders get extended warranty and purchase protection when buying eligible items with their card.
The Citi Prestige’s extended warranty protection is relatively generous. This protection extends the manufacturer’s warranty on eligible purchases for an additional 24 months (although total coverage won’t last more than seven years from the purchase date). With this protection, Citi may repair, replace or reimburse eligible items up to the cost you paid for the item or $10,000, whichever is less.
Meanwhile, the Citi Prestige’s damage and theft purchase protection covers eligible items for 90 days after purchase or delivery. You can get up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 annually.
Related: Purchase protection saved us $1,700 — reader success story
Which cards compete with the Citi Prestige?
The most direct competitors to the Citi Prestige are two other premium travel cards.
- If you want to maximize travel points-earning: The Chase Sapphire Reserve charges a $550 annual fee but offers 10 points per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5 points per dollar spent on flights when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3 points per dollar spent on dining and other travel, excellent travel protections and a nice set of benefits. For example, cardholders get a $300 annual travel credit, a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years and a Priority Pass Select membership. For more information, read our full review of the Sapphire Reserve.
- If you want loads of extra perks: The Amex Platinum charges a high $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) but offers a suite of luxury benefits. For example, Amex Platinum cardmembers get unparalleled lounge access, an airline fee statement credit of up to $200 per year, monthly U.S. Uber Cash of up to $200 per year, biannual Saks statement credits of up to $100 per year, elite status with Marriott and Hilton and more. Enrollment is required for select benefits. For more information, read our full review of the Amex Platinum.
For additional options, check out our full list of the best premium travel cards.
Read more: The best premium credit cards: A side-by-side comparison
Is the Citi Prestige worth it?
For those who use most of the Citi Prestige’s benefits, the card can certainly be worth the cost. When used strategically, the fourth-night-free benefit can still provide hundreds of dollars in value. The $250 annual travel credit is easy to use, plus the card’s earnings on dining and flights as well as shopping protections can provide significant value.
The Citi Prestige isn’t a clear-cut choice for everyone. As such, it’s worth carefully considering how much value you’re getting from the Citi Prestige Card when your annual fee posts.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox and Katie Genter.
For rates & fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.