Citi Prestige® Card Changes: Increased Sign-up Bonus, Fewer Perks

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Earlier today, Citi sent an email to current Citi Prestige® Card holders confirming several new benefits that will be coming to the card effective July 23.

These benefits are meant to help make up for some of the card’s most valuable features that will be removed on the same day.

All new applications going forward from July 23 will have the new set of benefits, and all currently held Citi Prestige® cards will have their benefits changed at the same time.

To determine if the new version of the Citi Prestige® Card is right for you, it is important to look at the new benefits, as well as those that will be going away.

New Card Features

  • 75,000 ThankYou Points sign-up bonus after $7,500 minimum spend in 3 months
  • 4th night free can be booked online through the Thank You Center
    • Thank You Points can be used at 1 cent per point toward online 4th night free bookings
  • 4th night free will show as discount at the time of booking rather than as a statement credit
  • 4th night free will be an average cost of the 4 nights and will not include taxes or resort fees
  • Shoprunner membership included
  • New metal card
  • ThankYou Points will be worth 1 cent per point toward statement credit or gift card redemption

Features Being Removed

  • 3 free rounds of golf per cardmember year
  • 1.6 cents per point redemptions on American Airlines through Travel Center (all flights now at 1.25 cents per point)
  • 4th night free no longer credits the cost of the 4th night entirely; instead, discounts 1 night at the average cost of the 4 nights (without taxes/fees)
  • Access to Admirals Club removed

At first glance, it appears that there are more new benefits coming to the card than being taken away. That must be good, right?

Not necessarily. Be sure to read through and think of the value of each one of those benefits to you..

For example, a shiny metal card isn’t going to help as you sit in the uncomfortable chairs at the gate area since you can no longer get into the Admirals Club.

Redeeming at 1 cent per point for a gift card won’t make up for your ThankYou Points being worth less in the Citi Travel Center.

Furthermore, although Citi has confirmed the listed benefit changes, there are still some questions regarding the 4th night free benefit. Specifically, it is not clear if loyalty points will be earned or elite benefits will be applied to reservations made through the online portal.

For the time being, Citi has confirmed that you can still call the Concierge to make your booking. Doing so will allow you to earn points and elite status credits. Through the Concierge, you will also be able to use special rate codes from AAA, Costco, etc. It is unclear if corporate codes will still be bookable.

Unfortunately, we don’t know how long they will allow reservations to be made through the Concierge service. As far as earning hotel points through the Travel Center? We can be hopeful, but it is unlikely.

A few things are staying the same, though. The card will maintain its 3X airfare and hotels bonus categories as well as the 2X dining and entertainment categories, so you can still earn ThankYou Points quickly.

You will still have the ability to transfer ThankYou Points to several airline partners, and there are still tons of ways to redeem your points for some awesome flights.

The $250 air travel credit issued each calendar year you have the card will also continue to be a benefit.

Final Thoughts

Significant changes are coming to the Citi Prestige® card. If you are a current cardholder, look at each change and determine if this card is worth keeping.

If you are thinking about applying for the Citi Prestige® Card, make sure you know how the upcoming changes will impact the card.

Also note that the sign-up bonus has received a big bump, so that alone may make the card worth it. The challenge will be deciding whether the card deserves a place in your wallet for the long haul.


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