Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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City National Bank (CNB) is a full-service bank headquartered in sunny Los Angeles. It’s one of the largest banks in the U.S., but it’s also actually a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (based in Toronto)!
It has a reputation of being an entertainment and media-focused bank, which makes a ton of sense considering its locations in Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta, Nevada, New York, and more.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at City National Bank’s credit cards, in particular, the ones that offer access to its flagship rewards program.
City National Bank’s rewards system is known as City National Rewards. The points you can earn and redeem are called City National Rewards points.
City National Bank uses Visa cards across its entire credit card portfolio.
Your City National Rewards points will not expire as long as your account is in good standing and not closed by CNB.
If you close your account or if your account is terminated by CNB, you have 60 days to redeem your points, after which your points will expire.
City National Bank offers a total of 5 credit cards that earn City National Rewards points — 3 of them are consumer cards, while 2 of them are business cards (though they are referred to as commercial cards).
Let’s discuss the merits and drawbacks of each of them below.
The Crystal Infinite card is probably the most well-known in the points world.
In the past, it was famous for offering up to $1,000 per calendar year in airline fee incidental credits in the form of 4 $250 credits across 1 primary cardmember and up to 3 authorized users.
Since then, the airline fee incidental credit has been changed to up to $350 per calendar year across all accounts.
The card was also notorious for requiring a substantial amount of effort to apply. You had to apply in person (though we aren’t sure how much that has changed in the wake of COVID-19), and you’d need to bring proof of income, a photo ID, as well as other account balances like your investment accounts.
This credit card follows this earnings structure:
If you spend $50,000 per year, you can get up to $550 per year in statements credits towards airline lounge club membership fees.
You’ll also get a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership for 2 members in total (the primary and an authorized user or 2 authorized users) with unlimited free visits and $35 per guest per visit.
There’s also a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, rental car privileges with Avis, Hertz, National, and Audi on demand, access to a 24/7 Crystal Card Concierge, and exclusive golf discounts at Troon Rewards and Troon Privé.
This card is also one of the only cards left offering Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes, of which you’ll get 12 free passes per year.
For travel-related insurance and protection benefits, you’ll get primary car rental coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside dispatch, emergency evacuation and transportation coverage, travel accident insurance, and travel and emergency assistance services. You’ll even get hotel theft protection!
In addition, you’ll also get extended warranty coverage, price protection, purchase security, return protection, personal identity theft protection, and more.
The annual fee is $400 and the authorized user fee is $95 for each additional card. There are no foreign transaction fees.
Hot Tip: If you currently have or have had a City National Bank credit card in the past, you don’t need to walk into a branch to apply for a new credit card with them — you can submit your application online.
The City National Rewards Visa Signature card is another card that earns points with CNB.
If you hold this card, you’ll earn:
With this card, you can access lifestyle benefits like ticket presales and discounts with Visa Signature, a 24/7 Visa Signature Concierge, premium benefits at the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, Troon Rewards for golf savings, and car rental discounts at Silvercar.
You’ll get secondary car rental coverage, hotel theft protection, roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, and travel accident insurance.
For extra peace of mind, you’ll also enjoy purchase security, price protection, extended warranty coverage, and personal identity theft protection.
This card has no annual fee for the primary cardmember or any authorized users and a 3% foreign transaction fee.
The lowest-tier City National Rewards credit card is the City National Rewards Visa Platinum card, which is typically for those with a lower credit score.
You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all purchases.
Many of the protection and coverage benefits from the above credit cards carry over to this card, too, including secondary rental car insurance, hotel theft protection, roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, and travel and emergency assistance services.
Plus, you’ll also get purchase security, extended warranty, and personal identity theft protection.
There is no annual fee, no authorized user fee, and a 3% foreign transaction fee.
City National Bank’s flagship business credit card is the Crystal Commercial Visa card. Even though it doesn’t look like much, it packs a mighty punch in terms of travel benefits.
It earns 1 point per $1 spent on all business purchases — nothing special at all, but the travel benefits are intense.
First, you’ll get a 5% taxi and limo discount, up to $5,000 per calendar year per card, which could save you lots of money on rideshares.
You’ll then get a $250 discount per card per calendar year on incidental airline fees. Authorized users get their own $250 discount, too.
You’ll get a $100,000 liability waiver for card misuse, primary rental car insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and travel and emergency assistance services.
There are no foreign transaction fees.
The annual fee is $400, and each authorized user is $75 per year.
The last credit card that earns City National Rewards points is the Commercial Visa card.
This card earns 1 point per $1 spent on all business purchases.
You’ll get travel and accident insurance, secondary auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, and account management tools.
This card also allows you to issue virtual cards to your employees, which is a neat feature!
The annual fee is $50 with no authorized user fee, and the foreign transaction fee is 3%.
The best-case scenario is that you’ll earn up to 3x points per dollar spent with the top-tier Crystal Infinite card or City National Rewards Visa Signature card.
Regardless of the card you hold, you’ll need to visit the CNB Rewards portal to get started with redeeming your points.
You can also call the Award Headquarters Client Service team 24/7 at 800-411-0596 to use your points.
If you’re thinking about redeeming your points for the highest value, using them for hotels and airfare through the online website will net you the highest value.
In the past, you could get around 1.4 cents per point of value (like we did when booking a JetBlue Mint flight), but nowadays, the value you’d get is closer to 1.2 cents per point.
Gift cards fall under the subset of “Merchandise,” but you can redeem your points online seamlessly for gift cards.
This is the closest you’ll get to cash-back since City National Rewards doesn’t offer cash-back or statement credits as a redemption offer.
Here are some of the redemption options you have for gift cards:
The last way to redeem your City National Rewards points is to buy merchandise. This also happens to be the lowest-value redemption option, so we generally wouldn’t recommend this route.
You can shop for a number of different items, including electronics, home improvement accessories, kitchenware, and more.
For example, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, which retail for around $420 including taxes and fees, can be bought for 57,200 points, which would net you around 0.73 cents per point in redemption value.
As another example, you can buy the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer for 60,200 points — at a retail value of $420 including taxes and fees, you’d get a value of 0.70 cents for each point.
City National Bank doesn’t make a big impact with its rewards system. This isn’t too surprising when you consider the amount of money other banks like Chase and American Express have invested into developing a robust rewards program.
There are 5 City National Rewards credit cards, of which 3 are consumer cards and 2 are business cards.
Still, City National Bank does offer a run-of-the-mill points system in City National Rewards — if you’re thinking about redeeming your points, it’s best to do so on airfare and hotels for around 1.2 cents per point of value.
If you choose to use your points towards merchandise or gift cards, just know that you’ll probably get around 25% to 40% less value from your points.
The information regarding the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card, Visa Signature® Card with City National Rewards®, Visa® Platinum Card with City National Rewards®, Visa® Crystal Commercial Credit Card with Rewards, and Visa® Commercial Credit Card with Rewards was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
When you applied for the credit card, you most likely worked with a banker to fill out an application and get all the documentation submitted.
The best way to check the application status of your City National Bank credit card is to call your banker.
First, log into your City National Online account. Then, navigate to your credit card account. There’s a button that says AutoPay: OFF Setup. Click Setup.
Choose the credit card account, the account to make payments from, the AutoPay amount, and click Continue.
If you haven’t added a bank account make payments, click the button that says Manage External Accounts and Add Account.
You can pay your credit card bill online by logging into your online account, then clicking the button that says Pay Now at the bottom-right corner of your credit card account’s information.
Select the payment amount and payment account and you’re ready to go!
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