Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Priority PassPremium travel rewards cards come with luxury travel benefits that make travel more convenient and more comfortable — ideally, with complimentary benefits the traveler would normally be paying for.
The Citi Prestige® Card stands out among rewards cards due to a few unique features that could elevate it on your list of cards to consider.
You’ll find a broad range of bonus earning categories, special lounge access that favors large families, and an easy way to score free hotel nights.
But these benefits are not all that make the Citi Prestige a potential match for the frequent traveler. We’ve dug deep into the fine print of the Citi Prestige benefits guide and uncovered the most important aspects of this card.
We’ll illustrate how the Citi Prestige combines up-front value with ongoing earning potential, and help you determine if it’s a card you’ll keep for the long term.
Hot Tip: At this time, the Citi Prestige card is no longer available for new applicants.
The Citi Prestige shines when it comes to earning valuable ThankYou points. You’ll find that most of the travel purchases you make fall into a ThankYou points bonus earning category.
When you’re approved for a Citi Prestige Card, you’ll be offered a welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars when redeemed for travel. The bonus is earned after completing a minimum spending requirement in the first 3 months after card approval.
Earn 5 points per dollar spent directly with airlines.
Purchases made through travel agencies earn 5 points per dollar spent.
Purchases made at restaurants, cafes, bars, and even fast food establishments earn 5 points per dollar spent.
Earn 3 points per dollar spent on hotel purchases.
Purchases made with cruise lines earn 3 points per dollar spent.
Every purchase you make on your Citi Prestige Card will earn at least 1 point per dollar spent.
Many travel rewards credit cards have limits on earnings. But there is no limit on the number of ThankYou points you can earn with the Citi Prestige, even in bonus categories.
The Citi Prestige card comes with a complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership. Cardholders can enjoy access to the Priority Pass worldwide lounge network, which has over 1,400 lounges, affiliated restaurants, and Minute Suite locations.
Affiliated Priority Pass restaurants offer up to $30 per person in credits when dining at these locations. Minute Suites offer Priority Pass Select members a free hour of service and discounted rates after that.
Cardholders can bring their entire immediate family into lounge properties, or they can bring 2 guests.
Hot Tip: There are several credit cards with Priority Pass lounge access, the Citi Prestige is certainly not the only one. However, the Prestige is the only card that earns Citi ThankYou points which offers this perk.
Authorized users added to your Citi Prestige Card also receive complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which includes the ability to bring immediate family or 2 guests.
The fee to add an authorized user is $75 annually.
Book any eligible hotel through thankyou.com or by calling 1-800-THANKYOU, and you’ll receive a credit for the average of the nightly rate when booking 4 consecutive nights or more. For example, if you booked 4 hotel nights at an average room rate of $200 per night (excluding taxes/fees), you would receive a $200 credit at the time of booking.
To receive the benefit you can no longer book through the Citi Prestige Concierge. You must book through the ThankYou portal.
You can use the 4th-night-free benefit twice per year.
Receive free spa sessions, upgraded rooms, hotel credits, late checkout, complimentary breakfast, and more at over 2,000 luxury properties worldwide. This benefit is provided via World Elite Mastercard.
Citi Prestige cardholders enjoy elite-level benefits with 3 major car rental programs, as well as complimentary World Elite Mastercard Car Rental membership.
Receive the highest potential value for your ThankYou rewards points by transferring them to any of their airline partner frequent flyer programs. Points transfer at a ratio of 1 ThankYou point to 1 airline mile.
Hot Tip: For ideas on how to maximize your ThankYou points when transferring to airline partners, check out our list of creative redemption options.
ThankYou points can be redeemed for a variety of travel options via the ThankYou travel portal. You can book flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, sightseeing excursions, and even experiences.
You’ll receive 1 cent per point in value on airfare when redeeming via the portal for travel.
Another option for using your ThankYou points is to transfer them to Sears Shop Your Way points. You’ll receive 12 Shop Your Way points for each ThankYou point — that translates into 1.2 cents per point to use at Sears and the Sears Marketplace (where you can find just about anything).
Your ThankYou points can be used to make a charitable donation to the Red Cross or Smile Train. Points transfer at a rate of 1:1, so you’ll receive 1 cent in value for each point.
Redeeming ThankYou points for gift cards can occasionally result in a value of more than 1 cent per point when there are special deals.
While you’ll receive less value for your points when redeeming for cash-back or shopping, you have the option if you’re in a pinch. Expect to receive as little as a half-cent per point when using this redemption option.
Use your Citi Prestige to purchase travel and receive a statement credit up to $250 each calendar year. Travel purchases include transactions with airlines, hotels, cruises, and much more.
Receive 24/7 assistance with all your travel planning needs, including dinner reservations, finding the perfect lodging, and planning destination activities.
Enjoy special access to dining events, discounts, and complimentary drinks/appetizers through Citi Dining. Contact your Citi Concierge for a list of participating restaurants and access event offerings by logging into your account.
Citi Prestige cardholders can enjoy special access to sporting events, concerts, theater performances, and dining events. Receive advance ticket access, VIP seating, special amenities, and more.
Some of the benefits we’re mentioning in this article are actually World Elite Mastercard benefits that apply to several different affiliated cards. The list of World Elite Mastercard benefits is lengthy, but here is a sampling of additional benefits offered to cardholders.
Enjoy discounts on premium fares, such as 15% off Lufthansa and 10% off Air New Zealand.
Receive discounts on Monogram vacations, Swiss Luxury Apartments, and more.
Enjoy amenities and members-only privileges at over 1,000 golf courses worldwide. Receive discounts, use of private club facilities, and access to priority tee times.
The Citi Prestige Card can travel with you everywhere, as you’ll never incur any foreign transaction fees on your purchases.
Hot Tip: Do you rent cars often for business and/or leisure? If so, see our article on the best credit cards for car rental insurance for more options.
Charge your monthly wireless bill to your Citi Prestige Card and receive coverage for damage or theft of your cell phone.
Coverage is limited to $1,000 per claim and $1,500 per 12-month period. There is a $50 deductible per claim.
Pay for an eligible item with ThankYou points and/or your Citi Prestige Card to receive coverage for damage or theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
The maximum coverage is $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.
On eligible items purchased with the Citi Prestige, Citi will extend the manufacturer’s warranty by 24 months. This coverage is valid on items with warranties of 5 years or less.
If you travel with more than 2 family members, the value of complimentary worldwide lounge access for your entire immediate family when traveling is reason alone to secure the Citi Prestige Card.
The card’s broad range of bonus earning categories also makes it easy to collect points quickly from travel and dining purchases. Additionally, the $250 travel statement credit will be exceptionally easy for the traveler to use quickly, as the definition of a “travel” purchase is quite broad.
Finally, flexible redemption options and cell phone protection add value for the right cardholder.
The higher annual fee could certainly be a downside to having this card. But if you’ll use the strong earning and redemption benefits on the card and have core travel-related benefits elsewhere, you could find enough value to make the card worthwhile.
The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
The Citi Prestige has a few unique features that make it worth the annual fee.
Worldwide lounge access is one of the most valuable benefits. A family of 4 or more can incur costs of up to $1,000 (or more) for an annual family airport lounge membership.
Or they could spend several hundred dollars a year for an extra daily guest pass each time they travel together.
Since the card allows the entire immediate family to enter Priority Pass lounges, this benefit can be valuable to a family who travels together even just a few times per year.
The $250 travel credit is easy to use as it is valid for a broad range of travel purchases.
The 4th-night-free hotel credit can also generate hundreds of dollars a year in savings.
As long as you have your card open and active, the ThankYou points earned on your Citi Prestige will not expire.
Should you close your account, ThankYou points do expire after 30 days.
Just book your hotel for 4 consecutive nights or more via the Citi ThankYou travel portal or calling the 1-800ThankYou booking line.
You will automatically receive a credit in the amount of the average room rate (minus taxes and fees).
For example, if you book 4 nights with an average room rate of $250, you will receive a credit at the time of booking for that amount. There is no set limit on the amount of the credit.
You can also use the benefit an unlimited amount of times prior to September 1, 2019. After that, you will be limited to using the benefit just 2 times per year.
The 4th-night-free benefit still offers the potential to save hundreds of dollars each year, even with just 2 uses.
One downside of the 4th-night-free benefit is that you are booking through a third party (thankyou.com), so you may be forfeiting any hotel loyalty program elite benefits.
The $250 travel statement credit is easy to use. Just make a travel purchase, and your statement will automatically be credited with the amount of the purchase, up to $250 per calendar year.
“Travel” includes purchases with airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies, transportation, cruise lines, bus tickets, parking, and more.
Through 2022, you can also use your travel credit for purchases towards groceries and restaurants.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.