Citi Prestige Card Review: The Ultimate Travel Companion

By | December 4, 2023

Are you a frequent traveler in search of a credit card that offers exceptional rewards and benefits? Look no further than the Citi Prestige Card.

Designed for business and leisure travelers alike, this premium credit card from Citi is packed with features that will enhance your travel experience. From generous rewards to exclusive perks, the Citi Prestige Card sets itself apart in the competitive world of high-end travel credit cards.

Introduction to the Citi Prestige Card

Citi Prestige Card

Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige Card is often compared to other premium travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card from American Express. While it may be light on benefits compared to its competitors, the Citi Prestige Card excels in its earning potential.

With bonus categories that include 5 points per dollar spent on airfare and dining, and 3 points per dollar spent on cruises and hotels, this card is a top choice for those who frequently indulge in these categories.

One of the standout features of the Citi Prestige Card is its annual $250 travel credit. This credit can be applied to travel expenses, including airfare, and even supermarket and restaurant purchases until December 31. This benefit alone partially offsets the hefty annual fee, making the card more appealing to potential cardholders.

The Strengths of the Citi Prestige Card

Generous Rewards in Bonus Categories

The Citi Prestige Card truly shines in its bonus categories. Cardholders earn an impressive 5 points per dollar spent on airfare and dining, making it an excellent choice for those who frequently travel and dine out. Additionally, the card offers 3 points per dollar spent on cruises and hotels, further enhancing its earning potential.

Annual Travel Credit

One of the most attractive features of the Citi Prestige Card is its annual $250 travel credit. This credit can be used to offset travel expenses, including airfare, hotels, and even supermarket and restaurant purchases until the end of 2022. This benefit not only helps to offset the card’s annual fee but also provides additional value to cardholders.

Priority Pass Select Lounge Access

For travelers who enjoy the luxury of airport lounges, the Citi Prestige Card offers complimentary access to the Priority Pass Select lounge program. This benefit allows cardholders to bring two guests with them into the lounge, making it a great option for those who frequently travel with companions.

Complimentary Fourth Night Hotel Stay

One of the standout features of the Citi Prestige Card is the complimentary fourth night hotel stay benefit. Cardholders who book a minimum of four consecutive nights through can enjoy a free fourth night at select hotels. This benefit can be used up to two times per year, providing significant savings for frequent travelers.

Areas for Improvement

While the Citi Prestige Card offers impressive rewards and benefits, it does have some areas where it falls short compared to its competitors. These areas include:

Lack of Travel Insurance and Purchase Protection

One of the significant drawbacks of the Citi Prestige Card is its lack of travel insurance and purchase protection benefits. Unlike many other premium credit cards, the Citi Prestige Card does not offer trip cancellation or delay insurance, lost luggage insurance, or auto rental collision damage waiver. Additionally, it does not provide any purchase protection or extended warranty benefits. These omissions may be a deal-breaker for some cardholders who value these essential benefits.

Limited Number of Points Transfer Partners

Another area where the Citi Prestige Card falls short is its limited number of points transfer partners. While it does allow cardholders to transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs, the options are not as extensive as those offered by some of its competitors. This limitation may diminish the card’s appeal for travelers who value flexibility and variety in their redemption options.

High Annual Fee

It’s worth noting that the Citi Prestige Card carries a hefty annual fee, which may deter some potential cardholders. While the $495 fee can be partially offset by the annual travel credit and other benefits, it’s essential to consider whether the card’s rewards and benefits align with your spending habits and travel preferences before committing to the cost.

Redeeming Rewards with the Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige Card’s rewards program is centered around the ThankYou Points system. Cardholders earn points on every purchase, with bonus categories offering higher points per dollar spent. Let’s explore the various redemption options available with the Citi Prestige Card:

Cash Rewards

Citi ThankYou points can be redeemed for cash rewards, starting at increments of $50. The redemption rate is one-half of one cent per point, meaning that 100 points can be redeemed for $0.50. While this may not be the most lucrative redemption option, it provides flexibility for cardholders who prefer cash rewards.

Gift Cards

The ThankYou Points program also offers the option to redeem points for gift cards. Starting at 1,000 ThankYou points, cardholders can exchange their points for gift cards at various restaurants and retailers. Citi occasionally runs sales on gift cards for specific brands, providing additional value for those looking to maximize their points’ worth.

Mortgage and Student Loan Rebates

Cardholders who have a mortgage or student loans can use their ThankYou points towards these obligations. Citi allows the redemption of ThankYou points towards mortgage and student loan payments at a rate of one cent per point. This option provides a practical way to use points to offset essential expenses.

Shop With Points

Citi ThankYou points can be used to shop with various partners, including online retailers like and merchants that use PayPal for checkout. While the value of points in these transactions is generally lower than one cent per point, it provides cardholders with the convenience of using their points for everyday purchases.

Travel Booked Through

Cardholders can book travel, including flights, hotels, cars, and cruises, through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. The portal’s pricing is comparable to other online travel agencies, making it a convenient option for those looking to redeem their points for travel. If cardholders do not have enough points to cover the entire booking, they can use their ThankYou points to offset a portion of the cost.

Transfer to Travel Partners

One of the most significant advantages of the ThankYou Points program is the ability to transfer points to over a dozen airlines. This opens up a world of possibilities for cardholders who value international business class redemptions. Popular transfer partners include KLM, Avianca, and Virgin Atlantic, each offering unique redemption opportunities.

Transfer to Other ThankYou Account

In a unique feature, Citi allows cardholders to transfer up to 100,000 points per calendar year to another person with a Citi ThankYou account. This option provides the flexibility to pool points with a partner, spouse, or family member, allowing for more substantial redemptions or shared benefits.

Additional Benefits and Features

In addition to its rewards program, the Citi Prestige Card offers various additional benefits and features that enhance the cardholder experience. These include:

Citi Entertainment

Cardholders can qualify for select concert tickets and events through Citi Entertainment, a free service exclusive to Citi Prestige cardmembers. This benefit provides access to unique experiences and opportunities in the world of entertainment.

Banking Relationship Annual Credit

By having a qualifying Citigold account, cardholders can earn a $145 statement credit each cardmember year. This credit adds further value to the overall banking relationship with Citi.

Citi Identity Theft Solutions

In the unfortunate event of identity theft, Citi Prestige cardholders can rely on Citi Identity Theft Solutions for assistance. This service helps resolve identity theft issues and provides support in getting cardholders’ lives back on track.

Digital Wallets and Contactless Pay

Cardholders can shop with confidence using Citi Digital Wallet services, which allow secure transactions both online and in stores. Additionally, the Citi Prestige Card is equipped with contactless-chip technology, enabling quick and secure payments with a simple tap.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

For travelers, the Citi Prestige Card eliminates the burden of foreign transaction fees. Cardholders can use their credit cards for purchases made overseas without incurring any additional charges, making it a convenient option for international travel.

How the Citi Prestige Card Compares to Other Cards

To fully assess the value of the Citi Prestige Card, it’s essential to compare it to other premium travel credit cards on the market. Let’s take a look at how the Citi Prestige Card stacks up against two of its competitors:

Citi Prestige Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is another premium travel credit card that competes directly with the Citi Prestige Card. While both cards offer similar benefits like an annual travel credit and lounge access, the Chase Sapphire Reserve stands out in its comprehensive travel insurance protections. It provides trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary auto collision damage waiver insurance, and lost luggage/trip delay reimbursement. Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty benefits. However, the Citi Prestige Card outshines the Chase Sapphire Reserve in its bonus categories, earning 5 points per dollar on flights and 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Ultimately, the choice between the two cards depends on the cardholder’s priorities and spending habits.

Citi Prestige Card vs. The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express is renowned for its extensive benefits and services. While the Citi Prestige Card may offer stronger rewards in certain categories, The Platinum Card from American Express surpasses it in terms of benefits. With up to $200 in annual airline incidental statement credits, up to $200 in Uber Cash credits, and access to multiple airport lounges, The Platinum Card provides a more comprehensive travel experience. It also offers a suite of purchase protection, shopping, and concierge services. However, it’s worth noting that The Platinum Card does not offer the same earning potential in bonus categories as the Citi Prestige Card. Cardholders must evaluate their travel preferences and spending habits to determine which card best suits their needs.

Citi Prestige Card vs. Citi Premier Card

For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Citi Premier Card may be worth considering. With a lower annual fee of $95, the Citi Premier Card offers similar rewards in bonus categories like dining and air travel. However, it falls short in terms of hotel rewards, earning only 3 points per dollar spent compared to the Citi Prestige Card’s 5 points per dollar. The Citi Premier Card also lacks some of the premium benefits offered by the Citi Prestige Card, such as lounge access and the fourth-night free hotel benefit. Nonetheless, for individuals seeking a travel credit card with generous rewards across various categories, the Citi Premier Card provides a compelling option.

Is the Citi Prestige Card Right for You?

Determining whether the Citi Prestige Card is the right choice for you requires careful consideration of your travel habits, spending patterns, and personal preferences. If you frequently indulge in air travel and dining, and value the ability to earn generous rewards in these categories, the Citi Prestige Card may be an excellent fit. Additionally, if you already have access to travel insurance and purchase protection benefits through another credit card, the Citi Prestige Card’s rewards and benefits may outweigh its shortcomings.

However, for travelers who prioritize comprehensive benefits and services, other premium travel credit cards like The Platinum Card from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve may offer a more compelling package. If you frequently travel with a specific airline, cards like the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express, the United Club Infinite Card, or the American Airlines Executive Card may provide more tailored benefits.

Ultimately, the decision to apply for the Citi Prestige Card should be based on a thorough evaluation of your individual needs and preferences. By carefully considering the card’s rewards, benefits, and costs, you can determine whether it aligns with your travel goals and financial objectives.

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