Citi Prestige Credit Card Review

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The Citi Prestige Credit Card is a premium travel rewards card that pays premium rewards, a big sign-up bonus, and outstanding, luxury travel perks. The tradeoff? There’s a $495 annual fee.

Citi Prestige®

overall rating
3.5
Citi Prestige®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 18.99% - 25.99% variable
Annual Fee $495
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5 points per dollar at airlines, travel agencies, and restaurants, 3 points per dollar at hotels and cruise lines, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.9
for Fees
1.9
for Rewards
4.4
for Credit
3.7

Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

Considering the Citi Prestige Credit Card offers more points on air travel, dining, hotels, and cruises, it’s a solid option for anyone who spends a lot in these categories. Add in travel perks like airport lounge access, $250 in reimbursements on travel fees each year, and the fact there are so many ways to redeem points for travel, and it’s easy to see how this card is geared to road warriors and those who travel often. 

Pros

  • Lucrative earning tiers and bonus offer

  • Travel and other perks that can save you money

  • Flexible rewards program

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • High APR for purchases and balance transfers

  • Authorized users cost extra

Pros Explained

  • Lucrative earning tiers and bonus offer: Where some comparable travel rewards credit cards offer fewer points for bonus spending, the Citi Prestige card comes out of the gate with 5 points per $1 on air travel and dining, and 3 points per $1 on hotels and cruises. You get all of this plus a big sign-up bonus that is worth more than the first year’s annual fee.
  • Travel and other perks that can save you money: Signing up for this card also gives you reimbursements for travel costs, reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck fees, airport lounge access, and more.
  • Flexible rewards program: There are many ways to use the Citi ThankYou points you earn with this card. You can redeem them for gift cards, use them to book travel through the Citi portal, or transfer them to travel partners, among others. 

Cons Explained

  • High annual fee: The annual fee on this card is high for anyone, but especially if you’re unsure how much you’ll use this card’s perks. That said, it’s comparable to the annual fees charged by similar cards.
  • High APR for purchases and balance transfers: If you carry a balance on this credit card, you’ll regret it. The Citi Prestige Credit Card comes with a relatively high variable APR on purchases and balance transfers, which can make carrying debt on this card a pricey endeavor. 
  • Authorized users cost extra: Cards like this one are called “premium” for a reason. To add a spouse or an adult child to this account, you’ll pay an authorized user fee of $75 annually, for each extra user. The added expense can quickly diminish the value of this card. 

Citi Prestige Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus

The Citi Prestige Credit Card gives you 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening. At 1 cent per point, this bonus is worth $500, which justifies the annual fee in the first year. This is a healthy bonus for any rewards card, but it can be especially powerful if you plan to spend a lot on your card and earn plenty of ongoing rewards. 

Earning Points & Rewards

The Citi Prestige Credit Card offers bonus earning tiers that are easy to understand. You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on air travel (including flights booked with travel agencies) and restaurants, 3 points per $1 spent on hotel bookings and cruises, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. 

Important

Citi ThankYou points never expire as long as your account is open. There’s also no limit to how many points you can earn. 

Redeeming Rewards

Once you begin racking up Citi ThankYou Points, you can shop with points at Amazon and other online retailers, redeem them for gift cards, cash back, statement credits, charitable contributions, and even to make mortgage and student loan payments. And, of course, you can use them to book travel through the ThankYou portal.

Transferring Points

In addition to all the other redemption options, you can transfer ThankYou points to any of Citi’s loyalty program partners—who may offer more value for your rewards. With one exception, points transfer to airline partners at 1:1 in blocks of 1,000. It can take up to 14 days for points to transfer, so plan ahead.   

The ThankYou program lets you share points with other Citi cardholders who have points in the ThankYou program. You can share and receive up to 100,000 points within a calendar year. However, all “shared” points expire 90 days after they’ve been transferred, so you shouldn’t transfer them unless the recipient can use them right away. 

Note

You can also transfer points to the Sears Shop Your Way program, where one Citi ThankYou Point is worth 12 Shop Your Way points. 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Use your Citi Prestige Credit Card to spend $4,000 within three months to earn 50,000 points right away—you will have covered the cost of the annual fee. Make sure you use this card for airfare, hotels, cruises, and restaurants specifically—not only to earn bonus points, but to get the $250 annual travel credit applied to your account.

Redeem points for airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, and more through the Citi portal with no blackout dates, or transfer them to airline partners to get more bang for your buck.

Points are valued at 1 cent each when spent on travel through the ThankYou travel portal. Point values for gift cards, statement credits, and when used to shop with points at select retailers may vary.

Tip

The Balance’s analysis of the value of ThankYou Points found that points are worth 1.32 cent each when transferred to JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program.  

Citi Prestige Credit Card’s Excellent Perks

This card comes with a lot of perks and benefits, but these are the ones the editors of The Balance consider “excellent.”

  • Travel fee reimbursement: You’ll receive a $250 air travel credit that is automatically applied to your account when you make any purchase within the travel category.
  • Airport lounge access: Sign up to receive a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, which lets you visit over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.
  • Fourth night free: As a cardholder, you qualify for a complimentary fourth night free hotel benefit when you book at least four consecutive nights at a hotel through ThankYou.com or by phone. You can use this perk up to two times per year.
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement: You can receive a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit every five years in an amount up to $100. 
  • Cellphone coverage: Get reimbursed for up to $1,000 if your cell phone is stolen or damaged. You must pay for cell service with the card to activate this benefit.
  • Emergency medical and evacuation benefits*: Should you or a family member require medical services while on a trip, this benefit will cover up to $100,000 of the cost of medical evacuation.
  • Insurance coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay*: If a trip you’ve paid for with the card is cancelled or interrupted, you’re eligible for up to $5,000 to cover your costs, per trip. For delays of six hours or more, you’re covered for up to $500. 
  • Insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage*: If your luggage is lost, this benefit will reimburse you for up to $3,000 per bag ($10,000 per trip). If your luggage is laggardly, you’ll be reimbursed for related expenses, up to $500 per traveler per trip. 
  • Travel accident insurance*: This benefit provides up to $1 million in compensation if you or a family member die or are injured in an accident on a common carrier while on a trip paid for with the card.

Citi Prestige Credit Card’s Other Features

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Extended warranties
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy in the U.S; primary if abroad)*
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
  • Roadside assistance hotline*
  • Lowest advertised price match*
  • Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item*
  • Missed event ticket refund*

*See the warning below about these benefits.

Warning*

As of Sept. 22, 2019, Citi is canceling emergency medical and evacuation benefits; insurance coverage for trip cancelation, interruption, or delay; insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage; travel accident insurance; rental car collision insurance; medical evacuation coverage; lowest advertised price match (Citi Price Rewind); and refunds when the merchant won't accept a returned item. If you already had the card and purchased an item before that date, you can continue to file for benefits. Roadside assistance hotline and travel/emergency assistance will be discontinued as of Sept. 22, 2019.

Customer Experience

J.D. Power rated credit card companies in its 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, and Citi ranked sixth (out of 11) on the list. Citi received 799 out of 1,000 points. The industry average rating was 806 points.

You can reach Citi online via chat, with a secure message, or over the phone. You can also reach out to Citi using the Citi mobile app. The bank offers free FICO scores to help you stay abreast of your credit score.

Security Features

Citi offers industry-standard security features including 24/7 fraud alerts, virtual account numbers for online purchases, and zero liability for fraudulent purchases. Citi Identity Theft Solutions can help if you’ve been a victim of identity theft.

Citi Prestige Credit Card’s Fees

The Prestige card’s fees are normal for a card of this type—even the steep annual fee. There’s no foreign transaction fee, which is great for a rewards card meant to be taken with you when you go. 

For Citi Prestige®

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CURRENT CARD
Citi Prestige®
overall rating
3.5
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 18.99% - 25.99% variable
Annual Fee $495
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5 points per dollar at airlines, travel agencies, and restaurants, 3 points per dollar at hotels and cruise lines, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
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Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.