Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Considering the Citi Prestige Credit Card lets you earn bonus 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 that 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.
Lucrative earning tiers and bonus offer
Travel and other perks that can save you money
Flexible rewards program
High annual fee
High interest rate for purchases and balance transfers
- Lucrative earning tiers and bonus offer: The Citi Prestige card lets you earn an impressive 5 points per $1 on air travel and dining, and 3 points per $1 on hotels and cruises. That’s more than comparable travel rewards credit cards. 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: This card also gives you reimbursements for travel costs, reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck fees, airport lounge access, and more. What’s more, it comes with a long list of other perks like extended warranties and price protection.
- 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.
- 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 interest rate 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-user fee: 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.
Bonus for New Cardholders
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. According to The Balance's calculation, the average redemption value of a ThankYou point is 1.22 cent per point. At that redemption value, this bonus is potentially worth $610. 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.
Citi ThankYou points never expire as long as your account is open. There’s also no limit to how many points you can earn.
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.
To see how the Citi Prestige Credit Card’s points stack up, check out our in-depth analysis of what credit card points are worth.
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. Points transfer to 15 airline partners (including JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic) 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.
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.
Our analysis of the value of ThankYou Points found that points are worth 1.22 cents each, on average. The best values are for transfers to the Italian airline Avianca, where they are worth 2.28 cents each.
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 cellphone is stolen or damaged. You must pay for cell service with the card to activate this benefit.
You may have other (and easier) ways to earn/use some of these benefits right now, in light of recent travel disruptions. Read “Credit Card Deals Help You Earn and Use Travel Benefits During COVID-19” for more information.
Citi Prestige Credit Card’s Other Features
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
- Extended warranties
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
Citi canceled the following perks Sept. 22, 2019: 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 were discontinued Sept. 22, 2019.
Citi doesn’t have a great reputation for customer service. 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.
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.