Citi Prestige Card changes
Over two years ago when I actively began pursuing points and miles, the Citi Prestige Card was my first "high-end" credit card. The card is very lucrative and can even pay for itself if you take advantage of its available perks. The card's features include:
- $250 annual air travel credit
- Complimentary fourth hotel night
- Access to Priority Pass Select lounges
- $100 Global Entry application fee credit (every five years)
- 3x points on air travel and hotels
- 2x points on dining and entertainment
- No foreign transaction fees
Last week, Citi announced several changes and updates to the card, effective July 23, 2017:
- A new metal card much like the Chase Sapphire and Amex Platinum cards
- Changes to the complimentary fourth night
- Credit will now be based on the average nightly rate over the four nights
- Credit will not include tax
- Reservations can now be booked online
- Credit will be applied at check-out rather than later to your statement
- Updated ThankYou Points redemptions
- Apply ThankYou Points for all or part of a stay and still receive the complimentary fourth night
- Double points value for cash redemptions; the conversion is now 50,000 ThankYou Points for $500, up from the previous conversion of 50,000 points for $250
While these are not mind-blowing enhancements - and they carry virtually no value for me - additional changes are positive.
- Access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs will be discontinued
- Reduction in value of ThankYou Points for airfare redemptions
- Airfare redemptions will only receive 25% more value than gift cards
- Redemption value down from 60% greater value on American Airlines flights and 33% more on all other airfare
- Three complimentary rounds of golf no longer be included
From my perspective, these changes are largely a non-event. I do like the idea of the metal card, but, since I typically don't carry the Citi Prestige Card in my wallet, I won't benefit from this change very often. While I used the fourth complimentary night benefit earlier this year, it is a very rare trip when I stay at the same property more than three nights. Finally, I do not redeem credit card reward points directly for travel. I feel I get better value by transferring these points to an airline frequent flyer program in order to book award travel. Bottomline, things with the Citi Prestige card is business as usual in my world. This announcement will not encourage me to use the card any more or less than I already do.
Targeted offer for 2,500 boys ThankYou Points
Citibank recently emailed a special offer for 2,500 ThankYou Points for adding an authorized user that spends $2,500 before September 30, 2017. The Citi Prestige Card, unlike many cards, charges $50 per authorized user, though they gain access to the Priority Plus lounge perk as well as the Citi Concierge. While both are nice benefits that I really like about my card, neither of these would be especially valuable to my wife who would be my authorized user. The majority of her travel is with me, so there is no need for her to have a separate Priority Plus membership. The question comes down to whether the bonus points are valuable enough to take advantage of the promotion.
This offer equates to a bonus of 1 ThankYou Point per dollar of spend above existing bonuses and unbounded spend. Unfortunately, 2,500 points is simply not a significant reward for spending nearly enough to earn a full sign-up bonus on a new card. In fact, right now, you can spend an additional $1,500 and get 50,000 ThankYou Points by signing up for a new Citi ThankYou Premier card which offers the same category spending bonuses as the Prestige card. If the card benefits were useful to my wife, $50 would be a cheap way to access airport lounges, but there is just little compelling about this offer. While I typically take advantage of offers for additional bonus points on my existing credit cards, I will not be adding an authorized user to my Citi Prestige Card.