Citi Prestige Admiral’s Club Access Ending for New Cardholders: Should You Apply?

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Citi Prestige Admiral's Club Access Over

Citi Prestige Admiral’s Club Access Over

Over the past couple of days Citi made a huge change to their credit card bonus rules. Specifically, they now restrict bonuses per product family. Additionally, another big change is coming to Citi’s premium Prestige card on August 31, 2016. This change will significantly impact the value of the card. Does it make sense to apply now?

No More Admiral’s Club for New Applicants

Last month Citi announced major changes coming to the Prestige card in 2017. Among them is a reduction in the value of airfare redemptions, the elimination of the free golf benefit, a change in the 4th night free benefit and the elimination of Admiral’s Club Access. Those changes take place on July 23, 2017 for current cardholders. But, there is a huge caveat.

If you apply and are approved for the Citi Prestige card on September 1 or after, you WILL NOT get Admiral’s Club access at all. So basically it works like this:

  • Apply now through August 31 and get Admiral’s Club access through July 23, 2017.
  • Apply September 1, and after and do not get any Admiral’s Club access.

In case you were wondering, the annual fee is the same at $450 either way.

Citi Prestige Admiral's Club Access Over
Admiral’s Club LAX Remote Terminal.

Best Offer

The best offer right now for the Citi Prestige card is the public offer of 40,000 ThankYou points after $4K spend in three months. It comes with a $450 annual fee that is not waived the first year. You may be able to get a $350 annual fee if you apply in-branch. The lower fee is reserved for Citigold clients, however many people have reported getting the lower fee on in-branch applications.

Keep in mind that Citi has already removed any reference to Admiral’s Club access from the Prestige application. If that bothers you, then you might want to confirm with them directly that your pre-September 1 application includes it.

Are You Eligible?

Under Citi’s new bonus rules you are eligible to get a bonus on the Citi Prestige if you have not opened or closed a Prestige, ThankYou Preferred or ThankYou Premier card in the past 24 months. If you have, then you would not be eligible for the bonus.

Should You Apply?

If you are eyeing this card and have yet to apply, I would say now is the time. After August 31 you will pay the same for the card and lose one huge benefit. In other words, the card won’t be as valuable as it is today. Remember too that the card does have some unique benefits:

  • $250 annual airfare credit per calendar year.
  • 4th night free.
  • 3 free rounds of golf in 2016 & 2017 before the benefit is eliminated.
  • Priority pass membership with two free guests.
  • 1.6 cent per point airfare redemptions on American Airlines and 1.33 cents on other airlines through July, 2017 (when it dropes to 1.25 cents per point.)

Conclusion

Hopefully everyone who wanted this card was able to get it when the bonus was 50K. If you didn’t get it then, now is probably the last chance to get the best possible value from the Citi Prestige. Given Citi’s lack of overall bonuses lately and their tightening of benefits, I don’t expect them to raise the bonus on this card any time soon, but who knows.

Are you going to throw in a last minute application for the Prestige or is this once glorious card just too devalued to look at?


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4 COMMENTS

  1. I got this card in July . I applied online so had to pay the 450 annual fee… Seeing so many people report paying 350 af with in branch application pisses me off.. Do u think I should cancel this card before the next few hits again in July and apply in branch or should I just keep the card for 2 years apply for another card at the end of the 2 years so that I can get the application bonus also and than cancel my previous card… Is it worth the hassle… The Austin would be that will the 350 af still exist in branch after the November change in citi gold account. Ps I don’t want to open the citi gold account for the lower fee

  2. It is somewhat depressing that Citi destroyed such a great card. I intended to keep the Prestige card long term, but no longer. Citi basically pulled a bait and switch with its huge and unwarranted devaluation of the Prestige card, and I will be cancelling next year when the current benefits are lost. I was recently approved for the Reserve card, which will now be my primary travel card. I don’t think the card is worth a hard pull.

  3. This card is dropping away fast. I was only going to keep it to use the 4th night free perk, but that’s been a nightmare recently. Every booking takes 15-20 minutes for them to just “check the rates” on 1 hotel. 90% of the time they do not see the lowest standard rate that is publicized on the hotel website, and instead quote me a high rack rate. Is it just me? For example, I’m currently trying to book a SPG property in Paris, and they’re not even seeing the rates on spg.com.

  4. My annual fee comes due in October and I’ve decided to keep the card for at least another year despite having the Amex Plat. and the CSR. I know that among the three, that’s a bunch of annuals fees, but after breaking it all down I can justify the fees on each card. The Prestige 4th night fee makes it a keeper. I have two five-day stays booked in November that will save me over $300 alone. That plus the $250 airline credit is more than the annual fee. I don’t care about golf or the Admiral’s Club.

    Dealing with the concierge was relatively painless. I was put on a short hold on one of my calls and the other went straight through. Citi quoted the rate shown on the property websites. Third party sites (Expedia and hotels.com) did not offer lower rates than the ones booked through the concierge.

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