Citi Prestige Application Considerations
Yesterday One Mile at a Time warned readers that the Citi Prestige bonus will be changing next Tuesday. In the post, the only information given is that a change will occur, but not as to whether the bonus will increase or decrease. I thought it might be good to go through my thoughts on the card and take a look at the overall likelihood of positive or negative changes next Tuesday.
Citi Prestige Overview & Bonus
Right now the bonus on the Citi Prestige is as follows:
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Given the rumors of an upcoming change, the question becomes whether or not this bonus will go up or down next Tuesday. I do trust that a change will come, since One Mile at a Time is a Citi affiliate and they no doubt were given advanced info that a change will occur. So what will the change be?
Well, both the ThankYou Preferred and Premier cards recently saw their bonuses cut down to “0” points so my guess is that the news won’t be good. At a time where Citi is seemingly hiding the AT&T Access More card and has no public bonuses on two of their most popular cards, I simply can’t see them increasing a bonus on this one. Especially given how overly generous the card benefits are. (See below.) Of course they also just spent a ton of money on acquiring Costco too.
Citi Prestige Benefits
Before going any further into assumptions, let’s look at what makes this card so great. Here are some of the benefits you get for the $450 annual fee:
- $250 annual airfare credit
- American Airlines Admiral’s Club access when flying AA
- Priority Pass access for yourself and 2 guests
- Fourth night free on hotel bookings
- $100 Global entry application credit
- 3X ThankYou points on Air & Hotels
- 2X ThankYou points on Dining & Entertainment
- Ability to transfer points to travel partners
- Redeem ThankYou points at 1.33 cents each for airfare and 1.6 cents each for AA airfare
- 3 free rounds of golf per year
As you can see, that is a HUGE amount of value, especially considering the airfare credit is per calendar year meaning you get $500 worth of credits in the first cardmember year. Additionally, Citigold clients only pay a $350 annual fee!
Should You Apply?
Before I go any further, this whole section is just my personal opinion. For the record I have no affiliate links and am not trying to sell you on anything. Personally, I feel the bonus will go down on this card and/or some of the very generous benefits mentioned above could change. As I mentioned in my post yesterday about the erosion of deals, when a deal is too good, the market will work to remove inefficiencies. That could very well happen here.
While I already have the card, I had already been considering an application for my wife and plan to go forward with it. She is still a Citigold client and thus her annual fee will only be $350 the first year. Between the 50K points and $500 in airfare credits the deal is good, especially given the other benefits. Of course if she has the card, my decision as to whether or not to renew my card will be made more difficult.
Applying In-Branch or Online
If you want to apply online, here is a direct application link. Citigold members will automatically have the fee reduced by $100. In addition, some non-Citigold customers have had success getting a $350 annual fee by applying in-branch. The application apparently asks for the Citigold number, but if left blank it will still process. I have also heard of others being rejected and given the normal fee instead, so YMMV.
Getting a Match
So the worst case scenario is that you apply under the current 50K offer and the bonus actually goes up next Tuesday. This is entirely possible, although unlikely in my opinion. If this happens the question becomes whether or not Citi will match. The answer to that isn’t clear. In the past they have matched some offers and not matched others. Persistence is the key with Citi and so is getting to someone who is empowered. I would say there is a decent chance of getting matched given that this is a premium card, but Citi doesn’t make it as easy as other banks like Chase.
With the likelihood that some sort of changes are coming to the Citi Prestige card next Tuesday, I think my wife will go ahead and lock in the current version of the offer on the card given its overall value. I also think many of you may benefit from the card, although that is a decision you must make yourself. As always, I recommend not messing up your plans to chase this or any deal and if you miss out then remember another deal will come.
What are your thoughts about the Citi Prestige? What changes do you think are coming? Do you have the card? Do you like it? Let us know in the comments!