Citi Prestige is Going Away & Being Re-Introduced, so How Did that Affect My Retention Offers?

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Citi Prestige Retention call

Citi Prestige Retention Call

Update: Several readers reported receiving retention offers, so my theory below is incorrect.

Update 2: To clarify, Citi has sent us a statement saying the Prestige card isn’t quite going away. Here is what a Citi spokesperson had to say:

Our go-to-market strategy continuously evolves to feature different products and offers. We remain committed to the Prestige product and servicing our valued existing cardmembers. We look forward to reintroducing the card for new cardmembers in the near future.

My Citi Prestige $450 Annual fee came due a few weeks ago and I made my yearly call to see what types of retention offers were available. A few weeks ago we reported that Citi has stopped accepting new applications for Prestige and the future of the card is uncertain at this point. I have found that I use the Prestige card the least of my premium cards and I’ve never used the fourth night free option. I know that seems crazy but every time I’d tried to use the benefit I found that there were cheaper options elsewhere. Originally, I had no intention of keeping the card open unless I got a great retention offer but the fact that the card is no longer available made me wonder if I should rethink closing the account.

Related: Full Guide to Citi Retention – Answers to all of your questions & how to get the best offers!

citi prestige retention call

The Call

I explained to the customer service rep that my fee was due and I’d like to know if there were any offers on my account because I was considering closing it due to the fee. She told me in no uncertain terms that my account wasn’t eligible for any type of offer. I politely thanker her and ended the call.

Related: Citi ThankYou Rewards Points Guide: Earning, Redeeming and Details of ThankYou Premier and Prestige Points

On my second attempt, I was told the exact same thing! I was really surprised because Citi Retention calls usually go pretty well. Shawn recently had great success with the same card (and a few others): Tripling Up Citi Retention & Great Offers on ThankYou & AAdvantage Cards. I’ve always received decent spending offers on all my Thank You branded cards in the past so I hadn’t really considered this option.

Related: My Strange Amex Platinum Retention Call. Was it a Success?

Other Data Points and Outcome

After my call I did a little research and found that both Shawn’s wife and PDX Deals Guy had the same outcome on their latest Prestige retention calls. At this point I’m pretty sure retention offers are no longer being offered for Prestige. I was given the choice to either downgrade to a no-fee card like the Preferred or the ATT card or close the account. After weighing my options, I chose to downgrade to the no fee preferred in the hopes that it prevent the 24 month bonus clock from resetting. I really can’t justify the $450 fee since I rarely utilize the benefits. I will certainly miss the extensive travel protection offered by Prestige but with the money I save I can protect my trips with insurance if necessary.

 


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31 COMMENTS

  1. Your headline says Citi Prestige is Going Away yet I didn’t read anything in your article to suggest that the card is actually being removed from circulation.

    • I have the same question that Ed has. I have not heard on any boards that Prestige is going away. Perhaps just a refresh of the card? Or?

    • Agreed. Felt a bit like click bait to me. The 4th night free has been very valuable to me (ymmv!) so I hope the card sticks around. Cheers.

    • What additional information do you have that supports the headline. I understand you might be dropping the card yourself but the headline suggests that the card is disappearing altogether.

  2. I got a no from rep and supervisor, and then when I said “is there any reason at all you can give me to keep this card open?”, she gave me 5k plus $100 credit.

  3. My first renewal should be hitting my account this month. I think I’ll call them and ask if there are any offers for retention. I actually have received a lot of benefits from the 4th night free (about $1,200 so far this year) – even booking SPG hotels (some stacked with other free night offers from Starwood). And I’ve put some major appliances on the card for the extra two years of warranty. Have used the points to book flights and hotels successfully. Coupled with the $250 annual travel credit, if they offered a $100 statement credit I’ll be happy for another year.

  4. Exact same outcome for me that Ryan Flanagan had ($100 + 5k thank you points). However, I made the call 30-40 days ago, and I still haven’t seen the retention bonus post to my account.

  5. Just do what I did. I intentionally booked a $2600 a night room for 4 nights even though I was flying out after the third night so Citi prestige can pay for it. That’s my retention bonus. (Oh I got points for all the nights)

  6. How did you find a lower option for your hotel room elsewhere? If you are staying four nights and paying money (not points) for your stay, that is pretty much impossible.

  7. I had no luck either earlier this year, so I canceled. Like you, it just didn’t do much for me. I tried to use the 4th night benefit but I also always found cheaper options even with the free night. All in all, it just wasn’t worth keeping around.

    • Agreed. I’d always found their rates to be a bit higher and with a lot of the hotel programs, I found it cheaper to buy points and get the 5th night free or do cash plus points etc.

  8. To all the people who say they’ve already found cheaper rates and don’t use the 4th night benefit, have you asked the Citi concierge to match it? They have always matched the cheapest rate I’ve been able to find. In fact on my last trip to Kauai, they were able to find a fifth night free through the hotel that I wasn’t aware of.

    • Agreed, 4NF will give you almost always the cheapest available rate anywhere + the fourth night free and I book 20+ times a year. You must not be telling them about the cheapest rate you found?

    • I’ll give you an example, I was booking 5 nights at the Cove for NYE, the cash price was around $1100. I was able to buy 60k spg points for less than 1/2 that price.

      • Bethany, that’s a great example. I never thought of comparing the buying points option, especially when there are so many discounts that come around. Buying pts when there’s a specific use in mind can be a good deal. The 4th night free bene still works great for me, esp since my AF is 350, but thanks for giving me another gem for the toolbox.

  9. Of course we all try to use points but not all hotels can be booked with them. Looking at prices on the major booking sites are all about the same price as Citi travel portal. However, when I book the hotel on the portal for four nights I not only get 4th night free but also can discount the total using TY points. This has save me many hundreds of dollars so far this week! When booking major city hotels we mostly book with “Starwood” and the points cost is not justified. With various offers that can be booked via Citi Concierge, such as Mastercard 3-for-2 and 6-for-4 along with 4th night free we’ve saved a lot for a trip to London in November. We’re not all looking for ridiculous hotel prices to justify our use of points.

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