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Right now, the Citi Prestige is one of the best benefit-focused travel credit cards out on the market. It comes with a number of different benefits but here is a look at what I believe are the top 10 benefits of the Citi Prestige.
1. Priority Pass Select airport lounge access
This offers you lounge access worth $400/yr. to Priority Pass lounges, which are located in over 800 locations around the world. Most of the lounges provide complimentary alcohol, refreshments and/or meals, free wifi, comfortable and quiet spaces to relax, a selection of magazines, power outlets, and some even have showers, spa, and bed facilities.
What really makes this benefit worth it with the Citi Prestige is that you can take up to two guests with you into the lounge for free. Compare this with the Amex Platinum which requires the guests to pay $27 each time for lounge access. If you and your partner do all of your traveling together then this essentially operates as a free membership for them, which means you’re getting about $800 in benefits!
2. Access to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges
Another benefit is that you are offered access to the Admirals Club lounges when you fly American Airlines on that day. Unfortunately, this benefit is not offered to authorized users and can only be utilized by the primary cardholder. July 2016 update: this benefit will no longer be available as of July 23, 2017.
3. Complimentary night at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive-night booking
This is probably the most valuable benefit of the Citi Prestige. If you book your hotel through the Citi Prestige concierge service then you’re given the fourth night free for a consecutive 4 night or longer stay. This benefit can be applied an unlimited amount of times each year. If you do a lot of stays that are at least 4 nights then you can see how quickly you can begin to save a lot of money with this card.
Some people will even break up longer bookings into segments of 4 nights with a small gap in between their stays at a hotel and actually come out with two free nights with a 10 night stay. You might have to work a little persuasion with the concierge service to get that to fly but a little extra effort could pay off with some big savings.
Also, some are lucky enough to combine this rebate with the other hotel discounts that offer 3rd night, 5th night free, etc. (Usually, if you don’t have to enter a specific code for that additional hotel discount you can have a shot at stacking offers.)
4. Global Entry/TSA Pre-check Credit
While not being an exclusive benefit to the Prestige, Global Entry for free for five years is still a great perk. Global Entry allows you to expedite yourself through customs when you arrive back in the U.S. You don’t have to wait in that long line to get through border control and you get to skip the later customs baggage inspection line (which can get backed up at some airports). This benefit had and will continue to save me tons of time and would be worth it to me even if I only flew a handful of times a year.
5. $250 Airline credit
This is one of the best airline credits currently offered by credit cards right now. The Prestige offers $50 more than the Amex Platinum but also covers much broader expenses. First, unlike American Express, you don’t have to limit you reimbursement to a single domestic airline. Second, also unlike American Express, this credit covers any airline related expense, including airfare. Thus, it’s a lot easier to essentially knock down your annual fee by $250 each calendar year.
6. Free Rounds of Golf
Update: This benefit will no longer offered.
As a Citi Prestige cardholder, you’re entitled to three complimentary rounds of golf each calendar year at over 2,000 public and private golf courses all around the world. Courses include tournament level play, as well as spectacular courses throughout the USA, Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. I haven’t used this benefit but is seems to be quite valuable to avid golfers.
7. Rental Car benefits
As a Master Card World Elite card, the Prestige offers the following status benefits for car rentals.
- Avis (First)
- National (Emerald Club Executive)
- Sixt (Platinum status)
These benefits usually include express lines, eligibility for free upgrades, and special discounts on rentals — all benefits that can make your travels a little more affordable and convenient.
8. Authorized users
You can add an unlimited number of authorized users to your Citi Prestige for $50 each. This is preferable over the Platinum, which allows up to three additional users for the total price of $175. Authorized users for the Prestige aren’t given the 4th night free, Admirals Club access, or the Global Entry Credit, but they do get the Priority Pass membership, which means they’re getting a $400 benefit for only $50!
9. Concierge Service
The concierge service of the Citi Prestige is available 24/7 to assist you with travel bookings and other reservations, such as dinner reservations. Again, I don’t have experience with using the concierge service at Citi so I can’t comment too much on them but if you value concierge services then this benefit should catch your attention.
10. Bonus Category Spending
Don’t forget that this card earns 3X on hotels and airfare and 2X on dining and entertainment. Not many benefit-focused credit cards offer good bonus category spending so this is a great benefit to have with the Citi Prestige. And don’t forget, with the Prestige, Thankyou Points can be redeemed at a rate of 1.33 cents per point for airlines and 1.6 on American Airlines.
Overall, there are a lot of benefits to the Citi Prestige but what really makes the Prestige so valuable to me is the Priority Pass access (with two free guests), the $250 airline credit, and the 4th night free benefit which can very, very valuable if worked the right way.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.