The Citi Prestige comes with some of the most valuable travel benefits out of any premium credit card. Before this credit card lost a host of its benefits like Admirals Club access, I thought the Prestige was the most valuable credit card on the market. Since then, new competitors have announced their presence and some perks have been lost, but I still think the Citi Prestige benefits are very strong. Here’s everything you need to know about these perks.
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Citi Prestige Benefits
Citi Prestige bonus?
The Prestige has offered as high as a 100,000 point sign-up bonus in the past but at other times it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus at all. For that reason, it’s hard to call the sign-up bonus a benefit until Citi Prestige 50K or 75K offers roll back around.
When those offers do roll around though you’ll earn Citi ThankYou Points which can be transferred to some great airlines like Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, Flying Blue, Cathay Pacific and many others. With those airlines you can book some of the most premier first class cabins in the world like the coveted Singapore Suites.
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4th night free
The 4th night free benefit is what really helps the Citi Prestige benefits stand out.
Without it, the Prestige would be a truly underwhelming credit card option. Depending on how expensive your hotel stays are, this perk could end up saving you hundreds of dollars per hotel booking and cancelling out the $450 annual fee.
Here are some things to know about the 4th night free benefit.
Based on average nightly rate
- The way the 4th night free benefit works is that if you book 4 consecutive nights through Citi, you receive the 4th night free based on average nightly rate (it used to be based on the 4th night’s rate).
Book via phone
- You can make the booking for the 4th night free online or via the phone. I highly suggest making the booking over the phone to ensure that you’re able to have all of your hotel elite status perks honored.
You can use points
- You can use Citi ThankYou points to cover the full amount needed for the stay or just a portion of it. The drawback is that these points are redeemed at one cent per point. (Some would argue 1.33 cents per point when you factor in the 25% discount of the 4th night free.)
Keep in mind that ThankYou Points with the Citi Premier (with a much lower annual fee) can be redeemed at 1.25 cents per point for hotel stays.
$250 airline credit
The Citi Prestige always had one of the best airline credits until new competitors like the Sapphire Reserve entered the picture. But the $250 airline credit is still one of the top Citi Prestige benefits.
The Citi ThankYou Terms & Conditions define what counts for the airline credit:
Airline Fees are defined as purchases made with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases.
The fact that airfare counts for this credit is huge because it’s not as restrictive as the credit from the Platinum Card. If you do any flying at all each year, there’s a good chance you can put this airline credit to use and knock down your effective Citi Prestige annual fee to only $200.
Citi Prestige Bonus categories
- 3X on air travel and hotels
- 2X on dining and entertainment
- 1X on all other purchases
The Citi Prestige earns pretty good bonus earning rates. They aren’t quite as strong as the Reserve’s 3X on dining and travel, but they are still more well-rounded than the Amex Platinum Card and it’s nice to have the additional bonus earning category of entertainment.
Note: With the Citi Premier you can earn 3X on all travel purchases.
Citi Prestige lounge access
Like many other credit cards, the Citi Prestige offers Priority Pass lounge access. This gives you access to over 1,000 airport lounges located around the globe. You can enjoy things like free wifi, free drink and snacks, comfy seating, and even amenities like showers and nap rooms.
The Prestige will provide you with Priority Pass access for up to two guests and/or your immediate family (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18 years of age). As a comparison, the Sapphire Reserve allows “unlimited guests” (subject to capacity) and the Platinum Card limits you two guests.
Redemptions for travel and cash back
The Citi Prestige allows you to redeem your points at a rate of 1.25 cents per point for airfare and 1.0 cents per point for cash back. The 1.25 cents per point for airfare is on par with the Sapphire Preferred but is beat out by the 1.5 cents per point of the Sapphire Reserve.
Also, getting 1.0 cents per point for cash back is standard compared to many travel credit cards but can easily be outdone by no annual fee credit cards like the Citi Double Cash which earns 2% back. So overall the redemption rates for the Prestige aren’t very impressive.
Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit
The Prestige like so many other premium cards comes with a Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check $100 credit. If you haven’t signed up for these yet, I recommend going with Global Entry because it comes with TSA Pre-Check.
Global Entry will provide you with expedited entry into the US and it’s food for five years! It has saved me countless hours getting through immigration and customs and even provides benefits when traveling in other countries.
Citi Prestige travel and purchase protections
The Citi Prestige offers some of the strongest travel and purchase protections that you’ll find out of any credit card. Their trip delay insurance kicks in after only a 3 hour wait compared to most cards that require 6 or more hours. The Prestige also has a great extended warranty coverage period of two years and unlimited roadside assistance.
Here are all of the different Citi Prestige travel and purchase protection benefits.
Lost or damaged Luggage
- Covered up to $3,000 per person per trip
- You can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per traveler per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses
Trip Delay Reimbursement
- If delayed more than 3 hours you are covered for expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per traveler per trip
Baggage Delay Reimbursement
- If delayed more than 3 hours, you are covered for essential expenses for up to $500 dollars per traveler per trip
- Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account
Extended Warranty Protection
- Extends warranty by 2 years but not to exceed 7 total years
- If a card purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 60 days, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year
- Citi may reimburse you for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year
- Unlimited and complimentary costs for select services
Additional Prestige card benefits
- Mastercard Airport Concierge Service
- Hotels and Resorts Worldwide with Mastercard
- The Lost Wallet Service
- Special Offers and Benefits provided by Citi Prestige Concierge
- CITI PRIVATE PASS
The Citi Prestige has the potential to be one of the most valuable premium credit cards on the market. You just need to know how to tap into it the right way by utilizing benefits like the 4th night free and the $250 airline credit. If you use those efficiently, then it’s very easy to justify the $450 Citi Prestige annual fee. If you want to apply for the Prestige, make sure you’re aware of the numerous Citi credit card application rules.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.