Tag Archives: citi prestige

Can You Access the San Diego Airport Airspace Lounge with a Citi Prestige Card?

Yes, provided that you’re flying with American Airlines that day. You also get your two free guests when using your Citi Prestige card.

The Airspace Lounge at San Diego Airport (SAN) is functionally an Admirals Club in terms of access rules, with the addition that you can get free access (plus a credit!) if you use an Amex Platinum card. This means that you can still use your Citi Prestige card to get access when you’re flying with AA, even though it’s not named an Admirals Club. If you’re otherwise eligible to get access via multiple ways, you should choose to use your Amex Platinum card because you get a food and beverage credit.

While the lounge functionally has the same access rules as a normal Admirals Club, the free food options are much sparser. I’ve been enjoying the steel cut oatmeal available at Admirals Clubs in the mornings, and that’s nowhere to be seen. Instead, they have two snack towers, some oranges and apples, and some mini muffins for breakfast.

Things I Like: Citi Prestige

It’s probably weird that I get excited over things like new credit cards, but I’m currently really excited for my new Citi Prestige card. It’s the card that I wanted most during my most recent round of credit card applications, and I’m happy to say that I was approved and received the card.

Based on the advice from Rapid Travel Chai, I went to a Citi branch and applied for the credit card in person to get a better offer than what was available online. By applying in person, I was able to get an offer for 30k points after spending $3000 within the first 3 months of having the card, an additional 30k points after spending $15000 within the first 12 months, and an annual fee of only $350. I’ve read that this offer is supposed to be for Citi Gold customers, but the banker that I worked with didn’t ask if I had any checking account relationship with Citi, and there seemed to be only one offer available at the branch.

Why am I excited for this card?
1) Thank You points can be redeemed for 1.6 cents each by booking AA/US flights. I have an old Citi Forward card that gives 5x points for restaurant spend, which means that I am now getting 8% back at restaurants. The Citi Prestige also offers 3x points on most travel spend (airlines, hotels, travel agencies), which means that I’m getting close to 5% back on those categories. This is far superior to cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
2) There’s a $250 airline credit each calendar year, and it’s automatically redeemed (so no need to choose an airline) and is valid for all airline purchases (so no need to buy gift cards in certain denominations). This means that the ongoing annual fee is effectively only $100, and if I wanted to, I could cancel within a year and get $500 in airline credits for only $350.
3) This card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership that gives you free access for two guests as well as yourself. This is superior to the Priority Pass membership that comes with the Amex Platinum card, as guests cost $27 each with that membership.
4) Admirals Club access is another benefit. Great for me since I primarily fly AA and wanted to cancel my Citi Executive card.
5) The normal credit card benefits are good and generous. This card comes with all of the insurances that are associated with high-end credit cards like trip delay (only 3 hours instead of 6 or 12 hours like other credit cards), trip interruption or cancellation, baggage delay, lost luggage, return protection, etc. I will happily put all of my purchases on this card and know that I’m going to be well covered.

Other benefits that are nice:
1) Global Entry fee reimbursement (once every 5 years)
2) 4th night free for hotel stays booked through their travel agency
3) No foreign transaction fees

This credit card doesn’t get enough love in the miles/points blogosphere (probably because I imagine that it doesn’t have an affiliate link), but it looks to be a keeper in my book. I generally don’t go for cash back cards since it’s not as “sexy” as redeeming miles for first class (although you can transfer Thank You points to a number of foreign frequent flyer programs), but at these cash back rates, I don’t think I can rationally choose miles.

My Next Round of Credit Card Applications

When people ask me what the best credit card to use is, I usually tell them that there’s no specific card but that they should be continuously applying for new credit cards to get sign-up bonuses. There’s not as much talk about churning on blogs nowadays (perhaps because banks don’t like it when the bigger blogs use that word?), but I still regularly apply for new credit cards.

So what’s next on my list? The card that I most want right now is the Citi Prestige card. It’s kind of like Citi’s answer to the Amex Platinum, and it comes with a Priority Pass membership that allows guests for free, American Admirals Club access, and a $250 annual airline credit. But I’m mostly interested in this card because I have a Citi Forward card that gets 5x Thank You points on restaurants and bookstores, so with the Citi Prestige, I can then redeem those points for 1.6 cents each toward AA flights. That means I can get about 8% back on restaurant spending all year round. Crazy good deal, right?

I’ll probably try to pick up another US Airways credit card before Barclays has to stop issuing them and perhaps an Alaska Airlines credit card. I’ve had the US Airways card three times before, so I’m not optimistic about my approval chances, but it’s been 6 months since my last application, so I might as well try. I don’t know how many times I’ve had the Bank of America Alaska credit card, but they keep approving me, so might as well keep on getting those miles, as I recently used 100k to book a first class Emirates ticket.

Another card that’s been in the back of my mind for a while is the Chase IHG card. Low annual fee for a free night certificate, and you get a redemption rebate, so it’s worth keeping around. I haven’t gotten to it yet since I haven’t really focused on IHG, and I probably will continue to wait until the 80k point offer comes back (if it does).

So not the most ambitious set of credit card applications, but if I get approved for them all, it’ll be about 125k miles/points which I value at over $1800. Not too shabby for minimal effort.