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.