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Citi Prestige Changes (July 2016)

Citi Prestige Changes Will Arrive Next Week; Wailing And Gnashing Of Teeth To Follow Soon After

Oh how we laud the accolades of the Citi Prestige MasterCard. It’s like college and having that hot friend with benefits…travel benefits that is. Seriously folks, there are only a few credit cards on the market that are worth the hefty $450 annual fee. The Citi Prestige is one of them. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

If you are sitting on the fence, now is the time to pull the trigger. Although not publicized, here are the expected Citi Prestige changes:

  • Reduction in sign-up bonus
  • Loss of Admiral’s Club access due to renegotiations with the co-branded American Airlines MasterCard
  • Possible reduction in earning rates

If you are ready to jump on board the SS Citi Prestige, you can sign up here (not an affiliate link).


A Quick Review of Current Citi Prestige Benefits

Travel and Miscellaneous Benefits

  • Automatically receive an annual $250 Air Travel Credit, to be applied to flight-related expenses charged to your card, including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more – this effectively reduces your annual fee to $200
  • Extend your trip with a complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel of your choice – unlimited potential
  • Enjoy complimentary access to American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges, plus hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority PassTM Select – this cost $450 on it’s own
  • Complimentary greens fees at more than 2,400 public and private golf courses around the globe – I don’t golf so I cannot comment
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases – always travel with this benefit
  • EMV Chip Technology for global acceptance and enhanced security when used at chip terminals

Citi ThankYou Rewards

By earning 50,000 Bonus ThankYou Points you can redeem for travel or rewards even sooner with:

  • $800 toward a flight on American Airlines – this translates to 1.6 cents/point
  • $665 toward flights on any other airline – this translates to 1.33 cents/point
  • $500 in gift cards from a wide range of merchants – this translates into 1.0 cent/point
  • Other great rewards

ThankYou Rewards earning rate is based on the type of spending:

  • 3x ThankYou Points per $1 spent on Air Travel and Hotels
  • 2x ThankYou Points per $1 spent on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • 1x ThankYou Point per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programs to get flights faster or enjoy your stay longer
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of ThankYou Points you can earn with this card


If it is too good to be true than it probably is. I wouldn’t go as far as some and call this a ‘bait and switch’ card, but it is amazing how quickly some of the better benefits are going away. My only request is that they reduce the annual fee by $50-100, but that is probably not on Citi’s to-do list. However, there is good news, you can still get the card right now, pay your $450 fee, use the $250 air travel credit and then use it again next year before your annual fee. That effectively wipes out the annual fee for your first year. At that time, you can reevaluate both your travel and credit card needs and see if you want to stick with it or not.

The Fine Print (Pre-Citi Prestige Changes)

Citi Prestige Card Benefits


Purchases made by the Primary cardmember and Authorized Users on the Card Account are eligible for this statement credit. Please allow 1-2 billing cycles after the qualifying incidental air travel fee is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the account. This statement credit is an annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December. Pending transactions that do not post in your December billing cycle will count towards the next year’s Air Travel Credit. Airline Fees are defined as purchases made with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases. Please allow 1-2 billing cycles after the qualifying air travel expense is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the account.

We do not determine whether merchants appropriately identify all transactions you make on your Card Account, but we do reserve the right to determine which purchases are eligible for the statement credit. Cardmembers are responsible for payment of all charges on the Card Account regardless of eligibility for statement credit. To be eligible for this benefit, the enrolled Card Account must be open and current at the time of statement credit fulfillment. ThankYou Point values and the rewards available for redemption are subject to change at any time. Check Thankyou.com for the most up to date reward collection

Cardmembers can call the number on the back of their card if statement credits have not posted to their Card Account after 2 billing cycles. Cardmembers are responsible for payment of all charges on the Card Account regardless of eligibility for statement credit.

To be eligible for this benefit, the enrolled Card Account must be open and current at the time of statement credit fulfillment.


Benefit applies to Citi Prestige® primary cardmembers who are 18 years of age or older and are traveling on American, American Eagle Airlines, Inc. or an American Connection carrier flight number only. The primary cardmember may bring as guest(s) either immediate family (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18 years of age) or up to two traveling guests. This benefit does not provide access privileges to Arrivals Lounge, or Flagship® Lounge facilities, or other airline lounges or clubs with which American Airlines may have reciprocal lounge or club access privileges, including lounges operated by oneworld Alliance. To access the Admirals Club® lounge, the primary cardmember must present (i) his or her open and valid Citi Prestige World Elite™ MasterCard®, (ii) his or her current government-issued I.D., and (iii) any additional required documentation. Prestige cardmembers must present a stand-by ticket or boarding pass, showing an American, American Eagle Airlines, Inc., or an American Connection carrier flight number, valid for travel on such flight. To locate a current list of lounges please visitaa.com/admiralsclub. For more information, please see Admirals Club Access Privileges for Citi Prestige in the Citi Prestige Card Terms and Conditions at citi.com/citiprestige.


You will enjoy a complimentary fourth night with no black-out dates, when you book four consecutive nights at any hotel booked by a personal travel advisor designated by MasterCard (the “designated travel advisor” is Carlson Wagonlit Travel). Bookings made through other methods such as, travel agents, websites or directly with a hotel will not qualify. Please view the full Terms and Conditions of the program at the Citi Prestige Card Terms and Conditions.


Primary and Authorized users are granted complimentary access to the Priority Pass lounges and allowed a maximum of up to two guests or immediate family members (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18 years of age). Any additional guests will be charged a $27 per guest, per visit charge. For the full conditions of use please visit http://www.prioritypass.com/Conditions-of-use.cfm

Points Transfer

You will need an account with one of the participating loyalty programs in order to transfer points. Following a transfer of ThankYou® Points the resulting reward currency will be subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable Travel Loyalty Program. Timing of posting may vary depending on the Travel Loyalty Program and may take as long as 14 days to process. A submitted request to transfer Points may not be canceled and the Points in a submitted request may not be returned to your ThankYou Account. ThankYou Rewards is not responsible for, or affiliated with, the Travel Loyalty Programs. Citi makes no representation regarding travel services provided by any of the Travel Loyalty Programs. Additional ThankYou terms and conditions apply and are available at https://www.thankyou.com/tc.jspx

GOLF BOOKINGS IN US, Canada, Latin America, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and Africa
This benefit is brought to Citi Prestige Cardmembers by MasterCard International but the Service Provider is Golf Switch, Inc.

The primary cardmember will receive 3 complimentary rounds of golf through the Citi Prestige® Golf Portal (provided by GolfSwitch, Inc.) each calendar year, subject to the terms and conditions of the Program. Complimentary rounds are for the primary cardmember only. The Citi Prestige card must be used to reserve the rounds, and if the round is eligible for the complimentary offer, the cardmember will not be billed. After the 3 free rounds of golf are used, the cardmember will need to use their Citi Prestige card to book and pay for additional rounds. Cardmember must book at least 3 days in advance of tee date.


By accepting this Agreement you

(1) authorize GolfSwitch to transmit your name, address, E-mail address and credit card information to the golf course at which you make such reservation and to the Website Booking Agent and

(2) acknowledge that the Website Booking Agent’s operators may use your credit card to guarantee the reservation and/or charge the greens fee in advance

The golf course you have selected requires advance notice before day of play for any cancellation which you may furnish by either following the cancellation policy on the GolfSwitch site or by contacting the Citi Prestige Concierge directly. If you do not cancel your reservation in accordance with the cancellation policy, you may be charged the entire greens fee for all rounds reserved.

Although GolfSwitch is using its most reasonable effort to provide an internet reservation system for customers desiring to reserve rounds at golf courses participating in its network, you understand that GolfSwitch is providing its reservation service “as is” without making any warranties of any kind, including any express warranties and the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, except as required by law. GolfSwitch’s maximum liability for any damages that you may suffer or that may result from your use of the reservation system will not exceed the aggregate booking fee paid for the reservation owing rise to the damages. In no event will GolfSwitch or any of its Suppliers be liable for any consequential, incidental or any such damages or for lost profits of any kind, even if apprised of the possibility of any such damages.

For the most current details regarding Service Provider Terms and Conditions, please visit mastercard.com/citiprestige in the terms and conditions section.

Citi is not responsible for the products, services or facilities provided and/or owned by other companies

Citi® ThankYou® Rewards

Summary of the Citi Prestige® Card Terms and Conditions

With the Citi Prestige Card, you can earn ThankYou Points for purchases made on your card.

Unless you are participating in a limited-time offer, you will earn:

— 3 ThankYou Points for each $1 spent on purchases at airlines, hotels and travel agencies.

— 2 ThankYou Points for each $1 spent on purchases at restaurants (including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants), and on select entertainment, including live entertainment, live theatrical productions, concerts, live sporting events, movie theaters, amusement parks (including zoos, aquariums, circuses and carnivals), tourist attractions (including museums, and art galleries), record stores, video rental stores and on-demand internet streaming media;

Certain Non-Qualifying Purchases. You won’t earn 2X Points for purchases made at bakeries, restaurants/cafes inside certain department, grocery or warehouse stores, sporting camps, public and private golf courses, country clubs (including membership fees), stores that sell musical instruments, video game arcades, bowling alleys, stores that primarily sell video games/accessories, charitable organizations that provide live entertainment, bookstores, sports complexes where you participate in the sport.

— 1 ThankYou Point for each $1 spent on other purchases including the non-qualifying purchases listed above.

Relationship Bonus. If you have a Citigold checking account or a Citi Private Bank account, or if you are a Citi Global Client or an employee with a special offer, you will earn additional Points for purchases with your Card Account each year. The additional Points will be based on purchases made during each membership year, which is each annual period beginning when you became a Citi Prestige cardmember. We’ll total up the dollar amount of purchases you made with your Card Account during the membership year, and then multiply that by the applicable percentage listed below. We’ll give you a number of Points equal to the result of that calculation.

  • Citigold: 15%
  • Citi Private Bank: 25%
  • Global Client: 15%
  • Employees with a special offer: 15%

For example, if you have a Citigold checking account, and you use your Card Account to make $10,000 in purchases during a membership year, then we’ll multiply $10,000 by 15%. Based on that calculation, you’ll receive 1,500 Points.

Only Purchases Earn Points. Balance transfers, cash advances, checks that access your card account, items returned for credit, unauthorized charges, interest and account fees, travelers checks, foreign currency purchases, money orders, wire transfers (and similar cash-like transactions), lottery tickets, gaming chips (and similar betting transactions) do not earn ThankYou Points.

Each merchant – e.g., a retailer, business or any other place where you can make a purchase – is assigned a code that indicates the merchant’s primary area of business. We don’t assign or have any control over merchant codes. Codes are chosen and assigned by a third party, who may change the codes from time to time. When you make a purchase at a merchant, we’re provided the code for that merchant and if the code matches a category that gives you additional points, you will earn the additional points. Because we don’t control what code a merchant is assigned, sometimes a purchase that you think fits a certain category may not earn additional points. For example, a restaurant located within a large retail outlet may not be assigned a “restaurant” code, but rather a “retailer” code. This means that if you receive additional points for “dining out,” you won’t earn additional points for purchases at that restaurant. Or a restaurant located within a hotel may not be assigned a “restaurant” code, but rather a “hotel” code. This means that if you receive more points for purchases at a hotel than you receive for purchases at a restaurant, each purchase at that restaurant will be treated as a purchase at a hotel, and you’ll receive additional Points. Please see our FAQs at thankyou.com/help or call the ThankYou Service Center at 1-800-THANKYOU (1-800-842-6596) for more information about merchant codes and categories.

Please see the Citi ThankYou Rewards Terms and Conditions at thankyou.com/terms, or call us at 1-800-THANKYOU (1-800-842-6596) to request a complete copy of the Terms and Conditions. The Terms and Conditions include redemption information on the Citi ThankYou Rewards Program.

Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge are marks of American Airlines, Inc.

MasterCard® and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Inc.Citibank, N.A.