If I purchase an air ticket using Citi Prestige card say for $250 and Citi reimburses this (airfare credit), will this be counted towards the spending requirement of $3000?
I’ve written extensively about the Citi Prestige Card, which is one of the hottest all around credit cards at the moment. It’s a card which offers a ton of long term value which more than justifies the annual fee, including:
- Points can be transferred to one of their airline transfer partners, or redeemed towards revenue flights on any airline
A $250 annual airline credit (with your first year’s annual fee you actually get two of those — that’s $500 of airline credits with your first year’s $450 annual fee)
A fourth night free hotel benefit
The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
A $100 Global Entry fee credit
I’ve received quite a few questions about the airline credit offered by the Citi Prestige Card, so I figured I’d answer Deb’s question, along with a few others I commonly get:
Does the Citi Prestige Card airline credit count towards minimum spend?
To answer Deb’s question first, the answer is no. In other words, to be on the safe side you’ll want to spend at least $3,250 to complete the minimum spend, assuming you plan on using your airline credit in the first billing cycle. For virtually all credit cards minimum spend is defined as purchases minuses returns and credits.
Can you use the airline credit for multiple transactions?
Yes, absolutely. If you spend a net of $250 on airlines then the credit will post to your account. That’s to say that you could make a $100 airline purchase and then a $150 airline purchase, and then you’d get the full $250 airline credit.
How quickly does the airline credit post?
The terms of the benefit state that the credit will post within 1-2 billing cycles of when the purchase is made. However, in practice, the credit usually posts much faster than that. In my experience it posts at most within a few weeks of the initial purchase. That being said if it doesn’t, there’s no reason to be alarmed. Sometimes this kind of stuff just takes longer for whatever reason.
Can you use the airline credit to purchase gift cards?
In practice typically yes. The terms of the Citi Prestige Card airline credit state the following:
Airline Fees are defined as purchases made with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases
As long as the purchase is processed directly by the airline, it should be eligible for the $250 credit. For example, I have friends who have had the credit post for American gift card purchases.
Is the airline credit benefit based on calendar years?
One thing that makes this offer especially lucrative is that the benefit is based on the calendar year as opposed to cardmember year. That means that with your first year’s annual fee you’d get two airline credits.
In other words, if you signed up for the card now you’d pay $450, and then wouldn’t have to pay another annual fee until next July. But you’d get a $250 airline credit this year, and then another $250 airline credit early next year.
To clarify the above point regarding calendar years slightly, there’s one technicality you’ll want to be aware of. Specifically, the “annual” benefit runs from your December billing cycle through your December billing cycle the following year:
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.
Is the Citi credit different than the Amex fee credit?
There are several American Express cards which come with airline credits, including The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, and the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card. What makes them different — other than the amount of the credit — is what it’s valid for. The American Express credit is strictly for airline fees, and excludes the following purchases:
Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.
Meanwhile the Citi airline credit can be used for any purchase processed by the airline, including airfare. Furthermore, with American Express you have to designate a specific airline for the benefit, while it can be used on any airline with Citi.
So it’s much more flexible, not to mention that it is for a larger amount.
Full terms of the Citi Prestige Card air travel credit
While we’re at it, here are the full terms of the $250 air travel credit offered by the Citi Prestige Card:
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.
The airline fee credit offered by the Citi Prestige Card is only one of the many benefits which makes this card awesome. Between the great sign-up bonus, airline credits, and fourth night free hotel benefit, there’s something for just about everyone.
If you have the Citi Prestige Card, have you used the airline credit yet?