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Update: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has exciting new benefits, and a great new limited time offer. Learn more about the current offer here.
Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige is expired. You can find the current offer details here.
Update: This offer for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.
In my opinion the single hottest credit card of the year is the Citi Prestige® Card. While the card has a $450 annual fee, it’s one which has so many perks that it should be worth it to almost anyone, in my opinion. Just about anyone should get more value out of the card than the first year’s annual fee.
What are the huge perks offered by this card? Among other things, they include the following:
- A sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months — those points can be transferred to one of their airline transfer partners, or be redeemed for $800+ worth of flights on American
- A $250 annual airline credit
- Access to American Admirals Clubs
- A fourth night free hotel benefit
- The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
- A $100 Global Entry fee credit
Perhaps most noteworthy is that the $250 annual airline credit isn’t some gimmicky fee credit. Instead it’s actually an airline credit which can be used towards any airline purchase, be it the purchase of airfare, paying for the taxes on an award ticket, an upgrade, etc. Surely virtually all of us spend at least $250 a year on airlines, no?
The way I see it, the “out of pocket” annual fee on this card is really $200 ($450 minus the $250 airline credit). When you think that for that amount you’re getting access to Admirals Clubs, a Priority Pass membership with guesting privileges, a fourth night free benefit on hotels, etc., the card’s value really begins to shine.
But long term, who should get value out of the Citi Prestige® Card?
Anyone who values Admirals Club/Priority Pass access
The Citi Prestige® Card is the best long term option for accessing Admirals Clubs as a domestic American flier. You get access to Admirals Clubs whenever you’re flying American, so it’s much cheaper than a membership, which cost $400-500 per year (if renewing, they’re $50 less).
Furthermore, you get a Priority Pass membership with guesting privileges. You can take two guests or immediate family with you to Priority Pass lounges for free.
The Alaska Airlines Board Room LAX is a Priority Pass Lounge
Even if you don’t use this card as your primary one for everyday spend, I think these perks in and of themselves make the card worthwhile.
Anyone who pays for travel on American
One of the best uses of ThankYou points is for travel on American. And if you have the Citi Prestige® Card, each point can be used for 1.6 cents towards the cost of a ticket on American.
The best part is that if you have the Citi Prestige Card, you can also redeem ThankYou points earned through the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card at the same rate towards travel on American.
Keep in mind the Citi Prestige Card offers the following bonus categories:
- 3x points on air travel and hotels
- 2x points on dining out and entertainment
- 1x point for all other purchases
That basically means that:
- Each dollar spent on air travel and hotels earns you 4.8 cents towards the cost of a ticket on American
- Each dollar spent on dining out and entertainment earns you 3.2 cents towards the cost of a ticket on American
- Each dollar spent on everything else earns you 1.6 cents towards the cost of a ticket on American
That’s a really impressive return. Keep in mind that at the above rate you’re redeeming for paid travel on American, so those tickets are eligible for upgrades, mileage accrual, etc. If you’re going for status, that’s tough to beat.
Anyone who stays in hotels for four nights at a time
Aside from the airline credit, which basically helps offset much of the annual fee, I think the single biggest “value add” on the card is the fourth night free hotel benefit. This is as gimmick-free as it gets, and I’ve now used it about a handful of times and have saved over $1,000 through this alone.
I’ve used this to book stays at several Hyatt and Starwood properties. When using this perk it’s as if you’re booking directly with the hotel, so you still earn points, stay credit, qualify for promotions, etc. If you stay in hotels in increments of four nights with any frequency, this perk will pay for the card’s annual fee over and over.
I’ve used the fourth night free night perk several times at the Andaz West Hollywood
The Citi Prestige® Card is in my opinion the single most compelling all around credit card. It has a great sign-up bonus, great return on everyday spend, and offers perks which more than justify the annual fee. Cards don’t get much more well rounded than that.
The card is especially valuable for anyone who is an American flyer (in terms of Admirals Club access as well as redeeming points at a good rate), anyone who values Priority Pass access, and anyone who stays in hotels for at least four nights at a time.