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I consider the Citi Prestige® Card to be the all around most compelling credit card out there, given that it offers the combination of a great sign-up bonus, great perks, and great return on everyday spend.
These perks include the following:
- A sign-up bonus of 40,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months — those points can be transferred to one of their airline transfer partners, or be redeemed for flights on any airline
- A $250 annual airline credit
- A fourth night free hotel benefit
- The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
- A $100 Global Entry fee credit
While the fourth night free benefit is personally the perk I’ve gotten the most value out of, the $250 airline credit is probably the most consistently valuable perk to cardmembers. The card has a $450 annual fee, so when you factor in the $250 airline credit, your real “out of pocket” is $200, if you value the airline credit at face value.
Given that the airline credit can be redeemed for virtually any airline purchase (in other words, any purchase processed directly by the airline), including airline tickets, I think most of us basically value it at face value. Presumably most of us spend at least $250 a year with airlines.
I’ve written about the airline credit in great detail, and it’s more or less annual. More accurately, 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.
This means you can already use your $250 airline credit for 2016 if your Citi Prestige® Card December statement closed. For example, in my case, my December statement closed a few days ago (also happy to have a negative balance thanks to getting some “fourth night free” hotel reimbursements):
That means I can already put an airline purchase on my card now (before it’s the 2016 calendar year) and have it reimbursed under next year’s airline credit (given that I’ve already used this year’s credit).
Then I should already be reimbursed the $250 by the time my statement closes in mid-January. Might as well save some cash sooner rather than later!
While the airline credits on American Express cards are based on “strict” calendar years, the Citi Prestige® Card benefits works a bit differently. If your December statement already closed, you should be eligible to already take advantage of your 2016 statement credit. There’s no registration or activation required — just put a $250 purchase onto your card which is processed by an airline, and it should automatically be reimbursed around the same time the statement closes.
And if you apply for the Citi Prestige® Card now you’d also be take advantage of the $250 airline credit as soon as you get the card, and then can do so again for 2017 after your December statement closes next year.
I’m about to book an airline ticket, and you can guess on which card I’m putting the purchase (not to mention the fact that it offers triple points on airfare purchases).
Has your December statement for the Citi Prestige® Card closed, and if so, have you used your 2016 airline credit yet?