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It’s no secret that the Citi Prestige® Card is my single all around favorite credit card, as it really excels in all three major categories I think about when applying for a card. It offers a great return on everyday spend, awesome ongoing perks, and a big sign-up bonus. Some of the benefits 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
The card is a no brainer for a vast majority of people, in my opinion. While it has a $450 annual fee, you’ll get $500 worth of airline credits before you even pay your second year’s annual fee. That’s $50 more than the annual fee, and doesn’t account for the awesome sign-up bonus and other incredible perks.
I’ve explained how I got over $4,000 of value out of the card in the first year, not accounting for the points I earned through everyday spend. That’s the biggest return I’ve gotten out of any credit card in a one year period.
Is Citi considering making changes to the Citi Prestige Card?
The Citi Prestige® Card offers outsized value. That’s something very few people dispute. Over time cards which are disproportionately generous tend to have some change in benefits. That being said, as of now I don’t know of any changes which are coming to the card anytime soon.
Let me say off the bat that card issuers look at tweaking benefits all the time, and I’ve received similar surveys about other cards in the past. So I find these surveys interesting not because I think they’ll lead to immediate changes in benefits, but rather because I’m always curious to know which benefits card issuers are thinking of tweaking.
Out & Out notes that the survey brings up the following points:
Citi asks about an adjustment to the 4th night free perk, including:
- Reimbursing actual room cost, but not taxes or fees
- Limiting the perk to 2 times per year
- Giving a straight 25% percent off instead of the 4th night free(to balance an expensive 4th night)
There’s some play about the travel perks, notably the $250 annual airline credit. They ask you to balance:
- A $200 annual credit
- Free checked bags
- $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Free in-flight wifi
Most alarming is they seem hyper-focused on raising the annual fee. Or cutting benefits for the sake of a lower annual fee.
The changes result in a fee somewhere between $400 and $550 per year. I guess it would depend on what exactly gets added or taken away.
It shouldn’t be surprising that for the Citi Prestige® Card they’re trying to find the right balance between benefits and the annual fee, so:
- At some point we might see a change to how the fourth night free benefit is structured, either by limiting how often it can be used, or by tweaking other aspects of it
- The $250 airline credit they offer right now is basically free money which for mental accounting purposes reduces the annual fee by more than half, so they’re trying to see if it makes sense to tweak that
- They’re trying to find the sweet spot when it comes to the annual fee, somewhere between $400 and $550; would people rather pay a lower annual fee with fewer benefits, or a higher annual fee with more benefits?
Like I said, I don’t think we’ll see any immediate changes, as these kinds of surveys go out all the time. However, it’s always interesting to know what the issuers are thinking, especially with the Citi Prestige® Card, given how awesome it is.
The Citi Prestige® Card offers outsized value. Is it for everyone? No. But I think it’s the “premium” credit card which more people would get value out of than any other card.
Over time benefits on just about all cards are changed, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. In the case of the Citi Prestige® Card, it’s so compelling that I can’t recommend enough picking it up sooner rather than later. The airline credit and fourth night free benefit are the icing on the cake, but then there’s Admirals Club access, a fantastic Priority Pass benefit, a great sign-up bonus, and much more.