Interesting Updates About Citi Prestige Card Lounge Access

As we first found out yesterday, the Citi Prestige Card will be eliminating Admirals Club access as a benefit as of next year. We knew there were changes coming to the card, though prior to that we didn’t know what they were.

Yesterday Citi updated the card benefits for the Prestige Card to indicate that it would be losing Admirals Club access after June 20, 2017.

Citi-Prestige-Admirals-Club

This is probably closely tied to American’s recent announcement that they’re entering into a credit card agreement with both Citi and Barclaycard, meaning American is the only one of the “big three” US carriers to not have an exclusive credit card agreement. It sure seems like American and Citi couldn’t agree on a price for an exclusive deal. I’m guessing as part of that, American didn’t want to keep giving those with the Prestige Card lounge access.

Anyway, the good news is that View from the Wing has been informed that Admirals Club access will be valid for more than a month longer than we initially expected. Citi Prestige cardmembers can continue to use American Admirals Clubs through July 22, 2017:

Over the coming weeks, Citi will be communicating to our Citi Prestige cardmembers that the Admirals Club lounge benefit will no longer be available as of July 23, 2017.

Cardmembers will still have complimentary and unlimited access to over 850 Priority PassTM Select Lounges and Citi® Proprietary Lounges and we continue to explore ways to enhance the Citi Prestige experience.

That makes perfect sense, since typically issuers give at least a year notice of major changes, given that people are paying annual fees with the expectation of having a certain set of benefits.

However, I’m not sure what “Citi Proprietary Lounges” refers to. Will Citi open their own lounges, like American Express has done with their Centurion Lounges?

Amex-Centurion-Lounge-Houston - 11
Amex Centurion Lounge Houston

View from the Wing also confirms that the bonus categories on the Prestige Card won’t be changing — the card will still offer triple points on airfare and hotels, and double points on dining and entertainment.

So to recap:

  • The Citi Prestige Card will offer Admirals Club access through July 23, 2017
  • I’m curious what “Citi Proprietary Lounges” are
  • There will be no changes to the bonus categories on the Prestige Card
  • While we don’t officially know yet, rumor has it that the minimum spend requirement on the Prestige Card will be raised from $3,000 to $5,000 (we should find out in the coming hours/days)

What do you make of these developments?

Comments

  1. Very interesting about the “proprietary” lounges. What else could that refer to? Has anyone heard any rumors about Citi opening their own lounges?

  2. “However, I’m not sure what “Citi Proprietary Lounges” refers to” – yep that was exactly the thought I had when I read that language. Whatever they are there isn’t going to be a bunch of them overnight, so I’ll hold this card for one more year then dump it. Disappointing since it was one of my favorite cards.

  3. I just worry that the AAdvantage Mastercard, as the only card to guarantee its cardholders lounge access, will raise its annual fee after July 2017. It’s already $495, which is tough to swallow.

  4. Probably realized that new card members would get less than a year of Admirals access so a month was added.

  5. There are a few Citi lounges, I’ve been to one before can’t remember exactly what city (haha) I was in but I think it was Prague and it was marketed as a CitiGold lounge and open to CitiGold and Citi Private Banking customers.

  6. Me thinks it’ll be just some contract lounges.
    There’s no way Citi is going to build its own lounge network.

  7. Are we not all in the same disbelief as when AMEX opened their own lounges? I remain neutral on the quality because we could end up with some nice or maybe some crappy contract lounges. We’ll wait until it pans out.

  8. I used the Citigold lounge at the Prague airport. Nothing special, but I’d be interested to see if they build more.

  9. Of all the benefits Citi can eliminate, cutting Admiral Club access is probably not as impactful as other benefits as it only benefits people flying AA on day of admittance, and Priority Club access duplicate the lounge access benefits in many airports. Its better than cutting air credit or 4th night credit. I definitely would like to see Citi to open their own lounge to compete with Amex Lounge, as well as offer complimentary hotel elite status (like Hilton gold) that’s similar to AmexPlat. The only other benefits I’m willing to give up is the Global Entry/TSA fee of $100 every 5 years (average $20/year). But definitely happy they keep the air credit, hotel 4th night, Priority Club & golf benefits.

  10. But is the annual fee going down to $350 as was previously reported? Currently when I go to the Citibank website I still see Admiral’s Club Access listed as a benefit and a $450.00 annual fee. This worries me that they may eliminate the Admirals Club access but still try to charge $450.00 which reduces the overall value proposition significantly. I use the Admirals club and other OneWorld lounges regularly mostly as a result of flying internationally on AA or other OneWorld airlines as a platinum member. However, for the few domestic flights I take a year Admirals Club access was a great benefit and the contract lounges are extremely lacking in comparison to Admirals Club lounges.

  11. Why does watching Citi deal with it’s credit card business these days remind me of some old, black and white, Marx Brothers film? Citi had months to work out a smooth transition for Costco members. Then decided they couldn’t put things together that soon, and delayed the transition for several more months. At which point they were still totally not ready, and people ended up waiting months longer to get their new cards. They closed down an entire department at their call center and put those CSRs to work answering the phone, and yet hold times are often still half an hour or longer.

    Your post from yesterday had a “new” application link, that was still fully functional this morning. Now it’s “expired”. Expired in less than 24 hours. Word has been out all over the web that 2X for dining is over, but now we find out it’s not over at all. Plus we are now told there will be access to “Citi Proprietary Lounges”. Not only has no one I know ever heard of them, but I just googled it, and the only hits are to OMAAT and VFTW posts from today. 😛

    Come to think of it, the Marx Brothers knew what they were up to, and were very good at it. Comparing them to Citi is perhaps an unfair comparison. Unfair to the Marx Brothers, of course. 😉

    Maybe referencing Tommy Smothers on-stage persona would be more apt.

  12. @ JC — Best I can tell they haven’t actually updated the product yet, so give it a couple of days.

  13. Bottom line – I wonder what “proprietary” lounges means. I know what lounges means. Just not sure what they mean when they say proprietary.

  14. The concept of “Contract lounges” conflicts with the meaning of the word “proprietary” . My guess is that “proprietary lounges ” refer to Citigold lounges at Prague or Mexico city and so on, but none in USA yet. The CITIGOLD centers I went to are fake lounges at best, people should NOT enter those centers even if they walk by for other reasons.

    There are rumors about more benefits for CITIGOLD members after November 2016. Coupled with this “proprietary lounges “, we have a lot of things to anticipate and be disappointed again.

  15. Yeah, Lucky does all this hype and then when the news is long out he is posting about air nozzles??!
    I also noticed no more mention of the 1.6 point rate for AA flights. Did that disappear? Did they drop all link to AA for these ThankYou cards now?

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