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Update: The Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou® Premier now offer 1.25¢ per point towards travel on any airline, versus the previous enhanced redemption rate on American Airlines. The Citi Prestige no longer offers lounge access to American Admirals Clubs. Learn more about the current offers here.
I figured I’d share my experience with the application and approval process, since there are misconceptions about Citi’s policies when it comes to applying for new cards.
Why I applied for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
One of the five credit cards I picked up in late March was the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. This is a card which will be undergoing a serious revamp on April, 19, 2015, and one of I really want in my wallet.
Ultimately those are perks I couldn’t say no to, given that earning 3x points on all travel including gas is just about unrivaled.
Why I applied for the Citi Prestige® Card
The Citi Prestige® Card initially caught my eye a few weeks back when I started looking into a replacement for the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card which I had picked up last year, but couldn’t justify the annual fee on. It became even more interesting to me when Citi announced an increased 50,000 point sign-up bonus on the card.
While the card has a $450 annual fee, it still seems super valuable, given that it offers:
- 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
- A great points earnings structure
- No foreign transaction fees
Not only is the card worth it because of the lucrative sign-up bonus and the fact that you get $500 worth of airline credits with your first year’s annual fee, but it’s a card I can actually imagine holding onto long term.
The approval process for the two cards
I first applied for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card a few weeks back. I applied for the card online, and got a message asking me to phone in to get an immediate decision. I phoned them up and the agent just needed to verify some information. In a matter of minutes I was approved.
I called the number on the screen and was connected to a friendly agent. I figured I’d have to transfer a credit line from an existing card, but to my surprise I was approved within minutes, with a very high credit limit to boot.
Applying for both cards weeks apart is something that almost everyone should be able to do. As a reminder, Citi’s policy when it comes to new credit card applications is as follows:
- You can only apply for one Citi card every eight days
- You can apply for no more than two Citi cards every 65 days
Will I keep both cards long term?
I can actually see myself holding onto both of these cards long term.
As an American flyer, the Citi Prestige® Card is an absolute no brainer for me. The annual fee is $450, and I get a $250 airline credit each year, which to me essentially lowers the “out of pocket” to $200 per year (and I come out ahead way more than that the first year).
That means at a minimum for $200 per year I get the amazing fourth night free hotel benefit and a Priority Pass Select membership with guesting privileges.
I guess the bigger question is whether it’ll be worth holding onto the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.
For as long as I have the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card I’ll be earning the equivalent of 4.8% cash back towards the cost of an American ticket for all my travel purchases, including gas. Not bad!
For years I’ve been directing a vast majority of my spend to American Express and Chase. And while I still love their products, this is the first time in a long time I’ve actually been excited by a flexible points currency being issued by Citi.