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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.
One of the hottest credit cards at the moment is the Citi Prestige® Card, which is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months.
While the card has a $450 annual fee, it’s still a great value, 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
The timing of this offer couldn’t be better, given that I was looking for a replacement for my Citi Executive AAdvantage Card. Early last year the card offered a 100,000 mile sign-up bonus, which many people jumped on. The card comes with Admirals Club access, so is super-valuable for those of us who are loyal American flyers.
That being said, given the lack of other perks, I couldn’t really justify renewing the card with a $450 annual fee, which is why the Citi Prestige® Card is so awesome. It comes with Admirals Club access as well, except offers so much beyond that.
I just picked up the Citi Prestige Card last week, which is great timing since I got notice of my annual fee coming due on the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card (which I won’t be renewing).
So one question I’ve received over and over is whether the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card card can be converted into the Citi Prestige® Card. Yes, you can convert the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card into the Citi Prestige Card. But should you?
Pros of converting cards
The main benefit of converting cards is that you won’t be hit with a credit inquiry, and your account won’t be closed, which means your average age of accounts will continue to grow (that’s one aspect of your credit score).
Cons of converting cards
By converting your existing card you’ll be forgoing the sign-up bonus on the card. Unless specifically otherwise stated, you don’t earn the sign-up bonus on a card when you convert it as opposed to applying for the card “fresh.” So by converting the card you’d be giving up a 50,000 point sign-up bonus, which I value at $800+.
Do you have to close the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card first?
So in the event that you decide to apply for the CCiti Prestige® Card, do you have to cancel your Citi Executive AAdvantage Card first? Nope, not necessarily. You should be able to cancel the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card before or after — it shouldn’t really make a difference, unless you have a ton of Citi cards (in which case it could make sense to close it first).
While you can convert the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card into the Citi Prestige® Card, I think you’re much better off applying for the card “new” so that you can earn the sign-up bonus.
If you take a balanced approach towards credit card applications then your credit score should be good, and the average age of accounts should be a non-issue (this is why I keep some no annual fee cards long term, since it helps keep up my average age of accounts).