The Citi Prestige Card Sign-Up Bonus Is Changing Next Tuesday

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Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige is expired. You can find the current offer details here.

I consider the Citi Prestige Card to be the all around hottest credit card. It has a fantastic sign-up bonus, great return on everyday spend, and excellent ongoing perks that more than justify the annual fee.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the 11 reasons the Citi Prestige is the ultimate credit card, so check that out for more. Long story short, the perks alone more than justify the annual fee. In the first year I had the card I got over $4,000 of value out of it, and that’s not accounting for the points I earned through everyday spend.

Since the card was relaunched early last year, it has offered a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,000 within three months. That’s a great sign-up bonus, as those points can be transferred to one of their airline partners, or even redeemed for 1.6 cents each towards the cost of a ticket on American, meaning that bonus is potentially worth $800 worth of travel on American.

Anyway, I’ve just received word that the details of the Citi Prestige Card sign-up bonus will be changing as of next Tuesday, July 19, 2016. We don’t yet know how the offer will be changing.

Keep in mind that a similar announcement was made to the Citi Premier Card this January, where the sign-up bonus changed from 50,000 points to nothing. I suppose the card was performing so well for them that they didn’t feel like they’d need a sign-up bonus.

So I don’t actually know what will happen to the sign-up bonus on the Citi Prestige Card — it could go down a little, it could go down to nothing, or it could even increase. But based on what we recently saw, I’d assume it’s going down.

It’s also in theory possible that they’re relaunching the card altogether, and changing some of the benefits. If so, there could be a lot of value in having the card before the relaunch happens, as they typically continue to honor the old card benefits for some amount of time in those instances.

Again, all of the details of the changes are speculation. All I know is that the details of the offer are being changed next Tuesday.

I’ve long said that the Citi Prestige Card is too good to be true, so I generally think there’s one way the offer is most likely to go…

If you haven’t yet applied for the Citi Prestige Card, I’d highly recommend doing so in the next several days.

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  1. Executive summary:


    Sign up bonus changing.

    No idea what the changes are.

    Here’s five (5) #pumppumppumping links.

    /Executive Summary

  2. @GringoLoco It’s a fantastic card, with incredible benefits. And after what happened to the Premier card, where the sign up bonus went from very generous to NOTHING with virtually no notice, I’d say yes: If anyone has been thinking about getting this card, they’ll probably regret it if they don’t do that very soon.

    This is a legitimate and valuable post. But I can fully understand why a homeless person, posting from a computer in the local library, might be jealous. 😉

  3. Ugh, just got the amex plat and wasnt trying to pay another $450 AF right now… BUT, I really dont wanna miss out on this card. (Hint: I said the same thing when the 100k amex plat came around, that I was taking it easy for a lil while)

  4. @GringoLoco

    HAHAHAHAHA your ‘pumppumppump’ posts are so spot on.

    I wonder if people see how desperate these posts come across.
    Like the ridiculous pumping of the delta card.

  5. @Gringoloco – Spot On .

    Lucky is a great travel blogger, but he is sort getting greedy now too. He never tells you the best way to signup for a card #pump#pump#pump. Examples

    Ex 1: When Amex was running promotions on the Delta cards, Lucky made several posts on it, never even once mentioned about the additional $50 credit (Total $100 + 50k/60k miles) you will get while applying in while trying to book a Delta flight

    Ex 2: He repeatedly fails to mention Citi Prestige bonus is best when signing up in a Citi branch where you not only get an increased offer, but also get $100 off the annual fee.

  6. @GringoLoco @moe

    You could skip these posts…

    I dont see a reason with bloggers posting about cards. It’s not like you’re directly paying for content on the site or for Lucky or other bloggers to supply you with information.

  7. If I sign up today and the new sign up bonus comes out to be better, how good is Citi about matching?

  8. @GringoLoco: You may find it annoying that Lucky and other travel bloggers keep posting credit card deals and links in almost every paragraph they write. I can say that it annoys me to sometimes since it gets very repetitive. However, some of these posts are quite valuable since if not by the travel bloggers I would not know about new credit card deals. If it bothers you so much it is very easy: you are not forced to apply for a credit card using a blogger link. You can always go to the credit card company website and apply directly there. You still get the offer and you don’t need to contribute to the bloggers commission if that is what really bothers you.

  9. @ Robert Hanson
    You can still get your point across without saying something like ” homeless person” , using the computer at the library , etc.

  10. I had been considering getting this card. Now, thanks to a post from Lucky, I have additional information which indeed means I am probably going to apply earlier rather than later. I agree that the endless promotion of the Delta cards was a bit annoying, but A. I just saw the headline and skipped the article and B. This one was useful to me.

  11. I just got a surprise from the Citi Prestige card. I just used the 4th night free benefit for a Stay at the SPG Design property in BCN last week. Today I got an email thanking me for using the benefit, and as a thank you they enclosed a code for a $50 Amazon gift card. No Citi, thank you!

  12. This card just keeps getting better, and surprises you at every turn. First, I received this email after spending 4 nights at a luxury resort in Spain….

    Dear Donald ****,

    Thank you for your email! I have passed along the copy of your bill to our reconciliation department, and everything appears to be in order! They will be submitting a credit for you in the amount of $1393.34 USD today, and you should see that on your statement within ten business days.

    I hope that you find this information helpful! Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance.

    At your service,


    Then later in the day, I received this……

    Dear Donald *****:

    Thank you for using your Citi® Prestige Concierge to book your recent hotel stay utilizing our “Fourth Night Free” benefit. We are glad that you were able to “stay a little bit longer”, thanks to this benefit available exclusively to Citi® Prestige cardmembers.

    As a small token of our appreciation and your loyalty, we are including in this email a $50 Gift Card. This is our way of saying “thank you” for using this service and being a loyal Citi® Prestige cardmember.

    Your Gift Card can easily be redeemed for purchases on

    To redeem your gift card, follow these steps:……..

    What a fantastic card.

  13. @Debit I looked into the less-$100 annual fee for the Prestige by applying in branch…it’s still only for Citigold members. The printout that you’re seeing from the bankers with the $350 fee is being printed off from a page that’s for Citigold members (I saw it), even though the T&Cs do not specify for Citigold only. I was told by the banker that they’ve had non-Gold customers apply, hoping to get the reduced fee, but they got the $450 fee anyway by the time that they got billed.
    Would love to hear if this is not the case. Thanks.

  14. Yep, I got the same ‘thank you’ gift from citi. $50 Amazon card for using the 4th night free benefit in June.

  15. I just had a tip to share. I was encouraged to get the Citi Prestige card through your blog and have used the same the 4th night free a few times now. Saving at least the annual fee in free nights. Anyway, I just received an email from Citi thanking me for using the benefit and offering me a 50 Amazon promo code for my loyalty! I actually laughed out loud when I saw it. I don’t know if this is targeted, but it’s just another reason why this is a great card. Thanks for the tips.

  16. Thanks for the warning. I was going to apply for this card anyway after I paid off my Amex Delta Platinum recent acquisition. But I did it tonight instead and was instantly approved. Thanks for your blog!

  17. @airgypsy, it’s definitely $350 for applying in branch. I do not have a citi gold account.
    Sign up bonus is 30,000 points after $3000 in 3 months + another 30,000 points after $12,000 in 9 months from the 4th month onwards. Check Doctor of credit.

  18. Is the 4th night free hotel applicable to all hotel locations (including domestic USA) or just international? Says international.

  19. There is no logical way that the sign up bonus would increase. They will probably decrease it tp 30k or so. I am inclined to get it before hand but my only concern is 4th night benefit. I think thaf might go away. If I was then, instead of removing the benefit, I would put an annual cap or something. I will wait until Sunday to see if Lucky hears anything.

  20. @ Randy — They’re calling it “international” to indicate that it’s valid around the world, including at US properties.

  21. @ Dg — For what it’s worth, unfortunately they don’t tell us the details of any changes in advance, so I’ll find out when everyone else does. Personally I don’t think they’ll eliminate the benefit, and if anything they might just put a cap on it. In this instance, however, I suspect what’s happening is simply that the sign-up bonus on the card is changing, without any immediate benefit changes. I could be wrong, though.

  22. @ Eric — I was informed a change could be coming next Tuesday and that I have to take down current links. Whenever that happens, it’s because the offer or details on a card are changing.

  23. Sorry to have stepped on some toes. I’ve been reading Ben since he was a luckycoins(numbers) on FT, flying everywhere as a teenager as a VERY dedicated UA fanboy. My how times change.

    I get that the product pumped in this post is valuable to some and a warning that changes are afoot is a service to some blog readers.

    What I take issue with is the manner of the #pumppumppumping. I disagree with @Santastico’s term “travel blogger”. Maybe 5 years ago this was a travel blog, written by a travel blogger. What it is rapidly becoming, if not already there is a ceaseless #pumppumppumping MACHINE, and its primary mission: it’s ALLLLLL about the conversions (for the newbies that means getting you to click on the endless links). When there are 30+ #pumppumppumping links in LESS than 12 hours on the DL cards, followed by 10+ links on headphones (headphones fer cryin’ out loud!), one wonders what is going thru Ben’s mind.

    I refer you to Leff’s treatment of this very topic of changes to the Prestige card. Two #pumppumppumping links, one at the top, one at the bottom.

    For the record, I don’t begrudge Ben making money — I think it is tremendous achievement for a bright young man. But I am offended he believes his readers are all so fucking stoooooopid that they need 10+ #pumppumppumping links in any given post. As @stvr asked, is TPG a guest blogger here now?

    What’s next Ben? Bow ties and circles and arrows? You can (and should) do better!

    @Robert Hanson: I live in Costa Rica where public libraries are few and far between… 😉

  24. @ GringoLoco — Fewer than 20% of my posts have anything to do with credit cards. I write 50+ posts a week, so on average there are 40 posts that have nothing to do with credit cards. You’re a smart guy, presumably you can figure out whether a post will interest you based on the title, no? Yet you still read them, and still comment on almost every post about credit cards.

    Whether you like it or not, credit cards are the best way for people to earn miles, and when I get emails from readers talking about how amazing their trips were, those trips were almost always funded through credit card points. So whether it’s useful to you or not, it certainly is useful to others. Not all my content will be interesting to everyone. I have people who read my trip reports and say “how boring.” That’s fine, because some of those same people find value in credit card posts.

    I’m always open to constructive criticism and to feedback, but I can assure you that if that’s your goal, your attitude isn’t accomplishing anything. Why? Because you’re clearly not my target audience for those posts, if the only thing you do about them is complain.

    So perhaps I’d suggest simply not clicking on the posts you think may be about credit cards? Seems to me like a win-win.

  25. @Lucky – you should have included a few credit card links in your response just to troll @GringoLoco.

    Thanks for the warning about Citi Prestige. Was holding off a few months but went ahead and got it based on your post (using your link).

  26. Will be interested to see what changes are in store. I will be the first to admit the $450 annual fee stings but by the end of the year I will have received around $2500 in benefits from this card ($250 travel credit & 4th night free). That doesn’t even include the Thank You points.

    Maybe I am an outlier/non-standard customer but not clear how Citi makes that work economically when my total spend on the card will be under 10K.

  27. @lucky – Given you response to @GringoLoco, I’ll ask the question again… if you say that you truly care about people getting the best experience of credit card bonus and benefits, and that is why you post about them!!.

    WHY DON’T YOU ALSO MENTION THE BEST WAY TO SIGN UP FOR THEM, like on for the extra $50 credit or Citi Prestige signup at the bank? huh?

    If people voluntarily still want to go with your link and apply, they will do so, that’s the fair way. Leave it to your readers but give them all options.

  28. @Debit et al… CC signups, and the booking service which is rarely mentioned here, are what pay for this blog. While Lucky may not mention all possible ways to apply for a credit card, the cards and offers he posts are decent ones. I’ve happily used his sign up links many times, knowing it’s an easy and free way to pay back for an excellent blog that is given to me gratis. As for the “better” offers, please realize that you are quite free to post them in the comments section here, with no reason to fear that they will be censored in any way.

    While I enjoy many different aspects of this blog, it’s the cc bonuses, and the best ways to use the miles and points that come from them, that I find most valuable. My wife and I, without any compensated business travel, have acquired somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 to 4 Million miles and points over the years, 95% of which came from cc sign ups and MS on those cards.

    Given the choice, I’d vote for more information on ccs rather than less. Case in point, the posts here inspired me to apply for the 50K Delta card the other day. I’ve never flown Delta, and I’m not going to buy a ticket from them anytime in the near future, so the “credit” is useless to me. VFW’s posts about “sky pesos”, and the lack of an award chart, had me ignoring Delta entirely. But reading here made me realize there is genuine value in acquiring 50K + miles with no fee, and very little spend. So that particular pump/pump/pump (sic) turned out to be quite useful for me. 😉

  29. @GringoLoco Ah, so not homeless after all, just living in Costa Rica, where you don’t qualify for any of these fabulous sign up bonuses. I’d be annoyed by constantly reading about something I don’t qualify for if that was my case too.

  30. I wonder if the timing is related to the revised card deal with citi and Barclays. Maybe finally we can now convert thank you points to aadvantage miles at least with the prestige card?

  31. I’ve been a daily reader of this blog for 8 months. I have found Lucky’s advice to be very valuable.
    Based his posts, in the past 8 months, I have:
    1) Accumulated 130K TY points using a new Citi Prestige and Citi Premier cards
    2) More than recouped my Prestige annual fee with credit toward airline ticket, golfing, 4th night free, and lounge visits.
    3) Accumulated 130K Avios using a new British Airways card
    4) Booked J seats on AA from LAX to Europe for summer travel, after his Feb post about a massive release of seats
    5) Signed up for the JetBlue 75K challenge.
    6) Signed up for a JetBlue card for 30K miles to use when booking my JetBlue flight for the challenge, for only a $1000 spend.
    7) Also gained valuable knowledge on how best to get the most out of the miles. For example, booking BA flights using AARP discount and 10% BA card discount.

    If I had not read his posts, I would have done none of these. The money charged on the new cards would have been spent anyways, but just on my prior go-to card: Virgin America Visa. I think I received much better value charging to the new cards.

    I see no problem that Lucky earns commissions. Everyone has to make a living or they will do something else. If he couldn’t earn a living doing this, the blog would not exist, and all of us who have benefited from his advice would be worse off. Like everything you read on the web, take it with a grain of salt, do your own research, do the math, and decide if it makes sense for you.

    @GringoLoco, @Debit – if you find his advice too biased, don’t waste your time reading his blog. Thanks for pointing out some of his inconsistencies, but I think we are all intelligent enough to make our own decisions.

    Keep up the good work Lucky, and keep the posts coming.

  32. @Lucky Thanks for the heads up. I’ve been thinking about getting the card for a while, so it’s valuable info to know the bonus may be changing.

    These other complainers are pieces of work. Free service, fellas. Move along if you don’t like it.

  33. I have a Citigold banking account… how can I get the $350 AF on the Citi Prestige card? If I sign up online where it’s stated as $450, anybody know if they will adjust it to $350 after? Thanks.

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