The Clock Is Ticking: Applying For The Citi Prestige

Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige® Card has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.

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As I first wrote about a few days ago, it looks like some major changes are coming to the Citi Prestige Card. This card has had a great sign-up bonus for over a year, though earlier in the week we learned that some changes are coming to the card. We don’t what they are yet, but in general I assume they probably aren’t improving the card further, given how rewarding it already is:

  • Earlier in the year I warned of similar changes to the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, and the sign-up bonus dropped from 50,000 points to zero
  • The card is already so incredibly rewarding and offers outsized value
  • We don’t know if it’s just the sign-up bonus changing, or if possibly other benefits are changing as well; if other benefits are changing, I’d assume old benefits will be grandfathered in for existing members for some amount of time

Again, the only thing I know for sure is that something is changing, though the details are unknown as of now. We can only make assumptions.

I’ve had the Citi Prestige Card since early last year, though last night Ford and my mom both applied for the card. They didn’t have it yet, and both got instantly approved through the online application.

In both cases it’s a no brainer for them to apply. I’ve written a post about the 11 reasons the Citi Prestige is the ultimate credit card. More concretely, they’ll receive a $250 airline credit per calendar year, and before the second year’s annual fee is due they’ll have each earned $500 in airline credits, which is already $50 more than the annual fee; this can be applied towards a vast majority of airline purchases, including the cost of a ticket.

Redeem Citi ThankYou points for travel in Singapore Airlines Suites Class

So they’re already way ahead when that happens, but on top of that they’ll get:

Bottom line

With the impending changes to the sign-up bonus on the Citi Prestige Card, now is the time to sign up for the card, if you haven’t already. There’s not a card I get as much positive feedback on from readers as the Citi Prestige Card, as it really excels in just about all categories, from the sign-up bonus, to the bonus categories on spend, to the long term perks, which I value immensely.

You have only a few days left to apply under the current offer. It’s anyone’s guess what the offer will look like after that…

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  1. I applied through your link and just got a message saying my application needs further review and they’ll either email or mail me a decision within a week. Off to a pretty bad start if you ask me. Shall I just wait?

  2. @Don you can try calling them and ask what’s being reviewed. If you have multiple cards with Citi, it may just be them asking to shift credit around.

    @Nick If the new signup bonus is better than it is now, I think that people who have applied within the last 30 days or so can ask to have the new bonus apply to their account. If you mean actual benefits of the card, that’s a tough call – I think it really depends on each individual benefit. When Chase ended 3x points on dining during first Fridays, and the annual bonus on points, we knew months in advance. Citi Forward gave very advanced notice with the change in their earnings scheme

  3. I’m tempted. Very tempted. Too bad this signup bonus is likely changing, because the timing isn’t great for me right now due to possibly inability to need the $250 annual travel cost reimbursement. Plus, I already have global entry. Does the $250 reimbursement work on gift cards?

  4. I applied on Wednesday at a physical citibank while I was there signing up for a checking account to get the $400 credit and got the one week thing as well. I have two other citi cards, a very old dividend and the new costco one, hopefully that does count against me. I’m trying to patiently give them their week. 🙂

  5. @Cory: This year was the first time I used my $200 reimbursement from Amex Platinum to buy gift cards. They did not reimburse me because gift cards did not qualify. I called them and said I wasn’t aware bla bla bla and they told me they would make a one time exception and reimburse the $200 to my account. Not sure with Citi how they would handle that.

  6. Can anyone else verify if an airline gift card (bought directly from carrier) purchase would count towards the $250 airline credit?

  7. @Santastico Weird about the platinum card. I got my refund back on AA gift cards within 4 days a week ago.

    @Cory $250 from Prestige card will work with gift cards. Tried it myself with Delta gift cards and should work with AA or any other as well

  8. So, I ended up giving them a call and it turns out that one week waiting period for further review was an issue with my two other citi cards and having a limited amount of citi credit available. They approved the prestige and I had them move credit from one card to the prestige. yay

  9. @Ramy: Mine were Delta gift cards. They said that the codes that showed in the transaction were for gift cards.

  10. @Cory – You really don’t expect to spend $250 in the next 5 months on any airline tickets on any airlines? The citi benefit works on any airline, it works on airfare and it works on multiple airlines. You could buy a $120 ticket on JetBlue and a $180 ticket on United and you would get reimbursed.

  11. I should have ended with …you will get reimbursed $250 total for the two purchases leaving your out of pocket cost as $50 for that example.

  12. @Lucky – I know you’re a huge fan of this card and have mentioned it many times, so I’m considering signing up for it. But, when I look at the transfer partners, I have to be honest I’m somewhat underwhelmed. Perhaps for people based overseas these are very useful, but with the only US-based airline being Virgin America, and the only hotel being Hilton, I question what I would do with all my Citi points if I ended up earning them. I am sure you’ve written on this in the past, but if you wouldn’t mind I’d appreciate your thought on what the best use of the points are. I get that the other benefits — priority pass, $250, etc are valuable — but for me to take on the additional hassle and cost of another card I’d want to know that I’ll get really good use from my points. By contrast, I find the transfer partners for the Chase Sapphire terrific.

    Thanks much,

  13. I applied at a Citi Branch on Wednesday, got the $400 cash bonus and signed up for Prestige for $350 annual fee with the 50k bonus point offer. I didn’t need to open a CitiGold account, just the one that has the $15k minimum balance for 30 days, $10k to 90 days. Interestingly, I think the Citi checking account also can get up to 450 points a month just for apportioning part of your paycheck to autodeposit and setting up a payment from the Citi checking. Credit card said 7-10 days for approval but I called 5 minutes ago and the rep put me on hold then automatically approved me today. Thought it was worth doing in light of the devaluation of the 50k bonus looming.

  14. @Django
    If you want domestic travel, you should transfer to Singapore and use them to fly United or transfer to FlyingBlue and use them to fly Delta. I’m not sure who the best Oneworld partner is, but there are probably some good redemptions in there.

  15. @Santastico–did you buy a gift card for $200 from DL or 4x$50 gifts cards which has always triggered an automatic credit?

  16. @EJN: I believe Lucky indicated in a previous post that he was told to remove his current affiliate links. According to him, that signals a new/different offer of some sort. This specific post doesn’t appear to have anything to do with any brochure, and the author of the post you linked to doesn’t have affiliate links for the card, so it would appear that he is drawing on sources/information that are entirely different from Ben’s.

  17. Took the plunge and was approved for $11,000. Plan on using it with Alaska Air / Virigin Atlantic combo for trips to London from SFO. Thanks for the heads up Lucky!!

  18. Citibank branches are definitely offering the best deal for sign up on this card – bonus points, reduced fees. etc. If you have a branch near you, definitely work stopping by for a few minutes to get the app done.

  19. @Shannon, I think the title is pretty clear what the article is about!

    I appreciate the info and got this card! I love free travel!

  20. So, if I use the car and get the $250 airline credit, does that count toward meeting spend, or not?

  21. Just for my planning purposes can you please let me know which card will be the best card ever ever ever, that we should definitely apply for after next Tuesday?

    So I can choose between the two. Thanks.

  22. Applied online and was told that they needed to approval on back end and could take a week. Have two other citi cards with zero balance. Any suggestions on what to do/say if they reject my application?


  23. @kpatcal, did it say to call in? I got that before and all tbey asked was to confirm my income and rent amount. Depending on your income they may ask you to lower the limit on another card in order to approve you.

  24. I called in and they said they couldn’t approve it immediately and didn’t need further info.

  25. DP: went to a branch in NY today, applied, got $350 AF without being asked about citigold. The banker also said that I’m lucky since today is the last day of the offer, I didn’t believe him so he showed me his screen, and it said “Offer valid through 7/16”. So I think if you are thinking about applying on Monday, you are screwed.

  26. @santastico the delta ones only work for $50 and below on Amex…other airlines you can do $100 GC but not Delta. It is on flyertalk’s board about it. Done it 3 years with no issue.

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