Can You Upgrade From The Citi Premier To Citi Prestige?

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

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At the moment we’re seeing an increased sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which is one of the best mid-range credit cards out there. The card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months. The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.

What makes this card so compelling is the bonus categories it offers — it offers triple points on travel and gas, and double points on dining and entertainment. There’s not a mid-range card out there with better bonus categories — as a point of comparison, the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card “only” offers double points on dining and travel.

Citi ThankYou has many airline transfer partners, though beyond that points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards a travel purchase. That means the sign-up bonus is worth a minimum of $625 worth of travel, which is excellent.

Transfer your Citi ThankYou points to LifeMiles for travel in Asiana A380 business class

One popular travel credit card is the Citi Prestige® Card, which I have and love. The card has a $450 annual fee, though offers all kinds of ongoing perks, including a $250 annual airline credit, a Priority Pass membership, and most importantly, a fourth night free benefit that’s valid at thousands of hotels around the world.

I’ve gotten a lot of value out of the fourth night free benefit

The fourth night free hotel benefit is the single most valuable perk offered by any credit card, as far as I’m concerned, and it saves me thousands of dollars per year. The best part is that you can even book pre-paid or AAA rates with this, and you can earn points and elite qualifying nights with your preferred loyalty program as you would if booking directly.

The catch is that the Citi Prestige® Card doesn’t have any sort of a sign-up bonus at the moment. For quite a while the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card didn’t either, so that’s not that unusual with Citi. One of the questions I’ve been asked repeatedly by readers is if it’s possible to apply for the Citi Premier and then later product change to the Citi Prestige.

The answer to that it is. Citi is one of the most generous issuers when it comes to allowing product changes. The catch is that typically you need to have a card for 12 months before you can product change it, so you couldn’t apply for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and then product change to the Citi Prestige® Card the next week, for example. At a later point it should absolutely be possible, though.

However, I’d note that sometimes the Citi Prestige Card has a sign-up bonus as well, so I’m not suggesting that this is the best strategy for acquiring the card.

If you are considering this, the sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card comes with the following restriction:

Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

You’re eligible for the bonus on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card if you currently have a Citi Prestige® Card, but you’re not eligible if you’ve opened or closed it in that period. If it is open, it needs to have been open for the past 24 months.

Hopefully that clears things up for anyone who had that question.

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  1. I thought the Citi Prestige Card had a 50,000 to 75,000 point bonus for awhile before this. What happened to that?

    Is there still a Citi card with that 75,000 point bonus?

  2. This doesn’t really clear things up. You talk about product changes and then mention the stipulation that you must not have opened or closed a ThankYou point card. What if you’ve done a product change in th last 24 months to avoid annual fees? How does that count towards getting the bonus?


  4. “If you are considering this, the sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card comes with the following restriction:

    Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.”

    I have the Thank You Premier Card (opened less than 24 months ago) and want to apply for the Prestige Card. Does the same restriction apply for the bonus on the Prestige Card?

  5. @ David K — Yes, you’d have to wait until 24 months from when you applied for the Citi ThankYou Premier Card.

  6. Can I product change from a Citi Preferred where I have 55k points to Citi Premier and get better transfer partners?

  7. U have the AMEX (once a Lifetime) then Citi 24 months and CHASE 5/24 .
    Plan ur Cards well get 60K or Don’t get the card..


  8. I am not eligible to apply for a Citi Prestige card. Anyone knows if it is possible for me to get the 4th night free when I ask a family member or friend to book for me a 4 night hotel stay using their own Citi Prestige card?

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