Citi’s Latest Attempt To Save The Prestige Card

by joeheg

The history of changes to benefits from the Citi Prestige card could quickly fill up an article. It’s gone from a card that offered amazing benefits like free golf, unlimited fourth-night free hotel bookings, and industry-leading travel coverage to one that’s become a shadow of its former self. The last significant changes to the card happened in September 2019 when the new fourth-night free bookings policy took effect and all travel protections were removed. If you’d like to see our full review of the Citi Prestige card, you can check out this post for the details

At the time, I asked what Citi was thinking with the changes to the Prestige but also their seeming lack of a plan for the entire Thank You card portfolio. After a few months post devaluation, I’m guessing that Citi has noticed a drop in travel bookings using the Prestige card, so they’re doing what any company does.

Sending out positive PR emails, of course.

We’ve had the Citi Prestige for several years and I can’t remember ever getting an email from Citi telling me how good the card is.

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There’s a lot of great buzz about the Citi Prestige® Card — the card that enhances your travel experiences with a complimentary 4th night hotel benefit, a $250 travel credit, and more. Plus, you earn points on all your purchases including 5X points on air travel and at restaurants!

Yeah, I don’t think there’s a bunch of “great buzz” about the Prestige card going on right about now, but Citi did manage to find quotes from travel websites that prove their point.

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They could have even pulled a line of my review of the card if they wanted.

This is a great mix of bonus categories for someone who travels frequently. 5X points for air travel is the highest multiplier for this category, matching the American Express Platinum. 5X for dining is also the best available, the closest competitor is the American Express Gold card which offers 4x points and the Chase Sapphire Reserve which offers 3X on this category.

That quote seems to say the Prestige is a great card, doesn’t it? That’s not the general point of the post, which I summed up with the closing line.

I’m seriously considering canceling it when my next annual fee is due. While Citi has added cell phone coverage to the card, they destroyed the travel insurance coverages and gutted the value of the 4th night benefit by making you redeem it through Citi ThankYou

Final Thoughts

Citibank, please understand it’s not too late to save the Citi Prestige. You’ve increased the bonus categories, making this a great card to use for dining purchases. If you’d make the hotel prices when booking through the Thank You portal competitive with those found elsewhere, I could even deal with the devaluation of the fourth night free benefit. Adding back industry average travel protections would let me book airfare with the Prestige, which is something I won’t even consider using it for right now.

Sending me out a PR email telling me how everyone’s talking about the Prestige and showing me all of the positives doesn’t make me forget how you’ve declawed this card over the past year. I’m sure this PR approach was cheaper than keeping trip delay coverage but you’re wasting your money unless the next email is about some positive changes to the card.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Dr. J February 10, 2020 - 3:40 pm

I second that!

Christian February 10, 2020 - 4:17 pm

Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money. Citi obviously finds it more economical to send an email blast than fix the problems with the card.

Charlie February 10, 2020 - 7:19 pm

Cancelled mine last month when fee was due. Useless without travel insurance and my charges have all gone to CSR.

Ryan February 11, 2020 - 8:00 am

The way Citi manages to mess up so many good cards, you’d think they had never issued a credit card before. Total amateur hour every single time.

Angelina Aucello February 11, 2020 - 10:00 am

Amen! You took the words out of my mouth. I feel the same and cancelling this month.


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