Since I last paid the $495 annual fee for the Citi Prestige card I’ve only used it a few times. I paid for our 4th-night free hotel stay, which hardly saved us any money over booking somewhere else. I was charging my Starbucks reloads to earn 5X points for dining expenses, but moved that expense to other cards to take advantage of several offers throughout the year.
Even with the $250 travel credit, it’s hard to justify paying $245 for a card I don’t use and that no longer fills a niche place in my card portfolio.
The renewal date is approaching so I need to come up with an exit strategy. With Citi, this isn’t an easy task because of their complicated rules regarding existing point expiration and future sign-up bonuses.
I figure I’ll have a few options. I’d prefer to keep the account active in some form so it won’t eliminate my chance of getting a future sign-up bonus for a card in the ThankYou family.
Here’s what I’m thinking.
In the past, I’ve been able to get a decent retention offer from Citi to keep the Citi Prestige card. I looked at the recent offers and Citi has recently been offering 20K ThankYou points for spending $4,000 per month for 3 months. Putting $12K of spend on the Prestige card to earn 20K points is earning less than 1 extra point per dollar spent.
If that’s the offer I’m given, I’m taking a pass.
The next best option is to downgrade the Prestige card to one of the no-annual-fee Citi ThankYou cards. This would allow me to keep the account and the points active. By keeping the card within the ThankYou universe, I’ll keep the same account number. This should not reset the 24-month account opening/closing clock for earning sign-up bonuses.
I have three cards to choose from:
- Citi Rewards+ Card
- Citi Preferred Card
- Citi AT&T Access Card
The only card open to new applicants is the Citi Rewards+ Card. It’s a very good no-annual fee card but the points earned can only be transferred to select partners (JetBlue and Sears) or used for cash back. However, since I will still have a Citi Premier card, the points can be transferred to one of Citi’s hotel and airline partners.
While one of us already has a Citi Rewards+ card, there’s an advantage to both of us having one. That way we’d each be able to transfer points and possibly double up on the 10% rebate on redeemed points (which maxes out at 10K points per year.)
I have no intention of closing our account. If I did, all the points in the account would expire in 60 days. I’d have to redeem them through the Citi Travel Portal or transfer them to one of Citi’s partners.
That’s totally unnecessary since I can park the points in one of Citi’s other cards and still redeem them for full value as long as we keep the Citi Premier card.
After working through the options, my choice is pretty clear cut. Unless Citi offers a good retention offer for the Prestige card, we’ll downgrade it to the Rewards+. Linking this to our Citi Premier gives us a 10% rebate on redeemed points.
I can’t think of a better option.
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I’m confused. I’m missing something when trying to reconcile
“I have no intention of closing our account. If I did, all the points in the account would expire in 60 days.”
“However, since I will still have a Citi Premier card”
Don’t Citi points automatically pool like Amex Points? If not, can you ask Citi to combine them? If they do pool, I’d consider applying for another Citi Premier for 80,000 points, then cancel the Prestige card.
While Citi lets you pool your points, they do keep them separate on the back end. So if you cancel a card, the points earned with that card will expire in 60 days. Since we already have the Citi Premier, I’m not sure about Citi’s rule for getting a 2nd card when it’s clear you’re only getting it for the sign-up bonus.
I remember when this was the GREATEST CARD EVER!!!!! Admiral club access, free rounds of golf, trip insurance was insane, and unlimited 4th night plus 250 in travel credit –
No doubt that the Citi Prestige was amazing when it came out. Honestly, it was too good and that’s why it was devalued so many times. Now Citi has watered it down so much that it’s not worth keeping.
I just had my annual fee post – I used the 4th night free twice, the $250 travel credit, and still, the Priority Pass isn’t really that valuable as I’m in Seattle and already have the AmEx platinum.
I called into the Citi Prestige, they actually offered more cards than just the three mentioned here – they mentioned the DoubleCash back card, as well as the AAdvantage card and Costco Card (I already have this one, and I don’t fly AA, so that’s not useful to me).
I also ended up going with the Rewards+ card – even though they had a SUB for new cardholders, it’s not that valuable to me, as I’m about to be under 5/24 for the first time in a LONG time, and really want to explore the coveted Chase Sapphire Reserve card (possibly — depends on the SUB offer).
Thanks for this detailed post — this blog was the only non-biased, non-affiliated travel/churning blog out of anything I’ve read online when I was looking up “Citi Prestige Retention Offers”.
Have a great day!
You can product change to almost any Citi card. However, if you transfer out of the “ThankYou family” then you’ll get a new account number which keeps you from getting a sign-up bonus for 2 years. In addition, your ThankYou points associated with the card will expire in 60 days. I learned this when changing from an AT&T Access card to a Citi Custom Cash.
Burn your points and get ou of Citi. they don’t want to be in the premium card business and i don’t want to deal with phantom fraud alerts every month.
I agree that Citi has no desire to compete in the premium card space. They only keep the Prestige card because as it is now, the card most likely breaks even on their end. However, I will not totally ignore Citi with all their other cards.
Why not product-change it to the Custom Cash card?
The Citi Custom Cash is a cash-back card. While it earns “ThankYou” points, they are only good for cash-back. If you transfer to that card, you’d have to use your transferrable points within 60 days.
The Citi Custom Cash CC earns TYPs as well. The Double Cash CC does as well. You can pool all your points together. You just might have to call to get that done. Also you can have 2 Citi Premier CCs as well. If you have already received the SUB on Custom Cash CC, then convert to that. You can have multiple Custom Cash CCs as well. I have 2 Custom Cash cards. One I use strictly for live entertainment tickets as this is the only CC that bonuses live entertainment. The other I use mostly at home improvements stores.
Per Citibank: Live Entertainment
Includes ticket purchases for live entertainment, including: concerts, live sporting events, live theatrical productions, amusement parks, and orchestras. Yes 5X points for DisneyWorld!
I just had my annual fee post. I’ve spoken with four different agents and there are no retention bonuses available. I just downgraded my Prestige to the Citi Rewards + card. The agent said my existing Prestige thank you points will transfer to the new Citi Rewards+ card. However, my account number WILL change. The agent was adamant about that.