citi prestige benefits changes

A week or two ago there were rumors about changes coming to the Citi Prestige Card. The card was projected to get a reduced sign-up bonus and a higher minimum spend – which became a reality today. If you sign-up now you’ll earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. Before, the offer was 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. This is not a major change in my opinion. However, I received an email listing the BIG Citi Prestige benefits changes – which is unfortunate.

citi prestige benefits changes

As a valued cardmember, we want to inform you of changes to your Citi Prestige card. As of July 23, 2017 , some of your existing benefits will no longer be offered or will be changed.

Lounge Access

Access to American Airlines Admirals Club®  lounges will no longer be offered with your Citi Prestige® Card.

You will continue to have complimentary access to Priority Pass TM  Select Lounges and Citi® Proprietary Lounges. You, your authorized users, immediate family or up to two guests will continue to enjoy access to over 850 airport lounges worldwide.

Redeeming ThankYou® Points for Flights

You will only receive 25% greater value versus gift cards on all airfare redemptions with your ThankYou® points. For example, 50,000 ThankYou points will now be redeemable for $625 in airfare on all airlines available at thankyou.com.

Complimentary International Golf

The three complimentary rounds of golf will no longer be offered with your card for reservations made on or after July 23, 2017. You’ll continue to have access to over 2,000 celebrated and legendary golf properties around the world with access to select TPC properties provided by MasterCard.

Complimentary 4th Night

The Complimentary 4th Night benefit will be calculated based on the average nightly rate of your complete stay for reservations made on or after July 23, 2017. Please see the reverse side of this letter for examples of how the benefit will be calculated. Taxes will no longer be included within the statement credit. You will still be able to enjoy your benefit at any hotel with no restrictions on the number of times you can use this benefit. All other terms of the Complimentary 4th Night benefit will remain unchanged.

citi prestige benefits changes

Let’s breakdown each one of the Citi Prestige Benefits Changes:

  • Accessing the Admirals Club will only affect those who travel mostly on American Airlines since you had to present a same day American Airlines boarding pass to access the lounge. Other than that, I’m not sure what “Citi® Proprietary Lounges” are! I wonder if Citi will introduce their lounges similar to the Centurion Lounges from American Express.
  • Redeeming ThankYou points at 1.25c/$1 is not a terrible reduction from 1.33c/$1 you otherwise get when having Citi Prestige. However, It is a significant drop for the 1.6c/$1 when redeeming for American Airlines flights. In my opinion, the best use of Thank You points is transferring them to Singapore KrisFlyer miles or AirFrance Flying Blue miles – you can get a much higher value redeeming this way.
  • I’ve never used the complimentary golf benefit so I can’t really comment on the value there.
  • The 4th night benefit change can be very significant if you often book stays where the 4th night is much more expensive. That could be the case when the 4th night falls on a weekend or a holiday for example. However, if you normally book stays where the nightly rate is the same across all nights, then not much changed. Not getting the taxes refunded can be a major change when booking hotels in countries where taxes are 17%-20% or so.
citi prestige benefits changes
4th night free benefit is the most valuable perk of the Citi Prestige card

The following benefits of your Citi Prestige card will remain unchanged:

  • Your annual $250 Air Travel Credit.
  • Ÿ $100 Statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA Pre Check ® application fee.
  • Ÿ No foreign transaction fees on purchases.
  • Ÿ 24/7 Access to the Citi Prestige Concierge.
  • Ÿ 3x Points on Air Travel & Hotels, 2X points on Dining & Entertainment and 1 Thank You® Point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Ÿ Travel & Emergency Assistance, Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection and Trip Delay Protection.
  • Ÿ If you have an eligible banking relationship, you will continue to receive your Relationship Bonus.

 

Bottom Line:

It is unfortunate to see these Citi Prestige benefits changes. On the plus side, Citi is giving a full year notice. Make sure to take advantage of these benefits until July 23, 2017.

Even though the changes are somewhat significant; I still feel the Citi Prestige credit card is worth keeping long term. I’m only surprised that Citi didn’t reduce the annual fee of $450. However, when you factor in the $250 airline credit, Priority Pass membership and the complimentary 4th night; you still come out on top.

1 Comment

  1. I saw that this morning. Whack! No one ever makes changes for the better, only to take stuff away. Capitalism…

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