Citi Prestige Updates to Include Elevated Rewards, Higher Fee

Card holders benefit from positive changes, but certain perks are going away, too.
Citi Prestige Updates to Include Elevated Rewards, Higher Fee

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Citibank has announced changes to the Citi Prestige® Card that will begin to roll out in January 2019 and continue throughout the year. While many of the card’s current features remain unaltered, some major differences will affect frequent travelers who rely on ThankYou points to save on bookings.

Among the biggest news is an updated rewards structure, coming in January, along with an increased annual fee starting in September: $495, up from $450. And while Citi is adding to existing perks and including a few new ones, the issuer is also tweaking other benefits — including its popular "complimentary 4th night" hotel perk — while removing others completely.

What’s changing with the Citi Prestige® Card

The rewards structure

Beginning in January, cardholders will earn:

  • 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent on dining out and air travel purchases.

  • 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on cruise lines and hotel purchases.

  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar on all other purchases.

Currently the card earns 3 points per dollar on air travel and hotels, 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment, and 1 point on everything else. That will make the Citi Prestige® Card more lucrative for anyone who flies and goes to restaurants often, but potentially less so for those who prefer concerts over cruises.

Annual fee and authorized user fee

Starting in September, the card's annual fee will rise to $495, and the cost to add an authorized user will be $75 per user. (Citigold and Private Bank clients will be unaffected by these changes.)

The annual travel credit

The $250 annual travel credit will no longer apply just to air travel. Starting in January, you'll be able to use it on all travel-related expenses, making this a much more flexible benefit.

The value of redeemed points

This change could be big for anyone who redeems ThankYou points for travel. Previously, Citi Prestige® Card cardholders could receive 25% greater value for their points if they redeemed them for air travel. That benefit is going away in September.

Rules about the complimentary 4th night hotel stay

You can still get a complimentary fourth night when you book four consecutive nights in a hotel through the Citi Prestige Concierge, but beginning in September, you’ll be limited to using that perk only two times per year.

Cell phone protection

Beginning in May 2019, cardholders who use the Citi Prestige® Card to pay their monthly cell phone bills will get cell phone assistance if their phones are damaged or stolen.

What's staying the same

  • Statement credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry: Get a $100 statement credit for reimbursement of the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (available once every 5 years).

  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge benefit: Unlimited access to Priority Pass Select lounges worldwide.

  • Travel protections: Benefits including trip delay protection, trip cancellation and interruption protection, travel and emergency assistance, and more. There's also still no foreign transaction fee.

  • Access to VIP events: Get presale tickets and book VIP experiences through Citi Entertainment.

Information related to the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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