The Citi Prestige® Card may not be as frequently covered as other premium rewards credit cards, but it definitely has its merits. This card is loaded with generous welcome and category bonuses, a $250 annual travel statement credit and Priority Pass Select membership, to name a few great perks.
The card offers creative travel benefits and an awesome rewards program, but there are a few perks that would really round it out. Here are five benefits I wish came with my Citi Prestige® Card:
» Learn more: Citi Prestige: Premium perks at a plump price
Travel and purchase protection
Citi removed most travel and purchase protections in September, which makes charging purchases to the Citi Prestige® Card difficult to justify sometimes. This is especially true since other credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® still offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance (in addition to 3x points per $1 on travel). It’s unlikely Citi will undo this decision in the very near future, but here's hoping it will restore some of these benefits.
Lower annual fee
At $495, the annual fee on the Citi Prestige® Card is quite high. For a card that competes with the likes of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the annual fee feels a little too high — especially since the card lacks valuable travel and purchase protections. Citi seems unlikely to drop the annual fee after it already increased it, but hopefully in the future there will be more protections in place to make this fee easier to justify for some cardholders.
Added perks for hotel bookings
The Citi Prestige® Card’s fourth-night-free benefit on hotel bookings is an awesome perk. Basically, it amounts to 25% off the base rate on four-night room rates, which (even though you can only use it twice a year) is pretty substantial. You do have to book through CitiThankYou.com to get this benefit, which isn’t bad — but we wish Citi would throw in some perks like AmEx Travel does through its Fine Hotels & Resorts and Hotel Collection programs.
Perks offered through these programs include complimentary breakfast, hotel credits, room upgrades and more. Since Citi already has a booking site, it would be nice if they negotiated similar benefits with hotels to sweeten the deal.
Hotel transfer partners
The Citi ThankYou program has an impressive lineup of 15 airline transfer partners. However, unlike competitors Chase and American Express, the ThankYou programs currently don’t have hotel transfer partners. It seems unlikely that Citi will get into Chase’s territory by partnering with Hyatt or Marriott, and Hilton is probably also off the table due to its partnership with American Express. But maybe Citi can work something out with Radisson Rewards, which is actually a valuable rewards programs when it comes to earning free nights.
Or perhaps Citi can work out a deal with an online travel agent (OTA) like Priceline that would make using points for hotel stays a better value proposition. In any case, a hotel transfer partnership would be nice, even if it’s unlikely.
Auto collision damage waiver
Auto collision damage waiver is offered by few cards, and it can be very useful when you’re renting a car. Many rewards credit cards offer rental car coverage that is secondary, meaning it only kicks in if your own insurance company denies coverage. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the few cards that offers primary rental car coverage. As a competitor, it would be nice if theCiti Prestige® Card offered it, too — especially considering it did away with so many of the other travel protections.
The bottom line
The Citi Prestige® Card is a solid card overall, but there is always room for improvement. If Citi hopes to remain competitive with Chase and American Express, it’s going to have to improve its premium card benefits. Here’s hoping to positive changes coming in 2020.
In the meantime, the card does offer a pretty big welcome bonus if you’re looking to stock up on Citi ThankYou points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card