How to Get the Most from the Citi Prestige Card

These benefits can save you money while making your wait at the airport more convenient or your hotel stay longer.

Natasha GabrielleSeptember 30, 2020
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How to Get the Most from the Citi Prestige Card

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The Citi Prestige® Card is a premium travel rewards card loaded with benefits. While it does come with a high annual fee of $495, it’s a good option for frequent travelers. If you’re thinking of applying for the Citi Prestige® Card, here’s what you’ll need to do to get the most out of it.

Boost your point value with airline partners

This card comes with an impressive sign-up bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*. There are many ways to use your points. You can redeem them for travel, gift cards, cash back and statement credits or you can transfer points to any of more than a dozen airline partners including Air France/KLM, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

Not all these redemption options get you the same value. For example, the 50,000 ThankYou bonus points are worth $500 in travel when you redeem them through the ThankYou Rewards portal. So you could get a $500 flight that uses up all of your bonus ThankYou points. But if you transfer your points to one of Citi’s airline partners, you might be able to stretch them much further.

For example, say you want to fly to Honolulu from Chicago in May 2021. Instead of paying with cash or using points through the Citi ThankYou portal, you could transfer your miles to Singapore Airlines. That may sound odd, since Singapore doesn’t operate flights between Chicago and Hawaii. But Singapore is a member of the Star Alliance, meaning Singapore KrisFlyer miles can be used to pay for flights on Star Alliance airlines like United. For just 35,000 KrisFlyer miles (which you transferred from your ThankYou points) you can get that round-trip United flight which normally costs about $750, and have 15,000 points left over.

This is a much better redemption than using the ThankYou Rewards portal to redeem 50,000 points for $500 in travel.

Get a fourth hotel night free — twice a year

The Citi Prestige® Card gives you a fourth night free on qualifying hotel stays twice every year. Just make your reservation through thankyou.com or by calling 800-THANK-YOU. The fourth night free benefit is based on the average nightly room rate before taxes and fees.

To get the most out of this perk, plan at least two hotel stays of at least four consecutive nights every year, and consider booking a more expensive hotel to elevate your free night's value.

Use your Priority Pass membership to visit airport lounges

The Citi Prestige® Card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership. This is an excellent perk for anyone who flies frequently out of terminals with participating lounges. Just present your card at the lounge to enter at no cost. You can bring up to two guests for free. If you bring additional guests, you’ll pay $27 per guest.

Max out your $250 annual travel credit

Charge your normal travel expenses — such as airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, commuter trains and parking garage fees — to your card and Citi will cover those costs up to $250 a year with a statement credit applied within two billing cycles.

Through December 2020, the travel credit will also apply to grocery purchases.

Use 5x bonus points for travel and restaurant purchases

Use your Citi Prestige® Card to pay for airline tickets and you’ll earn 5 points for every $1 you charge. Restaurant spending also rewards you with 5 points per dollar.

Apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck

When you use the card to pay the application fee for Global Entry you’ll get reimbursed $100 in the form of a statement credit. Use it for TSA Precheck and you’ll get reimbursed $85. You can use this benefit once every five years. Go for Global Entry since it has more value, plus it also includes TSA Precheck.

The bottom line

The Citi Prestige® Card is packed with benefits for members who know how to use it effectively. If you’re a frequent traveler and you’re ready for a card with a higher annual fee, this might be the right card for you.

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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