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Citi Prestige Boosts Sign-Up Bonus to 75,000 Points

July 17, 2017
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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The rivalry among premium credit cards is hotter than ever, and the Citi Prestige® Card is upping the ante with the announcement of an increased sign-up bonus, a metal card and new benefits. The changes take effect July 23, 2017.

But those aren’t the only changes coming to the card, and not all of them will be welcome news to cardholders.

Bigger bonus

The Citi Prestige® Card will offer a new sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 ThankYou Points after spending $7,500 within the first three months of card opening. Citi notes in a news release that this is worth $935 when ThankYou Points are redeemed for air travel through the Citi travel center.

That’s an increase over the card’s previous sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.  This gives the Citi Prestige® Card a sign-up bonus edge over its two primary competitors, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express. But it’ll require more spending to earn that bonus.

More flexible perks

Additionally, the Citi Prestige® Card is making it easier to take advantage of one of its key perks.

Cardholders will still be able to get their fourth night free when staying at any hotel for at least four nights, but they can now book it online through thankyou.com, not just through Citi Prestige® Card Concierge. And in another change, cardholders won’t have to wait for a statement credit, as the savings will be applied instantly. Also new here: Card members can now redeem ThankYou Points for all or part of their stay.

Redeeming points for cash is going to be a better deal, too, with 50,000 points now paying $500 in cash. Previously, points were worth only 0.5 cent when redeemed for cash.

And, like its competitors, the Citi Prestige® Card will now be a metal card.

Give and take

But these changes come as some benefits of the Citi Prestige® Card are declining.

After July 23, 2017, ThankYou Points will be redeemable at 1.25 cents for flights booked on any airline. Previously, they were worth 1.6 cents on American Airlines and 1.33 cents on all other airlines. Access to American Airlines Admirals Club will be replaced with Priority Pass Select Lounge privileges.

If you liked the Citi Prestige® Card for its complimentary rounds of golf, say goodbye to them. After July 23, cardholders can book tee times at exclusive courses, but there will be no free rounds.

Also, while the “fourth hotel night free” perk will cover the cost of the average nightly rate for your stay, after July 23 it won’t include taxes.

The competition

Here’s how the Citi Prestige® Card stacks up against the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

DetailsCiti Prestige® CardChase Sapphire Reserve®The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual fee$450$450$550
Sign-up bonusStarting July 23: Earn 75,000 ThankYou Points after spending $7,500 within the first three months of card openingEarn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.
Reward structure3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels, 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar on all other spending3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and restaurants and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly from airlines or booked through American Express Travel; 5 points per $1 spent on hotels booked on amextravel.com; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Air travel creditEach year a $250 Air Travel Credit will automatically be applied to flight-related expenses charged to your card, including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and moreAutomatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary yearSelect a qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 a year in statement credits when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card® account
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursementYesYesYes
Lounge accessPriority Pass Select LoungesPriority Pass Select LoungesPriority Pass Select Lounges, American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Club, Airspace Lounges

Should you apply?

The perks and bonuses offered by the luxury cards keep changing, so making a choice based on the sign-up bonus alone isn’t a good move. Consider the annual fee, bonus point categories and your spending habits to decide which is the best premium card for you.

Ellen Cannon is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ecannon@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ellencannon.