Citi Prestige Review: Applications Halted; Existing Customers Still Benefit

It's no longer gettable, but current cardholders still enjoy up to 5X points on travel, 5X at restaurants, valuable credits, lounge access, a prime hotel benefit and more.
Robin Saks FrankelSep 20, 2021

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: If you already have the card, its blend of rewards and perks may be well-suited to your travel needs. The fourth-night-free hotel benefit is sweet; the list of transfer partners, not so much.

Citibank Prestige Credit Card

Citi Prestige® Card

Annual fee

$495

Regular APR

16.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Bonus categories
  • Luxury perks

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Requires excellent credit

Alternate Pick: Flexible rewards, lower cost

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Unlimited 2 miles per dollar

If $495 is too much for your taste, consider this popular travel card. You earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Miles can be redeemed for any travel purchase. There's a great sign-up bonus and a handful of nice perks. Annual fee: $95.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$250

Annual fee

$695

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

As of summer 2021, the -annual-fee was .

But existing cardholders still get a lot in return for that pricey annual fee.

The card offers generous bonus rewards in major travel categories and several perks, including an annual $250 travel credit, a fourth-night-free benefit on hotel stays, a credit of up to $100 every five years, airport lounge access via a Priority Pass Select membership, and multiple airline transfer partners, which could let you wring even more value out of your earnings.

If you're able to maximize that fourth-night-free benefit, and you do a lot of spending on airfare and via travel agencies, the will fit your travel needs like a glove.

But other players in the premium travel card field offer more extensive lounge access, fancier travel benefits and more domestic airline transfer partners. And you may find those perks are ultimately worth more to you. For current offers, check out NerdWallet's list of .

Card type: .

Annual fee: .

Interest rate: .

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Rewards:

Redemption options:

Other benefits:

The  is the top-tier option when it comes to Citi's rewards cards. With an annual fee of , the is the mid-tier option, and the  is more budget-minded with an annual fee of  and lower ongoing rewards than its sibling cards.

Offering 5 points per dollar spent on airlines, travel agencies and restaurants, the  soars past what most other cards can earn in these categories. If you're spending a bundle on travel and dining, this premium rewards rate could make the card worth getting. Spending on hotels and cruises will also earn you a respectable 3 points per dollar, which is on a par with what several other top-notch travel cards offer.

The $250 annual travel credit on the  can ease the sting of the card's high annual fee. Citi's definition of travel is broad and includes less-considered ways of getting around, including taxis, subways, parking lots and tolls. If you ever leave your house, you'll likely find a way to use up that credit and effectively bring the net cost of owning the card down to $245.

This is one of the more valuable perks of owning the . Anytime you book a hotel stay of four nights or more through the Citi travel portal through a paid booking, an award booking or a combination of the two, you'll get night four on the house — whether it's an inexpensive room or a presidential suite. It should be noted, however, that this once-unlimited feature was capped at Even so, if you take advantage, that, combined with the annual $250 travel credit, you'll probably get more than your money's worth out of the card.

The comes with Priority Pass Select membership, which gets you complimentary access to lounges in the Priority Pass network around the world. Waiting for your flight in one of those lounges instead of by a busy boarding gate might make your next airport experience a little more pleasant.

Another useful benefit: Every five years, the card offers a credit to cover the cost of your application fee for TSA Precheck (worth $85) or Global Entry (worth $100). If you qualify for one of these programs, you could get through airport security a little faster.

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Unless you plan on maxing out both the $250 travel credit and the fourth night free hotel perk, you'd have to do a lot of spending to break even with the 's annual fee.

The only domestic carrier eligible to transfer your ThankYou points to is JetBlue. The rest are foreign carriers, so if you don't have any plans to go abroad, this may not be much of a benefit to you.

If you're looking for a rewards card that allows you to transfer to a greater variety of travel partners, the  could fit the bill. Chase's many transfer partners also include multiple hotel and domestic airline partners as options.

It comes with an annual fee of  and earns 3 points per dollar spent on all travel and dining. Plus, purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards earn even more: 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining, hotel stays and car rentals and 5 points on air travel. Like the , you'll also get reimbursed for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, but once every four years (compared to five years on the ). You'll also get an annual travel credit of $300 — that's $50 more than what the offers. But perhaps the biggest differentiator is that with the , you can redeem points for travel at a 50% increase in value when booked through the Chase portal.

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The  comes with Priority Pass Select membership — but if the airport you frequent doesn't have any Priority Pass lounges, that benefit won't do you much good.

For more extensive lounge access, consider another premium option: . This card, which has an annual fee of (see ), comes with Priority Pass Select access (when you enroll) in addition to access to AmEx's Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (for folks flying with Delta on the same day) and several others. It also comes packed with several other useful travel benefits, including a $200 airline fee credit for purchases like checked-bag fees or in-flight refreshments and up to $200 in Uber Cash each year, paid out monthly, which can be used to cover Uber rides, Uber Eats orders and Jump scooter or bike rides.

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To view rates and fees of , see .