Citi Prestige’s New 75k Bonus + Other Changes

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This coming Sunday, July 23, the Citi Prestige Card will lose some benefits and gain some new ones.

This is the current offer, as of today:

  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou Points after $4,000 in spending within 3 months of opening card
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on air travel and hotels, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Air Travel Credit:  $250 statement credit per calendar year ($500 during first year of cardmembership)
  • Global Entry: $100 application fee credit
  • Lounge access: Priority Pass lounges worldwide for you and two guests
  • Free golf: Three rounds of golf annually booked through Citi
  • Free hotel nights: Get your 4th night free (including taxes) on all paid hotel stays booked through the Citi Prestige Concierge, through the phone only (no blackout dates). The discount is on the actual fourth night, no matter if it’s more expensive than the other nights, and comes in the form of a rebate some time after your stay.
  • Value of points: Transfer to 13 Airline programs or 1 Hotel program, for our estimated value of 1.9 cents eachRedeem for 1.33 cents each on cash flights
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Card Design: Plastic
  • Annual Fee: $450

This will be the offer as July 23, 2017:

  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou Points after $4,000 in spending  75,000 ThankYou Points for $7,500 within 3 months of opening card (for a limited time only, end date unknown)
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on air travel and hotels, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Air Travel Credit:  $250 statement credit per calendar year ($500 during first year of cardmembership)
  • Global Entry: $100 application fee credit
  • Lounge access: Priority Pass lounges worldwide for you and two guests
  • Free golf: Three rounds of golf annually booked through Citi
  • Free hotel nights: Get your 4th night free (including taxes) (not including taxes) on all paid hotel stays booked through the Citi Prestige Concierge, through the phone only through the phone or online (no blackout dates). The discount is on the actual fourth night, no matter if it’s more expensive than the other nights, and comes in the form of a rebate some time after your stay. The discount is the average of the four nights, and is refunded when you check out.
  • Value of points: Transfer to 13f Airline programs or 1 Hotel program, for our estimated value of 1.9 cents each; Redeem for 1.33 cents each on cash flights; Redeem for 1.25 cents each on cash flights; Redeem for 1 cent each as cash back; Redeem for 1 cent each on fourth night free hotel bookings.
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Card Design: Metal
  • Annual Fee: $450

To summarize, these are the big changes:

  • Larger sign up bonus for an increased minimum spending requirement
  • Losing the three free rounds of golf benefit
  • The 4th hotel night free benefit will be calculated and refunded differently and you will be able to book it online (although at a cost, more on that below)
  • The fixed value you can redeem ThankYou points for on cash flights is decreasing, and you’ll be able to redeem them for 1 cent each cash back or towards 4th night free hotel bookings

Details, Thoughts, & Caveats

New Sign Up Bonus

For those who have no issue with spending $7,500 in three months or can manufacture spend, the new bonus is an improvement.

For those that can’t organically meet the new bonus’ spending requirement nor manufacture spend, the new bonus is worse.

The old bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Points for spending $3,000 on the card within three months of opening it yields a return of a little less than 17 ThankYou Points per dollar spent. The new bonus of 75,000 ThankYou Points for spending $7,500 on the card within three months of opening it yields a return of 10 ThankYou Points per dollar spent.

No More Golf

For those that enjoy golf, this is a big bummer, as golf reservations can be very expensive. Definitely an overall negative change, although I imagine (?) the majority of cardholders didn’t take full advantage of this benefit anyways.

4th Hotel Night Free Changes

This is likely the worst change coming to the Citi Prestige card. The way the benefit has worked in the past is that if you booked four nights or more at a hotel through the Citi Prestige Concierge, you would get the cost of the fourth hotel night rebated some time after your stay (including that night’s taxes). As of July 23, the discount will be an actual 25% off of your stay (the average of four nights), and you will have to pay taxes on all four nights. No more are the days of getting a more expensive weekend or holiday night free. While you will at least get your rebate faster (the discount should be reflected in the receipt at check out), this also probably means you won’t earn any hotel points/elite credits for the fourth night.

Previously, in order to get your fourth night free, you could only book through the Citi Prestige Concierge over the phone. That is also changing. Come Sunday, you’ll be able to book online. While being able to book anything online versus over the phone is an improvement, there will likely be negatives to booking online that could deter you from using the online platform (like an inability to book special rates, and perhaps the inability to earn any points or elite credit on the stay). We’ll keep any eye on how that plays out.

Value of ThankYou Points Changes

When redeeming ThankYou points on cash flights, as of July 23 they will be worth 1.25 cents each instead of 1.33. This is obviously a negative change, but not hugely different. If you’re only redeeming ThankYou Points on cheap cash flights (which is the only circumstance in which you should), then the difference will be minor.

You will also be able to redeem your ThankYou points for 1 cent each in the form of cash back as of July 23, as well as 1 cent each towards 4th night free hotel bookings. While you can easily get more than 1 cent of value out of each ThankYou point by transferring to an airline loyalty partner, redeeming for 1 cent cash back could be a good option for those with some leftover ThankYou points hanging around if you decide to close your card (or at least better than letting them expire if you have no idea what airline loyalty program to transfer them out to).

Attention Current Prestige Cardholders

If you currently have a Citi Prestige card open, read Citi Prestige Changes Kicking in July 23: What To Do Now to learn how you can maximize the benefits ahead of time that are disappearing/going away next Sunday.

Bottom Line

Citi is changing the benefits and sign up offer for its Prestige Card on July 23. We’ve known about some of these changes for a while, but the new sign up bonus, how exactly the fourth night free benefit works, and the new ways to redeem ThankYou points for 1 cent each is news.

What’s your take? Anyone planning on going for the 75k bonus?

Hat tip The Points Guy


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Likely my final few weeks with the card. Too much lost. A drop in cost would have kept me, given the drop in value. Golf not my issue. I can even likely work around the hotel change. But losing the AA lounges and maybe losing some perks of hotel bookings? Not a win for me. Will give it a month and then retire it unless something glorious becomes clear.

  2. I’m debating on keeping the card. I’ll surely spend $250 on air travel, so that makes the net cost $200. With the ability to take guests into Priority Pass lounges (which are rarely worse than AA lounges are), if I can justify 8 entries, it’s a break-even for me. If I have a four night stay anywhere, I tend to look for an AirBnb, so the hotel changes make no difference to me and I have yet to cash in any of my reward points so for me, it’s all about the lounge access. If one were to purchase UAL or AA lounge access for a year, one would spend well N of $500, so $200 seems a good deal.

  3. Got it last week they upped mine to 75K $450 fee ..$220 rebate on Hotel-$100 rebate for Global ID card -$250 Flt rebate not to bad for 5 days . Can’t wait for online booking I’m 1 and 3 for hotels on Email ..NOW I email (correct DATA no mistakes plus proof if they make mistake) then get Price and or Case ID no. XXX in an hour or so .Then call the Callers are the First inline not email lost one hotel that way 3 day wait .. I think a Gold Mine I bet the best card I ever had BECAUSE of 4th nite Free .Will know in 11 months thanks for Help ..CHEERs

    • Hi CaveMan-
      Would you have a minute to elaborate on your comment that,

      “I’m 1 and 3 for hotels on Email ..NOW I email (correct DATA no mistakes plus proof if they make mistake) then get Price and or Case ID no. XXX in an hour or so .Then call the Callers are the First inline not email lost one hotel that way 3 day wait .. I think a Gold Mine I bet the best card I ever had BECAUSE of 4th nite Free.”

      as I’m not quite following the “Email” or the the “call the Callers are the First inline”?
      Thanks in advance, always appreciate your insights.
      -g

      • Yes G
        Email them with ALL the correct infor hotel names sound alike so the address is important , AAA,SPG,IHG numbers .Exact room TYPE as Hotel calls it with bed type ur dealing with a Lot of maybe errors . Was a $1600 error on another blog !!! They did send me a list of things but I don’t know on to do links .Then try number 3 which I got they sent me an EMAIL in 1 hr. with a Case ID number stating we will reply to u in THREE DAYS no thanks I lost one because of TIME . I then called them with case ID number and it took 20 mins to Book the room she TOAD me Callers Come first then we deal with the email !!
        I bet their online booking (7/23) ?) will be Less then Prefect for a while so Email will be my backup if I can’t get the right thing online .

        CHEERs

  4. Thanks for deleting my post earlier today, was just asking a simple question on retention bonuses w/ citi prestige but you deleted it? Thanks a lot!

    • I didn’t delete it, not sure what you’re talking about. It’s possible I just haven’t seen it to approve yet.

  5. John
    I don’t think do that here for something like that . I know ‘One Mile at a Time’ does I post the GIVEAWAY and the link to Mv and they Deleted it so who cares I don’t .

    CHEERs

  6. […] Another Citi ultra-premium card, the Citi Thank-You Prestige, recently underwent some changes.  One of these changes was an increase of the sign-up bonus from 50,000 to 75,000 Thank-You points.  This card also comes with a $450 annual fee but it has a suite of benefits that easily cover the fee (at lease for the the first year).  The Prestige was a good card to begin with, but I think the recent changes make it a top contender for my next round of credit card applications.  Again with he deets, here’s MileValue’s post on the recent changes. […]

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