Citi Prestige Card Relaunch Includes Major Changes
The rumored changes surrounding the Citi Prestige card have been confirmed. Citi will re-launch Prestige in January with some exciting changes and an unknown sign-up bonus. The big caveat here is the increased annual fee and the (gasp!) limit on the 4th night free benefit. It’s really hard to say whether the net effect is positive or negative. Let’s have a look at the changes: (Frequent Miler has a good chart summarizing changes from several sources.)
- 5x Thank You Points on Dining and Airfare Purchases
- 3x Thank You Points on Cruise Lines
- $250 credit for air travel will become a general $250 travel credit
- Cell phone insurance benefit
- At some point in 2019 the 4th Night Free Benefit will be capped at two uses per year
- You will no longer be able to redeem TYP’s for 1.25 Cents on airfare through the portal
- Increased Annual Fee: $495/yr
- Earnings on entertainment drop from 2x to 1x Thank You Points
Whether these changes are net positive or negative is dependent on multiple factors including your card portfolio, your personal value for Thank You Points and your 4th night free redemption value. For example, if you already have the Amex Gold card, the additional point on dining is not going to make much difference to you. On the other hand if you love the Platinum Card because you get 5x Points on airfare, the increased Prestige earnings might influence you to switch since their trip delay benefits are comparatively extremely generous. Since you can pool your Thank You Points, the 1 cent redemption through the portal won’t matter to anyone with a Thank You Premier Card.
Related: Prestige Retention Results
The 4th Night free benefit’s value really depends on a card holders travel style. Personally, I had Prestige for years and never used the benefit because I usually stay at top tier hotels and hate the idea of paying upwards of $1,000 a night regardless of whether I get the 4th night free. For me, it generally works out to less out of pocket to buy points. You can use this simple formula to see which option makes more sense for you.