Published on January 4th, 2019 | by William Charles158
Citi Prestige Changes: $495 Annual Fee, 4th Night Free Two Use Restriction, 5x On Dining & Air
Update 1/4/19: A lot of these changes go live today. We are still waiting to see what sign up bonus (if any) will be available when the card officially relaunches to new applications (I’m assuming some time later today).
[Update 11/9/18: Citi sent out an email blast and has a public page about this now. Added some details below. Temporarily bolded the new details to make it clear.]
Citi has announced major changes to the Citi Prestige card. These changes will go live on January 4, 2019. Changes are as follows:
- Card will earn 5x points on dining (including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants) and air travel (airlines and travel agencies)
- Card will earn 3x points on cruise lines and hotels
- $250 credit for air travel will become a $250 travel credit
- In May 2019 Citi will add cell phone insurance beginning May 1, 2019
- (Through August 2019, card will retain it’s 2x earn on entertainment)
In September 2019 a number of benefits will be devalued:
- 4th night free benefit can be used twice per calendar year
- Only bookings made on or after September 1, 2019, will count toward the 2019 cap. Earlier bookings will not count toward the cap. (Sounds like you can even book out into the future and it won’t count toward your cap, but not positive about this.)
- Citi Prestige 4th-night benefit will no longer be bookable via Citi Concierge which means (among other things) losing out on the hotel points and status.
- Annual fee will be increased to $495 (from $450) and $75 per authorized user, including cardmembers with a Citi Priority account. You will receive official notice of this change at a later date. This change will be effective at your account anniversary after September 1, 2019. If you maintain a Citigold or Citi Private Bank account, these annual fee and authorized user fee increases will not apply to your account. (Most of us who are grandfathered at $350 will be increased to $495.)
- When redeeming points for air travel you’ll no longer receive a 25% bonus (meaning points are only worth 1¢ instead of 1.25¢ when redeeming through Citi’s travel portal)
- Card will no longer earn 2x points on entertainment beginning September 1, 2019
- Relationship bonus will be removed. You will receive your final relationship bonus on your account anniversary. For example, if your anniversary is October 1, 2019, you will receive your final bonus during that statement cycle.
Other benefits will be remaining the same.
One of the main reasons people have kept the Prestige is to take advantage of the 4th night free benefit. It being restricted to two uses per calendar year is a major restriction and in my opinion the new benefits don’t make up for this change. If you don’t use that benefit then I don’t see how keeping the card long term makes sense (both currently and in the future). The 5x on dining and air travel is nice but dining is already a category where it’s possible to get 4% cash back with no annual fee. If you do use the 4th night free benefit then I guess even though it’s restricted to two uses per calendar year you’ll still probably come ahead when you take into account the $250 travel credit as well. Overall these changes are underwhelming and a net negative for most people. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
It’s also worth remembering that the Citi Prestige is currently not accepting new applications and it looks like it won’t be until January, 2019. I wonder what the sign up bonus will be at relaunch?