Published on April 13th, 2015 | by William Charles23
Citi Prestige Golf Benefit: Three Free Rounds, How It Works & Best Uses
One of the benefits of the Citi Prestige card is that it comes with three free rounds of golf annually. Personally I think this is an overlooked benefit, especially for golf lovers. Let’s take a look at this benefit in a bit more detail.
- Receive three rounds of golf for free per year. This is based on a calendar year, much like the $250 airline credit. This means it’s possible to use this benefit a total of six times and only pay the annual fee once.
- Complimentary rounds are for the primary cardholder only. You cannot use this benefit to book rounds of golf for anybody apart from yourself (e.g no booking a round of golf for you and two of your buddies).
- The service provider is GolfSwitch. It’s not unusual for a credit card benefits to be managed by a different company and in this case this benefit is provided by a company called GolfSwitch.
- You must use your Citi Prestige card to reserve the rounds. If a round is eligible under the benefit, it will not be charged.
- You must book at least three days in advance of tee date. If you don’t book at least three days in advance, you will be charged the full normal rate.
- You can only have one tee time booked at a time. For some reason it only allows you to have one tee time reservation at a time, this means you can’t book all three of your reservations at once.
For golf courses in Asia (there are only 6) this benefit is provided by Access 3 Marketing. The rules are much different (cannot book more than 14 days in advance but must book more than 8 days in advance for weekend bookings and 4 days in advance for weekday bookings). You have to pay all fees other than green fees (buggy, caddy, taxes and all other ancillary charges).
The official website for this benefit is citiprestige.golfhub.com, if you don’t already have the card – don’t panic! You don’t actually need to log in to see what courses are available, just click the golf courses and golf destination tabs at the top to see what’s available. You’ll need to select your destination first (it defaults to China for some weird reason) and then select courses.
You should also be able to use the following website/search to see what’s available: http://book.golfswitch.com/webPro/search.asp. Just double check that the course you want appears on the Citi Prestige site before booking.
Best Golf Courses Under This Benefit
There are a number of ways we can determine what the best golf courses are under this benefit and we’ll look at these in a moment. Personally I wouldn’t bother with any of the courses in Asia as the rules are quite strict – unless you’re OK make last minute bookings.
Convenient Location + Course Ratings
One of the easiest ways to find out how good courses are in your local area (or areas you plan to travel to) is to use this tool to search what courses are available (you can just select the State you live in for example) and then look at reviews for what course to see how good it actually is. Golf Digest probably has the best list of rankings (feel free to recommend other resources in the comments).
If I chose California, I’d be able to quickly see that there is the Pasatiempo Golf Club – Santa Cruz, CA available which is ranked by Golf Digest as the third best golf course in California that is open to the public.
Tournament Players Club (TPC) courses are a network of golf courses that are operated by the PGA tour (most are either currently used or have been used as courses for the PGA tour) because of this they are usually of extremely high quality. It’s easy to spot TPC courses, as they’ll all have TPC (or PGA) in their name. Below are all of the TPC courses in the United States:
- TPC Scottsdale – Champions Course – Scottsdale, AZ
- TPC Scottsdale – Stadium Course – Scottsdale, AZ
- TPC Tampa Bay – Lutz, FL
- TPC Myrtle Beach – Murrells Inlet, SC
- PGA WEST – TPC Stadium Course – La Quinta, CA
- PGA WEST – Nicklaus Tournament Course – La Quinta, CA
- PGA WEST – Greg Norman Course – La Quinta, CA
- PGA Golf Club – Dye Course – Port Saint Lucie, FL
- PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course – Port Saint Lucie, FL
- PGA Golf Club – Wanamaker Course – Port Saint Lucie, FL
Out of the 13 public TPC courses in the United States, this benefit has access to 4 of them. It has access to all six courses with PGA in the name.
Best Courses By Dollar Value
This is probably my least favorite way of choosing a course, just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s any good. Often they are just in expensive areas (e.g Orange County). One of the reasons that I don’t love the expensive courses, is usually you’ll be golfing with a buddy (or two) and if they don’t also have a Citi Prestige card it’s a bit rough to recommend a super expensive course to them (especially when it might not really be any good) just so you can get more “value” out of your benefit.
That being said, sometimes it’s nice just to go expensive just for shits and giggles (especially when your friends have the same benefit). I’m just going to give you a small sampling here to give you an idea on how expensive some of these courses are.
- Monarch Beach Golf Links, Orange County, CA: Weekend tee times usually cost $200-$250
- Omni La Costa Resort – Legends Course, San Diego, CA: Weekend tee times usually cost $175-$230
- Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, CA: Weekend tee times usually cost $250
This is a nice little benefit that will most likely go unused by most Citi Prestige cardholders, at best you could get $750 in value out of this benefit per year – but chances are you wouldn’t normally pay $250 for a round of golf so realistically I think this is probably worth closer to $150-$200 annually for golf lovers.
It’s a shame that you can’t use this benefit for somebody else, I’m not crazy about golf but I have a lot of work colleagues that love to golf and this would make a nice little present. It’s completely understandable why Citi don’t allow this, if they did many more people would utilize the benefit and it’d cost them a lot of money.
Have you use this benefit before? What have you experiences been like? Let us know in the comments. If you’re considering getting the Citi Prestige card, keep in mind there are two sign up bonuses currently available:
- Citi Prestige Sign Up Bonus Now 50,000 ThankYou Points Online
- Citi Prestige 60,000 Point Offer, $350 Annual Fee