Posted by William Charles on April 22, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by William Charles


It’s Possible To Pay A $350 Annual Fee On The Citi Prestige, Even If You Didn’t Apply In Branch

There are currently two offers on the Citi Prestige card that are worth considering:

Previously I thought that the 60,000 offer was well worth considering because it had an annual fee of only $350. This offer is supposed to be only for Citi Gold checking account customers, but this is not always enforced. Interestingly reader RS_WI recently applied for the 50,000 point offer, RS_WI has a Citi gold checking account and wasn’t sure if they would be charged an annual fee of $450 or $350. Here is their experience:

I applied the day this 50k offer was announced, received card, etc.. and this weekend received a letter from Citi stating some changes to my account fees. Basically they automatically recognized I was Citigold and changed my AF to $350. I suspect this occurred after I linked the Prestige card/account to my normal Citi account which includes the Citigold.

If you have Citi Gold checking and haven’t had your annual fee reduced, it’s worth calling Citi to see if they will rectify this for you. Personally I think the online offer is the better option now as an extra 10,000 points for $12,000 in spend isn’t particularly interesting.

The exception of course is if you plan on putting the majority of this spend in any of the Citi Prestige bonus categories – in which case the in branch offer might make sense (although dealing with in branch offers is a rather slow and painful process).

Also keep in mind there are two bonuses on Citigold checking accounts at the moment which are also both worth considering:

P.S, some people have also reported receiving targeted offers for 100,000 ThankYou points on the Prestige, so it might be worth holding out for a higher bonus – especially now that the Citi ThankYou Premier is at 50,000 points.

Update: People are reporting having their AF reduced even if they applied for CitiGold checking after the Prestige card.

22 Responses to It’s Possible To Pay A $350 Annual Fee On The Citi Prestige, Even If You Didn’t Apply In Branch

  1. Diamond Vargas says:

    Also worth noting that there appears to be a significant lag after the closure or downgrading of a Citigold account until Citi stops recognizing a customer as Citigold. My girlfriend downgraded her Citigold to a basic checking account in December 2014 and applied for the Prestige in January 2015 — she unexpectedly received the reduced $350 annual fee. I completely canceled my Citigold account, also in December 2014, and as of this writing in April 2015 we both receive the “thank you for being a Citigold customer” greeting when calling Citi for any reason. I suspect I’d still receive the reduced $350 fee today if I applied for the Prestige — I don’t have plans to but will report back if that changes.

  2. Emily says:

    Hi Doc,

    I currently have Citibank Basic Banking Checking account. I have been using that account for almost 10 years and signed up when they didn’t have sign up bonus at that time. Can I just apply/open the CitiGold account or have to close that basic checking account first to be eligible for the sign up bonus of CitiGold?
    Thanks in advance!

    • You have to close it first, not available to existing clients. There might be a wait period as well, but read the individual posts and they’ll give you the information you need.

      • Emily says:

        Thanks! so close the basic checking account and wait a while, then apply for Citi Gold checking account. How long is the wait time that you suggest?

  3. Jerry says:

    I also got the same mail. I thought it was a result of me calling Citi on the annual fee and extra 10k bonus. Glad to see it’s automatic.

    • Thomas says:

      Can you get the annual fee reduced from 450 to 350 and get an extra 10k bonus if you signed up with the 50k/450 AF offer?

      • You can get the AF reduced, but I don’t think you can get the extra 10k points. You might be able to, try calling or probably better bet is to go into a branch and explain your circumstances.

  4. Adam says:

    as a recap, it might be worth adding the new bonus on the TYP Preferred no-AF card as well, I believe it’s 25k now.

    almost PC’d my Exec to it today before realizing there was a bonus attached to it now. I’ll get around to applying for it later on in the year after I’m thru with the Prestige & Premier.

  5. KoolFatKat says:

    On Friday I applied and was approved for Citi Prestige card online ($450 annual fee). I wonder if I was to open a Citigold checking account now would my annual fee be reduced?

    • Thomas says:

      I opened a Citi Prestige 2 weeks ago and just opened a Citi Gold checking yesterday (with the 40k TY point bonus) in hopes of reducing the AF (which hasn’t posted yet). I’ll report back

      • Try giving them a call to expedite the process.

        • Thomas says:

          I called the Prestige line this afternoon to try to lower the fee (mentioning that I am a Citigold checking customer). The analyst told me that my AF can be lowered, but I have to go to a branch and have analyst there call a specific line in order to have my AF lowered from 450 to 350. I plan to do that next weekend.
          I figure the $100 I save will offset the ~$90 eaten by the Citigold checking account while I wait for the 40k TY points to post!

          • Thomas says:

            I will also see if 10k points can be added to my sign up bonus (when I visit the branch)… but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

          • That’s strange that they force you to go in branch, I wonder if you can call the branch and ask them to do it all over the phone?

  6. GM says:

    It looks like the monthly fee is waived for the 1st 2 months on a Citigold checking account.

    Does it make sense opening one to get the reduced annual fee and then closing before the monthly fee starts to hit?

    By the way, I had a Citigold account which I closed last month. I see others have received the reduced fee even though their account was closed, but mine is no longer is showing in my Citi online banking account for some reason which make me cautious about relying on this.

    To be honest, I had no real plans to apply for the Citi Prestige, but I just received the 100,000 targeted offer by mail which changes my outlook on this card now.

  7. bobert says:

    After doing the research and reading this article (and others) several times I successfully went the branch route to get the $350 fee with NO CITIGOLD ACCOUNT. Work liked a charm and no hassles when I told them I didn’t have a Citigold account. Thanks for saving me $100 bucks a year off the fee not to mention the point inflation gained from my existing Preferred Card TYP balance. If spent correctly it’s roughly a 240,000 point gain for me. ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU!

  8. PDXDealsGuy says:

    Quick correction – in the two offers you list up at the top. You say 30k TYP + 30k TYP when you spend 12k TYP … pretty sure you mean 30k TYP when you spend $12k (dollars not points).

    I want to make sure I’m following optimal strategy here. If someone doesn’t have a TY card or a CitiGold account, sounds like the best move (if you want both) is to sign up for the Prestige first … wait for it to come … and then (before 6/30) sign up for the CitiGold account … and then ask them to refund you $100 of the $450 AF?

    I wonder how far is too far to push funding the CitiGold with a credit card. Looks like BofA cards are working fine. But probably still a good idea to lower the cash advance limit to well below the amount you’re going to fund the account with. I assume the funding via credit card would get completely denied if it were being processed as a cash advance and the amount was above your cash advance limit.

    Finally, sounds like $50k in a IRA account with Citi can be used to avoid the CitiGold fees? Does that IRA need to be opened before the CitiGold account?


  9. somy says:

    Can we buy airline gift card (read SW) to trigger the $250 credit for this card?

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