Posted by William Charles on February 12, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on February 12th, 2015 | by William Charles

17

What Charges Count Towards The Citi Prestige $250 Air Travel Credit?

We’ve been working on our full review of the Citi prestige card, this card has a massive annual fee of $350/$450 (depending on which offer you received). One of the main ways to offset this annual fee is through the $250 air travel credit that this card offers as a benefit. I thought it would be interesting to look at what charges qualify for this reimbursement and how it works, we did something similar with the $300 credit that the Ritz Carlton card offers.

Fine Print

When looking at benefits like this, it’s important to read the fine print to see what you’re entitled to as per their rules (often we can work around these rules, but this gives you a nice baseline). The full terms & conditions for benefits that this card offers can be found here. Here is what they say qualifies for this benefit:

Airline Fees are defined as purchases made with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases.

For me the most interesting thing is that Air fares do count towards this credit. They use merchant category codes to determine if the charge is from an airline or not, so presumably purchasing from an online travel agency would not work.

Here are some of the other important things from the terms & conditions

  • Allow 1-2 billing cycles after the qualifying incidental air travel fee is charged to your account for the statement credit to post
  • This is an annual benefit and is based on a calendar year (December to December), the charge needs to post to your December billing statement to qualify (it doesn’t matter when the purchase was made, it needs to post to your December statement to qualify)
  • Purchases by primary cardholders and authorized users are eligible

What Else Qualifies

Basically the rule of thumb is that if the charge shows as coming directly from an airline, it will count no matter what it is. If I find anything interesting that qualifies outside of this rule, I’ll list it here. Giftcards should work fine, but it likely depends on if the airline issues them directly or uses a third party.

There was some discussion that the gift cards needed to be under $100 in value, but that was before this benefit actually included airfares as well. It doesn’t look like it’s necessary to purchase gift cards under $100 anymore.

What Doesn’t Qualify

Final Thoughts

One thing that I love about this benefit is that it’s automatic, you don’t need to call up and ask for a charge to be reimbursed via a statement credit. If it qualifies, this all happens automatically. Another thing I love is how lenient they are on what qualifies. The fact that airfares qualifies is fantastic, as long as you take $250+ in paid flights annually then you can easily get the full benefit.

The last thing I like about this benefit is that it’s based on a calendar year, this means you can double or even triple dip. For example, you apply for your card in November 2015, make $250 in qualify purchases that year (that post to your December statement) then you make another $250 in qualifying purchases anytime in 2016. Finally you could make $250 in qualifying purchases in January 2017 and then cancel your card. This would require having the card open for 13-15 months, depending on how long it takes for the statement credit to post. Citi will refund the annual fee on a prorated basis, so your second year annual fee would be greatly reduced (although if you do this, remember that Citi ThankYou points are linked with the card they were earned on. So you’d need to use those points before cancelling)

I wish other cards that offered these airline incidental credits were as good as the one offered by Citi. Having to not call up truly makes this a seamless process, which is what high spending individuals that these cards are targeted towards appreciate.

 



17 Responses to What Charges Count Towards The Citi Prestige $250 Air Travel Credit?

  1. Chuck Sithe says:

    Wow, that triple-dip sounds enticing. I’ll have to add this to my calendar for November.

  2. mileswhip says:

    Agreed on that november app. Did that with my previous amex platinum business and got $600 in airlines “fees”
    Btw read a previous MMS post to double check, it seems you can combine thank you points accounts. So if you earned points on prestige just have another citi card (ex. Premier) that is transferable to airlines and you can keep your points.
    http://millionmilesecrets.com/2014/09/21/can-you-transfer-points-earned-on-any-citi-thankyou-card-to-airline-partners/

    • P says:

      Yes, TYP can be combined if you cancel accounts, BUT they expire within 90 days IIRC

      Best thing to do is have a place to transfer before you close or have the Premier (but the Premier is far less attractive value – almost better to keep the Prestige if you have the $350 AF version and take the $250 credit – thus your net AF is $100 (vs $95 for the Premier). Not worth closing unless the plan is to get another Prestige.

      Does anyone know if you can get multiple Prestige cards and get multiple bonuses (like you can with AA Exec cards)?

      • Ken says:

        It’s Citi, so of course, but you can only open a TY card of any type every 24 months provided you don’t have an opened/closed card during that 24 month period.

  3. Yeshu says:

    I plan on triple-dipping too! Will wait till November to apply for this card

  4. Pingback: Does AU Spend Count Toward the Airline Credit? - Doctor Of Credit

  5. Pingback: Luxury Card's From Barclaycard: Titanium, Black & Gold Reviews - Doctor Of Credit

  6. Pingback: Citi Prestige Golf Benefit: Three Free Rounds, How It Works & Best Uses - Doctor Of Credit

  7. Pingback: Confirmed: Big Changes Coming to Citi Prestige Card in 2017 [1.25 CPP, No Golf, 4th Night Change] - Doctor Of Credit

  8. Pingback: Premium Cards Compared: Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum & Citi Prestige - Doctor Of Credit

  9. gary says:

    does the united’s mileageplus X app purchases count for reimbursement s it does with amex’s platinum card

  10. Pingback: Use Your Travel Credits For 2017 Sooner Rather Than Later - Doctor Of Credit

  11. Grant says:

    @DOC, thanks for adding my data point about Citi Thank You Points + Cash bookings *not* counting toward the $250 airline travel credit.

  12. Pingback: Recap: Save On Costco Membership, 70k Credit Card End Date, Marriott Give Away & More - Doctor Of Credit

  13. Pingback: Review of the Citi Prestige Mastercard (2017) - Collegecards.net

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑