Changes To The Citi Prestige Card [Coming in 2019]

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Citi has announced a slew of changes to the Citi Prestige® Card. The card is currently closed for new applications, although rumors are that it will open to for new applications in January 2019. The card sees many changes coming in over 2019, some positive and some negative, although on balance there are more positive changes to the Prestige Card.

Citi Prestige® Card

What Is Changing

  • Earn 5X points on dining and airfare starting January 2019 — A significant improvement over the 3X on airfare and 2X on dining
  • Earn 3X points with cruise lines and hotels
  • The $250 airline credit will be changed to a general travel credit as of January 2019; this is a minor improvement since the airline credit could be easily maximized
  • The card will introduce a complimentary cell phone protection plan in May 2019
  • The card will no longer earn 2X points on entertainment, starting in September 2019
  • The fourth-night free perk will be restricted to two bookings per year starting in September 2019 and bookings must be made through ThankYou.com — which means you won't earn elite benefits for these bookings
  • The annual fee is increasing from $450 to $495 effective September 2019
  • The 25% bonus on redeeming for air travel will be eliminated from September 2019

What Won’t Change

Our Take

The change announced by Citi is clearly an opening salvo across the bows of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® along with The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. The new Prestige Card will out-earn the Sapphire Reserve on airfare while offering earning-parity with the Amex Platinum and the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.

Regarding dining, it takes first place. While the reduction of the rate you can redeem your Citi ThankYou points at is disappointing, it is not so heavy to make the card unattractive — especially when you can transfer points to a Citi Premier Card and get the same great redemption value as is currently available — plus, you have almost a year to plan for the change.

When the new card launches, choosing the right premium travel rewards credit card will get a little harder. Although hopefully with the new challenge from Citi, Amex and Chase will have to up the ante!

Source: One Mile At A Time

Changes To The Citi Prestige Card [Coming in 2019]
5 (100%) 8 votes
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Comments

  • The fact that after 09/01/19 all fourth night free bookings have to be made through the thank you.com portal kills this card for me. No elite status, no ability to use various discounts such as AAA and reduced hotel availability. Additionally, thank you.com bookings must be prepaid. Will cancel the card in June after my most recent 4th night free booking and return to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  • I wonder how general travel will credit in 2019!!

  • Thanks for letting us know about these changes!

  • Wow, this seems like a very generous offering for the annual fee. I figure the credits come close to or equal the annual fee easily. Thank you for the info

  • My only hope is chase trys to match but not holding my breath as they are the market leader

  • I have this card and is really thinking about canceling it… It’s just that thank you points are too hard to use.

    • Use points to book travel through the Thank You site. Airfare, for example, is 25% off the listed (regular, not inflated) price, and I haven’t been charged the minor tax/fee, probable a couple of percent more off, depending on the price of your flight. Lots of airline and flight options available.

  • Oh man, I wish I had gotten his card before applications closed. I would have cleaned up on the 4th night free benefit with my upcoming trip to Mexico!

  • Thanks for the break down on the changes.

  • Wow x5 is very good.
    Only if it wasn’t just for air travel but for all types of travel charges…

    • If you look at the fine print travel agencies will be 5X. So although the Prestige will not offer 5X for all travel like the Sapphire Reserve you can run almost all your travel expenses through a travel agency.

  • they took all the good out of this card

  • In order to become a serious contender, Citi needs to secure domestic travel partners. AA is an obvious choice. Why haven’t they gotten this done yet?

  • If you look at the fine print travel agencies will be 5X. So although the Prestige will not offer 5X for all travel like the Sapphire Reserve you can run almost all your travel expenses through a travel agency.

  • I had been considering this card for the future, but the changes are so negative for my travel patterns that this card has definitely moved down on my list. The 5x points for dining is great, but other than that, other cards give the same or better value. I agree with the posters who say they hope Chase and Amex up their game to match this card, but I doubt it will happen.

  • > especially when you can transfer points to a Citi Premier Card and get the same great redemption value as is currently available

    I can’t imagine they’ll keep the 25% bonus on the Premier after removing it from Prestige…

  • I considered renewing even after changes were announced. The loss of elite hotel privileges when using the TY portal kills it for me. May do one last renewal in January (since all the onerous changes are in September) with a great offer; otherwise, time to move on.

  • Have enjoyed using this card for the 4th night free benefit – incredible bonus. Also, very helpful citi concierge service

  • my favorite card. looks like i’ll have to get the premier card now too. anyone notice that their previously closed checking accounts recently disappeared from their online account summary? im afraid that might mean no more $350 annual fee :-/

  • 5x for travel is really good. But don’t like the 4th night free restriction.

  • These changes appear to be quite a good deal. Now, if we can wait for the, hopefully, 50,000 or 60,000 point sign up bonus! Thanks for highlighting this new information.

  • Good summary. Love the 5x categories, but raising the annual fee and limiting the FNF hurts. With airline credit and two FNF’s can probably still outsize the AF, but not a slam dunk.

  • Unfortunately the reduction in value of the 4th night free benefit kills this card for me. I already have enough high annual fee cards, with higher earnings potential, and better transfer partners (for me at least), to boot.

  • Really struggling as to whether I should keep this card. I agree with jc that TY points are not the easiest to spend. Is it clear whether the 5x on dining will be limited to U.S. restaurants or will apply internationally? I’ve seen some conflicting reports…

  • I have a 350.00 annual fee will this change with new rules? I’am I locked in?

  • Who will cancel their cards for real?

  • I have loved using this card so far, so much so that i ditched the CSR in favor of this card. I was also ok with them limiting the 4th night free benefit to twice per year. But the restriction to use thankyou.com for the 4th night free is a deal breaker. I’m going to downgrade mine to the Premier on my next renewal which happens to be in sep.

    • I also ditched the CSR for the Prestige. I loved the 4th night free benefits. But I am tired of the yearly devaluations, and the inability to use the concierge for 4th night free bookings makes this card worthless to me. I Will cancel the Prestige in June when my last 4th night free posts and upgrade back to the CSR.

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