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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.
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
- The $100 Statement Credit towards TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry application fees
- Travel and Emergency Assistance
- Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection
- Trip Delay Protection
- Priority Pass Select Membership that allows access for up to 2 guests
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
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