Citi Prestige's $250 Travel Credit Isn't Limited to Travel in 2021

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One of the principal benefits of the Citi Prestige® Card is its annual $250 Travel Credit. Assuming you travel a couple of times per year, this credit is easy to use and effectively lowers the card's net annual fee to $245. However, when you can't travel, using this travel credit gets a little trickier.

Thanks to COVID-19, most people are traveling much less than normal (if at all). So, to help Prestige Card cardholders utilize their credits, Citi added supermarkets and restaurants as qualifying uses for the travel credit in 2020. Now, Citi has announced that it's extending this policy through 2021.

Continue to use your Citi Prestige travel credit at the grocery story

2021 Prestige Card Travel Credit Flexibility

Now through December 2021, Prestige Card holders can continue to redeem their $250 Travel Credit for purchases made at supermarkets and restaurants.

With the new year comes a new round of travel credits for Prestige Card (review) cardmembers. Now that Citi has extended the flexibility for this benefit, cardholders can effectively receive $250 worth of “free” groceries or restaurant meals. (“Free” in quotations as in you pre-paid for it with the card's annual fee.) This includes take-out or delivery, provided the restaurant processes the charge itself.

Like any category-specific credit or purchase (like travel, office supply stores, etc.), card-issuers rely on the registered merchant category to know what qualifies. If you want to double-check that a purchase will qualify as a ‘supermarket' or ‘restaurant', use our Merchant Category Lookup Tool.

Citi Prestige® Card
Citi Prestige® Card
Annual Fee$495
Welcome Bonus Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening.
  • Signup bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
  • $250 Travel Credit each calendar year
  • 5X points on air travel and at restaurants; and 3X points at hotels and on cruise line purchases
  • 4th Night Free when you book any eligible hotel through thankyou.com
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership
  • 5X points on air travel and at restaurants
  • 3X points at hotels and on cruise line purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases

Bottom Line

In 2020, Citi allowed Prestige Card cardholders to use their annual $250 Travel Credit for purchases at supermarkets and groceries. Now that 2021 has arrived and we still aren't traveling like normal, the card issuer has decided to extend this benefit through 2021.

While I'm glad to see Citi continue to offer this added flexibility for its premium cardholders in 2021, I'm not overly surprised. People still aren't traveling like they did pre-COVID19, so a “travel” credit isn't nearly as valuable as it once was. This added flexibility is a good way to provide continued value to cardmembers.

Moreover, I think these added categories fit the card's customer base perfectly. The Prestige Card is already one of the best credit cards for restaurant purchases. So, even if cardmembers don't buy many groceries, they should still easily receive full value in free meals.

Will you get full value from the Prestige Card‘s $250 Travel Credit in 2021?

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Comments

  • Avatar

    I really hope American Express will match! The airline fee credit is really difficult to spend.

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      I would recommend going on Flyertalk and look at ways you can “spend (wink wink)” the credit this year. I spent mine utilizing the United Credit Bank. There is a hack for each airline.

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    Nice of them to do that. I don’t have any citi cards but good to see when companies make favorable changes to help during the pandemic. Creates loyalty!

  • Avatar

    I like their move. Who ever came up with the idea was smart because this would keep customers, I believe. I have been looking at Citi but their transfer partners are without a hotel and the airlines are not interesting to me.
    I think at this time the partnership between JetBlue and American is important to me since you can transfer to JetBlue from MR and then I could use the points on American, once they have that option.

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    The “Merchant Category Lookup Tool” is an invaluable reference tool, thank you very much.

    • Avatar

      I second that. I also swear by the Reverse Lookup Tool.

    • Avatar

      I’ve been a reasonably heavy user of AW for some time, and I had no idea about the Lookup Tool. I’m going to say it must be a new offering, but really there’s enough content on the site that I easily could have missed it.

  • Avatar

    This is certainly a positive move on Citi’s part but given the steep annual fee, Citi should be providing some additional credits or benefits. Otherwise I don’t really see much value in the card. Its still $245 worth of fees for no usable benefit in 2021

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    I applaud them for allowing this. Hope other companies will follow suit, as some truly cannot travel until 2022 at the earliest.

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    I can’t really complain about this extension, but I do have a lot of cards with grocery or restaurant bonuses and I wish some issuer would bonus other categories.

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    Great extension of this benefit. Will have it used up shortly.

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    I think the changes are good because a lot of people will sure NOT be traveling this year (2021).

  • Avatar

    Smart and appreciated move. I think this is the right way to satisfy customers and keep them around.