January 10, 2014
Via Twitter, PatMike reports that two different Citibank employees told her that the Citi Prestige card will offer American Airlines’ Admirals Club access. There is no word yet on when this will happen, and I’m still waiting for confirmation from other sources. The Prestige card is the expensive ($450 per year) Citi ThankYou card that competes with the American Express Platinum card. The Prestige card, which earns ThankYou points, is not to be confused with the similarly named ThankYou Premier card ($125 per year) or the ThankYou Preferred card (no annual fee). Thank you Citibank for making your card names so confusingly similar.
Now that the Amex Platinum cards are losing access to AA and US Airways clubs, the Prestige card may have a chance to compete by adding benefits such as AA club access. The Prestige card already has better point earning potential than the Amex Platinum card thanks to its “flight points” program (which essentially makes it possible to earn double points on all transactions), 2X for dining, and relationship bonus points. Unfortunately, unlike the Platinum card, you cannot transfer Citi ThankYou points to any airline programs… Yet. The optimist in me is hoping that the addition of AA club access indicates a tighter partnership with AA and will eventually lead to point transferability. That would be awesome. In the meantime, ownership of the Prestige card gives you the ability to redeem ThankYou points for 1.33 cents per point towards airfare. And, it will pay for up to 3 rounds of golf per year. Like the Platinum card, the Prestige card gives you $200 per year in airline fee credits, Global Entry fee credit, and more.
I’m still waiting for more information from Citibank about this possible new benefit. Hopefully, there will be more than just additional lounge access in the mix. We’ll see. I’m going to hold off on getting one of these cards, but if they add point transfers to airlines, I’ll be extremely tempted. If you decide to go for it, PatMike says that by signing up in-branch you can get 60K bonus points. That’s worth almost $800 in airfare, so its not bad! Once I get more info from Citi or other sources, I’ll publish a new update. And, if its good news, I’ll do a full analysis of the Prestige card.