The Citi Prestige card somehow keeps getting better. I bet that many get scared off by its advertised $450 annual fee, but I believe that the card is suited to just about every frequent traveler:
- You can sign up in-branch instead of online to get a lower annual fee ($350 instead of $450).
- Citi automatically reimburses up to $250 in airfare purchases each year, so the card’s net annual cost is really only $100 (if you get the lower annual fee).
- The card offers a great signup bonus (currently 50,000 points).
- The card offers great category bonuses: Earn 3X ThankYou points for airfare, hotels, and travel agencies; 2X for dining and entertainment; and 1X everywhere else.
- And, the card has awesome perks:
- Free access for yourself and up to 2 guests to American Airlines Admiral’s Clubs when flying AA.
- Free Priority Pass Select membership which allows you and up to two guests into participating airport lounges.
- Free golf.
- $100 Global Entry reimbursement
- ThankYou points worth 1.6 cents each towards American Airlines airfare and 1.33 cents each towards other airfare.
- 4th Night Free Hotel benefit
One of the benefits that I’ve written a lot about is the hotel 4th night free benefit. In general, my experience has been that it is a very good benefit but that it doesn’t necessarily save you as much money as you may expect. See for example, these posts:
- Using the Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit
- Prestige 4th night free benefit, take 2
- Prestige 4th night free on AAA rate?
One of the issues I’ve had with the 4th Night Free benefit is that it was difficult or impossible to apply discount rates to your stay. There was some evidence that if you could convince the travel advisor to apply a discount code (AAA, for example), then you would get both the 4th night free (as a statement rebate) and a better per night rate. I found, though, that convincing them to do so wasn’t at all easy.
A couple of days ago, I heard again from the same reader who earlier told me that he had received his 4th night rebate on a AAA booked rate (despite having been told by Citi’s travel advisor that the 4th Night Free benefit wouldn’t apply to that rate). This time, Dave sent me a message he had received from the Citi Prestige Concierge service (the go-between for booking these stays). The message, in part, read:
We now can combine the 4th night credit with a AAA rate, so if you find an option where you think we can combine the two I can certainly look into that.
Ooh, that’s good news! I followed up with the Concierge service myself to confirm and got even better news, as follows:
Going forward, AAA, AARP and military rates are all eligible with the fourth night free benefit.