CNB Crystal Visa Infinite loses valuable perks as of Jan 1 2020

On the heels of their point devaluation, CNB has announced severe cuts to the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite card’s benefits.  CNB has published a document “Change in Terms to Your City National Bank Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card Guide to Benefits.”  Rumors had already circulated about some of this (found here), but now we have concrete changes to react to.  It ain’t pretty.

Here’s what’s changing on January 1 2020:

  • Airline incidental fees capped at $350 per year.  Previously it was possible to earn $250 per card per year.  So, with 3 authorized users, you could rake in $1,000 per year.  Now, the best you can do is $350.  The slight good news is that it appears that you can get rebated on up to $350 spent on a single card instead of shuffling cards around to try to maximize the benefit.  In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you spend $350 in incidental fees all on one card or across multiple authorized user cards.  Either way, you’ll get a maximum of $350 back.
  • Priority Pass membership now charges you for guests.  Wow, this is really bad in my opinion.  They went from offering unlimited free guests to zero free guests.  The industry norm these days is to allow two free guests.  With the CNB card you can still enroll two people into Priority Pass for free.  But each membership is drastically weakened by this new policy.  Now, each Priority Pass member can get into lounges for free, but if they want to bring guests they will be charged $32 per guest.
  • The Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit is being discontinued.  No more $100 discount on round-trip domestic flights for 2 or 3 people.
  • No more 3X rewards for gas or grocery purchases.  3X for travel & dining remains.
  • Authorized user cards will cost $95 each. For accounts opened before 1/1/20, this new fee will hit with your next annual fee after 1/1/20.  The pricing sheet can be found here.  H/T Giuseppe.

For more about the CNB card (prior to these changes), see: The amazing CNB Crystal Visa Infinite Card. A deep dive.  And for my thoughts about the rumored changes (which were only partially correct), see: Is the CNB card worth keeping if rumors are true?

I think that many people will still see value in this card, but I plan to cancel with the next annual fee.

Hat Tip to reader Adam

Last updated on November 14th, 2019

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

61
Leave a Reply

avatar
26 Comment threads
35 Thread replies
35 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
34 Comment authors
Giuseppe BenvenutoGreg The Frequent MilermarcJayRob Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
bill
Guest
bill

I wonder if the card will still offer access to Priority Pass restaurants.

Iwantmoremiles
Guest
Iwantmoremiles

If I don’t have it yet, would you say it’s a good idea to get it now if I can so that I can get the current benefits?

Blip
Guest
Blip

Well I know a card that I’m definitely not renewing

U K
Guest
U K

You’re also missing another big change : the $95 AF per AU

Rob
Guest
Rob

Just a word of advice to close your card before your annual fee hits. My fee hit on this current statement and I haven’t paid it yet. When I called to cancel they gave me some lip about how they will request it be waived but can’t guarantee it will be refunded. Evidently the 800 number CSR’s just send an email to your relationship manager who they claim is going to call me to process the closure.

11/10/19 Update — Banker called and refused to refund the fee.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

I Love my Bankers ” Greed is Good ” as long as it’s with ” OPM ” .
CHEERs

caveman
Guest
caveman

Do you lose your points if you close the card or you get some time?

Rob
Guest
Rob

They just told me you lose them if you don’t use them before the closure. But that is just one CSR.

miki
Guest
miki

No longer worth it if you are not single/

Marc
Guest
Marc

If you have CNB points and plan to cancel card, I assume would loose those points?? Maybe cash out on a statement credit or gift card.

YoniPDX
Guest
YoniPDX

Kinda of thankful now that was I didn’t waste a trip to LV or CA to stop into a CNB branch put it off after the devalue this past summer. Would have ended up burning 5/24 spots for me and P2 as well as my eldest. Hopefully this not a harbringer of a CSR devalue on the horizon.

Yet also a little tinge of regret that I didn’t push to pick up the card in early 2018.

Going to have rethink 5/24 with the rapid changing landscape of churning.

Adam
Guest
Adam

This document confirms the removal of 3x on grocery and gas

https://www.cnb.com/content/dam/cnbcom/documents/cards/rewards2020.pdf

debit
Guest
debit

Why is the card not worth renewal? The effective fee is only $50 which is a good price to pay for priority pass for two people. What am i missing?

Paul
Guest
Paul

Hmm… so is the last card to have Visa Discount Air benefit the Ritz Carlton Visa? I wonder if it is going away completely, or if the Ritz card will keep it. I wonder if Visa is getting rid of it, or if it is coming from CNB.

debit
Guest
debit

Can people confirm the fee for AU? Please link.

I think this card has become completely useless then. The priority pass is not worth it for the AU then.

THEsocalledfan
Guest
THEsocalledfan

Man, glad that bank was not open when in MSP to see you guys! LOL

Mike Odom
Guest
Mike Odom

Whoa, Michigan State colors?! Did someone lose a bet? 😀

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Well, I’m not applying to this card now, that’s for sure! I’ll just keep my Ritz card which now demolishes this card in terms of benefits.

Billy
Guest
Billy

Somewhat ironic that I just got a note in the mail today reiterating it’s awesome benefits (no mention of all the devaluations notes here).

jeph36
Guest
jeph36

My AF hits in July, so I will be keeping it for a while to use up the points and get next year’s $350 credit. I certainly liked the idea of the $100 Visa Infinite discount, but never used it due to circumstances. Likewise, never used the Priority Pass for more than just me (not long enough connections with family at the right airports/terminals). And I could not get my oldest kid to the age to become an AU, so it was just me + P2. On the other hand, I think this is the 2nd year in a row I have received a spend bonus of some sort – right now I am doing spend $5K, get 10K bonus points thru year-end. That makes regular spend ~3.3% and gas/groceries ~5.5% and gives me a little hope. I am sitting here hoping that by the time my AF rolls around, enough people will have cancelled that they will decide to give me a retention bonus of some sort to justify a new ~$50 for another year.

SO_CAL_RETAIL_SLUT
Guest
SO_CAL_RETAIL_SLUT

From my own experience, I get a great return for my yearly fee- I only have one Infinite card and no AU’s. I get it, many of you like to play the points game. For me, I use CNB for both petsonal and business banking.
Before you throw the baby out with the bath water, a few points to keep in mind. If you have already made the decision to cancel, instead of losing the trade line, contact your CNB banker and product change from Infinite to Signature. For those concerned about their rewards balance, you could probably retain your rewards by product changing to the Signature card. Both Infinite and Signature fall under the City National Rewards program and operate the same, and CNB uses the same internal s6stem to mange the program for both cards.
Personally, I appreciate how CNB manages my accounts It’s rare for a bank of their size to operate their own credit card program – most don’t have one or use a correspondent bank. CNB’s credit operation is entirely in house
One of the features I like about the Infinite card is the yearly $550 rebate for the Admiral’s Club. I realize that you have to spend 50k on the card, and I more than meet that threshold.
CNB is geared to a higher net worth individual/family, and the Infinite card reflects that.

Karen in Florida
Guest
Karen in Florida

My husband and I applied at the same time in a Calif branch. He got approved with me as AU. I didn’t get approved initially and had to jump through all kinds of hoops and only got approved if I put him on as joint. Now I see that as an advantage as now we can cancel his card with me as AU and keep the joint account. I’m assuming we won’t we charged as AUs because we are joint and there are no AUs so 2 for the price of 1. I loved the card and had my husband use it as his main credit card because of the gas/grocery/dining, he didn’t have to fool with other cards. So sad about the news.

trackback

[…] devaluation of the City National Bank CNB Crystal Visa Infinite Credit Card (Doctor of Credit and Frequent Miler), I started planning to close this credit card since my $400 annual fee is scheduled to be billed […]

Josh
Guest
Josh

So if the $95 AU is a thing, makes sense to cancel them all before the AF hits ?

Jags
Guest
Jags

It’s been reported that CNB under no circumstances will refund your annual fee once it posts to your account. I would recommend cancelling well before your AF posts. Although I signed up for this card in July I will cancel once I receive the $350 in reimbursements in January.

Jay
Guest
Jay

Wow this is a terrible decision to remove all of these benefits at once , they should have slowly did it like citi . I’m definitely closing this card. I was a high value cross sell customer now they will get nothing from me.

marc
Guest
marc

I tried to get some info on the AU via website message system. no help

From: Client Contact Center
Subject: Fees and Service Charges
Received Date: 11/7/2019 2:29:36 PM
Message Id:
Thank you for your recent e-mail. Unfortunately we do not have any information on this matter at this time. Should you have additional questions please call us at 800-773-7100. We are available 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday. Sincerely, City National Bank

Original Message:
Message id:
Date Submitted: 11/4/2019 6:10:43 AM
Message Details:
My understanding is that there are some significant changes coming to the Infinite card as of 12/31/19. Can you tell me whether there will be a fee for authorized users. Thank you

Giuseppe Benvenuto
Guest
Giuseppe Benvenuto

$95 Additional Card Fee per card confirmed. See new Pricing Information published to CNB’s website: https://www.cnb.com/content/dam/cnbcom/documents/cards/Crystal-Visa-Infinite-Credit-Card-Pricing.pdf