I’ve written before about my quest to make the most of the impending changes to the Citi Prestige card. This is Citi’s high-end ($450 per year) ThankYou rewards card, and it’s features are set to change dramatically on October 19th. I applied for the card recently with the goal of eking out as many rewards as possible from both the old version of the card and the new.
For a summary of what has gone before, please see: Going for $700, double rewards, free worldwide companion ticket and more.
Some of the soon to be gone card benefits include: Flight points, annual $200 airline fee credit, and an annual companion ticket. Here’s the status of each:
As I described in my previous post on this topic, I booked a number of near-term long distance award flights and paid for the fees with my Prestige card in the hopes that I would earn distance based Flight Points. I then changed the awards to later dates before canceling them.
Once earned, Flight Points become valuable ThankYou points when they are matched with base ThankYou points earned from spend. In other words, until I run out of Flight Points, my Prestige card will earn an extra point per dollar for all spend.
Even though the Flight Points benefit is going away, Citi will continue to allow cardholders to use already earned Flight Points.
Result: My statement closed two days ago, but I couldn’t find anything in the statement or online showing whether or not I had earned Flight Points. So, I called. The agent I spoke with confirmed that I had over 28,000 Flight Points pending! Success!
The current card benefits reimburse up to $200 per calendar year in airline fees. The new benefits reimburse up to $250 for any airline charges. My hope has been that I could earn $200 before October 19th and then $250 on or after October 19th, and then another $250 beginning in January. In reality, they probably won’t reimburse more than $250 altogether this year, but it can’t hurt to try! Remember those award tickets I booked? I made sure that each one was less than $100 so that they would be reimbursed.
Result: My statement clearly shows the $200 reimbursement. Success!
Even though the companion ticket benefit is going away, I have a year from the date of application to use this. I haven’t had a chance to look into this yet.
Even though there’s a 60,000 point signup bonus (details here), it requires a visit to a Citi branch office. Without one nearby, I settled instead for the 30,000 point online offer requiring only $2K of spend. Success:
Beginning October 19th, the Prestige card will have a few desirable new features. One of the best is its 3X category bonus for airlines, hotels, and travel agencies. The “travel agencies” part of this is intriguing since I recently wrote that the Best option when paying for flights is to go through portals to online travel agencies. As of October 19th, the Prestige card becomes the best credit card to use when going this route (hat tip: Rapid Travel Chai).