Our partner Citi has a limited-time offer on the Citi Prestige® Card, their premium ThankYou point rewards card. The sign-up bonus is now 75,000 bonus points after spending $7,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Here are the updated highlights:
- Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $7,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
- 75,000 ThankYou® Points are worth over $900 in airfare when redeemed through ThankYou.com or through Citi Prestige® Concierge. Or, you could get $750 in statement credit.
- Annual $250 Air Travel Credit, valid for flight-related expenses charged to your card including airline tickets, baggage fees, and upgrades.
- Global Entry/TSA Statement Credit. Receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
- Complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive night booking through ThankYou.com or the Citi Prestige Concierge (based on your average night stay, exclusive of taxes and fees).
- Airport Lounge Access. You and your authorized users get access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass™ Select.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x Points on Air Travel & Hotels.
- Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment.
- Early 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on Purchases.
- $450 annual fee, not waived the first year.
Bonus details. The initial sign-up bonus was formerly 60,000 ThankYou points, and this is the highest that I’ve seen it. The spending requirement is also higher than before. Note the following fine print:
Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.
Since you can only get one or the other, you should compare this offer with the Citi ThankYou Premier Card as the annual fee is waived during the first year and includes gas as a 3X category.
Annual $250 Air Travel Credit details. Unlike other cards, airfare counts as well as baggage fees, lounge access, and other incidental purchases. This renews every calendar year, so it can be used to help offset the annual fee every year. New cardholders may also qualify for the credit once in 2017 and again in 2018.
This statement credit is an annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December. Pending transactions that do not post in your December billing cycle will count towards the next year’s Air Travel Credit.
What can you do with ThankYou Points? Citi has been trying to improve the value and flexibility of ThankYou points, so here is a rundown of what you can do with them.
Bonus towards flexible airfare, hotel nights, car rentals, and cruises. You get a 20% discount on the standard number of points needed for a travel redemption. The reverse math means 1 ThankYou point = 1.25 cents towards travel. Note that this 25% bonus applies all of your points from all Citi cards linked to the same ThankYou account, thus boosting the value of all your other points.
That means 75,000 ThankYou points will get you $937.50 in airfare, hotel nights, car rentals, and cruises book through the Citi Travel Center, which in my experience had the same total price with taxes as compared to Expedia, Orbitz, etc. Since you can book any flight that can be otherwise purchased with cash, there are “no blackout dates”.
This can be even more flexible because you can use it across multiple flights, multiple passengers, and you can even do partial redemptions. Let’s say you found a ticket that want for $200 = 16,000 points, but only have 10,000 points available. Citi now lets you pay the difference, so in this case you can get your $200 ticket for 10,000 points and $75. This makes it much easier to use up all of your points at a 25% premium.
75,000 points = $750 in statement credit. The Citi Prestige finally offers you a simple 1 ThankYou points = 1 cent redemption towards a statement credit.
Hotel points and airline miles transfer options. Citi ThankYou points are also now available to transfer to certain airline mileage programs on a 1:1 basis including JetBlue, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Etihad, Flying Blue by Air France and KLM, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, EVA Air, Jet Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Thai Airways. For example, 50,000 TY points can get you 50,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. If you know how to redeem this points wisely, you can get a lot of value for international flights.
What happened to [perk]? If you read about this card in the past, you should know that the Citi Prestige card no longer offers some features. These include the (1) American Airlines special redemption value at ThankYou point = 1.6 cents in American Airlines airfare, the (2) 1 ThankYou point = 1.33 cents in airfare (the value ratio is now 1 ThankYou point = 1.25 cents), (3) American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access (Priority Pass Select benefits remain), and (4) free rounds of golf benefit.
Bottom line. This is a high sign-up bonus historically, but it’s also harder to get due to the higher spending requirement and the fact that you can’t have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months. If you can meet these hurdles, you should then compare this offer with the Citi ThankYou Premier Card – 50,000 Bonus Point offer. The Citi Prestige has a bigger sign-up bonus and more valuable perks if you can take advantage of them ($250 annual airfare credit, Global Entry credit, Priority Pass), but with a higher spending hurdle and you must pay the $450 annual fee. The Citi ThankYou Premier has a smaller sign-up bonus but the spending hurdle is lower and the annual fee is waived during the first year.
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