Answering 9 Common Questions About The Citi Prestige Card

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Update: The Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou® Premier now offer 1.25¢ per point towards travel on any airline, versus the previous enhanced redemption rate on American Airlines. The Citi Prestige no longer offers lounge access to American Admirals Clubs. Learn more about the current offers here.

As most of you probably know by now, the Citi Prestige Card is offering an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months. At a minimum that sign-up bonus will get you $625 worth of travel on American and US Airways.

Not only is this a great sign-up bonus, but the Citi Prestige Card is one which has value beyond the bonus. The card comes with a lot of perks, including the following:

  • A $250 annual airline credit
  • The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
  • A $100 Global Entry fee credit
  • A great points earnings structure
  • No foreign transaction fees

I’ve been receiving many questions about the card, so thought I’d go through and answer them here.

Do additional cardholders on the Citi Prestige Card also get a Priority Pass Select membership?

The Citi Prestige Card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, though what makes it unique is that you have guesting privileges with your Priority Pass Select membership, which you don’t with many other credit cards.

The other cool thing is that even additional cardholders on an account are eligible for this benefit. You can add additional members to the card for just $50 each, so that’s a great way to get others Priority Pass Select memberships with guesting privileges at a really reasonable price.


Can I redeem the $250 airline credit towards award ticket taxes?

One of the coolest things about the Citi Prestige Card is that it offers a $250 airline credit each calendar year. This isn’t a fee credit, but rather an outright airline credit. That means you can get the cost of a paid ticket reimbursed.

Not only can you apply that credit towards the cost of a revenue ticket, but you can also apply it towards award ticket taxes & fees.

How long will the increased sign-up bonus on the Citi Prestige Card be around?

No end date has been published for the offer yet, but if you’re interested I’d apply sooner rather than later.

Can I convert my Citi Executive AAdvantage Card into the Citi Prestige Card?

A lot of us signed up the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card last year when it was offering a 100,000 mile sign-up bonus. The Citi Prestige Card is a great alternative to that card, given that it also offers Admirals Club access, along with a bunch of other perks.

So yes, many have reported being able to convert their Citi Executive AAdvantage Card into the Citi Prestige Card. That being said, keep in mind you won’t get the sign-up bonus if you do that. So there’s value in applying for the card so you can still get the sign-up bonus.


Can I get approved for both the Citi Prestige Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card?

Citi has two super-tempting ThankYou Rewards points cards, the Citi Prestige and Citi Premier. It’s worth noting that you can indeed earn the sign-up bonus on both of these cards.

If applying for the cards, just keep in mind Citi’s rules for new credit card applications:

  • You can only apply for one Citi card every eight days
  • You can apply for no more than two Citi cards every 65 days

How do I get $500 in airline credits the first year?

The annual fee on this card is $450, so that’s what you’d be paying for your first 12 months as a member.

However, the $250 airline credit is a benefit which is based on calendar years. Specifically, it’s annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December.

In other words, you could utilize your $250 airline credit shortly after being approved for the card, and then another $250 airline credit early next year. That’s $500 worth of airline credits with your first year’s annual fee.

Can the $100 Global Entry fee credit be used for someone else?

One of the cool perks of this card is that there’s a $100 Global Entry fee credit. If you already have Global Entry, that benefit can indeed be used for someone else. Just charge it to your card and it will be reimbursed.


Bottom line

That answers some of the most common questions I receive about this very lucrative card. If you have any other questions, please let me know in the comments section.

Have you applied for the Citi Prestige Card yet?

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I just out-and-out purchased an Admirals Club membership a month or so ago. If i get the Prestige card, will AA refund the unused balance of my Admirals Club membership? (I know that is the practice if I got an Citi Executive card…)

  2. Ben, a bit offtopic, but I need to rack up an additional ~100k AA miles fairly soon for a family trip. I just canceled my Citi Advantage Platinum Select card which I had for ~3 years and still have the Citi Executive card which I’ll be cancelling this summer. I don’t think there are any AA cards that I would quality to receiving a sign up bonus correct? Any other ways to accrue AA miles? would hate to use my Starpoints for this as they’re so hard to accrue.

  3. @lantean,

    It is sufficient that he disclosed the financial interest; he shouldn’t need to answer how much- he isn’t running for office.

    Just like I assume you don’t want to disclose your hourly pay rate.

  4. @Lantean Affiliate link contracts prohibit affiliates from publically disclosing their commission. But then you already knew that, didn’t you.

    And why would you care anyway? It seems to me there are two possible reasons you read this blog. Either you get considerable benefit from the information provided to you for free. Or else you are just trolling for places to complain. Of course, it could be both, but that would be especially weird.

    By the way, how much do you make a year?

  5. It does still have a golf benefit, as well as a 4th night free hotel benefit that is quite nice as it allows you to still earn points and status nights….

    Still have over 400k flight miles to burn off my Prestige as well, but that is no longer one of the perks!

  6. Are you sure about those credit card sign up application limits? I applied and was rejected because I got approved for a Thank You Preferred Card about 50 days ago (my only other Citi card or application). They told me I have to wait 60 days to apply for the 2nd card. You state a second application should be fine 8 days after the first with a longer time for more than 2. Can you shed any light on this discrepancy? really hoping to get a card before end of month as I have a $7000 charge coming which can take care of the spend for me and my wife (who also got the preferred at the same time).

  7. @ David — I applied for the Citi Premier less than a month ago and literally applied for the Citi Prestige this afternoon, and was approved immediately. So there’s definitely no 60 day rule.

  8. @ Luis — The only other one I can think of is a Citi AAdvantage Business Card, if you don’t have one yet.

  9. @ BC — Hmmm, I’m not sure. Since it technically just offers Admirals Club access and not a membership, I wouldn’t count on it. Can’t hurt to ask, though!

  10. So if you apply for a new Prestige card, as opposed to converting the Exec, can you move the Exec’s credit line over to the Prestige without a “hard” credit bureau inquiry? Citi’s customer service reps say that’s the way it works.

    I’m doing it this way anyway, but this does seem kind of harsh given that no new credit is being extended once the Prestige is opened. Does anyone know for sure?

  11. @ Tom — You might be able to transfer it once the Prestige is opened. Though for what it’s worth I find Citi is pretty generous with credit lines to begin with.

  12. I am torn between deciding whether to go with the Citi Prestige card or the Amex Platinum card. I know you like both of them. Do you have an article that shows an in depth comparison of the 2? I like how the Prestige card offers great points/dollar on some categories, while the Amex Platinum not so much. Decisions, decisions….

  13. FYI, I combined the credit limits on my AAdvantage Executive which I wanted to cancel, and my new Prestige account. It wasn’t nearly as easy as Chase where they do it immediately. It took about 4 days, and they said it had to go to credit review and hard pull – makes no sense since a) they’re just reallocating limits and b) they just did a hard pull when I got approved for the prestige a few days earlier. I don’t know if it may vary depending on the total amount of the credit line, but this was about 50K. They did actually call me back a few days later and let me know it was taken care of. They did say, though, that if you weren’t transferring the ENTIRE line, then it was an easier process.

  14. Does anyone know if purchasing a gift card directly through an airline (United, southwest) would qualify for the $250 annual reiumbursement?

  15. @Jeffrey: Thank you. That confirms what I thought (and I’m dealing w/ about the same amount as did you).

    @Antonio: One consideration that might help you is that the Prestige really works best for American Airlines flyers (and better still if you also have a Citi bank account), and the Amex Platinum works best for Delta flyers. One gets you into Admirals Clubs; the other, into Delta Sky Lounges. They both get you into Priority Pass lounges (chiefly international lounges plus Alaska Airlines), but with Prestige your two guests/family are free. And then the few Amex Centurion Lounges either do it for you or not. The Platinum has no “bonus” spending categories, but its transfer partners are better.

  16. @ Boris — Hopefully we’ll have more data points on this soon. I suspect it’s a case of “your mileage may vary,” depending on how different airlines code gift cards.

  17. In trying to book a 4th Night Free stay for 2016, I was told by the rep/concierge that the benefit may not be extended until then. Can you confirm?

  18. @ lucky

    Any advice would be appreciated. Recalled Citi based on your statement above – got a supervisor. They swore to me they will not process more than one application every 60 days. And more over, the application that was denied that I submitted 50 days after my first started the clock over on the 60 days and counts as an application. I do believe you when you tell me what you did but not sure how to reconcile with what 2 supervisors have now told me and whether any way around that.

  19. @David You are caught in some strange warp in the time/space continuum. We have been applying for multiple Citi cards for years, and the current rules are NO MORE than 2 cards in 60 days. That includes all types of Citi cards, not just TYPs cards, so maybe you’ve forgotten a Hilton or AA card a while back (that’s actually happened to me). But unless Citi changed their rules this afternoon, Lucky has it right. It’s 8 days from the first app to the second one, then 60 days until you can apply for a third one. No idea why two CSRs and a Supervisor could be so confused about this.

  20. I was approved for the Premier card two days before the new Prestige offer. While Citi couldn’t or wouldn’t switch me to that card, they did suggest trying to cancel the Premium and than apply for the Prestige. I did that and was denied. I called Reconsideration and they approved me for the Prestige and also told me that the Premium could not be cancelled as it was already in processing. Citi told me that there was no problem having both cards! 100,000 Thank You points in one week!

  21. @degana

    What number did you use for reconsideration that allowed you to get both cards in one week?

  22. @Lucky: Is the Global Entry also once per calendar year? Are TY points reasonably redeemable compared to AA miles because AASavers are seldom available.

  23. You mention the $450 annual fee – it’s only $350 for Citigold customers (and there are frequent sign-up offers for Citigold, requiring a total $50,000 balance in bank/investment accounts).
    And the $250 travel credit is automatic, no action required. That puts the Prestige card at a $100 fee, comparable to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but the much better perks and earning make the Prestige a winner for me!

  24. Lucky,

    Thanks for this clear post! Can you confirm that if you buy an AA airline ticket for say $1,050 that you can use your 50k TYP for the first $800 and the $250 airline credit for remainder? As my understanding is tickets booked with TYP must be booked through Citi’s travel agent, I’m not sure if that’s eligible for the $250 airline reimbursement.


  25. @Rupert I think you are mistaken about the $350 fee for Citigold members. I had read that in a few places, but since I could not find it in the Citi materials, I sent a secure message and was advised that Citi does not currently offer a discounted AF for Citigold members. I’d love to hear about recent contrary experiences.

  26. @ Mark the Shark — You can’t redeem points and use your credit towards the same ticket. That’s because when you book through Citi the residual amount shows as being booked through a travel agency, and you can’t redeem your credit towards that.

  27. @ David — With Citi there is some element of “your mileage may vary.” I definitely had no problem getting approved, and I’m sure the rules I’m quoting are correct. That being said, sometimes Citi is a bit weird with who they approve.

  28. @David
    CSRs (whether “supervisors” or not) often make up any answer that seems like it might fit. Google it. You’ll find plenty of evidence supporting the Citi app timeline.

    Are you calling the general customer service or the direct number to the UW dept? That might be half your problem.

  29. @eddy

    You definitely get a discount on the Prestige card when you have a citigold account. I had the Prestige card already, and recently opened a citigold account for the bonus points. A few days later I received a letter from Citi telling me they had refunded part of my annual fee, and oddly I received a new Priority Pass card (different number) as well.

    Also odd, they didn’t just refund 100 dollars, it was a strange amount, something like 257.50.

  30. Spouse and I both got the Prestige about a month ago. Priority pass cards arrived a week or so later. Nowhere that I saw in the description of the card benefits did it mention that ALL Priority Pass lounges are NOT available to us as card holders. Spouse tried to access PHL United Club and was turned away b/c the card is not “Preferred”. Turns out that most of the lounges we can access are not in the U.S. Less of a benefit than we expected. I would have appreciated a head up that there are different levels of Priority Club membership.

  31. Do you get a priority pass and admirals club member card or do you just show your prestige to get in?

  32. @Mark O

    You get a priority pass select card, and you just use your prestige at the aadmirals club. It’s important to note that with prestige (unlike aadvantage executive card), you get access to the club, not a membership. So you have to be flying AA/US on the day you want to use it.


    It does say Priority Pass Select, but of course doesn’t go into a lot of detail unless you go to the T&C (pasted below). I agree they should be more clear about that. I use the Priority app which tells you at the bottom of a club listing whether your access is restricted.

    Admittance to a lounge is conditional upon presentation of one valid Priority Pass card per person only (some restrictions may apply to Priority Pass Select cardholders and Priority Pass cardholders in the U.S. that receive their membership through a U.S. financial institution). Citi Prestige Cards will not be accepted as substitutes for the Priority Pass card.

  33. Let’s clear a couple of things up.

    @eddy, you’re confused. The Gold fee is, in fact, $350 per year. A friend who’s Gold just did this ten days ago. So that makes @Jeffrey correct . . . again. Citi Private Bank clients get the fee officially waived, at least for the first year; after that, it depends. So let’s keep the facts clear.

    Second, the Priority Pass situation simply isn’t that confusing. So let’s be clear again. All you have to remember is three things: (i) the only “catch” is that you do NOT get into United lounges (which means, as noted above, that most lounges are Alaska Air or overseas), (ii) you and two guests/entire immediate family get in for free (and, no, you absolutely & positively do NOT pay $27 per guest, which you have to do with the Amex Plat card), and (iii) you absolutely DO have to have the Priority Pass card with you for entry.

  34. so to be clear , the $250 travel credit is only valid if I buy my ticket directly from the airline? Will I get the travel credit if I buy my ticket at Expedia?

  35. @ Mark O — Yes to the Priority Pass Card, but for the Admirals Club you just show the credit card.

  36. @ luckyladyd — It’s a Priority Pass Select membership (as I’ve explained in the previous posts), so the main difference is that you can’t access United Clubs. That’s it, for the most part. Aside from that virtually all clubs are available to Priority Pass Select members. Sorry for any confusion.

  37. I was wondering could I have access to the club as such a card holder when traveling overseas but where AA shares the club with some other airlines. For instance at Shanghai PVG AA uses HK Dragon club facilities.


  38. @Lucky
    Can I redeem the $100 Global Travel fee credit per calendar year? Meaning 2014 for me and 2015 for my daughter?

  39. Can the $250 credit be split since it can be used not only for airline ticket but for fees and taxes?
    Can it be used for a $100 airline credit on one date and then the $150 later on months down the road?

  40. @globetrotter it resets itself every 5 years, so no. Other wise the $350 a year would nullify the annual fee for Citigolds, no? 😉

  41. @ gba — To be on the safe side I’d make sure you complete the minimum spend plus $250, assuming you’ll get $250 reimbursed.

  42. Hey Lucky! Question regarding ThankYou points:

    I’ve accrued 30k TYP using my old Citi Forward, which is my only TYP earning card right now.

    If I get the Prestige, will those 30k earned from the Forward be eligible for the 1.6 US/AA price? Will those 30k be eligible to transfer to the Airline partners?

    I’ve assumed yes for both, but just read on another blog that states: “unlike Chase, you cannot combine points earned from non-transferrable points-earning accounts and transferrable points-earning accounts.” (


  43. @ Matt A — Yep, in conjunction with the Prestige the Forward points would indeed be transferable.

  44. Lucky: Your last point, about the transferability of Thank You Points earned with the Citi Forward, is really interesting, and I believe you’re the first blogger to pick up on this — anywhere. So far as I can tell, the Forward has no annual fee and gives you 5x points on restaurants. The Prestige makes this worth at least 8% cash back (5% * 1.6) for AA ticket purchases, more with a Citi Gold account (which adds a further 15% bonus). A good transfer to AF/SQ or whatever could add more value, obviously.

    It might be worth a post about the 8% restaurant cash back? The downside, I guess, is that you’d be “wasting” a hard pull for the Forward’s anemic 8,500 point sign-up bonus (with $250 minimum spend (!)). But for someone who eats out a lot in the United States, it might be worthwhile.

  45. Actually, sorry, never mind. I think the Forward isn’t open to new applications, at least as far as I can tell.

  46. I’m still confused on the $27 fee for PP Select… I got my Prestige card today, and the T&Cs pretty clearly state that there’s a $27 per person per visit fee, which is consistent with how PP Select is described if you pay $99 for the membership directly from them.

    Here are the relevant sections from the Citi Prestige T&Cs booklet (page 15-16 for PP T&Cs):
    6. Lounge visits are subject to a $27 per person per visit charge.
    8. […] The charge per visit for the cardholder, where relevant, and that for any guests, will be based on the ‘Record of Visit’ vouhcer/receipt/log submitted by the lounge operator.

    I have to admit, learning this took a lot of the shine off of this particular benefit to me, since that’s over $100 for my wife and I on a round trip. I’d love for someone to point out that I’m misreading the T&Cs here and won’t actually be charged to visit PP lounges!

  47. @ Jordan — Hmmm, I’m looking into this now, and the terms do seem to contradict:

    “Primary and Authorized users are granted complimentary access to the Priority Pass lounges and allowed a maximum of up to two guests or immediate family members (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18 years of age). Any additional guests will be charged a $27 per guest, per visit charge.”

    The first bullet seems to contradict the bullet you quote. Looking into this now, but pretty sure the former bullet is correct.

  48. Hey — hypothetically, if I was going to buy 100,000 AA miles with the 60% bonus (160,000 total), would it be better to use the Citi Prestige card for the 3x TY points or the US Airways/Aviator card with 3x points. I assume it would also trigger $250 credit using Prestige, but I was more looking at the difference in point value gained.


  49. @ Blake — Well Prestige points can be redeemed for 1.6 cents each, while I value American miles at a bit more than that, but only marginally so. Do keep in mind that only the Aviator Silver earns 3x miles, while the others earn 2x miles.

  50. Thanks — I think the Aviator Red would have 50% more miles through June 30th? I guess if I was looking at Biz/First redemption to use AA card, if cash then Citi.

  51. @ Blake — I think that just applies to base spend, but I could be mistaken. Conclusion is correct, though. If you want cash towards a ticket the Citi Prestige is best, while if you want points towards a premium cabin redemption, another card would be better.

  52. Thanks for confirming!

    The way I read it was 50% on ALL purchases, so non-AA/USair spend would be 1.5 points per $, while spend on AA/USAir would be 3 points per $

  53. @ Lucky – I’m really interested to hear what you find out. My understanding is that “access” to lounges simply means access to Priority Pass’s portfolio of lounges, whereas a “visit” means going inside the actual lounge. So, “access” is complimentary for the primary cardmember and guests, meaning that Citi covers the normal $99 fee you’d have to pay for that access if you were going directly through Priority Pass.

    Again, I hope I’m wrong – I guess the only way to really find out is to use the benefit and then to see if I get charged. Does anyone have first-hand experience using this benefit?

  54. @ Jordan — I have followed up, and point one in the terms & conditions is what’s correct. You and two guests are allowed complimentary lounge access. I’m still trying to get an answer as to why the contradiction is there, but I’m 100% sure that you get complimentary access to Priority Pass Select lounges for you and two guests.

  55. Wow, great news! I’ve actually only ever been in a lounge one time almost 20 years ago, so I’m kind of excited about it.

  56. @Lucky- I usually fly United out of Newark for work. I am curious if holding the Prestige card will give me access to Priority Pass lounges (other than United) if I am flying on a United ticket flight? For example, out of Newark there is only one non-United lounge from the Priority Pass lounge list (Art & Lounge), can I access this while flying United. Can I access lets say an Air France lounge from another airport if I’m flying United?

  57. @ Romo — If you’re taking advantage of a Priority Pass membership then it doesn’t matter which airline you’re flying. You could access the lounge when flying United, yes.

  58. Hi Lucky,
    Thks so much for the info—-just applied from yr site and got approved!
    Happy Travelling!

  59. I was wondering how big a Citbank credit or savings deposit do we need when applying for a Citiibank credit card and get more favorable rates.

  60. Really interested in applying for this card as I can definitely utilize free 4th night and golf benefits, but am a bit worried about minimum income / credit scores required. My credit score is on the “better side” (>mid 700s), but not sure if Citi filters applications based on annual income values. Any thoughts on this matter? What would be a “safe” minimum? Thanks!

  61. @ Nathan — Tough to say, but if your credit score is good then I think you have really good odds of being approved, even if your income isn’t that high. Really don’t know a specific number, though. Good luck!

  62. Hey Lucky,

    I have a Citi Forward card I got when I was a student, and have kept it because of the 5x rate on dining/entertainment (they lowered the rate later on for new applicants, but grandfathered in existing cardholders).

    My question is, if I apply for Citi Prestige (or Premier), will my thank you points I earn from Prestige be aggregated into one account with my Thankyou points from my Citi Forward card? If so, the entirety of my point total (including Thankyou points from my Citi Forward card) for the Prestige card’s frequent flyer transfer program? Thanks!

  63. @ Alex — I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe Citi Forward points can be transferred to the Prestige/Premier.

  64. Hi Lucky,

    If I have Thank You points from Citi Thank You Premier and if I apply for Prestige card all my Thank You points will be in the same account and they can be redeemed at 1.6x rate for American Airlines?

  65. I just got the Citi Prestige and and completed the initial spend (on the first day!), how soon do the points get posted? I plan on paying the bill before the end of the first billing cycle

  66. @ Helen — Typically the points will post when the billing cycle where you completed minimum spend posts.

  67. If I book an award ticket through on another airline, do I have Admirals Club access with Prestige? I think that my physical ticket will be issued by that other airline, but the flight still shows up in the American app. I’m wondering if showing them my app will get me in.

  68. @ Adam — You do need to be flying on American “metal” to access the Admirals Club using the Citi Prestige Card.

  69. A couple of potential data points for you, Ben:

    Regarding the $250 Travel Credit: I made a purchase on July 10 for $234 on Air New Zealand. Three days later on the 13th, my statement closed AND the travel credit posted, reducing this month’s statement to $0. That was fast!

    Regarding the Citi Forward (5x dining, etc). I’ve had that card since 2011 and now have the Forward, Prestige and Premier combined into one TYP account. I made two travel purchases (on AA) yesterday from the TY rewards page and it doesn’t seem to matter which card the TY points come from– everything prices at 1.6 cents/mile for AA. Now, when I ultimately cancel the Premier next year, I’m not sure if I will then have expiring points, but it may be that once the points are combined, they’re combined for good.

  70. Lucky,

    Thanks for your quick response. I have 2 more questions:

    1. All immediate family members can get in the lounge plus 2 guests? Immediate members including sibling? How do you they check?

    2. Off subject but related, the Club lounge from Chase also for all immediate family members?

  71. @ Hoang — All immediate family members (spouse and children) OR two guests, but not both. Which Chase club are you talking about, as far as the second question goes?

  72. Just children not sister or brother?

    The second question regarding the Chase Ritz Carlton Visa credit card. I believe it is almost the same as Priority Pass but less number lounge.

    Thanks again.

  73. @ Hoang — Correct, not sister or brother. Just spouse and kids. As far as Lounge Club goes (I believe that’s what you’re referring to?) I don’t believe they allow guesting privileges in lounges.

  74. Regarding the Citi Prestige Card, for the benefit of book 3 nights and the 4th one free, the rooms need to be booked through Carlson. I have tried to call Citi and Carlson to confirm hotels that are on their list. My concern is that many of the hotels I stay at are boutique and international. For instance, I’m headed to southern italy next year…how do I know Carlson can book the hotels that I want to stay at? Any advice?

  75. How does it take for the card to arrive? I know it says 7-10 business days but I was wondering if people have received it earlier?

  76. Is it too late to apply for this card for this year to get $250 airline credit to post for this calendar year? I got offer in mail for 75K TYP for this card and was wondering if I should apply?

  77. Is it too late to apply to get the airline credit for 2015? Do southwest gift cards process as a gift card or as an airline charge?

  78. What happens if you cancel your Citi Prestige card soon after you have used your annual $250 travel credit? Also I have both the Citi Prestige and Premier. If I want to cancel the Prestige but keep the Premier, what do I need to do to not lose any thank you points?

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