Citi Prestige Card No Longer Open To New Applicants

Filed Under: Citi, Credit Cards

A couple of weeks ago there were rumors that Citi would be discontinuing the Prestige Card, which is their premium card that offers great benefits like a $250 annual airline credit, Priority Pass membership, fourth night free hotel benefit, and more.

For many of us, the real selling point of the card is the fourth night free hotel benefit, which can save you thousands of dollars per year, depending on how much you spend at hotels.

Citi denied that the card was being discontinued permanently, but rather indicated that they “remain committed to the Prestige product and servicing our valued existing cardmembers. We look forward to reintroducing the card for new cardmembers in the near future.”

Well, applications for the Citi Prestige Card are now down. We don’t know when the card will be reintroduced, or what it will look like when it is reintroduced. It could be that they’ll introduce it with similar benefits in the future, or it could be that they’re completely refreshing the benefits.

If they do refresh the benefits, I think it’s highly likely that they’ll make changes to the fourth night free benefit, which would be a real shame (this is entirely speculation on my part).

In the meantime existing cardmembers should be able to continue using this card and taking advantage of the current benefits. Typically credit card companies provide substantial notice of any benefits changes, and I would guess that will be the case here as well. So I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.

The Citi Premier℠ Card continues to be open to new applicants. The card has a welcome bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months. The card has a $95 annual fee, and offers triple points on travel and gas, and double points on dining and entertainment.

The current 60,000 point bonus is the best bonus we’ve ever seen on this card, so I can’t recommend the card enough. Historically Citi has allowed people to upgrade from the Citi Premier℠ Card to the Citi Prestige Card. That’s not possible right now since the card has been discontinued for new applicants, though there’s a chance that will be possible again in the future.

In the meantime, I’d highly recommend picking up the Premier Card.

Do you think Citi will make major changes to the Prestige Card?

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)

  1. Seems like they should have had a cap on the benefits to at least remove the opportunity for massive costs, I’m sure those that are using it for expensive hotel suites, Citi is losing $1000’s per year on each of those customers.

  2. Previous Prestige card holder but I cancelled after benefits were cut. The constant changing of benefits and how you use them caused me to lose a lot of trust in this card. Now this. It would take a lot for me to ever consider this card again.

  3. 4th night free is the only reason to have this card, and it’s the only charges I make to the card or even on a TYP card at all. I imagine they are changing it to cap out. Since I’d prefer to earn UR over TYP, using this card needs to make a profit for me to even keep it. If they cap the 4th-night-free benefit such that I cannot make back substantially more than $200 from the benefit, I will cancel the card.

  4. Citi is usually pretty good about announcing changes far in advance. They gave notice on the removal Admirals Club access almost a year in advance. I think the most recent coverage changes were given around 4 months in advance.

    That being said, I really hope they roll back the Trip Delay coverage changes. The stupid rule of connecting flights really limits the benefit, and one of the reasons I plan on dropping this card when my annual fee comes due.

  5. I have the Prestige, with about 90K TY points. If the card gets discontinued for existing members, or if the 4th night free benefit gets changed to the point that it’s no longer worth paying the big annual fee, then what’s the best thing to do with the points?

  6. I suspect there will be a cap on the reimbursement of the 4th night. I also think that at a reduced AF of $350 and the good earnings rate on travel, dining and entertainment, plus the transfer bonuses. The purchase protection that triples your warranty. Trip delay and interruption. This card is a keeper for now

  7. That 4th night free is worth $2,000/year to me. That said, I’m a Citigold client, do all my banking with them and charge $80,000/year to the card so I reckon they consider it a worthwhile loss-leader. I love this benefit and it alone makes the Citi Prestige my favorite card I’ve ever had.

  8. The changes to the travel insurance has been a big blow to my spending on the Prestige. I have moved all my airline spend to the CSR as now there is no reason to earn TYP instead of UR points–before the superior travel insurance was reason enough to favor TYP over US in my mind. Pretty much the only spend that goes on my Prestige now is 4th night free hotel spends.

    At minimum they need to match the CSR on restaurant spend to get more of my spend on the card.

  9. Thanks for stating what is just speculation on your part.

    Didn’t have the cash to meet $7.5k spend for the bonus last year, so I didn’t pick it up. I don’t stay in hotels tho, so my utility would be limited

  10. Citi cards/ products are just not well thought out. They offer outsized benefits to a few and almost zero to the vast majority. Just complete morons running their retail banking products.

  11. I was about to cash in a bunch of points for ANA first flights with my girlfriend, and at this point I’ll probably zero out my TY balance first in anticipation of cancelling the Prestige if they gut the 4th night benefit. Pity too, adding Avianca was an interesting opportunity I never got to take advantage of.

  12. As others have said, 4th night free is main reason to keep this card. Removed that, and most will be cancelling as soon as they can figure out where to transfer points.

  13. I think its silly to assume anything at this point but 4th night free is the only thing keeping me from leaving with so many other credit cards in my wallet

  14. I guess that explains why there were no retention offers at all when my AF came due this month. I’ve never had Citi offer nothing for retention.

  15. Citi ought to flip the script on this… instead of devaluing it (which seems likely), they ought to revalue it, so it is not just a one trick pony (4th night). Add one more point to the bonus on restaurant spend.

    If they did that, what would be the point of the “king card” Chase Sapphire? The Prestige would be better than the CSR. Unless you thought Citi’s transfer partners are that bad… I don’t, I just made a ton transferring points to Air France with a bonus. I would drop the CSR and just use the Prestige. I can earn Chase points on their business cards.

    Chase has Hyatt and that is the only truly unique thing as far as I am concerned, now that they lost Korean. Citi should add one more point to restaurant spend and add one cool partner to solidify the value of their points; then relaunch hard.

  16. Citi once sent me a survey about benefits, asking if I’d take a 3rd free night benefit with a cap instead of the unlimited 4th night free. I think that’s the only way I’d consider keeping the card if they need to do away with the current program.

  17. @Justin
    Since you bank mostly with Citi so you think the card is a good loss leader. Now if they cut the card benefits, would you move all those assets to another bank? I don’t think so. So I don’t think this card is going to be a loss leader for Citi.

    I do agree with @debit, especially when it doesn’t involve political stuff, benefit was too specific to a small group. I doubt that most cardholder used the golf benefit while it lasted. Now when they cut AAdmirals Club and bunch of other stuff over the few years, Prestige has lost it value. Another reason I hold on to it was the digital PP, which now CSR has it.
    The only value left is the 4th night free, which guess what, most people who still hold the card probably use it. When it comes to that, there is no other group to compensate for this cost as everyone is getting 4th night free for the net annual fee of $100-200. If you think CSR is losing money, Prestige is doing worse.

    Now I don’t think Prestige would be cut, since it is a global flagship card. They probably will reintroduce the card with different benefit. One strategy I am guessing would be the next trend will be 4x5x on a single category. No point trying to be a everyday card, since these days people will have few cards, as long as the card can capture 1 category segment, that should be good enough.

  18. @Debit – The Citi Prestige was a great card up until a year ago. Uncapped 4th Night Free on paid bookings was innovative. The Air Travel credit was the easiest annual credit to use until the CSR. 1.6cpp on AA bookings was a great value, and then you had Lounge access on top of that.

    Citi still has one of the best simple cash back cards (Double Cash) and their Airline Co-Brands are on par with competitors.

  19. I am with a lot of others – the fourth night free is the only reason I keep this card. I don’t have many stays of four nights, but this year and last, I had one such stay in each year so, with the annual airfare credit, I more than covered my annual fee. Someone mentioned a third night free with a cap – given my shorter term stays, this would be far more valuable to me, so I would love to see this change! But I can see how that would be a hit to many of you.

  20. @eskimo: I don’t have any particular loyalty to Citigold, so losing the credit card does reduce the stickiness for keeping me with them. Would I move banks? I honestly don’t know. The problem for Citi is that I’m open to moving to another bank (Chase Private Client) for instance and a break like this to one of the core products I use could be the catalyst that pushes me to finally do that. If I had a particularly good Citigold relationship manager, that might keep me with them, but I don’t.

  21. Citi has gone the wrong direction with this card. They really should take a step back and look at the competitive landscape before doing something rash. Prestige was obviously too generous initially, with multiple high cost unlimited perks (unlimited AA Admiral’s Club access when flying AA, unlimited 4th night free) and some specific-audience high-cost perks (free golf rounds) with decent earn categories and a nice 1.6c redemption on AA. It stood out and competed well with Sapphire Reserve on paper, but without the marketing effort that the CSR had, I imagine Citi didn’t benefit from the halo effect that Chase did with the CSR.

    With the current suite of perks, outside the 4th night free, CSR beats Prestige in every way. Even Citi’s Premier beats Prestige on both earning structure (identical except Premier gets 3x on gas) and redemption structure (Premier gets 1.25c per point on hotels while Prestige doesn’t). I don’t understand why the 1.6c redemption rate on AA flights was considered too lavish when Chase offers 1.5c redemption rate on everything for CSR holders and Amex offers effectively 1.54c on a chosen airline (and premium classes) for Business Platinum holders.

    The solution to me seems obvious: maintain the only innovative perk left: 4th night free, but with caps. Even better, change to 3rd night free with caps. Caps could be a dollar figure or a use-per-year figure. Also, bring back some of the legacy innovative perks, again with caps. Maybe 4 lounge reimbursements (any airline) per year? The 1.6c redemption rate on AA flights would be a big attraction vs CSR for those of us that are AA loyalists/captives. Or wow us with some new good ideas. But simply capping/removing the 4th night free while doing nothing else would be the nail in the coffin for this once-great product.

  22. I am in Thailand now and about three weeks ago I noticed that Citi had set up a booth in a small mall close to me. As I walked by I could see they were selling the Thai version of the Citi Prestige Card. In bold lettering they displayed the fourth night free benefit. Seems odd to think they would be selling it around the world while withdrawing it in the USA.

  23. I love how everyone talks about all the money they lose on the card. Citi is the travel agent booking the hotel and in most cases, the commission on those can be as high as 20 percent, plus they get swipe fee every time you use the card. Unless you literally only use the card for exactly 4 night long hotel stays, they are making money and even in that case, I would argue the losses (if any) are minimal. Get rid of or limit the 4th night benefit and I’ll trash that card immediately. As it stands, I think it’s one of the best cards out there and I use it regularly, even on some non 4th night purchases.

  24. The card has lost value. I have yet to use the 4th night free because I usually travel on hotel points – but would use 4th night free if I am in need. Adding authorized users for $50 a card with priority pass has been a useful benefit as well as the roadside assistance (I have some old extra cars). Of course the Ritz card doesn’t charge for authorized users (up to 6) so that is better now…

  25. CitiBank/CitiCard cancelled my Citi Prestige card without prior notice or specific reason. The closure wiped out 129,000 ThankYou points in my account. I consider it theft. After numerous emails and calls, Citi Prestige essentially told me they don’t have to give an explanation and won’t reinstate the points.

    I was not in arrears and had never been late to pay. A letter sent to me stated only that it had been closed ” because your credit report shows a delinquent credit obligation(s), either paid or unpaid.” Either paid or unpaid. What does that mean? The letter said their decision was based on information obtained from Experian.

    I pulled my Experian credit report which showed a $3.00 delinquent charge had been placed on an old Banco Popular, Avianca, LifeMiles card FOUR MONTHS AFTER THE ACCOUNT HAD BEEN VOLUNTARILY CANCELLED BY ME. Banco Popular removed the incorrect credit charge but that did not save my 129,000 ThankYou points.

    I’ve had both CitiCard personal and business cards in the past. I wouldn’t trust CitiBank/CitiCard/CitiPrestige again and would suggest that anyone with ThankYou points use or transfer them as soon as possible.

  26. It would be a total bummer to get the 4th night free benefit cancelled. I saved over 6k last year and this year over 7k so far. Already planned next year’s trip which should save me possibly another 7k worth of stays. Will obviously cancel if this benefit goes away. Not sure why anyone would want to keep Citi Prestige Card if this perk gets nixed. Chase still has better airline transfer partners.

  27. As a followup to my post above; CitiBank/CitiCard/CitiPrestige’s coup de grace was to refuse to prorate my annual fee, stating that a cancelled account (even though they did it without good reason) will not be prorated, per their credit card contract rules.

    Run, run, run away from CitiBank, CitiCard, CitiPrestige while you can.

  28. Ah, well maybe this is why I got zero retention offers last week when I called to cancel. I canceled and will be curious to see what they come up with– but from the sidelines for now.
    I had split most spend between the Prestige, SPG, and Plat amex. It looks like my plat card is about to get a big increase in use! And maybe some more on my Unlimited.

  29. @TheTruthIs. Sounds like you were MSing. There’s always more to the story than most are willing to tell.

  30. I’ll tell all because I’m filing suit against them. Discovery will force it all out. Do you really think I’d be saying what I’ve been saying on a public forum if I could not back it up? That’d be foolish since everything I’ve said can/will be subpoenaed.

  31. Just pray that they don’t imitate the Australian Citi Prestige Card and make the fourth night free stays be booked by a well-known online travel agency.

    It means no hotel loyalty program points, credit or status benefits whatsoever.

  32. I got the card last year with the 75,000 point bonus. I did not have an opportunity to use the 4th night free . Most of my stays are short , booked with points or in an Airbnb. Since I don’t know if I’ll be able to use the 4th night free I’ll probably downgrade to the double cash. My annual fee hit but I am waiting to see what the new refreshed benefits are before I make the change .

  33. After KE’s gone, UR is not much valuable. Hyatt is good, but their footprint is too small. Also, UA is almost dumpish.
    All Citi folks have to do to compete with Chase now, they need to allow us to use TYP at 1.5c/p with travel reservations. Don’t touch other benefit.

  34. Its simple to me:

    100,000 Welcome Bonus, 5 points on Travel, 5 points on Dining & Entertainment, 1.5 points on everything else, 3rd night free 4 times per year, 1.5p redemption rate and the last four digits of my new Prestige card would be present on every purchase receipt I’d have. Get it, Citi? 😉

  35. I love this card and I hope they aren’t changing it again. The loss of the Admiral’s club was big but honestly I had already started booking less on American so I think I probably overvalued the loss.

    I’m a Citibank Gold member so for me the reduced annual fee is totally worth it. I traveled a bunch this year for personal reasons and the 4th night free was huge. I didn’t use it for any crazy expensive hotels but it allowed me to travel longer. The other benefit I really like is the 90 day returns policy which I don’t think many people talk about. Its the reason that I book all my physical good purchases on the Prestige. Basically if a merchant won’t take an item back, Citi will (as long as its within 90 days of purchase). For me, this is huge on items like shoes which I often find I don’t like after wearing them outside (but of course the store won’t let me return). To me, I’m getting a few hundred a year on the return benefit alone.

    I was actually thinking of cancelling the CSR this year but now I’m not sure – I have a few months to decide.

  36. I’m sure others got this offer today from Citi Prestige. Maybe they’re going the direction of Chase Freedom-like periodic bonus categories?


    Use your card to earn 5 ThankYou Points per $1 spent, up to 2,500 points, through 11/30/2018 on eligible purchases¹ you make at:

    • Grocery Stores
    • Gas Stations
    • Drugstores
    • Mass Transit & Commuter Transportation Vendors


    To enjoy this special offer, sign up by 10/31/2018.


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