Citi Prestige $250 Travel Credit More Flexible In 2021

Filed Under: Citi

The Citi Prestige Card is Citi’s most premium travel rewards credit card. The card has a $495 annual fee, but offers a $250 annual travel credit that helps offset it.

Ordinarily the $250 annual travel credit will automatically be applied towards any purchase coded as travel. The way I view it, this lowers the real “out of pocket” on the card to ~$245 per year, since everyone should get full value out of that.

With people traveling less, we saw Citi add flexibility to this perk in 2020. Between May 1 and December 31, 2020, we saw purchases made with the Citi Prestige at supermarkets and restaurants (including takeout) count towards the $250 travel credit. This benefit is now being extended for 2021.

Between January 1 and December 31, 2021, the Citi Prestige $250 travel credit can be applied towards purchases at supermarkets and restaurants (including takeout).

Bottom line

The Citi Prestige Card’s $250 travel credit can be applied towards purchases at supermarkets and restaurants in 2021. This should give cardmembers significantly more flexibility.

This is a nice feature for those who don’t have any travel costs at all, though frankly otherwise we haven’t seen as many temporary perks added on the Citi Prestige as on other premium travel rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum.

Will any Citi Prestige cardmembers benefit from this added flexibility?

Comments
  1. @ Ben — How do you apply the credit towards purchases at supermarkets and restaurants (including takeout)? Does this occur automatically like the travel credits, or do you have to make a selection?

  2. Luis, nearly every time I try to apply the 4th night free, the cost is higher than a rate I can easily find online. I was able to use it once in 2020 and the savings was minimal. This feature was devalued once Citi moved away from the concierge service and forced you to use the online search engine. This is why I will likely downgrade this year once my annual fee comes due. In fact, the Prestige has lost is prestige in the past couple of years.

  3. @Brodie yes the online search tool does suck. Prices are more often than not higher than booking direct on a nightly basis. But for high end properties, you do still save some money by getting the 4th night free through Citi. It’s not a straight 25% off like it used to be, but still something.

  4. When my annual fee was meant to post in September, the charge (well, “charge”) showed up as $0.00. Not sure how far and wide the waiving of the annual fee was/is, but… I was pretty stoked. (FWIW I do around $100k/year on the card normally, last year got to $70k.) Adding in the extension of the grocery store perk only makes this card better for my purposes.

    Also, Ben, could you guys do a roundup of what the different premium card perks are for 2021 (and sorry if I missed something that already does that). Like, does the double Dell credit extend into 2021 for Amex Business Platinum? Streaming credits still continuing into 2021? Etc. Thanks!

  5. Got the card in Dec and got the 2020 $250, then again Jan 1st, booked a flight and got the $250 for 2021.
    I’m $5 ahead on fees + 50k ThankYou points, when they post. Hopefully, I can squeeze in another $250 in Jan 2022, then downgrade to a double cash or Rewards+ card, if I can’t get an annual fee waiver or promotion.

  6. The $75 authorized user is only wothwhile, if you need more than 3 Priority Club admissions each time.
    We don’t need it, won’t be getting it. If you need a 2nd card, report a damaged card and get a 2nd card for your spouse. No $75 fee.

  7. My wife has the Premier with the once a year $100 off $500+, 25% points redemption discount, through 4/10/21, plus 10% rebate on Points redeemed, with associated Rewards+. Our $500 hotel stay was about 50% off!!!

    I’m going to try to maximize the 1.25 before 4/10. I think I can make reservations beyond 4/10. You can also transfer points across accounts from Me to my wife for example, but have to use them in 60? days.

    After 4/10 my prestige has 2 $100/$500 hotel credits/year and her Premier 1, plus the 10% back on the Rewards+.

    I like it!

  8. Sadly the value of this card has declined over the years – the devaluation of 4th night free benefits as well as removing price rewind (which I saved well over $500 with in a couple years). This was the card that got me started in points and premium cards (now have 4). Will likely downgrade when renewal comes up.

  9. Sadly, I feel like Citi pulled a “bait & switch” on the consumer. I joined because of terrific benefits promised and then twice the top benefits were removed. I will seriously consider dropping the card when my annual charge come due. I don’t think this has been good for Citi’s image.

  10. How long should the credits on this card take to post? Also, I know the credit is per calendar year but is that based on when the purchase is made or when the credit posts? I applied for this card close to the end of last month, bought a $250 gift card at Kroger on the 29th, and am waiting for the credit to post. Hopefully, that qualifies as last years credit and I get another $250 credit now.

  11. I called twice citi prestige customer service and both agents verified that the travel credit is back to normal on Jan 1 2021 no exceptions
    I argued but got nowhere.No restaurants or supermarkets with the travel credit

  12. The travel credit was applied in 2020, but it’s not working in 2021. Are you sure about this Ben?

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