Citi Prestige Card 50,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus!

Filed Under: Citi, Credit Cards
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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.

Citi is offering an increased sign-up bonus on the Citi Prestige® Card. You can earn 50,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months.

Previously the sign-up bonus on the card was 30,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $2,000 on the card within the first three months.

The card also has a $450 annual fee. Below I’ll explain how you can actually come out ahead with the first year’s annual fee as well.

Big picture, here’s what makes the Citi Prestige® Card awesome:

  • A $250 annual airline fee 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

To explain some of the above in a bit more detail:

Maximizing the annual airline credit on the Citi Prestige® Card

The Citi Prestige® Card offers a $250 airline credit each calendar year, which can even be applied towards the purchase of an airline ticket:

This statement credit is an annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December.

Thanks to this benefit being based on the calendar year, you can actually do quite well with airline credits the first year.

If you applied for the Citi Prestige® Card now you’d be hit with the $450 annual fee, though would immediately get a $250 airline fee credit. Then in January 2016, you’d get another $250 airline fee credit. That’s a $450 annual fee and $500 worth of airline fee credits in your first year as a card member.

You already come out ahead thanks to this perk alone.

An awesome Priority Pass membership with the Citi Prestige® Card

It’s worth pointing out that the Citi Prestige® Card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership. But what makes the Citi Prestige® Card unique is that you have guesting privileges with your Priority Pass Select membership. Per the terms:

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.

Let’s keep in mind that while other cards like the The Platinum Card® from American Express (which is also an awesome card) offer Priority Pass Select memberships, you get two free guests. With the Citi Prestige® Card you get two free guests or immediately family members, and only additional guests beyond that are charged $27 per guest per visit.

This is extremely useful. For example, I access the Alaska Board Room all the time using my Priority Pass Select membership, so being able to bring in guests for free would be awesome (I guess having guests requires traveling with people, which requires having friends, but I digress!).

Enjoy tasty pancakes at the Alaska Board Room

Lots of other great perks with the Citi Prestige® Card

This card actually also has an extremely rewarding earnings structure for everyday spend, as you can earn bonus points in the following categories:

  • 3x points on air travel and hotels
  • 2x points on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • 1x point for all other purchases

For the most part high annual fee cards seem to be more focused on the perks than the earnings rates on the card. In this case you have a card which has some great perks and a high return on everyday spend.

Bottom line

I was considering applying for the Citi Prestige® Card when it had a 30,000 point sign-up bonus, though the 50,000 point sign-up bonus just about makes this card a no brainer.

In addition to the points you make $500 the first year, or long term it’s like paying $200 per year for Admirals Club access plus a Priority Pass Select membership with guesting privileges, which is pretty tough to beat.

Add in the fact that the card has a rewarding earnings structure, and I’d say this is quickly becoming one of the most competitive “premium” credit cards out there.

Is this 50,000 point sign-up bonus enough to push you to apply for the Citi Prestige® Card?

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  1. Any idea how long this will be available Lucky? Just signed up for a few cards so wondering if it will be there in a month or so?

  2. @ Mark O — I unfortunately don’t have an exact timeline, though if I had to guess I’d say the offer will stick around for a while.

  3. What have you heard about the in-branch offer? Supposedly $100 less fee and 10k more bonus points.

  4. Dang it! Just got Prestige card THIS WEEK with the 30K points sign-up bonus. Just sent Citi a request to anoint my account with the new offer. Anxiously awaiting reply.

  5. @ Stannis — Don’t have any experience with that. I thought that was just for CitiGold members.

  6. My wife also just applied for this card and was approved for it 1-2 weeks ago, standard 30k/20k offer. I will also send them a request.

    Also, I’ve read a little about Priority Pass Select, but don’t know much about how my wife can get access. My understanding is that she will be mailed a PPS card in the mail in a couple weeks after receiving her Prestige card. Is that correct? But I also heard that she should get a letter in the mail stating that she’s a member. She hasn’t received that card yet.

  7. @ Dave — It might need to be activated, so I’d recommend she call and see if there’s anything she needs to do to jumpstart that. Once it’s activated she should receive the card within a week or so, and can then start using lounges with it.

  8. Lucky how often can you apply for Citi Cards? I have heard every 10 days – is that the common thinking?

  9. @Stannis

    the in branch offer is better, but as Lucky says, i still can’t find any reports that clearly state whether the applicant has to have Citi gold checking or not. maybe i’ll stop by the branch on my way home tonight… hmmm.

  10. Is it possible to convert existing Citi AA Exec card to Prestige and still get this 50K bonus offer ?

  11. @ Suk — You won’t receive the sign-up bonus if you convert an existing product. You’d be better off applying for the card and cancelling your existing card.

  12. @ Mark O — As a general rule of thumb you can apply for one Citi card per eight days, and no more than two Citi cards every 65 days.

  13. Mark O– You’re right, I was confused. But she did just get the Prestige. The extra 20K wouldn’t matter anyway, as we wouldn’t keep the card beyond the first year anyway.

  14. Lucky: For the two guests (both in AA lounges and in PP lounges), do you know whether those guests have to be traveling on the same itinerary?

  15. Also, another reason I’m seriously considering this card is because I have access to Citi Private Bank, which means I’ll get an annual 25% ThankYou Points bonus. I didn’t realize until recently that Citi Private Bank is available to a ton of attorneys at major law firms without any sort of crazy minimum net worth/liquidity requirements. Of course, that did mean I had to check the lowest box on the form, indicating my assets were worth “less than $3 million.” Yikes…

  16. @ Dave — For Priority Pass it doesn’t matter which airline they’re flying. For American technically the guests have to be traveling on American or US Airways, though in practice I find that Admirals Club agents often only check the credentials of the primary passenger.

  17. Lucky — I’m almost certain for the time being the Admirals Club access is available when traveling on AA ticket, but NOT a US Airways ticket. This distinction was in the T&C at one point, though i haven’t reviewed them recently. Have you had a different experience or have the rules changed with the merger?

  18. Newb question:
    Per the fine print on the prestige site: to access the admirals lounge you must be “traveling on American, American Eagle Airlines, Inc. or an American Connection carrier flight number only.”
    – Does this mean a ticket with an US Airways flight number would NOT gain me access?

    Also repeated again in the fine print: “Prestige cardmembers must present a stand-by ticket or boarding pass, showing an American, American Eagle Airlines, Inc., or an American Connection carrier flight number, valid for travel on such flight.”

    Thanks for the clarification!

  19. @ sean @ Alan — I’m double checking, but in practice I’m 99% sure that US Airways tickets qualify as well, given that there are only Admirals Clubs nowadays, and the airlines are on one operating certificate.

  20. Just spoke with representative, Cathy, in Kentucky service center. She said that many calls had been received about matching new offer to existing accounts. She then asked me where I saw the offer. Told her it is posted clear as day at Citicards site. She then told me that a review would take place to “verify the offer” (give me a break!) and a decision as to matching would be made thereafter. She offered to flag my account for a callback once decision was made.

  21. I noticed on the Priority Pass lounge list, there is a note at the bottom of some of the “lounge details” that says holders of a card obtained through a US financial institution will not be granted access to this lounge. What does that pertain to?

  22. @ Jake — Correct, that means you have a Priority Pass Select card, which doesn’t get you access to United Clubs. That’s the major distinction.

  23. is it true that if i transfer points from Premier to Prestige card they have to be used within a month or two and then they’ll expire?

  24. @sean, @alan & Lucky: Here’s the answer. Technically, a US Airways boarding pass isn’t good enough, but all the available reports I’ve seen state that the on-the-ground reality is that a US Airways boarding pass works fine, just as Lucky said. US & AA are — legally in the eyes of the FAA if not 100% operationally — the same airline now and this is the fairest way to interpret the rules. Put differently, US & AA are now one happy, united family, and the card works that way as well. The T&Cs just haven’t quite kept up with reality. Plus, they often don’t bother checking BPs anyway.

    Also note that the combination of 3x points plus 1.6x value if used for AA tickets is a very powerful combination. This is especially the case if combined with (as implied by another comment above) a Gold/private Citi account, which earn 975 points per month and carry further 15%/25% points bonuses on top of everything else.

  25. Lantean, my understanding is that points transferred from one person to another person expire in 30 days. I don’t see why they’d expire if you just transfer from one card to another, if it’s the same owner.

  26. The 4th night free benefit to this card would probably not also allow for elite status credit, right?

  27. @Dave

    that’s the question… i think i read before that any kind of transfer will trigger the 30 day expiration… but really not sure.

  28. “50,000 point sign-up bonus!!” (with $450 annual fee)
    I can understand why your teaser headline doesn’t include that added little bit of critical detail. Takes waaaay too much time and space to do that. (Absolutely nothing to do with lessening the click bait potential.)

  29. Hey Lucky, I was just looking through Priority Pass’ website and saw that one specific lounge I was looking at where I’m moving to (CLE) has a note at the bottom that says:

    “Note: Members holding a Priority Pass Select membership card and Priority Pass cardholders in the U.S. that receive their membership through a U.S. financial institution will not be allowed access to this Lounge.”

    I would assume then with the Citi Prestige Card I wouldn’t be allowed access?

  30. Lucky, is the 2 cards in 65 days for CitiBank limited to personal cards only or personal and business?


  31. Does this card have the same loophole as the Platnium Amex? They let you buy $50 gift cards on Delta and thats processed as an airline fee. Will this work on this card or do I need to actually use it for bag fees, inflight drinks, etc….

  32. Hey Lucky,

    Would you happen to have a post on the value of ThankYou Points and the best ways to use them?


  33. @Alex: You’re confused, I’m afraid. The “loophole” topic is not relevant for the Prestige: use the card for an air ticket, and get reimbursed up to $250. Period. There’s no need for any weird Amex-like “gift card” loophole where (in theory) they don’t reimburse airfare. Prestige reimburses airfare; ergo, no “loophole” required.

    @Daniel: Yes. The Gold fee is $350 no matter how you get the card, i.e., $100 net (post $250 reimbursement).

  34. Can the Global Entry credit be used for another person? I’m not a US citizen and can’t apply. My wife would sure be happy to have it though!

  35. What airlines/hotels can we use the Citi Thank You Points for? How does that compare to Chase or AMEX points?

  36. Hi Lucky,
    Transfer to HHonors doesn’t seem good use of these points.
    Parner airlines aren’t mostly which I travel. Now I am a newB, so would you please give me some examples of how I can use miles if I transfer to one of it’s partner airlines for vacations from US to europe or asia?

  37. citi wouldn’t budge on moving me from 30K to 50K even though I just got the card last week and had no spending on it. I went ahead and cancelled the card. Assume I can reapply sometime in the future but either way I didn’t really need it. Not sure why they make it such a difficult process. They ask for a copy of 50K offer and when I ask how do I email it, they say you can’t. Have to fax. Waste of time.

  38. With this card, would one be able to bring in their spouse, 4 year old, and 2 babies (under 1)?

  39. Is it possible to combine TYP and the $250 credit in the same transaction? For ex, buying a $1100 AA flight with $800 in AA credits (50K points), then paying $300 with the Prestige card and getting reimbursed $250. Will this work?

  40. @ Abhi — Singapore KrisFlyer and Air France FlyingBlue are both pretty compelling programs, so I think you can’t go wrong with either. Otherwise you can redeem points for cash towards the cost of a paid ticket on American at the rate of 1.6 cents per point.

  41. @ Daniel — Hopefully someone else can chime in on that, not sure, since I’m not a CitiGold member.

  42. I was going to apply for this but one thing holds me back. In the past reading their tc’s I saw that if you redeemed with AA flights you would get the 1.6cents, however they don’t seem to publish that ever since they modified the prestige, premier and preferred. I also called thankyou a few weeks ago and they said points were not different. Can you help clarify, I would hate to get this card and not get the 1.6 with AA or US air – See more at:

  43. @Tim: got the same runaround from secure message reps. Called the number on the back of the card and the rep matched me immediately. I’ve applied for the card about 50 days ago. I read from other people reps said they can match you as long as you applied within 90 days (can’t confirm this).
    Hope this helps!

  44. just applied using your link and got approved instantly as well. i recently signed up for an amex premier rewards gold (with a 50,000 point bonus and waived 1st year fee), and i’ll probably dump the points in my flying blue account and cancel before next year’s fee comes due, now that i have the prestige. plus, with the $250 credit, the annual fees between the prestige and the amex gold are nearly the same, so i don’t really see the value in keeping the amex, unless i’m missing something!

  45. Applied using your link, and was approved. Thanks for the detailed information you’ve been providing on this and other similar cards. Your info has helped me to decide which card would fit me best. I’ve had my eye on the Prestige, and the 50,000 signup bonus spurred me to action.

  46. @ Helen S — Thanks for the support, and happy to hear you were approved. Let me know if I can answer any questions!

  47. As a data point, I had applied to this card a few weeks ago, back when it was 30k miles. Just got around to calling Citi today and they agreed to add extra 20k Thank You points. I had already met the 2k spending requirement for the bonus so they must have seen that I was serious about using this card. They mentioned that I won’t have to spend any more to get the 20k points! Should show up in 1-2 billing cycles! Wanted to circle back and let other people know about this. The number I called was 1-800-950-5114.

  48. Nice! DW got targeted for a 100K offer with same spend (I’m jealous), but I was already ready to jump at the 50K offer :). I’m hoping the airline credit works similarly to the AMEX Plat. by calendar year so we can get two sets of credits before the next AF.

  49. @ George — It is indeed an annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December.

  50. Hello,
    I just signed up for the credit card and I was wondering about how long it takes to receive it? I’m flying out in a week and would like to have it with me. Is there a way to ensure I get the credit card in time?


  51. @ Kenny — In my experience they overnight it, so should arrive within a couple of days. You should have it before your trip.

  52. @ Tom or Lucky – I may be too late to the party, but do you know if the $350 Gold member reduced fee offer is still available, and if so, how can I access it?

  53. Please explain how the 50,000 Thank You Points become $800 at American. Multiple calls to Citi and Advantage leave me with no answers.

    Is it a mailed voucher/coupon for $800? Can it be split over more than one ticket and/or more than one person? (Example–Can I fly on a $200 ticket then, a month later, fly with me wife on two $300 tickets?)

  54. do you think if I apply today I will have enough time to get the travel credit in for 2015? I plan on just buying AA gift cards.

  55. Hi Lucky, I realize this thread is a year old now, but hoping you (or someone) can answer this question. I applied and just received by new Prestige card (Yeah Me!) yesterday. I noticed AA is having a 35% discount sale right now on buying or gifting AA miles. In the FAQs it states that AAmile purchases from Visa/Mastercard will show up on statement as ‘American Airlines’ and in ‘Description: Misc’. Will this purchase count towards my minimum spend to receive 50k TYpoints? I was thinking of buying 150,000 points with 15,000 bonus points (total 165,000 miles) for the $2800 which would knock out basically my $3k spend in one purchase. But don’t want to do this if they consider Mile Purchase as some type of cash equivalent transaction (those per T&C don’t count towards spend/points). Any ideas? Thought about calling asking CS but didn’t want them to get skiddish or something.

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