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Citi pulled all ability to apply for their Flagship Prestige last year with news that it would be back for new applications in 2019. They also indicated that the rewards of the card would change: some are positive, some are negative. Citi has re-launched the card with a 50k welcome bonus after $4k spend in 3 months and its new suite of benefits active. I personally view Citi Thank You points as a great way of accruing another flexible currency to shore accounts for aspirational redemptions. They’re worth taking a look at, and I personally carry a Prestige.
Why I continue to carry a Citi Prestige.
I’ve written about the 4th night free + $250 travel credit combination outweighing the annual fee when it was $450. You can read that here. My account is coded as CitiPriority and the annual fee for me will stay at $350. That’s a no brainer IMO, and even at the new $495 if you use the 4th night free benefit a couple times a year, I’m way ahead. Let’s take a look at the other benefits and see if it’s a good fit for you.
- New annual fee: $495 ( up from $450
- CitiGold will remain at $350
- 5x on all air travel
- 5x restaurants
- 3x hotels, cruises
- 1x everywhere else
- 4th night free ( will be limited to two times annually come September 1st, 2019
- $250 travel credit annually, every calendar year
- Priority Pass Select
- Global Entry fee credit
- 16 transfer partners
Cell Phone protection coming May 2019
We don’t really know what this means, but hopefully it’ll be similar or better than what’s offer as a benefit on the Chase Ink Business Preferred.
Limitations to 4th night free coming September 2019
Currently you can use the benefit as many times as you like. Starting later this year…it’ll be limited to just 2 times a year. Still a heavy benefit if you ask me – I’m hoping to visit my first Aman hotel later this year and this benefit could be incredibly valuable.
5x dining is the best in the business
It just is and I’ll have to think long and hard whether I use this card vs the Amex Gold ( which earns 4x ) when dining.
As I mentioned – Citi Thank You is a flexible currency which means you can transfer them to partners.
Citi Thank You also overlaps many of Amex and Chase’s partners. This is fantastic news because it means you can diversify your transfers and stay very agile when it comes time to redeem for the optimal trip.
In fact, the feature image is courtesy of a Citi Thank You partner, Singapore Airlines. I transferred Citi, along with Chase and Amex, in order to fly Singapore Airlines Suites last year on my mom’s around the world trip.
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 1000 = 1000
- Thai Royal Orchid Plus: 1000 = 1000
- Turkish Miles and Smiles: 1000 = 1000
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 1000 = 1000
- Qatar Privilege Club: 1000 = 1000
- Sears Shop your Way: 1000 = 1000
- Singapore Airlines: 1000 = 1000
- Jet Airways JetPrivilege: 1000 = 1000
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich: 1000 = 1000
- Qantas Frequent Flyer: 1000 = 1000
- Etihad Guest: 1000 = 1000
- EVA Air: 1000 = 1000
- Garuda Indonesia: 1000 = 1000
- JetBlue True Blue: 1000 = 500
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 1000 = 1000
- Avianca LifeMiles: 1000 = 1000
Some of these partners may be unfamiliar to you, but many of them have incredible sweet spots hidden within them. For instance, Etihad, who is famous for their insane premium cabins, has one of the best charts for flights on American Airlines. In fact, you can still fly to Asia for just 50k miles if you use Etihad to book AA business class. That’s phenom. I also loved flying Air France using their own currency…for just 55k miles.
Is 50k the best offer? No.
We’ve seen 75k and targeted 100k offers in the past. 50k is healthy ( it didn’t offer any bonus at the end of the last year ) and worth consideration.
What are the rules for Citi welcome offers?
In case you’re unfamiliar, Citi now restricts welcome offer eligibility to those who have not opened or closed any card in the family of the welcome offer in the past 24 months. What does this mean? If you have had any Citi Thank You card in the last 24 months that you newly opened, or decided to close, you are ineligible for this welcome offer.
Citi also limits how many cards you can sign up for in a given time period. If you’ve recently signed up for a Citi card I’d highly recommend you read more about Citi’s sign up rules here.
Does it count towards 5/24
Absolutely. If this is something you are tracking, you’ll have to add it to your number.
If this isn’t of interest to you, I would consider getting the Citi Thank You Premier. Also offering a 50k welcome offer.
The first year annual fee is waived, it offers a commensurate sign up bonus, healthy travel bonus spend, and is a quick and easy way to shore up your balance of Thank You points.