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Is Citi Prestige worth $450 annually?
My annual fee is coming due pretty soon and I’m going back and forth as to whether it’s worth paying the $450. It may actually be $350 with a Citi Priority banking account, but I’m having some issues with that. Anyways. Citi Prestige offers a ton of benefits – annual $250 travel credit, buy 3 get 4th night free on hotels, a great priority pass membership, and a bevy of other bennies so I’m weighing the pros and cons and if I should keep my Citi Prestige. So is Citi Prestige worth $450 annually?
First things first. Dollars out. Value In.
- Annual fee first year: $350
- Travel Credits: $500
My first year I paid a $350 annual fee because I had CitiGold checking. I closed that account and somehow retained CitiGold for a few months after. Then…it got downgraded to Citi Priority sometime last year – which was great. HOWEVER, I had an issue with logging into my account while traveling abroad and a new account was formed and I just noticed I didn’t have CitiPriority anymore. Fair enough, but I’m wondering if I can’t somehow relink my logins and get it back. We shall see. So for arguments sake – let’s say I have to pay the $450 this year.
Going into this year’s annual fee I’m up $150 from just the travel credits.
Buy 3 nights get 1 night free. $225
I stayed at the Caledonian last year in Edinburgh Scotland and utilized the 4th night free benefit. That alone was roughly $225. Add that in to the running total and I’m up $375 going into this annual fee.
I’ve utilized the lounge benefits A LOT. Prestige will lose Admirals Club access come June 20th, but it’ll still have a great Priority Pass membership.
Lounge access provides a lot of added value, but the Admirals benefit will be lost soon. Sure, I could use the $250 travel credit to offset buying a membership, but that’s a terrible use IMO.
A few Admirals Clubs I’ve visited
Priority Pass Membership has been amazing
The biggest debate I have with using the Priority Pass for creating a defined added value is my Amex Business Platinum gives me a priority pass membership as well. Thanks to reader DF who brought to my attention that the Amex Biz Plat also allows 2 guests…this is a redundant benefit if I do in fact keep the Biz Plat for another year ( which I’m not sure I will.)
Another factor is I’m under 5/24. I did just apply and was approved for the Business Preferred and there is conflicting evidence as to whether Chase biz cards fall under 5/24, but even if it does count, I’m back under 5/24 by August and could get the Reserve with another incredible Priority Pass membership.
Citi’s 24 month rule.
This means that even if I don’t want to keep the Prestige I need to downgrade the card to keep the 24 month tally I already have alive.
Another $250 Travel credit will hit January 2018.
Citi, unlike Chase and US Bank ( and their Altitude card), still gives the credit based on an annual basis, not cardmember year basis. This means I’ll get another $250. That brings this year’s running total up to $150 + $225 + $250. By the time my 3rd annual fee would hit I’d be ahead at least $625 – $450(2nd year fee( = $175
At this point I could look to downgrade my Prestige to a preferred card and reapply and start the process all over again as I would have 24 continuos months without opening or closing a citi card within the product family. Sheesh – so much work these days.
The other benefits I use: 3x travel, 2x dining and entertainment
I do tend to put spend through the Prestige, but as I pick up other cards, I’ll mainly use the Prestige for it’s provided benefits: $250 travel credit, priority pass, and buy 3 get 4 – not the spend given benefits.
I’m leaning towards keeping it open. The value seems to be there and that’s without taking into consideration using any buy 3 get the 4th night free benefits again.
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