Citi Prestige Review

Citi Prestige Review 2021: Best for Foodies and Frequent Flyers

Frequent travelers and anyone who likes to splash out on regular restaurant purchases will feel right at home with the Citi Prestige Card. Citi’s flagship Prestige Credit Card offers customers tons of travel benefits and the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points at an exclusive rate of 5 points per dollar spent. That said, the Citi Prestige Card comes with no travel or lost luggage insurance, no purchase protection, and limited Priority Pass lounge access perks that won’t suit all Singaporeans. 

 

What is the Citi Prestige Card? 

The Citi Prestige Card is Citibank’s top-tier platinum card, aimed predominantly at business people and frequent travelers. This means that Citi Prestige cardholders get to enjoy exclusive travel benefits, such as Priority Pass lounge access and air travel perks with Citi’s many airline partners. Customers can also take advantage of bonus hotel loyalty points and a fourth-night free benefit at Priority Pass select hotels, among several other luxury benefits.

 

Pros and Cons of the Citi Prestige Card

Every credit card will always have its good and bad points, and you should consider these very carefully before you fill in an application just to get your hands on an enticing sign-up bonus. Here at the top pros and cons of the Citi Prestige Card:

Pros

  • Earn points in your Citi ThankYou Travel Portal at 5 points per dollar rate on eligible purchases
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees on travel purchases annually
  • Take advantage of tons of travel benefits, such as airport lounge access
  • Get your 4th night free and earn hotel loyalty points with eligible hotel partners
  • Have a Citi Prestige Concierge at your disposal whenever you need them

Cons

  • High annual fee cost of $495, with no first-year annual fee waiver available
  • No purchase protection on offer as part of card membership 
  • No travel or lost luggage insurance included
  • Number of transfer partners available for transferring points to is somewhat limited
  • No Annual fee and APR reductions offered as part of Citi’s existing sign up bonus

 

Citi Prestige Card – Fine Print from the Credit Card Issuer

All credit card companies charge fees for using their cards. A Citi Prestige Credit Card or other high-end premium cards will sometimes offer a better interest rate than other entry-level cards offered by the same credit card issuer. That said, you might need to pay a high annual fee for the privilege, as fee discounts offering a first-year fee waiver or lower annual fee for a set period might not be so common with top-of-the-range cards. Here’s what you need to know about the fee structure for Citi’s Prestige Credit Card:

Interest Rate

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – From 16.99% to 23.99%
  • Variable APR – APR is variable on purchases and balance transfers (within the above rate range)
  • Purchase Intro APR – Not applicable to Citi Prestige Card
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR – Not applicable to Citi Prestige Card

Other Fees 

  • Annual Fee – the Citi Prestige Card has an annual fee cost of $495
  • Annual Fee Waiver – Not applicable to the Citi Prestige Card 
  • Balance Transfer Fees – $5 or 3% of the value of the transfer (whichever is higher)
  • Cash Advance Fees – $10 or 5% of the transaction amount (whichever is higher)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees – No foreign transaction fees charged with this card

 

Perks and Drawbacks of the Citi Prestige Card in Detail – Annual Fee Costs and More

So, the Citi Prestige Card offers some exceptional travel benefits, a superb ThankYou Points per dollar rate on the right types of spending and no fees on foreign transactions, but all this comes at a price – you’ll need to pay a high annual fee to lock-in all those unique perks. Now, let’s assess the pros and cons of this increasingly popular credit card in a little more detail.

 

Reasons to Get a Citi Prestige Credit Card

1. Claim Ongoing Rewards at an Excellent Rate

With an impressive 5 points per dollar ThankYou Points rate available on eligible purchases, the Citi Prestige Credit Card allows you to earn and redeem ThankYou points incredibly quickly. Citi Prestige card holders who like to splash out on travel and restaurant spending will reap the most benefits – and get to enjoy complimentary access to airport lounges, too.

2. Hotel Frequenters Get a Fourth Night Free Benefit

If you spend a lot of your business or leisure time visiting hotels, you can enjoy a “4th-night free benefit” and earn hotel loyalty points at selected hotel partners with Citi Prestige Card. All you need to do to take advantage of this amazing perk is book a stay of 4 nights or more using the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal and you’ll get your 4th night free, regardless of what kind of room you decide to book.

3. Enjoy Lounge Access and a Global Entry or TSA Credit

Citi’s much-coveted Priority Pass Select Membership comes included as part of the Citi Prestige Card package – which means you’ll get to enjoy complimentary access to airport lounges worldwide just by being a Citi Prestige cardholder. On top of this, you are also entitled to a Global Entry or TSA Credit once every five years, worth $100 or $85, respectively. This Global Entry or TSA Credit can help to speed up your airport security waiting times at no additional cost to you whatsoever.

4. Get Your Hands on a $350 Annual Travel Credit

The Citi Prestige Credit Card also grants customers an annual travel credit of up to $250, which is incredibly flexible and can be used to fund almost any travel-related expense. Taxis, limousines, parking lots, tolls, and subway costs can all be purchased using your annual travel credit – saving frequent travelers a lot of extra cash in the long run.

 

Reasons to Shop Around Elsewhere

1. You Can Probably Find a Lower Annual Fee With Other Providers

There are a ton of benefits to enjoy with Citi Prestige, but you will need to pay a hefty premium for the privilege. At the time of writing, Citi charges a high annual fee of $495 and customers have no option to waive this fee for the first year or claim an annual fee discount as part of any Citi Prestige sign-up bonus. Unless you’ll be claiming that travel credit and using the 4th-night free benefit very frequently, this might mean that the Citi Prestige Credit Card simply isn’t worth your while. Be sure to do the math before you sign up.

2. Complimentary Access to Airport Lounges won’t Benefit Everyone

While some Citi Prestige cardholders who travel frequently and make several travel purchases annually will welcome Citi’s complimentary access to airport lounges worldwide as an amazing benefit, others might find Priority Pass Select terms and conditions to be a little frustrating. Priority Pass Select Membership only offers customers lounge access to airport lounges at Priority Pass Select locations – meaning not all lounges are eligible for the perk. At some airport locations, there may even be no lounge access available to you at all, so keep this in mind.

3. Other Credit Card Companies May Have a Better Selection of Transfer Partners

The ability to earn points at an awesome 5 points per dollar rate is one of the key calling cards of Citi Prestige – but it’s worth remembering that Citi ThankYou Points can only be redeemed with selected transfer partners. Citi has several airline partners and hotel partners, including JetBlue, but the bank’s list of transfer partners list is admittedly a little shorter than what you might find offered by other credit card companies. You can find a full list of Citi transfer partners in your Citi ThankYou Travel Portal as well as other details about Citi Prestige here.

 

How Does the Citi Prestige Card Compare to Other Credit Card Options in Singapore? 

So, while the Citi Prestige Card does indeed offer some truly amazing perks, it also comes with a few downsides that you might want to think about before you fill in an application form. But if you’re beginning to doubt whether Citi Prestige is the right choice for you, what other options are available right now? The table below runs through some of the Citi Prestige Card’s top competitors to help you make an informed decision.

Credit Card Type  Annual Fee Regular APR Intro APR Suggested Credit Score Requirement Welcome Bonus 
Citi Prestige Card $495 16.99% to 23.99% Variable APR Not Applicable “Excellent” Credit Score Recommended 50,000 Bonus Points
Citi PremierMiles Card $95 15.99% to 23.99% Not Applicable “Good” Credit Score Recommended 45,000 Citi Miles
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card $95 15.99% to 22.99% Variable APR Not Applicable “Good” Credit Score Recommended 60,000 Bonus Points
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card $550 16.99% to 23.99% Variable APR Not Applicable “Good” Credit Score Recommended 50,000 Bonus Points
Gold Card from American Express $250 Pay Over Time Variable APR Not Applicable “Good” Credit Score Recommended Not Applicable
Platinum Card from American Express $695 Pay Over Time Variable APR Not Applicable “Excellent” Credit Score Recommended Complimentary 1-night stay at The Fullerton Hotel Premier Courtyard worth up to $600

 

Who is the Citi Prestige Credit Card For? 

All credit cards have their pros, cons, and target market – and it’s only natural that some users will get a lot more out of their Citi Prestige Card than others. Seeing as the Citi Prestige Credit Card charges a pretty hefty annual fee and offers the majority of its perks to those who spend big on foreign travel, hotels, and restaurants, it goes without saying that this particular card is the perfect fit for frequent flyers and business travelers – but perhaps not so good for other types of customer. 

From where we’re standing, the Citi Prestige Card’s top five luxury benefits, are:

  • Huge points-earning potential at a 5 points per dollar rate on selected transactions
  • $250 annual travel credit with tons of flexibility
  • Priority Pass Select membership for all cardholders
  • 4th-night free benefit with eligible hotel partners
  • Global Entry or TSA credit for customers

 

Citi Prestige Review – What Rewards Does the Credit Card Issuer Offer to Customers?

Earning Citi ThankYou Points at a super-generous five points per dollar rate is one thing, but what about when it comes to wanting to redeem points, or the process of transferring points to be used as cash rebates on actual purchases? Well, all of this can be achieved via the easy-to-use Citi ThankYou Travel Portal, but as we’ve already pointed out, customers are limited as to what transfer partners, airlines partners, and hotel partners Citi ThankYou Points can be put toward. 

Below we’ve listed the key rewards you’ll be able to claim with your Citi Prestige Card:

  • Gift Cards

Just like many other credit card points programs, you can swap your ThankYou Points for gift cards usable at participating retailers, such as restaurants and fashion stores. In most cases, you will be able to redeem your points at a rate of 1,000 ThankYou Points = $10 Gift Card. That said, you should always double-check with Citi, as some stores may be eligible for “Happy Gift Cards”, which function more like prepaid store cards, instead.

  • Cash Rewards

If you want to redeem points for cash, the good news is that all Citi ThankYou Points can be traded in for cash rewards at a rate of 0.5 – 1% per point. The transfer rate begins with $50 increments.

  • Any Travel Arranged Via the Citi ThankYou Website

As this is a travel-oriented credit card, Citi makes it super-easy for you to put your ThankYou Points toward travel-related purchases such as flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. You’ll need to use the Citi ThankYou Portal to do so, with points worth 1 cent each toward any travel bookings. Prices listed across the portal are largely similar to what you’d expect to see on Expedia, Agoda, and other flight, hotel, and car rental agencies online. Citi enables you to pay the difference in cash if ever you do not have enough points to cover the full cost of your desired booking.

  • Transfers to Airline Partners or Other ThankYou Accounts

By transferring your ThankYou Points over to eligible airline accounts, you can quickly and easily redeem them for flight upgrades, such as international business class or first class seats. Interestingly, you’re also completely free to transfer anywhere up to 100,000 points per calendar year to anyone else you may know who holds a Citi ThankYou account – meaning you can share your points with family and friends. This is a very rare and hugely beneficial feature, but you’ll need to keep in mind that any points transferred to another account will need to be used by the recipient within 90 days or less – or else they’ll expire altogether!

  • Shopping with Points

Eligible transfer partners, including popular stores like Best Buy and Amazon, qualify for direct points-to-shopping credits. This means that you can spend your Citi ThankYou Points directly in-store or online with these particular vendors. Fuel retailers like Shell and BP and any online merchants that accept PayPal may also be eligible for shopping with points, but it’s worth noting that ThankYou Points are usually only worth around 0.8 cents per point when shopping in this manner.

  • Mortgages and Student Loans

ThankYou Points can be put toward repayments on mortgages and student loans, too – but only at a value of 1 cent per point. You will need to request mortgages or student loans rebates beforehand via the Citi ThankYou Call Center and then communicate with Citi to ensure they forward any relevant checks to the banks or financial institutions servicing your loans.

 

Paying with credit card

Alternatives to the Citi Prestige Card

We’ve already briefly reviewed how the Citi Prestige Credit Card shapes up against some of its key competitors – including other credit card options offered by Citibank. Below, we’ll review the key features of each of these potential alternatives in a little more detail.

1. Citi Prestige Card

Annual Fee: $495

Regular APR: 16.99% to 23.99%

Welcome Bonus: 50,000 Bonus Points

Average Rewards Earned / $1 Spent: $0.017

Top Perks:

  • Amazing travel benefits and lounge access
  • 4th night free at selected hotels
  • Earn five points per dollar spend on top-tier transactions
  • Earn three points per dollar on other eligible luxury spend
  • Get a Citi Prestige Concierge service included

 

2. Citi PremierMiles Card

Annual Fee: $95

Regular APR: 15.99% to 23.99%

Welcome Bonus: 45,000 Citi Miles 

Average Rewards Earned / $1 Spent: $0.014

Top Perks:

  • Earn Citi Miles that never expire
  • Get $1 = 2 Citi Miles on foreign currency spend
  • Get $1 = 1.2 Citi Miles on all other local spend
  • Enjoy local deals and discounts
  • Redeem and manage your ThankYou rewards quickly and easily online

 

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Annual Fee: $95

Regular APR: 15.99% to 22.99%

Welcome Bonus: 60,000 Bonus Points

Average Rewards Earned / $1 Spent: $0.025

Top Perks:

  • Get a huge 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year (when using eligible hotels)
  • Enjoy earnings rates of 5x points on travel, 3x on dining, deliveries and takeout and 3x on groceries
  • Get partner benefits and travel and purchase coverage included with your card
  • Pay no fees on foreign transactions

 

4. Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Annual Fee: $550

Regular APR: 16.99% to 23.99%

Welcome Bonus: 50,000 Bonus Points

Average Rewards Earned / $1 Spent: $0.03

Top Perks:

  • Enjoy 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 5x total points on flights
  • Get a $300 annual travel credit
  • Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you use Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Take advantage of up to 50% more value when travelling using Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Scheme

 

5. Gold Card from American Express

Annual Fee: $250

Regular APR: Pay Over Time

Welcome Bonus: Not applicable

Average Rewards Earned / $1 Spent: $0.044

Top Perks:

  • The Gold Card from American Express has no pre-set spending limit
  • Get extensive insurance cover and support
  • Take advantage of 90 day purchase protection and global assistance
  • Enjoy charter membership and exclusive card privileges in the Asia Pacific region
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1.60 spent with the American Express Membership Rewards Program

 

6. Platinum Card from American Express

Annual Fee: $695

Regular APR: Pay Over Time

Welcome Bonus: Complimentary 1-night stay at The Fullerton Hotel Premier Courtyard worth up to $600

Average Rewards Earned / $1 Spent: $0.025

Top Perks:

  • Get 6,250 Membership Rewards Points when spending $5,000
  • Receive additional statement credits when referring friends and/or paying your annual fee
  • Enjoy up to 50% off at more than 50 participating restaurants 
  • Take advantage of fine dining and luxury hotel discounts all across Singapore
  • Get exclusive golf benefits and enjoy Membership Points that never expire

 

More Details About the Citi Prestige Card

1. Where Can I Apply for the Citi Prestige Credit Card?

If you feel the Citi Prestige Card is a good fit for you, it’s quick and easy to apply today on Citi’s website by following this link.

 

2. What Documents Do I Need to Apply?

Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents applying for a Citi Prestige Card will need a copy of their NRIC or Passport, and their latest original computerized payslip, Income Tax Notice of Assessment, or last 12 months’ CPF Statements to apply. Self-employed applicants will also need to provide their last 3 months’ bank statements and last 2 years’ Income Tax Notice of Assessment.

 

3. Can Foreigners Get a Citi Prestige Card?

Yes – although you may need to provide copies of utility bills, bank statements, and a valid work permit as part of your application.

 

4. What is the Minimum Annual Income Limit?

The Citi Prestige Card is currently only available to applicants with a minimum annual income of $120,000.

 

5. Do Citi Prestige Points Ever Expire?

Another great benefit of the Citi Prestige Card is that the points you earn will never expire – meaning you can save them up for as long as you like before redeeming them for anything. Just keep in mind that any points transferred to friends or family members will be subject to a 90-day expiry – so be careful if you intend to share your points with others.

 

6. Does Citi Impose Any Limits on How Many Points I Can Earn?

No – at the time of writing, Citibank is enabling all Citi Prestige customers to accrue as many points as they like, with no annoying caps or limitations. However, this could be subject to change at any time, so you should keep a close eye on Citi’s terms and conditions here.

 

7. What Can I Do if I Need to Resolve a Credit Card Dispute?

Citi offers extensive FAQs on credit card chargeback and dispute resolution methods here if ever you encounter any issues in this area.

 

8. Which Credit Card is Best for Frequent Flyers?

While Citi Prestige is a great choice for regular business travelers, there are lots of other fantastic premium credit cards on the market right now that frequent flyers might also wish to consider. We’d recommend checking out the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Gold Card from American Express as two other very viable alternatives. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is another good choice, offering 2 miles per dollar on all purchases and some excellent travel perks with an annual fee of just $95. Click here to find out the best airmiles credit card in Singapore for frequent and infrequent flyers. 

 

Citi Prestige Review Verdict – Is the Citi Prestige Card Worth It?

No credit card will ever be 100% perfect, and whether the Citi Prestige Card is a good fit for you will always depend on your unique spending habits and circumstances. 

  • Citi’s fourth-night free benefit applies to selected hotels and resorts only
  • Your ability to earn points will depend on what kind of purchases you make – meaning five points per dollar won’t be available on all types of spending
  • Priority Pass Select membership-only offers airport lounge access at participating Priority Pass lounges
  • Using your ThankYou Points for student loans, mortgages and transfers come with certain terms and conditions 
  • Be sure to compare Citi Prestige Card to competitors before you make a final decision on which card is best for your unique circumstances

 

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