Should I Apply for the Citi Prestige® Card with a 75K Bonus?

The Citi Prestige® Card application link for 75,000 is finally live, via DOC. 75,000 is a lot of points but there are some questions you might want to think about before applying for this card. Here’s a rundown of some things to consider before applying.

New changes

If you’re not aware, the Prestige just lost a lot of benefits it previously had like Admirals Club access but did receive from positive changes, such as a higher sign-up bonus and a new way to utilize the 4th night free benefit.

Have you earned a Citi ThankYou Point sign-up bonus in the previous 24 months?

If you’ve picked up a sign-up bonus from the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card or the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card in the previous 24 months you are not eligible to receive the sign-up bonus for this card.

This rule also applies if you have closed or product changed a ThankYou Point earning card within the past 24 months. If you have done that, then you reset the 24-month clock from the date you closed the card or product changed it.

As far as I can tell, there is no way around this rule (besides finding applications in the future that don’t include the 24-month language). Thus, it’s very important to know how long it’s been since you were approved for another ThankYou Points earning card or closed/product changed.

If it’s been less than two years, don’t bother applying. 

Also, just to be safe, I’d probably wait an additional 30 days from the 2-year anniversary from the approval date because Citi’s IT tends to get things mixed up.

Do you just want to earn ThankYou Points?

The Prestige now offers a great sign-up bonus of 75,000 points. This is one of the best sign-up bonuses for a premium credit card but it comes with one of the highest minimum spend requirements of $7,500.

If you’re just trying to earn Citi ThankYou Points then I would recommend looking at the Premier Card. It offers a 50,000 sign-up bonus right now after spending $4,000. It also comes with one of the best bonus earning rates at 3X on travel including gas and 2X on dining and entertainment. You can also get it with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

It might still be worth it to pursue the 75K bonus if you can hit the $7,500 spend requirement without any problems and can take advantage of the other perks, such as the $250 travel credit and 4th night free benefit. It’s just a good idea to at least consider the Premier.

Are you going to use the 4th night free benefit?

The most valuable perk of the Prestige is that it offers you a 4th night free benefit. This can end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on how often you use it. At the same time, if you’re the type of traveler that rarely stays in one place for four or more nights or perhaps exclusively book hotels with points then this perk may not bring you much value and could even be worthless.

If this perks is worthless to you and you already have Priority Pass with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve then you might want to really consider going with the Premier instead.

What’s your effective annual fee?

The $450 annual fee is not waived for this card but there are two reasons why this annual fee is not as bad as it sounds.

First, the Prestige comes with a $250 travel credit that you can use on a broad range of airline expenses.The Prestige specifically states that  “Airline Fees are defined as purchases made with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in–flight purchases.” So if you’re already planning on spending at least $250 on airfare, your effective annual fee is only $150. 

If you’re able to double-dip with the statement credit, then it’s even sweeter since you’re coming out $50 on top.

It’s worth also noting that sometimes when you apply in-branch you can receive the $350 annual fee.

Do you want airport lounge access?

The Citi Prestige offers Priority Pass that can get your immediate family or two guests into over 1,000 lounges world wide. This is nice but if you’re primarily concerned with lounge access you might want to consider other cards. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers broader lounge access than the Prestige and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers Priority Pass access that allows you to bring in unlimited guests. Thus, if you’re looking for a card with great lounge access, the Prestige might not be the best option.

Final word

The Citi Prestige at 75K is a valuable sign-up bonus but it comes with a high spending requirement. It might make a lot more sense to go with the Citi Premier for a lot of people, since that card comes with a lower annual fee, lower spending requirement, and still comes with a solid 50K bonus.

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