Citi Confirms Prestige Benefits Will be Reduced


Rumors have been circulating for weeks now about a reduction in benefits for the Citi Prestige card.  Unfortunately those whispers turned out to be true.

On Wednesday we received an email from Citi stating that as of July 23, 2017 the following benefits will no longer be offered or will be changed:

Sign Up Bonus

Reduced to 40,000 points after $4,000 in initial spending.  Down form the original offer of 50,000 points after $3,000 is spending.

  • Eddective July 22, 2016

Lounge Access

Access to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges will no longer be offered.  Cardholders will still have access to PriorityPass lounges.

American Airlines 1.6x Redemption

Higher redemption rates (1.6 cents per Citi ThankYou Points) for booking American Airlines through the ThankYou portal will be eliminated.  New conversion will be 1.25 cents per point on all travel bookings.

Complimentary 4th Night

The Complimentary 4th Night benefit will be calculated based on the average nightly rate (excluding tax) of your complete stay for reservations.  Previously all bookings made through the concierge would earn a statement credit for the fourth night and include tax.

Complimentary International Golf

The three complimentary rounds of golf will no longer be offered.  Cardholders will still have access to over 2,000 golf properties around the world with access to select TPC properties provided by MasterCard.

What Remains the Same

  • 3x Points on Air Travel & Hotels, 2X points on Dining & Entertainment and 1 Thank You point per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Annual $250 Air Travel Credit
  • $100 Statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA Pre application fee
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Access to the Citi Prestige Concierge

Summary

We view the aforementioned benefit changes as a significant downgrade for current cardholders and reduces utility and competitive advantage Citi Prestige had on other premium cards.  It also seems like poor timing as Chase is looking to launch a new high end credit card dubbed Sapphire Reserved (to compete with Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige).

I am now putting the Citi Prestige card on my possible cut list for this year and will be looking to maximize rewards prior to the July 23, 2017 cut off date.   With strong competition and similar benefits it may make sense to bring business elsewhere.

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