By: Travis Cormier
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Hey Travel Junkies,
The Citi Prestige Card is Citi’s flagship premium credit card. The unique benefits you get from the Citi Prestige really set this card apart from other premium cards on the market. If you don’t have the Citi Prestige already, you might want to consider it. Let’s talk about why.
4th-Night Free on Hotel Stays
You‘ve probably heard us talk about using points for free nights at hotels, but sometimes paying for hotel nights instead of using points can make sense. Additionally, if you want to stay at a boutique hotel that isn’t part of a large loyalty program, you’ll need to find a way to pay for it. Finally, if you travel for work, this can be a great way to save money on hotels.
With the Citi Prestige Card’s 4th-Night Free, whenever you book at least 4 consecutive nights at a hotel, you will receive a free night on the 4th night.
The reservation must be made online or by calling the Prestige Concierge. While calling isn’t as easy, you can get the 4th-Night benefit applied to some better rates that you have found on your own.
To be eligible for the benefit, you must pay with your Citi Prestige credit card.
Keep in mind that this isn’t really free night, but it’s very close. Citi averages the cost of all 4 nights and discounts your stay by the average of the 4 nights.
If you were planning to use it to get a more expensive weekend night free, it doesn’t quite work that way. That being said, it is still a phenomenal benefit that can save you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars per a year!
Airport Lounge Access: Priority Pass Select
The Citi Prestige Card provides airport lounge access through a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. This will allow you (and two guests) to relax in lounges at airports across the world while you wait for your flights.
Many lounges have a great selection of food and beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits – for those who enjoy making cocktails. The Turkish Airlines Lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD) has earned a reputation as one of the best in the states and there are more great options across the world.
Make sure you check the list of lounges you can visit before you travel to ensure you know about any restrictions at a particular lounge.
To enter one of these lounges, you will need to provide your Priority Pass membership card that you will receive separately from the Citi Prestige Card. Some lounges will allow you access with the digital card which you can get from the Priority Pass app on your phone.
Transfer Points to Airline Partners
The Citi ThankYou Points program has 14 airline partners and one hotel partner. Often, transferring points can get you a much greater value than redeeming them through a bank’s travel portal.
Citi’s airline transfer partners include:
|Airline Transfer Partners||Transfer Ratio|
ThankYou Points can also be transferred to Hilton Honors at a 1:1.5 ratio. However, this is still not a good use of your points.
You can transfer ThankYou Points to most partners at a 1:1 ratio. The most notable exception is JetBlue. If you transfer ThankYou points to Jetblue’s TrueBlue program, you will receive 0.5 TrueBlue points for every 1 ThankYou Point transferred.
JetBlue’s TrueBlue program is revenue based, meaning your points are worth a fixed amount. For TrueBlue, these points generally can be redeemed for 1.4 to 1.7 cents each.
It rarely makes sense to transfer ThankYou Points to JetBlue since you will be getting a value of only 0.70 to 0.85 cents for every point transferred. Since Airfare booked using ThankYou Points with a Citi Prestige Card are worth a minimum of 1.25 cents each, you can book the same JetBlue flight for less points when going through the ThankYou portal.
Unless there is a bonus, or Citi changes the transfer rate in the future, JetBlue isn’t the best travel partner unless you absolutely must transfer a thousand or so ThankYou Points to top off your account.
$250 Air Travel Credit
All of the major premium cards have some form of a travel credit, and the Citi Prestige Card is no exception. This card offers a $250 air travel credit which is applied automatically when you make a purchase from an airline.
Unlike the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, this perk doesn’t apply to all travel charges, only those made on airlines. It explicitly includes airline tickets, unlike other the airline fee credit credits provided by American Express cards including the Platinum Card, the Business Platinum Card, and the Premier Rewards Gold Card.
This is a great way to cover taxes and fees when booking award tickets with airline miles that require you to pay the carrier-imposed surcharges such British Airways Avios.
Trip Delay Protection
We recently published an article about the best trip delay protection credit cards. The Citi Prestige Card was the clear winner, but this benefit is so good we want to highlight it again!
You and your travel companions are eligible for up to $500 in reimbursement per person for reasonable expenses faced due to a delay greater than 3 hours. To receive this benefit, you need to pay for only a portion of your trip with the Citi Prestige Card, or with your ThankYou Points.
Let’s say you book an award flight to Hawaii and pay the taxes and fees with your Citi Prestige Card, you would still be eligible for this benefit.
The fact that this benefit extends to travel companions and the 3-hour delay requirement make this the best trip delay protection on the market.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Application Fee Reimbursement
If you don’t enjoy waiting in line at security checkpoints, then Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are a must for you but they have applications fees of $100 and $85, respectively.
However, if you pay with your Citi Prestige Card, you will be reimbursed for the application fee of either program.
Since Global Entry gives you access to TSA PreCheck, pick this option. With this pair, you’ll have expedited screening when returning from abroad and when departing from many US airports on any of 37 TSA PreCheck partner airlines.
Missed Event Ticket Protection
A little known benefit exclusive to the Citi Prestige Card is the Missed Event Ticket Protection. This will provide you reimbursement, up to $500 per ticket, if you are unable to attend a ticketed event (such as a concert, or a day at a theme park) due to a covered incident.
To be eligible, you have to pay with your Citi Prestige or ThankYou Points for at least part of the ticket. This benefit extends to the ticket-holder even if that person isn’t you.
The covered incidents are pretty generous under this protection. They include lost, stolen, or destroyed tickets, illness that prevents you from attending, bad weather, and many others.
Also, Citi will refund only the amount purchased using your Citi Prestige or ThankYou points. So don’t charge just one cent hoping to be covered in full. You’ll only get that one cent back.
The benefit is limited to $5,000 per year, so don’t lose too many tickets!
Citi Price Rewind
If you make an eligible purchase with your Citi Prestige Card, you have 60 days to find a cheaper price and receive a refund for the difference. Not only that, but Citi will help you track prices and let you know if they find a cheaper price so you can submit a refund request.
Unsurprisingly, Citi can’t track every possible merchant so they won’t catch everything which is why you should check prices yourself if you really want to get a discount.
However, if you don’t have the time for that, it’s great to be able to submit your purchase and then forget about it until Citi notifies you of a refund opportunity.
Citi Travel Center: Increased Value Per Point
If you redeem ThankYou points for gift cards or statement credits you’ll receive at most 1 cent per point. If you have the Citi Prestige, your points are worth 1.25 cents each when you book airfare via the Citi Travel Center or when you call the Citi Prestige Concierge line to book your flight.
This can enhance any ThankYou Points you have from other sources as well. If you also have a Citi ThankYou Preferred Card and combine the points earned with those earned via your Citi Prestige card, you can book at the increased rate.
The Citi Prestige Card has some unique benefits that make it stand out amongst other premium credit cards, especially in the travel category. The 4th-night free can save you a lot of money if you pay for some of your hotel bookings.
If your travel gets delayed at the airport, the Citi Prestige Card also has the best travel delay protection in the industry.
With all of these benefits, there’s not another premium card on the market that comes close to offering what the Citi Prestige Card does. If the perks fit your needs, give this card a look.