The Citi Prestige card has occupied a prominent spot in my wallet ever since I got it in 2015. It was a great competitor to the American Express Platinum card, the only other mass-accessible premium card available at the time.
The Citi Prestige basically matched a lot of the AMEX Platinum’s benefits when it launched: airline fee credit, lounge access, and benefits at high end hotels. And then, there’s the crème de la crème, the “4th night free” benefit. As the name implies, you get the 4th night of hotel stays booked through Citi Prestige Concierge credited back to your account. It was a benefit that I use multiple times a year, saving me hundreds of dollars annually.
Fast forward, and a lot of those original benefits have disappeared or devalued over the years. Access to American Airlines’ Admirals club was terminated, and free golf is no longer available. The 4th night free credit, a staple card benefit, stopped including taxes and fees.
There were rumors that Citi will be discontinuing the Prestige card on August 18, 2018. Citi, meanwhile, said to DoC that they “remain committed to the Prestige product and servicing our valued existing cardmembers.” August 18 came and went, and the Prestige card seemed to be standing.
Then, all of a sudden, it disappeared today. The application is no longer available, and Citi has wiped all mentions of the card from its website.
I can imagine that Citi doesn’t make much money on the Prestige. Its most compelling benefit (4th night free) is so valuable, most people who hold the card likely use it extensively. I know business travelers who almost exclusively make 4-night stays. At $200 a night per week, a year is yielding them $10,000 in savings. It has even shaped the way I travel—I now stay 4 nights in each city when I go on vacations, solely because of this benefit.
The Prestige is also far from the most rewarding card out there when it comes to spend. It offers 3x on airfares and hotels, and 2x on dining and entertainment. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3x on all travel and dining, while the American Express Platinum card offers a whopping 5x on airfares. Heck, even Citi’s own Thank You Premier offers a better earning structure. As such, there really isn’t much incentive to make non-hotel purchases on the card at all.
Citi has signaled that it may bring back a new and improved Prestige card sometime in the future, but details are slim.
It is very possible that Citi is just restructuring the card benefits, before unveiling a new Citi Prestige card. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Citi Prestige—as it stands—takes on a completely different form when it returns.
We shall see.
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