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A 75,000 point Citi Prestige bonus (but get it for the free 4th hotel night)

by on Thu July 27, 2017 • No Comment
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citiprestige170The Citi Prestige is available with a 75,000 point bonus offer that’s the highest yet for the card. You can earn the points after spending $7,500 on the card within the first 3 months of holding it. There’s a $450 annual fee that’s not waived.

The best reason to hold the Citi Prestige is to take advantage of the 4th free night hotel benefit, that lets you get your 4th night free at just about any hotel worldwide, with no limits. So if you take trips of 4 nights or longer a couple of times a year, this is a good time to give the benefit a test drive.

Otherwise, the Citi Prestige isn’t the most exciting or useful card just for earning points or leveraging other travel perks. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve are better on the ongoing points front, and The Platinum Card from American Express is better for other perks like lounge access.

Is it the best offer?

Previous Citi Prestige offers generally had 40,000 to 50,000 point bonuses, so in terms of travel value, 75,000 points is the best yet. However, the spending requirement to get the bonus was only $3,000 within 3 months vs. $7,500 now, so it’s harder to attain.

And it’s not nearly as exciting as the 100,000 points the Chase Sapphire Reserve offered when it launched.

The Citi Prestige features:

  • 3x points (3% cash back) for air travel and hotel purchases
  • 2x points (2% cash back) for dining and entertainment
  • 4th hotel night free when you book with cash or points
  • Unlimited Priority Pass membership for airport lounges for you and up to 2 guests
  • Transfer points to 13 airline mile programs and Hilton Honors
  • 3 hour flight delay and trip cancellation coverage

What can you do with 75,000 Citi points?

You can use ThankYou points to book flights on most airlines using the Citi ThankYou website, and every 10,000 points is worth $125 in flights, so 75,000 points can get you over $900 worth of flights.

You can get even more value if you transfer them into frequent flyer miles, taking advantage of some of the sweet spots on the award charts of Citi’s transfer partners.

Citi has the following airline transfer partners:

  • Air France/KLM: 1:1
  • Cathay Pacific Airways: 1:1
  • Etihad Airways: 1:1
  • EVA Air: 1:1
  • Garuda Indonesia: 1:1
  • JetBlue: 1:0.5
  • Malaysia Airlines: 1:1
  • Qantas Airways: 1:1
  • Qatar Airways: 1:1
  • Singapore Airlines: 1:1
  • Thai Airways: 1:1
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways: 1:1

Not all of these airlines appeal to a casual traveler, but some of them have really terrific values.

hawaiisunset

6 one-way flights to Hawaii

When you meet your spending requirements, you’ll get at least 82,500 ThankYou points. That’s enough for up to 6 one-way flights between the Continental U.S. and Hawaii by transferring your points into Air France Flying Blue miles to book on Delta or Alaska Airlines.

Flying Blue charges 15,000 miles in Economy and 30,000 miles in Business Class.

If you want to travel to Hawaii on American, you can transfer your ThankYou points to Etihad Guest miles and pay 17,500 to 22,500 miles in Economy and 37,500 miles in Business Class.

parissunset

4 one-way flights to Europe

Transferring points to Etihad Guest lets you book American Airlines flights for as few as 20,000 miles one way on off-peak days.

aa-old-off-peak

You can also book a Business Class award ticket on American Airlines for 50,000 miles one way.

Transferring points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is another option.

You can travel in Delta One (Delta Business Class) for 95,000 – 155,000 miles round trip, depending on the day you fly. Flights from the East Coast and Midwest cost 95,000 or 115,000 miles, and those from the West Coast and Salt Lake City cost 135,000 – 155,000 miles roundtrip.

Want to see more of Europe for the same number miles?

You can transfer ThankYou points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and take advantage of up to 5 stopovers in Europe flying American, British Airways, Iberia, or Air Berlin. For example, on one ticket for 60,000 miles in Economy or 85,000 miles in Business Class you could fly:

  • Boston to Dusseldorf (Air Berlin)
  • Dusseldorf to Berlin (Same)
  • Berlin to Prague (Same)
  • Prague to London(British)
  • London to Paris (Same)
  • Paris to Boston (American)
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via GCMap

3 one-way flights to Israel or Morocco

Transfer your points to Flying Blue and you can fly any SkyTeam member airline, including Delta, for 25,000 miles in Economy or 62,500 miles in Business Class.

While it’s very hard to get a non-stop flight to Israel on Delta, you can use a combination of Delta flight to Europe followed by a segment on Air France, Alitalia, or Aeroflot to Tel Aviv.

hong-kong-958636_1280

2 one-way flights to Asia

  • A Cathay Pacific flight between the U.S. West Coast and Hong Kong costs 40,000 miles one way in Economy and 70,000 miles in Business Class when you transfer to Asia Miles. Remember that you can use free stopovers, although it might cost you more miles.
  • A flight on American Airlines between the U.S. and Japan or Korea costs 32,500 miles one way in Economy or 50,000 miles in Business Class when you transfer to Etihad Guest.
  • A flight on Singapore Airlines between the U.S. West Coast and Singapore costs 35,000 miles one way in Economy and 80,000 miles in Business Class.

fijibusinessclass

2 one-way flights to Fiji

Transfer your points to Qantas and you can fly from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Fiji on Qantas partner Fiji Airways. The journey will cost you 35,000 miles one way in Economy and 72,000 miles in Business Class.

A roundtrip Economy ticket for 75,000 miles (35,000 x 2) can save you well over $1,000, while saving up for Business Class can save you $3,000 or more.

Other Citi Prestige benefits

Complimentary 4th hotel night for free

If you stay in hotels for longer than 3 nights, this is a great benefit that can save you hundreds of dollars. Every time you book a hotel stay of 4 or more nights via the Citi ThankYou website or phone concierge you’ll get the 4th night free.

The free night works at just about any hotel you can find, from budget to luxury. There’s no special list of hotels you need to think about, and if you can’t find a hotel or rate on the Citi website, you can call the travel concierge to look for the lowest rate you can find.

The benefit is really valuable benefit if you take a couple of trips a year that last 4 nights or more.

Considering there’s an annual $250 travel credit that helps offset the $450 annual fee and get the cost of holding the card down to $200 a year, taking advantage of the 4th free night benefit on just two trips could save you hundreds of dollars, geting you great value even before you consider the points you can earn from your spending.

In fact, one of the best ways to leverage the Prestige is to simply use it for hotel spending when you can take advantage of the 4th free night benefit, and use other cards with more valuable points like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve for your other spending.

citi-free-4th-nightTravel protection benefits

Most premium credit cards offer some travel insurance benefits, but there is one area where Citi Prestige really shines.

It covers flight delays as short as 3 hours, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve starts at 6 hours.

Citi also covers delays if you’ve lost your passport or other travel documents, and it has more favorable terms for the trip cancellation and interruption insurance, including covering you if you’ve been recently fired or laid off.

Is there a way to reduce the annual fee?

Yes. If you have one of the Citi banking qualifying products, such as Citi Priority Account Package or Citigold, your annual fee will be automatically reduced by $100.

You can currently get 50,000 bonus ThankYou points with the new account opening, but you would have to deposit $50,000 to qualify (in-branch only). But the points you get from Citi banking products can’t be transferred to partner frequent flyer programs.

Should you get it now?

Keep in mind that Citi limits you to one type of bonus every 2 years on its ThankYou cards, so be sure you really want this bonus before you apply.

Bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier, or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

75,000 points is the Citi Prestige’s best bonus ever, but with a $450 annual fee and no U.S. based airline programs among the 1:1 point transfer partners, it’s tough to recommend unless you know you’ll get good use out of the 4th free night benefit, or have the patience to take advantage of sweet spots with Citi’s international transfer partners.

 

 

 

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MileCards.com

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
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Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

Yes

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

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