$250 air travel credit. Every year, you can get up to $250 in air travel expenses automatically reimbursed, including air fare.
Guest lounge access. The card gives you Priority Pass membership, which lets you visit over 800 lounges worldwide, and lets you bring up to 2 guests free each visit.
4th hotel night free. Anytime you book a 4 night or longer stay via the Citi concierge, the 4th night of your stay is free – you just pay the taxes for that night. Even better, you can pay the lowest rate shown on the hotel’s website, so you have access to any hotel that lets the Citi concierge pay with your Prestige, and the very lowest rates.
No major U.S. airline mile transfer partner. While the Prestige lets you transfer your points into airline miles with several airline mile program, the big U.S. airlines – American, Delta, United, and Southwest – aren’t transfer partners with Citi.
No U.S. airline lounge partner. This card offers access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs, but that benefit ends in July of 2017.
International airport lounge access
The Citi Prestige no longer offers access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs (you’ll need the Citi Executive AAdvantage card for that), but you get access to over 900 Priority Pass lounges worldwide for you and 2 guests.
These include most Alaska Airlines Board Rooms and lounges at most major airports around the world.
Tip: Any authorized users you add to your account get their own Priority Pass membership card to use when not traveling with you.
With lounge access you won’t find any wild parties or lots of celebrities, but you can enjoy free drinks, light snacks, and good wifi access.
Easy to use free hotel nights
Each time you use your card to book a hotel for a 4 night stay or longer you get one night refunded back to your account. There’s no limit to the number of times you can do this each year.
The only catch is you must call the Citi Prestige® concierge to book and pay for the hotel.
If you see a special rate on the hotel’s website that Carlson Wagonlit doesn’t find, tell the concierge about it and they can book it themselves on your behalf. As long as the hotel lets the concierge pay for the room with your card, or book it on their website, you’re good to go with any hotel.
So this is a really nice benefit that doesn’t lock you into a certain set of expensive hotels. You can use it for just about any hotel around the world if you’re specific with your request and you get the lowest rate available.
No other card offers a free hotel night benefit that’s this generous, making it easy to save $100-$200 or more a year. You can read more about it here.
Extra valuable points
The points you earn from the Citi Prestige® Card are extra valuable. You can use them to book any airline you want, and instead of the traditional 1 cent per mile value, your points are worth 1.33 cents each when you use them to book flights on the Citi ThankYou travel website. So a $300 ticket needs just under 23,000 points, versus 30,000 points with traditional bank point programs.
You can also transfer your points from the Citi Prestige to several airline mile transfer partners, including Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, and more.
That lets you the flexibility to take advantage of real airline miles and the leverage they can offer, including adding to miles you might already have.
Loaded with travel protection
The Citi Prestige comes stocked with some of the best travel protection available with a credit card including…
4 hour trip delay insurance. If a flight you book with the card is delayed just 4 hours or more, you can get reimbursed up to $500 for meals and lodging. A delay that long isn’t that uncommon, so it’s a benefit you can make great use of.
Medical evacuation coverage. If you end up getting seriously ill or injured while traveling on a trip paid for with the card, Citi will reimburse the cost to evacuate you to a suitable hospital or back near your residence. You’re covered up to $100,000 and buying this coverage on its own could cost $50 or more per trip.
Any country car rental insurance. You’ll be covered for car rentals in any country, no strange exclusions like Ireland or Israel, with protection up to $100,000 in damage to the vehicle you rent.
3 hour baggage delay protection. If your bags are running 3 hours or more late you can get up to $500 for items you need to buy to hold you over until your bag arrives. That means you’ll never be stuck footing the bill for an overnight bag delay and can buy what you need with confidence.
Should you apply?
While this was a no brainer when Admirals Club access was an ongoing benefit, with that gone, you should get this card if you can get value out of the free 4th night benefit (which is really flexible since you can use it for just about any hotel), or if you use Priority Pass lounges enough to justify the $200 you’re paying for this card after the $250 air travel credit.
The other option from Citi is to get the Citi® Executive / AAdvantage® World Elite Mastercard with the same annual fee. It offers Admirals Club access and earns real American AAdvantage miles, including miles that can help you qualify for elite status each year.
But it doesn’t include the $250 airline credit, Priority Pass lounge access, free hotel night benefit, or ability to transfer your points to multiple airline mile programs.
If general lounge access perks are what you’re after, The Platinum Card from American Express, with access to Delta SkyClubs, the premium Amex Centurion Lounges, and a Priority Pass membership (though without free guest privileges) is worth considering.
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