Citi Prestige® Card review: The best deal without Admirals Club access?


$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.



Overall Rating
3/5 Stars   
Key Features
  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year, and receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre √®
  • Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay at hotels booked through Citi Prestige® ConciergeEarn  40,000 bonus points after  $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
  • Points are redeemable for, a  $532 flight on any airline or  $400 in gift cards.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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41 thoughts on Citi Prestige® Card review: The best deal without Admirals Club access?

  1. Bobbie

    I just received my Prestige card and have questions about the $250 airline statement credit covers. If I buy points from the airline is that covered? Are the airline fees associated with using FF awards covered? Does the credit just show up on the statement or do you have to do something to get it. Do you have to use the travel center? Thanks for being patient.


      @Bobbie – Officially, it’s “Airline Fees are defined as purchases made directly with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases.” But if the charge shows up with the airline as a merchant for other things, it might apply. The credit applies automatically on the statement,

  2. Alex B.

    I have two questions:

    1. Does the Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance and the medical evacuation insurance only apply to the primary cardholder, to family members, or for anyone that you purchase trip tickets for?

    2. Does the auto insurance only cover Avis and National or does it cover others like Hertz or Budget too?
    Thanks for the help and the great information.


      @Alex B. –

      For 1) it covers family members whose travel you purchase with the card (whether they are traveling with you or not), which includes your children, spouse, fiancée, Domestic Partner and their children, including adopted children or step-children; legal guardians or wards; siblings or siblings-in-law; son-in-law or daughter-in-law; parents or parents-in-law; grandparents or grandchildren; aunts or uncles; nieces or nephews.

      It also covers non-family members who are traveling with you and paid for with your card.

      For 2) yes others like Hertz and Budget are covered.

  3. Brian

    The benefits of this card make it worth the price if you can use them. My card came last week and I’ve tried over several days since then to reach the concierge. Today I got through after holding about 15 minutes. Over the weekend I just gave up after 20 minutes. A Citi rep told me they just switched to a new concierge provider and they are still smoothing things out. I get that transition can be difficult, but I can’t benefit from a 4th night free if I have to book through a concierge that doesn’t answer the phone. Citi needs to fix the problem.

  4. Mike

    For the free hotel night is it a one time a year benefit or is it a multiple use option? I travel frequently and stay on average 5 nights. The way I read the benefit would be good on each of my trips, however it is not 100% clear. please confirm


      @Mike – As often as you’d like. You just need to make the booking via the Citi travel department, which is handled by Carlson Wagonlit. Any hotel that participates in the major travel agent databases is bookable, even at rates only available on the hotel’s website. Though if your company has a negotiated rate that might not apply if the hotel doesn’t allow a different travel agency to book it.

      1. Mike

        excellent thanks, does the same apply to the flight credit? Example I book the flight direct with AA and it cost me $500 which is paid by the prestige card. How do I apply the $250 credit?


          @Mike – The flight credit is automatic and a max total of $250 a year. Just charge to your card and it will apply until the $250 is used up.

  5. Edward

    Hi two questions: first, do extra card members have all the same benefits including the lounge access? And second, how much is it to add additional card users?


      @Edward – Extra card members have the Priority Pass benefit. They do not get the Admirals Club benefit. There is no fee to add additional card members (up to 10).

      If you want the Admirals Club benefit for additional authorized users for free consider the Executive AAdvantage card.

      1. Raymond L

        Wow, I thought the priority club benefit only applies to the primary card holder. No fee for additional card holder ( 10 ) with priority club benefit ? That would be great. I have reservation on that though. I’ll try. Thank you !

  6. Allen

    I just signed up at one of the Citibank branch. Yes, indeed, the annual fee is $350, instead of $450. However, the first year annual fee is not waived. Also, the sign up bonus reduces to 30k, instead of 50k if you signed up through website.

    I still decided to go for it because I can get the $250 airline fee rebate plus the $100 global entry application fee back, so that’s free first year in my book. With the perks the card offers, I will renew it yearly for sure.

    The Citi Prestige customer service is also great. I received the prestige card but the priority plus card will be sent out two weeks later. Since I will travel next week, so the agent offered me to call priority plus to get it sooner. After 5 minutes waiting, the agent told me that I can expect the card in two days. Yeah!

  7. Monica

    1. For the $250 annual credit, does it expire? or may it be accumulated without expiration to the later year(s)?

    2. After spending $3,000 in the first 3 month from opening an account, the 50,000 ThankYou bonus points which may turn into an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards, what if the flight only cost me $500, will the remained bonus points, or reward amount be remained for later use? or I may only redeem the amount with an equal or more purchase? Same concern for the gift card as well, do I have to redeem the gift card for a value of $500 at once, or, I may redeem at different value at different times.

    I truly appreciate your reply, thank you!


      @Monica – The annual credit is per calendar year so it doesn’t roll over. You’ll get $250 to use until December of this year, and a fresh $250 again come January, but this year’s $250 goes away if you don’t use it. The good news is you don’t need to enroll – it’s automatically applied when you make an airline purchase.

      And yes, if the flight is less than $800 the remaining points will stay in your account. In fact you can choose to pay for your flight part in cash, and use even fewer points. For gift cards no need to redeem all your points at once either. They never expire as long as you hold this or another card that earns ThankYou points.

  8. Doug

    I just signed up for the card and have some updates for you:
    1) if you sign up in a branch the annual fee is $350 instead of $450
    2) if you sign up in a branch the bonus is 30,000 points instead of 50,000 but it is increased an additional 30,000 points if you spend $15k in 12 months.
    3) the annual fee of $350 is waived for the first year!

    This makes this card truly amazing. At $350/yr less the $250 travel credit you get some crazy benefits for $100 including the fourth night free at a hotel. I can’t wait to get and use the card!


      @Doug – Enjoy it – we were able to get them to see Aman resorts in their system, and yes they are available for booking with the 4th night free.

  9. Doug

    I am weighing my options trying to find a new credit card. I was considering a simple, no fee, 2% cash card but am intrigued by this card. Even though it costs $450, there are no foreign transaction fees, and with the $250 travel credit and free hotel night the card is free, making it essentially a 1% cash card. My question is about other benefits that i have read about but do not see anywhere on any Citi page:
    – what about the car rental benefits? One site says you get Avis and Enterprise preferred memberships but i do not see that anywhere else?

    Do you think that this is a good card for someone who spends about $100k per year on a card and travels at least once a year? A 2% card with no fee would make $2000 in rewards and cost nothing. This card would cost $450-$250 travel credit-free hotel room and make $1000 in rewards. So in my mind the benefits (including the free hotel room) need to total at least $1200 to make it equal to the simple 2% card (citi double cash) or even a card like Chase Sapphire.

    Also, i have stayed at some crazy hotels in the past like the Aman resorts. Does this card offer for a free night really work at ALL hotels even those costing $1000/night?!


      @Doug – The rewards can be more like 1.6% minimum as when you redeem for American Airlines flights points are worth 1.6 cents each. Then on top of that the dining and travel spending bonuses get you closer to 2% value. So you can push $1,600+ in rewards a year with your spending.

      As for the hotel benefit, yes they use Carlson Wagonlit to book the travel, and they are a full service agency with access to all the brands. And if the rate they have doesn’t match what you see on the hotel’s website then you can ask them to check the hotel’s lowest website rate and match it.

      So if you use it for an Aman night you’re making the fee back and a lot more. Take advantage of that while you can – it’s almost too generous.

      1. Doug

        Thanks for the amazingly fast reply! What about the car rental memberships? Any idea on those? Having Avis First or Enterprise Executive level for free will also add to value of card and travel ease. Thanks again and Happy Fourth!

        1. Doug

          Also, do you get the cheapest hotel room available or if you book a suite is the fourth night free? Im thinking of extremes here, like if i book a $5000/night room for 4 nights do i get a night free?


          @Doug – For the car rental memberships yes you get Avis First and one year of National Executive. It’s part of the World Elite MasterCard suite of benefits

          As for the super premium rooms – yes you can pick what room type you want as long as it’s the same for all 4 nights. It’s exactly like booking via a travel agent. So as long as a hotel room is in a standard GDS it’s available.

          As for the Ammans we put an inquiry in on a couple of Ammans and are getting conflicting info. So stay tuned next week when the full staff is on duty.

  10. Jon

    I dont understand ” Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.” Does this mean that ThankYou Points can only be used on AA flights that cost $800 or less? Can you book Business Class tickets with ThankYou Points?


      @Jon – You can book business class tickets – and if the ticket costs more than the points you have are worth, you pay the rest as a charge on your card.

      So if you want an AA ticket that costs $1,500 and you have 50,000 points in your account, you’ll pay $1,500 less the $800 the 50,000 points are worth, for a total of $700 charged to your card.

  11. John

    this card is poorly designed… It it The ONLY CARD that has the magnetic strip on the front. And to make matters worse, it is hidden in the design. I have to be proactive and tell every single person where the strip is or it takes twice as long to complete a transaction.

    Great card otherwise, but hire a new designer, please.


      @John – And now the Citi ThankYou Premier has that same design to further educate cashiers…

  12. john groth

    Please help novice on this. Can you use the Priority Lounge access feature as many times as you want a year, no matter what your airline flight? Can you take a guest in, without paying a guest fee? I went to the Priority Lounge site and could not find specifics except about 10 visits per year and then having to pay $27 per guest per visit?

    Thanks, John


      @john – Yes, you can use it an unlimited number of times each year, and can bring 2 guests with the Prestige card’s version of the Priority Pass. It’s a special version of it.

  13. Mark

    As far as I can tell, lounge access is NOT the same with the Citi Prestige card as it is with the similar AAdvantage Executive. With the AA card, you get an Admirals Club *membership*, which means you can access their lounges whether you’re traveling on AA or not. With the Citi Prestige, you get Admirals Club *access* only when you’re ticketed on AA. Depending upon how you travel, that can make a huge difference in the value of these different benefits.


      @Mark – We made sure the first sentence on this page says “when you’re flying on American Airlines” but maybe it wasn’t clear enough and should be elsewhere. Yes, the Prestige only offers the benefit when you’re flying on American.

  14. Rupert

    You point out as a “con” that you can’t transfer to AAdvantage and I wouldn’t consider that a big “con” as you can buy domestic economy at could point rates via the 1.6ct/point option you mention AND you can transfer to great foreign airlines for international premium cabin travel, like Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific or Virgin Atlantic, Etihad or Qatar – all of which have much better Business and First Class products than AA!
    Also, the fee is only $250 for Citigold customers and sometimes in-branch. I’ve had the card for 6 months and wrote about my experience and tips here:

  15. E-PHL

    I was disappointed in trying to book an American Airlines flight this afternoon using my Prestige 60% bonus. I would challenge the “no restrictions” description.

    It seems that Connexions (the Travel Center) does not see all of the American Airlines fares that one might see while logged onto Aadvantage. It worked fine for me when I wanted to book an Economy flight, it came up to the penny for ThankYou points required: points required multiplied by 1.6 was the exact cash value appearing on Aadvantage. But when I compared the Business rates I was shown various rates as I refreshed, anywhere from owing more than $600 to more than $400, should have been owing $176, which I saw for one split second, and by the time I called to book that for my daughter, who’s a minor, that price was lost, and no one at the Travel Center could get it back for me.

    I did learn a trick in the process: if the correct (cheapest) price pops up in Travel Center, don’t delay things by calling, but book the minor’s flight as if adult, entering appropriate “fudged” birthdate with correct name, go back and change birthdate later. The accompanying adult was already booked with aadvantage miles, so this is perfectly legit in the end, as this is not an unaccompanied minor.

    Perhaps the most important lesson is to check AA independently before booking anything and spending hundreds of dollars more by using Thank You points!

    Lesson learned.

  16. Van

    For the 4th free night hotel stay… how does it work? Say I’m booking a 4 night stay at a hotel with higher weekend rates. For simplicity, say, two nights cost $300 each, and two nights cost $100 each. Will they credit me $300, $100, or $200 (average per night)?


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