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Citi Prestige® Card: Is It Worth The Annual Fee?

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

Image of Citi Prestige® Card
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"Despite its high annual fee of $450, this card holds a lot of value for consumers who can fully take advantage of its perks."

Contents

With a $450 annual fee, The Citi Prestige® Card is one of the most expensive credit cards on the market. Despite its expensive upkeep cost, we believe the Citi Prestige® credit card is a worthwhile consideration for frequent travelers who can take advantage of the airport lounge access or complimentary hotel stays it offers. With a great rewards rate (up to 3.75%), the card is competitive with other popular choices in this category, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express. For a more detailed look at the Citi Prestige® Card, read our review and benefits analysis below.

Citi Prestige® Card Pros:

  • Useful features for the frequent flyer, including air travel credit, Global Entry or TSA Pre ✔® credit, and discounted American Airlines flight redemption
  • Number of other free perks, including complimentary nights on hotel stays
  • 1.25% to 3.75% rewards rate

Citi Prestige® Cons:

  • $450 annual fee
  • ThankYou® Points aren't as versatile as other rewards programs

Review: Is the Citi Prestige® Card Worth the $450 Annual Fee?

The Citi Prestige® Card provides its users with fantastic luxury travel benefits, as well as discounts on travel and free hotel nights. Despite its high cost of $450, any consumer who takes advantage of these benefits will be making up for the annual fee. The card offers up to $250 in airline travel credit, as well as airport lounge access (through the AA Admirals Club and Priority Pass) – these two benefits alone are worth upwards of $600 to $700. It's also well-equipped and convenient for travel abroad, thanks to having no foreign transaction fees (about 3% savings) and an EMV chip.

On top of its great side benefits, we think the Citi Prestige® Card earns nice rewards rates on their purchases. Users can earn decent rewards when they use the Citi Prestige® card on air travel and hotel stays (3.75% rewards rate), and when it’s used for dining at restaurants and entertainment (2.5%). All other spending earns a sub-par rewards rate of just 1.25%. There's a relationship bonus to these rewards rate if you're an existing Citigold or Private Bank client.

The one downside in our opinion is the relatively limited value of ThankYou® Points, the rewards program. They are generally not as good as some of the other competing programs like, for example, Chase Ultimate Rewards, because it doesn’t have as robust of a point-transfer program. This makes it hard to combine your ThankYou® Points with other loyalty programs you may be participating with. Membership Rewards points, which can be earned with The Platinum Card® from American Express, can be transferred to 21 other loyalty programs (vs. just 1 with the Citi Prestige® Card).

What are the Citi Prestige® Card Benefits and Features?

The benefits that can be gained from the Citi Prestige® Card can be broken down into one of two rewards categories: spending and travel. The first are all the perks and value you get out of using the credit card to make purchases. The travel benefits are upfront perks you get just for being a cardmember – these are tailored towards and mostly worthwhile consumers who are frequent travelers.

Image of Citi Prestige® Card
Annual Fee $450
Purchase APR 16.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)
Card Details
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • 40,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $500 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates or $400 in gift cards
  • $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✓®
  • 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels
  • Earn 3X Points on Air Travel & Hotels
  • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases

Rewards from Card Purchases

Using the Citi Prestige® Card to pay for air travel and hotels earns individuals 3 ThankYou® points for every $1 spent. When the card is used for dining at restaurants or entertainment, the point accrual is just 2 points per $1. All other purchases net you 1 ThankYou® point. 

What the Citi Prestige® Card considers “entertainment” might be a little vague to some. The card’s Pricing & Terms include movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions, record stores and video rental stores among merchants who fit into this classification. Whether or not you get the 2 points per $1 depends on how a merchant chooses to classify themselves with MasterCard.

We value a single ThankYou® point to be worth, on average, $0.008. Your value will vary depending on how you choose to redeem your points. The Citi Prestige® Card has the added benefit of allowing you to transfer your points, which can extend the value of a single point. You can see Citi ThankYou® redemption options in the table below, or read our detailed analysis on the rewards program here.

Usage Example Value Per Point
Cash Back $50 Cash Back: 10,000 points .5 cents
Gift Cards $25 Best Buy Gift Card: 2,500 points 1 cent
Redeem For Flights $450 fare: 45,000 points 1 cent
Shopping $829 Apple iPad Mini: 100,000 points .83 cents
Statement Credit $10 Statement Credit: 2,000 points .5 cents
Select And Credit $150 Credit: 20,000 points  .75 cents
Amazon $80 purchase: 10,000 points  0.8 cents

Bonuses: There are opportunities to earn bonuses for your spending if you hit a certain amount in the first few months, or if you have an existing banking relationship with Citibank. On top of ThankYou® for everyday purchases, new Citi Prestige® cardholders have the ability to earn a 50,000 point bonus. To qualify, you must use the card to make $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of the account opening – this bonus is worth anywhere between $500 and $800! The bonus is enough to cover the card’s annual fee for approximately 1-2 years. If you have a Citigold® or Global Client relationship with Citibank, you will receive a 15% bonus to your ThankYou® Points every cardmember year. Citi Private Bank clients get a 25% point bonus.

Transferring Your ThankYou® Points

Citi Prestige® cardholders have the ability to transfer points to participating loyalty programs. These transfers must be made in increments of 1,000 (meaning you cannot transfer any points until you have accumulated at least 1,000 ThankYou® Points). This is one of the most profitable things cardmembers can do with their points, as this can stretch their value beyond $0.0125 per point.

All point transfers occur at a rate of 1:1, except for Hilton HHonors where the rate is 1:1.5 (that is 1 ThankYou® Point = 1.5 Hilton HHonor point). The full list of participating loyalty programs can be found in the table below:

Citi Prestige® ThankYou Point Transfer Partners
Asia Miles  Malaysia Airlines Enrich
 Etihad Airway Guest EVA Air Infinity Mileage Lands  Qantas Frequent Flyer
 Flying Blue Air France KLM  Qatar Airways Privilege Club
 Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer  Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
 Hilton HHonors  Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Travel Perks

Air Travel: These benefits are where the Citi Prestige® Card tries to make its comparatively high $450, annual fee worth it. Cardmembers will receive $250 in Air Travel credit each year. This credit can be applied towards things like airline tickets, extra baggage fees, in-flight meals, etc. However, the airline credit will only be applied towards purchases booked directly through the airline. If you book a flight through a travel service, like Expedia, it will not count. Citi Prestige® cardholders are entitled to access various airport lounges, including American Airlines Admirals Club (50 lounges), and Priority Pass™ Select (700 lounges worldwide). This benefit is approximately worth a combined value of $600, and cost-efficient to anyone who enjoys access to these lounges, has long layovers, delayed flights, or just has time to pass before flights.

Travelers who fly with American Airlines or US Airways can get an additional deal through the Citi Prestige®: their ThankYou® Points can be worth more when redeemed for AA or US Airways flights through the Citi ThankYou® Travel Center. Citi estimates that 50,000 ThankYou® Points can be used for a $800 flight this way.

Finally, one last Citi Prestige® benefit worth noting is credit towards TSA Pre ✔® or Global Entry, worth up to $100. If you apply and pay for a TSA Pre/Global Entry application using your Citi Prestige® card, you will be awarded statement credit covering the cost. Individuals who frequently find themselves at airports, and don’t want to deal with long security lines, will surely find great value in a benefit like this.

Hotels: Whenever you stay for 4 or more consecutive nights at any hotel, and pay using your Citi Prestige®, your 4th night will be complimentary. To qualify for this benefit, however, you must make your hotel reservation through the Citi Prestige® Concierge. There are no caps on this benefit, which means you can use it as many times throughout the year as you wish. If you travel a lot, and need to stay at a hotel for at least 4 nights, twice a year, we believe this benefit should make the card’s annual fee worth it.

How Does The Citi Prestige® Compare to other Credit Cards?

Before committing to paying for a $450 credit card, it’s best to understand all the options available to you – the Citi Prestige® Card is no small investment. Below we profile how the card fares against some of its top competitors. You can also use our tool below to see which cards will provide you with the highest rewards based on your personal habits.

Citi Prestige® Card vs The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is slightly more expensive with a $550 annual fee. There are two major differences between it and the Citi Prestige® Card. Firstly, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a charge card, which means you are obligated to pay any all balances on it in full at the end of each month. Charge cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express, come with no preset spending limit – this means individuals have a little bit more freedom to make large purchases, without having to worry much about a credit limit. The Citi Prestige® Card, however, earns you superior rewards on your spending, and works better as an everyday credit card, due to the 3x and 2x point accrual categories. 

Citi Prestige® Card vs Visa Black

The Visa Black Card is another high-annual fee, luxury travel credit card. It is much more expensive than the Citi Prestige® Card, costing $495 per year – that’s $45 more each year than the Citi card. Most consumers will be better off with the Citi Prestige® Card over the Visa Black Card for a number of reasons. The Visa Black card offers no way of transferring its rewards points to other loyalty programs, limiting their value. The point-earning potential on the Visa Black is also significantly worse than the Citi Prestige® Card. Visa Black cardholders earn just 1 point on every $1 spent using the card. The final nail in the coffin for the Visa Black card is its lounge access benefit. Members get access to Lounge Club – a program that is not nearly as good or extensive as that of the Citi Prestige® Card's Priority Pass.

Citi Prestige® Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of our favorite travel rewards credit cards available. Unlike the Citi Prestige® Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t offer any luxury travel perks, such as lounge access. The Chase credit card earns users Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which we believe to be of greater value than ThankYou® Points for travelers. The Sapphire Preferred Card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, and charges $95 each year after that. If you don’t plan on using the Citi Prestige® Card’s lounge access or hotel night benefits, we recommend going with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Comparison Tool

You can input your typical spending patterns into the tool below. It will then display for you rewards you can get out of these credit cards along with other metrics.

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Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 2.86%
$625
50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$1,028
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $498
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.013 = $625
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,028
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
$395 1.40%
$930
Earn two complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton Hotel, after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$504
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $395
APR 15.99%

Card Details

  • Earn two complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton Hotel, after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5 points for every $1 spent on Ritz-Carlton or partner hotels
  • 2 points for every $1 on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline
  • 1 point per $1 otherwise
  • Complimentary upgrades to the Ritz-Carlton Club Level three times annually on paid stays of up to 7 nights
  • $300 annual airline incidentals credit
  • $100 hotel credit on stays of two nights or longer
  • Worldwide Airport Lounge Access
  • Automatic gold elite status your first year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Personal service assistance to cardmembers
  • Automatic Gold Elite Status your first year
  • Maintain Gold Elite thereafter by spending 10,000 each year

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.011 = $364
Bonuses
0 x $0.011 = $930
Less Annual Fees -$790
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 504
Citi Prestige® Card
$450 0.45%
$532
Earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou points after you spend $3000
$162
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $450
APR 16.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • 40,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $500 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates or $400 in gift cards
  • $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✓®
  • 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels
  • Earn 3X Points on Air Travel & Hotels
  • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $530
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.013 = $532
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 162
United MileagePlus® Club Card
$450 -0.22%
$100
Receive a $100 statement credit after your first purchase
$-79
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $450
APR 15.99%

Card Details

  • Receive a $100 statement credit after your first purchase
  • United Club membership
  • 1st and 2nd checked bags are free
  • Priority check-in, screening, and boarding
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on United Airlines tickets
  • 1.5 points for every $1 spent otherwise
  • United Club membership
  • First and second bags are checkable for free
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Miles don't expire

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.014 = $721
Bonuses
0 x $0.014 = $100
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months -79
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
$450 -1.02%
$120
Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles and 10,000 bonus miles after the first purchase
$-368
Graph Card Read Review More Details

Terms and Limitations Apply

Annual Fee $450
APR 15.24%, 17.24% or 19.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and 10,000 bonus miles after the first purchase
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on Delta flight and vacation purchases
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Delta Sky Club Access for you and two companions with complimentary Wi-Fi and snacks
  • Get a R/T domestic first class or economy class companion certificate upon each annual renewal
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights
  • No waiting - Priority Boarding
  • Save 20% on in-flight purchases
  • Redeem Delta SkyMiles for award travel, cabin upgrades, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, Broadway tickets, or charitable donations

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.012 = $412
Bonuses
10,000 x $0.012 = $120
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months -368
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
$450 -1.21%
$0
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases the first 3 months
$-437
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $450
APR 16.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • For a limited time, earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and guests with you*
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation*

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.014 = $463
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months -437

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.