The Citi Prestige card's travel credit keeps its flexibility in 2022
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new details. Citi is a TPG advertising partner.
As the omicron variant continues to spread in the new year, some travelers are reassessing upcoming trips and credit card issuers are taking note — again.
Throughout the pandemic, some issuers tried to keep homebound cardholders using their travel credit cards by expanding or extending some travel-related benefits and statement credits.
Citi is continuing that trend in 2022. Previously, Citi allowed users with the Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to new applicants) to apply its $250 annual travel credit to purchases at supermarkets and restaurants through 2020 and 2021.
Now, these additional categories will be eligible for the credit for another year. Here are the details.
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The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
In a normal year, the Citi Prestige comes with an annual $250 travel credit awarded to cardholders that can be used on a variety of purchases as long as they’re coded as travel. That includes airlines, hotels, car rentals, commuter services, tolls and much more. Simply charge such purchases to your card and you'll automatically be issued statement credits for up to $250 per calendar year.
However, Citi has made this credit even more flexible due to the ongoing pandemic, allowing cardholders to apply this credit to purchases at grocery stores and restaurants (which should include online grocery delivery services such as Instacart and delivery services such as Grubhub and DoorDash).
Although many Citi Prestige cardholders would probably prefer to put the pandemic behind them and return to using their $250 annual statement credit toward travel as usual, at least Citi is making it easier for them to save on more types of purchases for the time being.
Perhaps other issuers that adjusted their various cards' perks during the pandemic, including Amex and Chase, will take note and do the same.
For instance, the $300 annual travel statement credit offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card can only be used toward travel for now. But in both 2021 and the latter part of 2020, the Sapphire Reserve's travel credit was also applicable to gas and grocery purchases. For now, Chase has made no announcements about an extension.
Although American Express also added or adjusted statement credits on many of its cards during the pandemic, many of these perks ended with the close of 2021.
The annual airline fee statement credits offered by some Amex cards — such as the up to $200 one on The Platinum Card® from American Express — remain solely for airline charges (enrollment required). It's easily the most inflexible of the premium cards' travel credits and throughout the pandemic, Amex hasn't made it easier to use. There's no indication of that changing anytime soon.
For now, at least Citi Prestige cardholders can use their $250 annual travel statement credits toward non-travel purchases, which might be a reason for many of them need to hang onto the card for another year, even if they don't plan to travel much.