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The once best-ever travel credit card may now be gone forever

July 15, 2021
4 min read
The once best-ever travel credit card may now be gone forever
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The Citi Prestige® Card was once the popular kid at school. Years ago, the card was the single best travel credit card, crammed with high-end benefits such as a fourth night free on hotel bookings, Admirals Club access and three free rounds of golf per calendar year, to name a few. But Citi has endlessly devalued the product since its debut nearly a decade ago.

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Here's a quick recap of how the mighty Citi Prestige has fallen over the years:

  • It supplied the best trip delay insurance of any public credit card, kicking in after just three hours of delay. Citi changed that to six hours (still good, but no longer the best). Then they eliminated all travel insurance.
  • It came with a benefit allowing you to receive your fourth night free at nearly any hotel, including taxes. Citi later decided they would not reimburse taxes. Then they capped the number of fourth nights free from unlimited to two per year. Then they stipulated that the fourth night free must be booked through the Citi ThankYou travel portal, meaning you couldn't book directly with hotels.
  • It offered American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access. Citi completely nixed that.
  • It earned points that you could redeem for 1.6 cents each on American Airlines and 1.33 cents for all other airlines. Citi incrementally eliminated this benefit, finally landing at a value of 1 cent per point toward travel.
  • Its annual fee increased from $450 to $495 per year.
  • Its authorized user fee increased from $50 to $75.

It now appears Citi has struck another blow against the card, as it's no longer available to new applicants.

We reached out to Citi for their response, and it was an interesting one, to say the least.

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(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Citi Prestige discontinued 'for the foreseeable future'

With each devaluation, cardholders have become more and more disgruntled. It now appears that Citi has finally decided to turn the Citi Prestige into glue. We received the following note from Citi:

For the foreseeable future, the Citi Prestige Card is removed from the Citi card product offering. Citi remains committed to servicing existing Citi Prestige customers and encourages customers interested in applying for a new Citi card to visit CitiCards.com for our full suite of card options, including the Citi Premier Card and the newly launched Citi Custom Cash Card.

A statement like this generally means one of two things:

  • The card is being discontinued altogether. Those who want the card may have the option to upgrade an existing Citi ThankYou points card, such as the Citi Premier® Card.
  • The card is getting a major overhaul and will return at a later date.

While the Citi Prestige had fallen considerably from its glorious beginning, it's still a shame to see an option for earning points removed from the market. At the moment, Citi no longer has a luxury travel credit card to compete with the likes of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card® from American Express. If they're removing the Citi Prestige for good, they had better have a premium secret weapon in the wings -- or they'll get left behind in the travel credit cards game.

The offer 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.

Featured image by First Class Lounge (No. 69) at Shanghai Pudong (PVG) airport. (Photo courtesy of Priority Pass)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023