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

Jul 15, 2021

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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.

(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 photo courtesy of Priority Pass.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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