Gone but not forgotten: 5 discontinued credit cards we miss the most

Sep 24, 2021

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Banks release new credit cards regularly to stay competitive and attract new customers. While many of those cards earn valuable rewards and come equipped with useful perks and benefits, sometimes we need to dig into the dusty corners of our wallets to look at cards that are no longer available. These discontinued credit cards either offered benefits that were too attractive (aka cost the bank too much) or they didn’t generate enough of a following to keep around.

This article will review some of our favorite rewards credit cards that are no longer available. And, if you still have one of these cards, we’ll share a few reasons why you should think twice before canceling.

The information for the discontinued cards listed below has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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In This Post

Citi Prestige® Card

Highlights:

  • Annual fee: $495
  • Earning rate: 5x on dining and travel, 3x on hotels and cruises, 1x everything else
  • Special benefits: $250 annual travel credit, 4th-night free annual hotel benefit

Why we miss it:

The Citi Prestige was Citi’s luxury credit card that competed with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card® from American Express. It offered a generous 5x on dining and travel, plus 3x on hotels and cruises, so you could earn loads of ThankYou Points on your travel purchases. The card also came with a credit of up to $100 every five years toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees.

I’ve held this card for many years and the most valuable benefit is the 4th night free on hotel bookings. Initially, this was an unlimited benefit and you could book directly with hotels or by calling the Citi Prestige concierge. They’d even book reservations using conference room block codes, which was fantastic. Now, this benefit is limited to twice per year and you have you book through the Citi travel portal, which means that you probably won’t earn points or stay credits, nor will you receive elite status benefits.

The other benefit that I miss was the three rounds of complimentary golf each year. I booked some fantastic courses in Southern California with this benefit. That perk alone covered the annual fee for golf lovers, which is probably why they eliminated it several years ago.

What card you should get instead:

Since the Citi Prestige is unavailable for new applications, you should apply for the Citi Premier Card instead. It earns 3x ThankYou Points on dining, groceries, gas, flights, and hotels without the hefty annual fee. Plus, it includes a one-time $100 annual savings on hotel bookings of $500 or more made through ThankYou.com. Plus, the Citi Premier® Card is currently offering a welcome offer of 60,000 ThankYou bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. 

Related: The eight best credit cards with annual fees under $100

American Express Platinum from Ameriprise

Highlights:

  • Annual fee: $0 first year, $550 annual fee
  • Earning rate: 5x flights booked direct or thru Amex Travel, 5x prepaid hotels booked thru Amex Travel, 1x on everything else
  • Special benefit: $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credits, airport lounge access, complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold status, up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement.

Why we miss it:

The Ameriprise version of the Amex Platinum Card offered all of the standard Amex Platinum benefits, but it waived the first year’s annual fee. With American Express charging $550 (and now more) for its annual fee, the Ameriprise card offered a huge savings for new applicants. While many people are hesitant to apply for cards with hefty annual fees, getting the Ameriprise Amex Platinum was a no-brainer for most consumers. With no fee the first year, they could enjoy the benefits for 12 months without paying a fee.

The downside with this card is that most offers did not come with a welcome bonus. So, you’d have to decide if the lack of annual fee was worth missing out on bonus points for new accounts.

What card you should get instead:

Frequent travelers who will use the Amex Platinum’s annual credits, elite status, and lounge access enough to justify the $695 fee (see rates and fees) should get the American Express Platinum Card. Those who want to avoid the Amex Platinum’s hefty fee should get the American Express® Gold Card instead. It earns up to 4x points on its select bonus categories and includes up to $240 in combined annual credits for dining at restaurants and participating merchants and Uber Cash to help offset its $250 annual fee (see rates and fees). Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: Bonus point categories and welcome offer: The Platinum Card from American Express review

Barclays Arrival Plus

Highlights:

  • Annual fee: $0 first year, then $89
  • Earning rate: Unlimited 2x miles on every purchase
  • Special benefit: Redeem miles to cover travel purchases within 120 days; 5% rebate on miles redeemed.

Why we miss it:

The Barclays Arrival Plus was one of the most flexible travel rewards credit cards when it was released. You’d earn 2x miles on every purchase with no caps on the number of miles you could earn. Simply pay for your travel reservations with the card, then use your miles to cover charges of $100 or more within 120 days. Plus, you’d receive a 5% rebate on the miles redeemed to give you a jumpstart towards your next redemption.

When the card was first released, travel purchases of $25 or more qualified. Additionally, you’d receive a rebate of 10% on miles redeemed. After a few years, Barclays reduced the value of these benefits by increasing the purchase requirement to $100 and lowering the rebate from 10% to 5%.

What card you should get instead:

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is also as close to this card as you can get. It offers an unlimited 2x miles on every purchase and you can use the miles to cover your travel purchases within 90 days. While you don’t have as big of a window to offset your travel purchases with redeemed miles, the Venture Card offers benefits that the Arrival Plus never offered. Venture cardholders can use miles to book travel or transfer to airline and hotel partners. Plus, it includes reimbursement of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees.

Related: 10 ways to maximize Barclays Arrival miles

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Highlights:

  • Annual fee: $0 first year, then $95
  • Earning rate: 2x at SPG & Marriott; 1x SPG point on all other purchases
  • Special benefit: SPG points converted at 3:1 ratio to Marriott; annual free night; Silver elite status; complimentary Boingo WiFi.

Why we miss it:

After Marriott bought SPG, there was a brief time where you’d earn more points on everyday spend with the Amex SPG Card than its Marriott counterparts. This made the Amex SPG Card the best card to earn Marriott points on everyday spend because you’d earn 50% more points on un-bonused purchases. Then you could convert the SPG points to Marriott and receive 3 Marriott points for every 1 SPG point. Sadly, Marriott discontinued the SPG cards and converted them to Marriott Bonvoy credit cards shortly thereafter.

The card also included automatic Silver elite status and unlimited free Boingo WiFi access for up to four devices. Plus, you’d receive a free night each year worth up to 35,000 Marriott points when you renewed your card.

What card you should get instead:

The current version of the Amex SPG card is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. It earns up to 17 points per dollar at on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores and dining, and 2 points per dollar on other purchases and comes with an annual free night worth up to 35,000 points. New cardholders can earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

Related: RIP to the SPG Amex; Looking for New Love With Bonvoy

Citi AT&T Access More

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Highlights:

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Earning rate: 3x on AT&T; 3x on online purchases; 1x everything else
  • Special benefit: 10,000 bonus points when you spend $10,000 each year.

Why we miss it:

The Citi AT&T Access More Card was how many in the travel community purchased their iPhones. After meeting the minimum spending requirement, you’d receive a $650 sign-up bonus, which was about the same price as the latest iPhone. The other significant benefit was earning unlimited 3x ThankYou points on online purchases at retail and travel websites. This high earning rate made online transactions with fees, like paying taxes and payments made via Plastiq, profitable for cardholders.

Even after this card was discontinued, some people were able to successfully product change into it from other Citi cards for several years. However, the recent reports that I’ve seen say that this is no longer an option.

What card you should get instead:

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card earns an unlimited 3x points on eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases on mobile-wallet apps such as Apple PayGoogle Pay, and Samsung Pay. This earning power can be just as lucrative with more and more businesses adopting mobile payments.

The card also earns 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through U.S. Bank and includes an annual travel credit of $325. Cardholders also receive a Priority Pass airport lounge access membership, 12 complimentary Gogo inflight WiFi passes each year, and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement every four years.

The information for the U.S. Bank Altitude 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.

The bottom line

It’s a bit nostalgic to think about the credit cards that have come and gone. We’ve earned countless rewards and enjoyed so many benefits with these cards over the years. Some people still have these cards because they’ve kept them active and alive, even though they are now closed to new applications. It will be interesting to see which of today’s must-have cards will be eliminated and replaced with “improved” versions in the future.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.

Featured photo by Richard Theis/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below 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.