Frequent Miler (H/T) reported yesterday that the Citi Prestige has expanded its $250 General Travel credit. The credit can now be used towards Groceries and Dining, as well as general travel. This move has come in the wake of Chase and American Express offering promotions on their credit cards. Most of their promotions will last for the rest of 2020.
Furthermore, Citi has also followed in the footsteps of American Express by extending sign-up bonus periods. Eligible new cardholders now have six months to hit minimum spend requirements. But they must be approved for their card before May 31, 2020. And the window for the extension has not elapsed.
I am glad to see Citi helping their cardholders, even though they have rolled out their promotions later than Chase and American Express. But is this travel credit extension enough to keep the Citi Prestige for another year?
The Citi Prestige has a $495 annual fee and about half of it can easily be justified with the expanded $250 travel credit. This leaves most cardholders with a “net” annual fee of $245. Unfortunately, Citi dropped most of their cards’ benefits in September 2019. This also included a significant devaluation of the Fourth Night Free perk, which is the only other Citi Prestige perk left.
Therefore, the only way to truly justify the $245 “net” annual fee is through heavy spend. And many people not spending as much as they used to in general.
The Citi Prestige’s value proposition has gotten better with this promotion. However, its still not a useful card after cardholders have used the credit in full. This remains true after the promotion is over unless Citi makes some positive changes.
I wrote a post about why Citi Should Discontinue the Prestige Card in September 2019. This was in wake of the heavy devaluation. Part of the post discussed why the Citi Premier remains a better and less expensive alternative to the Prestige. And this holds true even with the Premier’s upcoming changes.
May 2020 might be a great time to acquire the Citi Prestige because of the expanded travel credit. But be sure that you will have enough upcoming expenses to justify a $245 “net annual fee”.