Citi Prestige 75,000 Point Signup Bonus and New Features Starting July 23

In the past, we talked about how Citi announced it was removing some benefits from the Citi Prestige starting July 23, 2017. Today, it was announced h/t The Points Guy that Citi will be adding positive benefits to the Citi Prestige! 

Metal Card

Starting on July 23, 3017, all new Citi Prestige cards will be metal. This was an expected change seeing how all of the cards in it's class, i.e. Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum, are made out of metal.

Existing cardholders can call Citi to request a metal card after July 23.

Increased signup bonus

Also starting on July 23 is an increased sign up bonus. The Citi Prestige will come with a 75,000 point sign up bonus — the highest public offer we've ever seen. The typical signup bonus in the past is 30,000-40,000 points.

Along with the increased signup bonus comes an increased minimum spend requirement of $7,500 within the first 3 months. Depending on your ability to hit minimum spend, it may or may not make sense to get the card. The last thing you want to do is get a credit card and miss out on the signup bonus. 

7,500 Citi ThankYou points are valued at a minimum of $750 if you redeem them for cash or hotels (1 cent per point). The points are valued at 1.25 cents per point if you redeem them for airfare. 

  • Cash = 75k x 1 CPP = $750
  • Hotels = 75k x 1 CPP = $750
  • Airfare = 75k x 1.25 CPP = $937.50

If you are interested in getting the Citi Prestige for the increased signup bonus, you need to be sure you haven't opened a card that earns Citi ThankYou points within the past 2 years. Watch the video below for more information:

For example, if you close the Citi Premier credit card, even if you have not received a bonus for the Citi Prestige, if you close the Premier within 12 months of applying to the Prestige, you are not eligible for the signup bonus. You would have to wait 24 months after closing the Premier to receive a bonus from a new Citi card that earns ThankYou points. 

4th night free

In the past, you would have to call the Citi Prestige Concierge to take advantage of the 4th night free benefit. This would entail calling the concierge, waiting for them to book it on your behalf, and confirm the reservation with you. After that, you had to wait for the hotel charge to come through, and then be reimbursed for the cost of the 4th night with a statement credit. 

The good news is starting on July 23, Citi Prestige cardholders will be able to book 4th night free hotel reservations online at the Citi ThankYou travel center! Simply log in to your account at thankyou.com and make your reservation. The discount will automatically be applied at checkout AND you'll now be able to pay for all or part of the reservation with ThankYou points at the rate of 1 cent per point. 

However, if you travel for work often and you want the statement credit (because you're expensing it), you can still call the Citi Prestige Concierge to book it the old way.

For example:

  • Work shouldn't care because...$250 x 4 nights - $1,000
  • If you use a random credit card = they're still paying $1,000
  • If you use the Citi Prestige = they're still paying $1,000, AND you get $250 statement credit (free $250!)
  • If you use a company card (depending on your company) = they pay $1,000 + most likely earning 1% (= $10)

Redeeming points for hotels

One thing to be aware of is that some bloggers are claiming points are worth 1.33 CPP if you redeem them for hotel stays. 

i.e, $100 / night  x 4 nights = $400

To get the 4th night free, you still have to pay $300 for the three previous days or pay 30,000 points. 

"You only need 30k points, so 400 / 30k = 1.33CPP!"

in reality, yes, you are getting "$400 in value," but your alternative is either paying $300 cash or 30k points

So 30k points redeemed instead of paying $300 cash = 1 CPP not 1.33 CPP. The opportunity difference $400 and not $300. You're not getting the 4th night free because you're solely using points; you're getting it because it's a feature of the card. 

Conclusion

The only reason to apply for the Citi Prestige before July 23 is if you'll have problems meeting the higher minimum spend requirement of $7,500. If you apply for the current offer, you're not losing out because it's essentially the same:

50,000 points for $5,000 minimum spend vs. 75,000 points for $7,500 minimum spend = 10 points per $1

If you apply before July 23, you will not be grandfathered into the old benefits. Each Citi Prestige cardholder will be transitioned to the new benefits and policies starting on July 23.