Big Updates to the Citi Prestige: Points deval (AA), 4th night free (worse?), TPC golf gone!
It’s Sebastian from SMB and today we’re going to be talking about the citi prestige card. If you are new here, we are all about how to maximize the value from your credit cards, so it is flush for free and get the most cash back, if that sounds like something that might be interesting to you please subscribe to our channel.
So let’s get started, one of the reasons why I haven’t talked about this card is that it’s changing. So Citi announced a few changes that are going to be effective in July 2017. So I’m in this weird position, I wonder if I wait until July to talk about the card or I talk about the card how it was before the change or I talk about both, so my goal is going to be talking about both, to show you what the card used to be and what it will be in the future which will help you decide whether you want to get this card.
So if you apply for the card right now, you’re going to get 50,000 points, which is citi’s name for the program. If you hit 5,000 dollars of minimum spend in the first three months, then your fee is $450, you can lower it to $350 if you apply in branch, so go to branch and make sure that the annual fee is $350 annual fee, or if you have citi gold, it’s $350 as well, I wouldn’t worry about the citi gold route, because you need $200,000 in assets. So the citi gold doesn’t make sense to me. The card also comes with a 250-dollar public credit every year, it’s based off the calendar year and not when you got the card.
So I reserved you twice in our first year to get it, if you do so, you are going to get 17 credits right now. If you get the card on 1st January of 2018, you’ll be able to get the whole credit of 2018, which means that you get $500, $250 plus $250 for one annual fee of $350.
They’re paying you 150 dollars, $500 minus $350 annual fee and that’s before considering the bonus and all other perks of the card which is pretty good, you also get $100 Global Entry credit for most high-end card, and that is standard.
You can give the CSR and the Ritz card to your friends or sell it to them or maybe give it to relatives. Like other high cards, you get Priority Pass, so you can bring in two guests along with yourself to any of those lounges.
This button is obviously worse than the CSR version, which allows you to have unlimited desk. But one of the best benefits is force bank free, so if you go through the citi’s concierge, you get a credit for the fourth night, we will dive into that later in the video.
But effectively, you’re getting 25% off depending on what you spend on, you can go to Pleasant hotels to enjoy food, entertainment and everything else. So there are a ton of benefits that I’m not going to cover, because they’re consistent with your thoughts in credit cards.
So there is a price protection, if the price drops, there will be certain protection on extended warranty and travel. The two main perks to be aware of is the trip delay insurance and tickets insurance. So for trip delay insurance, you will have a three-hour window if the plane to where you go gets delayed, you will get $500 because of the delay, so that counts for travel accommodations and anything in that category, if you have to take a taxi to the hotel to stay the night that counts, if you have to eat a meal because of the delay that counts. And you can hardly spend $500, you won’t go to the most expensive restaurant at the airport and get a steak.
This card has the best trip delay insurance among all credit cards, so most other high-end cards have 6 or 12-hour Triple A insurance compared to the 3 hours here. So 12 hours makes it hard to hit and use that benefit, but when you’re talking about 3 hours, you can look at any holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, when there’s crazy weather and that counts, so that’s a valuable perk, if you travel during these rough times, it is something to consider.
The other one is ticket protection. If you miss a sport event, a musical a movie or a lecture, you can use it for the price of the ticket you paid, it means that you’re protected. If something happens, there are a bunch of rules, it will cover that.
One final thing is that citi has a partnership with Live Nation which means that you get presale tickets for certain events that are under elimination, since it’s not exclusive to the prestige. So you can get any other citi card, I’m not going to cover too much here, but it is something to consider.
So on paper, you might be thinking that this sounds amazing, and I think this an extent part of the reason why I don’t really talk about the card as much is that there is going to be an adjustment on the card which means that they are going to downgrade a lot of benefits on 23rd July 2017, so the four main ones are Admirals Club, golfing, 493 and point redemption.
The first part is straightforward, if you’re flying American Airlines, you get free access to the Admirals Club. The second one is free golf, so you get three rounds of golf at PGA level courses, if they’re full courses, it will be 18 holes.
So if you look at the value of those, they can be a lot so hundreds of dollars and I did a calculation of this a while back. If this perk isn’t going away, then I would say that this is definitively the card to get as a golfer because you’re playing on PGA courses, typically cost two hundred to four hundred dollars.
So the third downgrade is the fourth country, what they previously did was that they looked at the going to look at the average of the Knights. So that sounds like it might not be that important, but there were a lot of hacks that people used in order to maximize this perk, the two hacks relate to Vegas and holidays.
So the key is interesting because in the middle of the week, the cost of hotels is really low, but during Friday and Saturday, when people go to Vegas for the weekend, it’s really expensive. So you’re comparing $40 a night in the middle of the week or maybe even less with a hundred to three hundred dollars during Friday and Saturday. So people would book from Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday to Friday, from Tuesday night to Thursday night are all cheap and the Friday is under super expenses. It means that you will save a lot of money on the last night, holidays are pretty much the same.
If you look at something like New Year’s Eve, it’s really expensive on that night and maybe not as expensive on previous nights so if you book from 28th to 29th, 30th and 31st, you’re going to get a lot of value in the last night, because it’s expensive when moving forward.
It’s going to be the average of the nights instead of the last night’s rate, it means that the value you get is going to be a lot lower. For example, the Rio Hotel in Vegas, the rate of Friday night is $200 but if you look at the average rate from Tuesday to Friday nights, it’s only 99 dollars a night, so you can get a hundred dollars difference from one stay, and you will lose it due to the change. The final change is going to affect people most, which is that if you sign up for the curve right now, you will get 1.6 cents per point.
When you book Premier Airlines and you can get 1.33 cents back, once the change happens, you’re only going to get 1.25 cents. So if you fly American Airlines, this probably hurts the most. Because before the change happens, you’re going to get $800 in value from your 50,000 thank-you points compared to the $625 you’ll get after the change, so that’s a loss of $175 from the sign up bonus. For other airlines, it only loses $40 and values are going from $665 to $625. The fact is that the points are getting downgraded but it will not hurt so much.
One final thing to be aware of is that you can’t get a bonus for signing up for a citi thank-you card if you open or close an account within the last two years, because you sign up to the card right now in 2017 and then in 2018, you realize the card isn’t working out for you and you want to cancel it. If you decide to keep the card in 2017, you would be eligible for another bonus from a thank-you card on 2019. But since in 2018 you cancel it, you won’t be able to cool till 2020. Since this rule applies to all thank-you earning cards, you need to find a card with the best bonus and get that one. Because you won’t be eligible for any other bonus that earns thank-you points in the next two years and it’s intense if you think about it.
G iven all this, does it make sense to get the card? I think if you’re going to take advantage of all the perks that are going to get downgraded like a golf, then definitely get it now, before it gets downgraded. Otherwise, it might make sense to wait for all the cards to be released, it might give you a better offer in the fall when people cancel the card.
It’s the old plastic card, they might turn it into a metal card, in my head, given that the card is losing to the Chase Fi Reserve and now the Amex platinum, they might try to find a way to make it better to compete with other cards.
So running through all the perks, you still get 250-thousand points which is equivalent to $625. There’s another way you can redeem it for statement credits. But I would not recommend doing it, you get 0.5 cents per point, so 50,000 points is equivalent to $250, which is a really bad projection, comparing to the 1.25.
So I don’t do that route, but $625 for the sign up bonus isn’t bad at all. I have already explained at the beginning how you’re getting two of these credits with one OFI? It’s very similar to see our travel credit except for the post.
So almost anything that codes as travel will count towards to credit. The only thing is that it’s right away. Now you have two ways of statement, the priority pass is nice in the global entry, but I already have those credits from other credit cards and you might not if you don’t have other premium credit cards.
But it’s hard for me to value them at a high rate since I have multiple priority pass cards. The fourth Grand Prix benefit is still useful, but one thing which is not good to remember is that you have to call concierge for them to book it, and they usually call the hotel to book it. So sometimes deal sites like Hotwire or hotels have a cheaper rate.
So something else to consider is that pricing might not be as great as you think it is since you’re still using 25% off of the fourth peg free. But you might be getting 10% off at Hotel Tom, it means that the marginal difference is only 15% and not 25% discount like you think. It is for the 3x category at the 1.25 rate for the airline tickets, you’re getting 3.75 percent return on span, which isn’t bad.
But if you compare it to something with the Chase Sapphire Reserve with the 1.5 X travel portal 3X, your point is really 4.5% back. So 4.5 percent versus 3.75 percent, the difference is obvious, because you’re getting 4.5 percent return there versus 2.25.
The one area where the 2X category might make sense is the entertainment category, so 2X is really 2.25 percent, if you were gaming for Airlines. But it’s not that good if you compare to something with the city double cash, where you get 2% back on all your purchases.
So it definitely makes sense to sign up for the cart, because you’re getting the value for not too much of an annual fee, you might be able to get a bit more value for the sign up bonus.
If you have agreed on transferring partners instead of 5X at one point, I probably assigned transfer partners about 1.5 cents per points. So who should get the card? I think traveling is enough to take advantage of the travel credits, you should definitely get it. And also if you can use a sign up bonus towards flights is even better, all the other travel perks are nice pluses.
But you are already getting those perks from other cards, it’s hard to recommend this one over the other ones. So if you’re going to get a card at the $350 annual fee with the $250 travel credit every year, your effective annual fee is only $100 per year, which is pretty reasonable.
Chase Sapphire Preferred is five dollars less, but you’re getting a lot more perks than the Taste Outliner Preferred. So if you can use up the travel credit, which makes the effective annual fee $100, then you should keep the card. If you can get at least a hundred dollars in value from the other perks, like Priority Pass, so that is easy to use.
If you either trouble a lot or maybe trouble for work, and you get it reimbursed or maybe you take one very expensive trip every year, where each of the nights end up being about $200 a night, so that’s $200 in value right there, if you value the trip delay insurance, it’s probably the best card insurance.
And if you trouble during bad weather, it’s really good. The final thing will be the missed event benefit, so this is hard to understand, just because the rules seem very confusing. So one of the rules is that if you missed an event, because you lost a ticket, but they have an exception, which is the situation if they deem that a reasonable person could attend the event and could not show up, which is not fine.
I haven’t tried it myself, but it is something to consider. So I hope this video is helpful and let me know what your thoughts about the citi prestige are. Is it a card that you would consider, or does it make any sense? Let me know in the comments down below, if you want to win a New York Times gift card or a toxication, please book me. All you have to do is to be a subscriber, like this video and comment down below. We’ll be announcing winners on Friday, so keep an eye out.