Citi Premier Vs. Citi Prestige

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Both the Citi Premier® Card and the Citi Prestige® Card offer a similar range of benefits, including travel-focused rewards structures and premium benefits. While the Citi Premier card is still accepting applications, the Citi Prestige is no longer available to new customers (meaning if you don’t already have this card, you can’t apply for it).

That said, if you already own the Citi Prestige, it’s worth comparing your options to make sure you have the right card for your situation.

Main details

welcome bonus 60,000 bonus thank you points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening N / A
Reward rate 3X points on purchases from restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels and air travel; 1X points on all other purchases 5X points on air travel and restaurant purchases; 3X points on hotel and cruise line purchases; 1X points on all other purchases
Variable APR 15.99% to 23.99% 16.99% to 23.99%
Annual subscription $95 $495

Citi Premier vs. Citi Prestige Highlights

Here’s a look at how each card stacks up in terms of rewards, fees, and more.

Welcome Bonus Winner: Citi Premier

Since the Citi Premier is the only card of the two currently accepting new applicants, it is by default the winner when it comes to the welcome bonus.

The Citi Premier offers a bonus of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. These points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com.

Reward Rate Winner: Citi Premier

While both cards offer rewards for cardholder spending in the form of Citi ThankYou points, the Citi Premier card has the edge when it comes to reward categories that work for most cardholders.

Premier earns 3X points on purchases from restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels, and air travel, as well as 1X points on everything else. This means that if you use the Citi Premier as your everyday credit card, you’ll be well placed to earn a good amount of ThankYou points.

An exception is if you plan to use this card primarily for travel expenses. In this case, the Citi Prestige, which earns 5X points on air travel and restaurant purchases and 3X points on hotel and cruise purchases, may be a better fit.

Annual Membership Winner: Citi Premier

The Citi Premier card also has an advantage when it comes to annual fees. The card only charges an annual fee of $95, while the Citi Prestige charges a whopping annual fee of $495. Lower annual fees increase the likelihood that you’ll recoup (and more) fees through a combination of rewards and other benefits.

Foreign Transaction Fee Winner: Tied

None of these travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees for purchases made abroad. This means you can avoid unnecessary charges when swiping either card outside of the US.

Which card pays the most?

Whether the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card pays the most depends on the type of purchases you make.

If you primarily use your card for expenses such as groceries, meals, gas and travel, the Citi Premier is probably a better fit, which means you might consider upgrading from Prestige to Premier. However, if you primarily use your card exclusively for travel purchases, like plane tickets and restaurants, you might be better off sticking with the Citi Prestige.

Example of Citi Premier vs Citi Prestige expenses

Everyone’s budget is different, so the amount you spend on categories like groceries, gas, meals, and other expenses in any given year may not be the same as yours. another cardholder. That said, here’s an example of how these two cards compare in terms of reward earning.

Restaurants: $2,500 75 dots 125 dots
Supermarkets: $9,500 285 dots 0 dots
Gas stations: $1,500 45 dots 0 dots
Hotels: $1,000 30 dots 30 dots
Air travel: $1,000 30 dots 50 dots
Cruise passengers: $500 0 dots 15 dots
Other expenses: $10,000 300 dots 300 dots
Total: 765 dots 520 dots

As illustrated in the example above, while the Citi Premier may have lower reward rates in a few categories, it still rewards much broader areas of spend compared to the Citi Prestige. If you don’t primarily use your card for a high volume of travel spending, including hotel and restaurant purchases, you’re probably better off upgrading to Citi Premier.

However, if you spend primarily on travel-related purchases or travel frequently throughout the year, the math might look a little different. For example:

Restaurants: $5,000 150 dots 250 dots
Supermarkets: $1,000 30 dots 0 dots
Gas stations: $1,500 45 dots 0 dots
Hotels: $5,000 150 dots 150 dots
Air travel: $5,000 150 dots 250 dots
Cruise passengers: $2,000 0 dots 60 dots
Other expenses: $10,000 300 dots 300 dots
Total: 825 dots 1010 dots

Why should you upgrade to the Citi Premier Card?

The Citi Premier offers a variety of attractive benefits for cardholders, including rewards on purchases at supermarkets and gas stations as well as a generous welcome bonus and travel benefits. Keep reading to determine if you should get the Citi Premier card.

Additional benefits

This Citi credit card offers some nice extra perks, first and foremost an annual hotel savings of $100. When you book with your card through thankyou.com (or 1-800-THANKYOU), you get $100 off a hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees).

Plus, you get access to both Citi Concierge and Citi Entertainment, you can get purchase protection and extended warranty benefits, and World Elite Mastercard benefits (like free ShopRunner membership and credits monthly Lyft).

Redemption options

Redemption options for this card include travel, cash back or statement credits, payment credits, gift cards, purchases with points through Amazon and PayPal, and donations to charity.

The best way to maximize your rewards is to transfer your ThankYou points to a Citi airline or hotel transfer partner. This can increase the value of your points by up to 1.7 cents each, based on monthly ratings from The dot guy.

Recommended credit score

Although Citi does not share credit score requirements for this card, a general recommendation is a score of 700 or higher.

Why keep the Citi Prestige Card?

Although the Citi Prestige is no longer accepting applicants, there are a few reasons you might consider keeping this card, including its high travel credit, lounge access, and free hotel night.

Additional benefits

The Citi Prestige comes with a variety of attractive perks that may be worth keeping. More importantly, his free fourth night stay at the hotel. When you book a hotel for four consecutive nights through the Citi Travel Portal, you only need to pay for three of the four nights (excluding taxes and fees).

The card also offers a solid annual travel credit of $250. As a cardholder, you automatically receive up to $250 in statement credits for eligible travel purchases, from airline tickets to cruises to road tolls.

Plus, owning the Prestige gives you (and two guests) access to Priority Pass Select airport lounges around the world. You can also get up to $100 in credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck applications every four years.

Finally, like Premier, you get access to Citi Concierge and Citi Entertainment, World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, purchase protection and more.

Refund Options

Like the Citi Premier Card, rewards can be redeemed for travel, cash back or statement credits, payment credits, gift cards, purchases through Amazon and PayPal, and donations to charity.

The bottom line

Although the Citi Prestige card offers luxury travel benefits, it only really makes sense if you travel a lot each year. If your day-to-day spending leans more towards groceries, gas, and takeout, the Citi Premier may be worth upgrading to, especially since it still offers competitive rewards rates on categories related to travel, such as hotels and air travel.

Citi Prestige card information was independently collected by Bankrate.com. Card details have not been reviewed or endorsed by the card issuer.

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