While there are many credit cards that reward cardholders for dining out, the Citi Prestige Card may take the lead – thanks to its recently increased rewards rate.
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Whether dining at a fancy restaurant or grabbing a coffee and muffin every morning on your daily commute, eating out can add up. To help offset the expense, why not get rewarded for your food purchases by earning points that can later be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards or free travel?
While there are many credit cards that reward cardholders for dining out, the Citi Prestige® Credit Card may take the lead, thanks to its recently increased rewards rate: Cardholders can now earn 5 points per dollar on dining purchases.
See what other factors make the Citi Prestige card a top choice for those wishing to maximize their rewards earnings.
Generous rewards rate
The Citi Prestige card increased its dining rewards rate from 2 points per dollar to 5 points per dollar on Jan. 4, 2019 – making it one of the highest rewards rates for dining purchases.
For those who frequently eat out, the 5-point bonus will be especially rewarding. For example, if you spend $500 each month at restaurants, you’ll earn approximately $300 in rewards from dining at the end of the year.
|Yearly rewards rate on $500 monthly restaurant spend|
|$500 x 5 points x 1 cent x 12 months = $300|
Plus, Prestige cardholders can earn the bonus while dining at restaurants overseas, unlike the Hilton Honors cards and American Express Gold® Card, which only offer a dining bonus at U.S. restaurants.
The Citi Prestige card is also rewarding for frequent travelers. Cardholders can earn 5 points per dollar on air travel, 3 points per dollar on cruise lines and hotel purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
$250 annual travel credit
Citi expanded the Prestige card’s annual travel credit on January 4 as well. Now, instead of being limited to air travel, the annual credit includes all travel purchases, including taxis, hotels, car rentals, parking tolls and more.
Free fourth night hotel stay
Citi Prestige cardholders receive a free hotel night when they pay for four consecutive nights with their Prestige card. The benefit applies to any brand of hotel, with no blackout dates.
Starting September 1, cardholders will be limited to using the benefit two times per calendar year. However, only bookings made on or after that date will count toward the 2019 cap.
Complimentary lounge access
As a Prestige member, you will receive complimentary access for you and two guests to more than 1,200 Priority Pass Select airport lounges worldwide.
Additional card perks
Other valuable benefits include a $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, no foreign transaction fees, 24/7 concierge, free roadside assistance, Citi Private Pass BEYOND, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, lost baggage insurance, baggage delay insurance, price protection and more. Plus, starting in May, cardholders will receive cell phone assistance for damage or theft of a phone when they use their Citi Prestige card to pay their monthly cell phone bill.
High annual fee
All of these card perks come with a substantial fee of $495 annually. While this amount may give you a bit of sticker shock, it’s actually a fairly standard amount for a premium credit card. Also, since each Prestige point is worth approximately 1 cent, the average consumer (who spends $15,900 each year on gas, food, clothing and general purchases) can cover a large amount of that fee with their rewards earnings alone: We estimate the average consumer can squeeze more than $300 in rewards value from the Prestige card annually.
Comparing dining rewards cards
While the Citi Prestige card offers one of the highest rewards rates on dining purchases, you may prefer a dining rewards card with a lower annual fee or one that offers points on grocery purchases as well.
See how the Citi Prestige card compares to similar dining rewards cards in the table below.
Comparing dining rewards cards
|Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Citi Prestige Credit Card||$495|
|American Express® Gold Card||$250|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||$95, $0 first year|
|Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card|
|Uber Visa Card||$0|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card||$0|
|Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi||$0 (requires $60 Costco membership)|
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card||$95|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve card||$450|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||$95|
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||$0|
|Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card||$95|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||$450|
|AARP Credit Card from Chase||$0|
Is the Citi Prestige the best dining rewards card?
That depends on what you’re looking for in a card. If you spend a large amount on eating out and traveling each year, the Citi Prestige card is a solid option. With its 5-point bonus on those purchases, as well as its travel credits and benefits, the card will essentially pay for itself each year.
But if your goal is to earn the highest rewards rate possible, the Hilton Honors cards are your best bet. Keep in mind, though, that you can only earn the dining bonus rate at U.S. restaurant. Also, Hilton points are vastly inflated – worth only half of the average credit card point.
Or, if you prefer to test out a dining rewards card for a year without commitment, the Savor Cash Rewards card from Capital One offers 4 percent cash back on dining purchases and waives the $95 annual fee the first year.
Can you apply for the Prestige card now?
Citi stopped taking applications for the Prestige card in August 2018. However, because they relaunched the card in late January 2019, new applicants can sign up for the card at this time.