Changes coming to the Citi Prestige in 2019

Updates include a 5-point bonus on dining and air travel

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Citi has announced several changes coming to the Citi Prestige card in 2019. According to Citi, the updates – which include an increased rewards rate for dining and travel – are designed to prioritize the categories that Prestige cardholders value most. Chris Fred, head of proprietary products for Citi Cards, explains, “Starting in January, the new benefits will help drive additional compelling rewards-earning potential for our customers.”

In addition to offering five points per dollar on dining and air travel, the updated Citi Prestige card will offer three points per dollar on cruise line purchases. The two-point bonus on entertainment, however, will be removed. See how the upcoming rewards rate compares to the current offer:

Previous offer Upcoming offer
  • 3 points per dollar on air travel and hotels
  • 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainments
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
  • 5 points per dollar on dining and air travel
  • 3 points per dollar on cruise lines and hotel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases

Additional card changes include:

$250 annual travel credit – The $250 annual credit will expand to include all eligible travel purchases, not just air travel.

Cell phone assistance – Starting May 2019, 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.

Not all changes are positive ones

Along with the removal of the two-point bonus on entertainment purchases, Citi Prestige cardholders can expect a few negative changes, including:

Devalued points redemption – Cardholders will no longer receive a 25-percent bonus when they redeem their ThankYou points for air travel. Meaning – each point will be worth 1 cent (instead of 1.25 cents) when redeemed for travel through Citi’s travel portal.

Annual fee increase – The already high annual fee of $450 will increase to $495 in September 2019. Additionally, an authorized user fee of $75 will be implemented. Note, these changes will not apply to cardholders who are Citigold and Private Bank clients.

Capped complimentary fourth night benefit – Instead of having the ability to use the fourth night benefit multiple times throughout the year, cardholders will be limited to using the benefit up to two times annually starting Sept. 1, 2019.

When can you apply?

Citi stopped accepting new applications for the Citi Prestige card in August 2018. However, with the impending changes slated for early next year, Citi plans to resume accepting applications in late January 2019.  

See related: Guide to earning and using Citi ThankYou points, Earn up to 50,000 bonus point with the Citi/AAdvantage World Elite cards

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Updated: 11-15-2018