The new limitation is the latest of several updates to the card this year and can greatly reduce the value of the popular fourth night free benefit.
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The Citi Prestige card has undergone several changes this year, including a raised annual fee and expanded travel credit. While many of these new features – like the addition of cellphone insurance – provide added value for Prestige cardholders, not all changes have been positive.
Most recently, the Citi Prestige card added a two-use-per-year limit on its renowned fourth night free benefit. Effective Sept. 1, 2019, cardholders can only enjoy a fourth night free on two hotel stays per year.
Changes to the Citi Prestige card in 2019
The Citi Prestige card updated its rewards rate on Jan. 4 to offer 5 points per dollar on dining and air travel, 3 points per dollar on cruise lines and hotel purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
See how the updated rewards rate compares to the previous offer:
|Updated offer||Previous offer|
Additional card changes include:
Up to $250 annual travel credit – Instead of being limited to air travel, the $250 annual credit has been expanded to include all eligible travel purchases, such as taxis, hotels, car rentals, parking tolls and more.
Both of these updates expanded the potential of the Citi Prestige card, making it easy to bring in a high number of ThankYou points and get the full value out of the card’s travel credit. Unfortunately, not all changes to the card have been positive.
Along with the removal of the 2-point bonus on entertainment purchases, Citi Prestige cardholders experienced a few negative changes, including:
Devalued points redemption – Cardholders no longer receive a 25-percent bonus when they redeem their ThankYou points for air travel. Meaning – each point is 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 has increased to $495. Additionally, an authorized user fee of $75 has been implemented. Note, these changes do 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 are now limited to using the benefit up to two times annually.
Along with the cap on the fourth night free perk, cardholders can no longer book fourth night free stays through the Citi Prestige Concierge. This is a big drawback, as it limits users ability to stack discounts and enjoy elite status benefits.
See related: Guide to the Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit
Is the updated Citi Prestige card worth it?
Though the card’s 5-point bonus on dining and air travel is exceptionally high, other updates – especially the point devaluation and annual fee increase – mean that the card may not make sense for every user. Cardholders on a moderate budget simply looking to earn points for free travel should check out the Citi Premier® Card, which features a 25-percent bonus on airfare travel redemptions (through 4/10/21) and a much lower annual fee.
For luxury travelers, however, the Prestige card does offer some very noteworthy benefits, including lounge access, top-tier travel insurance and a free fourth night benefit, which – even with a cap – can easily outmatch the card’s annual fee.