Is the Citi Prestige Promo Worth It?

Citibank has been running a promo for its Citi Prestige card which has been extended until the end of 31st July 2022. The air in the room of $120,000 credit cards has been recently sucked up by DBS’s swanky new Vantage card, but I think Citi Prestige is still a worthy contender depending on your spend and travel habits.

Here’s the rundown of the promo details:

ActivityReward
Sign up with this link; annual fee of S$535 applies
Make minimum S$800 of qualifying spend within 2 months100,000 ThankYou Points (40,000 miles)
Both new and existing Citi cardholders are eligible
Optional: use PayAll to buy miles at 0.8 cents per mileFree limousine service if quarterly spend reaches S$12,000 (retail spend and/or PayAll transactions)

Citi Prestige

🔥 👍🏼

New or existing Citi Cardholders

Apply here (if you get an error message signing up as an existing cardholder, try again as a new Citi cardholder)

Get 120,000 ThankYou points (48,000 miles) with payment of annual fee of S$535 and making minimum spend of S$800 within first 2 months. Read promo details (terms and conditions)

Until 31st October 2022

For new to Citi customers: I encourage you to apply for one of the other Citi Cards first before getting Citi Prestige. This way you enjoy both promos.

This promo works for existing Citi customers too.

Read the review here

Annual fee for miles: fair value

In the $120,000 card space, you are often paying a non-waiverable annual fee in exchange for various perks, and the most obvious benefit is the miles given with paying the annual fee. The number of miles you get with Citi Prestige is normally 25,000 (in the form of 62,500 ThankYou points), but it is upsized to 40,000 miles until 31st July, with the added requirement of making S$800 of spend.

Paying S$535 (S$500 + 7% GST) for 40,000 miles works out to 1.34 cents per mile which isn’t the most fantastic of rates, but it’s not too ridiculous if you have a taste for business class flights. The spend requirement is also quite low at S$800, and Citi PayAll transactions qualify. This is particularly useful since it’s often far easier (and more prudent) to use a service like PayAll to pay for bills like insurance and maintenance fees than it is to chalk up retail spend.

There are people who’d gladly pay 1.34 cents per mile without any added benefits, and the Citi Prestige does indeed offer other perks.

4th night free perk: good value

The headlining feature of Citi Prestige is perhaps getting the 4th night stay at a hotel for free. The perk sounds like a generous 25% discount off one’s accommodation costs for a 4-night stay, but it doesn’t quite work out like that.

My recent hotel stay at Hilton Da Nang was around S$165 per night, and I got a credit rebate of S$145 because the perk does not include taxes. This meant that I spent S$515 for 4 nights instead of the listed S$660 – a savings of S$145 or almost 22% discount.

A 22% discount doesn’t seem too shabby, but there are more factors to consider. I could have booked the same hotel using Shopback for 6% cashback, and used a 4 miles per dollar card instead of the 1.3 offered by Citi Prestige. This means that I lost out on $39.60 of cashback (6% of $660) and 1,782 miles (2.7 miles x $660). I value each mile at around 1 cent, so in total my true savings have gone down to $87.58 ($145 – $39.60 – $17.82) or some 13% discount.

It certainly feels a bit less awesome than “4th night free”, but I’ll gladly take the savings since it means that my annual fee has gone down by $87.58 just from one vacation. The more frequent and pricier your hotel stays, the more you’d get from this perk.

Citi PayAll promo, and limousine service: great value

The Citi Prestige promo ends 31st July, and this is the same date the Citi PayAll promo ceases. It is also because of this that it’s more urgent to write this piece before examining the more trending DBS Vantage since you would need to get your card and put in your PayAll transactions before the end of this month.

Citi PayAll charges 2% service fee to pay things like income tax, insurance, even “miscellaneous payments” and unlike other payment services, the service does not ask for invoices. Usually, you get your normal earn rate of the card, and Citi Prestige cardholders would therefore pay 2 cents for 1.3 miles earned… Not really a good rate.

Under the promo, however, the rewards will now be boosted to 2.5 miles per dollar. Paying 2 cents for 2.5 miles, or 0.8 cents per mile, is a great deal. How good is this exactly? Well, if you can clock $41,600 of PayAll transactions under this promo, you would have spent $832 and gained enough miles for a return ticket to Japan in Singapore Air’s business class.

Now you don’t need a Citi Prestige card to take advantage of this promo since it’d work with Citi PremierMiles and Citi Rewards, but one of Citi Prestige’s perk is its complimentary limousine service to and fro the airport if you can spend at least $12,000 within a quarter. This spend requirement counts PayAll transactions which makes Citi Prestige the best card to use with the Citi PayAll promotion.

Complimentary lounge visits with guest: cherry on top

Citi Prestige offers unlimited lounge visits with a guest in tow, and this ability to bring in a companion with an unlimited pass is pretty rare. You can get free visits with other cards, but if you want to enjoy a lounge with a friend on both your departure and arrival flights, and do this on more than one trip a year, perhaps even lounge hop a bit, the Citi Prestige’s unlimited lounge pass is a very nice tool to have.

Seeing things from a Vantage point

I signed up for Citi Prestige a few months ago before DBS Vantage hit the market, and eventually got the DBS Vantage too. Both cards’ promos made sense enough for me to pay both their annual fees, even if perks like lounge visits overlap each other.

But if you really had to pick one, I think a more thorough comparison is in order, and I plan to come up with that soon (stay tuned). Until then, the long story short is this: if you travel more than once a year, often with a single companion rather than a group, and find the DBS Vantage promo’s $8,000 spend requirement difficult to reach, the Citi Prestige is probably more suitable for you.

Conclusion

Is it worth it? If you are planning to travel soon and want a nicer trip, I’d say yes. If you’re the low-cost carrier and AirBnb over hotel type (as I still am, largely), however, I’d say it’s probably not worth it. But you probably wouldn’t have read till this point.


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