Recently one of the regular cards in my wallet has been the Citi Thank You Prestige card. Even though it’s a premium card that comes with a high
$400 $450 annual fee (update — I originally wrote $400 because that’s what I paid back when I got the card, but more recently the annual fee has been $450), I’ve found the benefits to be worth the expense. I’ve especially enjoyed the Flight Points benefit, which if used properly can turn the card into a “2x for all spend” tool.
Unfortunately, I received official word this morning that the Flight Points benefit will be going away as of October 18th. Also being removed are the Airport Angel lounge access, and a year later (on October 18, 2015) the annual companion pass and the annual relationship bonus will be gone as well.
However, it’s not all bad news. The Prestige card will be adding a few category bonuses. Specifically, the new bonus structure will be 3x points for both airfare and hotel spend and 2x for entertainment, which will go along with the already existing 2x on dining. Citibank will also be increasing the current $200 annual reimbursement credit to $250, adding Priority Pass lounge access to replace the Angel access, and improving their hotel stay benefit.
These new bonus multipliers are nice, but quite frankly the real power of the Prestige was the Flight Points, and with that benefit going away, it’s unlikely the remaining benefits are enough to justify keeping this card beyond my current membership year. The recent improvements of adding direct point transfers for several international carriers to the Thank You program helps, but the lower $125 annual fee Premier card is probably a better bet if you want to use your Thank You points that way.
Prestige members do still get the benefit of redeeming Thank You points for 1.6 cents apiece when purchasing American/US Airways tickets, but without the Flight Points, you’d still be better off with an Arrival card at 2.2% travel redemptions for all spend. For current Prestige cardholders, you’ll be able to collect Flight Points until October 18th, and beyond that date any existing Flight Points will remain in your account waiting to be matched by ongoing spend. So rack up those Flight Points while you still can!