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Citi Cards Demise: The Citi Prestige Card Has Been Gutted (2019)

Recently many benefits from Citi Cards have been getting lessened progressively leaving card members a bit peeved, but still understanding. In September of 2018 for example, the 3-hour trip protection delay on the Citi Prestige Card was weakened to 6-hour trip protection, which may or may not to a certain degree have bothered some card members. However, with all their benefits, it was easily overlooked. But as of June 24th, 2019 it appears that Citi has made drastic changes leaving most card members very confused and upset.

In today’s post we’re going to share the in’s and out’s of what you must know to navigate these changes to this card to make an informed decision before doing anything drastic.

The Biggest Changes:

The biggest changes come with their radically new points system, but before we dig into how that works, it’s more appropriate to discuss what has been removed from this card.

The Citi Prestige Card (as well as Citi Premier, and Citi AAvantage Platinum Select) have essentially removed all of the benefits of their annual fee-based credit cards to substitute in a points system.

The old cards were essentially highly valued “travel cards” and could be considered better compared to a lot of other premium annual fee cards. The benefits most people signed up for are as followed:

  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Baggage Protection
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Car Insurance
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Citi Price Rewind
  • 90 Day Return Protection
  • Missed Event Ticket Protection

These benefits made the annual fee well worth it because of the peace of mind it gives to most of their traveling users. But now all of these benefits are now gone and substituted in place of a high return points system.

The New Point System

The new point system offers very generous Citi bonus points for spending on the card. These points are 5x on air travel, 5x on restaurants, 3x on hotels, 3x on cruise lines, and 1x on all other purchases.

Every Citi bonus point has been estimated to be worth .5 cents per point depending on how you spend them. So on a $1,000 plane ticket at 5x the points you essentially could earn $250 on Citi points (making up for half you annual fee to your card).

However, most people are uncertain how to feel about this when other creditors have similar benefits but also include their travel protection. And that has been the crux of the argument. Essentially, most people are questioning how good the point system is if at the end of the day, they remove most of their benefits.

What to Do Next

It’s advisable to consider your options and hold a bit of patience if you are a current Citi Cardmember. The reason is only because the negative press regarding this news is widespread, and may cause Citi to respond by changing their system back to the original.

Citi also made it clear that all prior bookings are still covered by travel protection, but at this point forward all future bookings are under their new rewards system.

Some members have immediately decided to downgrade their cards and if you are in a predicament where you are close to hitting the annual fee you may want to consider downgrading now.