Citi Prestige: No Amex Platinum? No Problem


Rejection has been a constant in my life. My first Valentine, my first time taking calculus at the University of Michigan (details in the book, on sale here), and most recently, applying for the Barclays Aviator card. When I applied for the Citi Prestige, I assumed another rejection was on the way. To my surprise, I was approved. Although I lost access to the overrated Centurion Lounges, I either broke even or gained more benefits by switching to the Prestige. Here’s how:

  • Citi Prestige: 50k sign-up bonus. Amex: no retention offer. 50k>0.
  • Citi Prestige: $495 annual fee. Amex:$550. $495<$550
  • Citi Prestige: 5x dining. Amex: 1x. 5>1
  • Citi Prestige: 3x hotel. Amex: 1x. 3>1
  • Citi Prestige: 5x airfare. Amex: 5x airfare. 5=5!
  • Citi Prestige: $250 travel credit. Amex $200 jump through hoops, hope and pray, check FlyerTalk threads to see if it still works, to get gift card cert for Delta which can only be redeemed up to $150 per ticket. $250>Possible $200

The Prestige is not perfect. It doesn’t offer the benefits it had many moons ago (see Canceling Citi Prestige: But First, We Golf!). The 4th night free benefit is only available twice a year, though I rarely stay in a city that long to make use of it (see TPOL’s Travel Philosophy). However, it does include access to Priority Pass, something that I had lost when I canceled my Amex Platinum Charles Schwab.

Given my recent track record of rejection for cards that provide similar benefits (see Chase Sapphire Reserve: Rejected Again), I may have to hold onto this card past the first year even if the retention offer is next to nothing.



  1. ‘The 4th night free benefit is only available twice a year, though I rarely stay in a city that long to make use of it’…only kicks in September. Any bookings made in advance do not count to limit.

  2. But does it have access to any other clubs besides priority pass? Amex has itsi lounges (which do now have a ridiculous rules around it) but also access to Delta lounges and other lounges such as star allianea that isn’t covered by priority pass.

    • Lounge access doesn’t factor into whether I’ll pay the annual fee. If it’s $550 or sit in the terminal, I’m choosing the latter.

  3. Be careful of the 24-27 months rule! You might get the card, meet spending threshold, but you might not get the sign up bonus if you have had the TYP bonus from ANY Citi card in the past 24 months.

  4. Prestige? I ditched that one a long time ago. Plus 4th night free only 2X a year? Wow, that card sure disintegrated.

  5. Lounge access and Amex offers should also be considerations. Also, potential Hilton gold status. Everybody’s different, but in your shoes I’d probably have kept the Amex and gone for a Citi offer on the Preferred card with the much lower annual fee.

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