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Update: It’s confirmed that this card will earn 5 points per dollar on dining and air travel, and that 4th night free on hotels will be limited to twice per year. The card will become available to new applicants some time in January.
Via US Credit Card Guide there’s a report that the Citi Prestige card is being relaunched — some changes perhaps as soon as November 9 and others coming January 4 — with a new earning structure.
Perhaps effective November 9 the card would offer 5 points per dollar on airline and dining spend, 3 points per dollar on other travel, and 2 points per dollar on entertainment.
According to US Credit Card Guide, the card would keep its most valuable current benefit — 4th night free on hotel bookings — along with its $250 annual airfare credit. However MilesTalk reports that a memo to call center representatives today says 4th night free will become limited to twice per year.
According to MilesTalk there will be a new cell phone benefit, it will keep Priority Pass and Global Entry credits, and the card’s annual fee will be increasing from $450 to $495 effective January 4. (Citigold and Citi Priority customers though would keep their $350 annual fee.)
Citi’s points transfer to:
- Star Alliance: Avianca LifeMiles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- oneworld: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- SkyTeam: Air France KLM Flying Blue. Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- Non-alliance: JetBlue TrueBlue, Etihad Guest, Jet Airways JetPrivilege, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
What makes me skeptical is that this card’s earning would seemingly be too good. It combines the best of all possible worlds, the Platinum Card by American Express earns 5 points per dollar on airfare paid to airlines, the new American Express® Gold Card earns 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide. And it would still offer 3 points per dollar at hotels, ground transportation and other travel plus two points per dollar in entertainment category which can be surprisingly broad.
At the same time a year ago Citi said they were walking away from rich rewards because the space was too competitive. This would really ratchet up the arms raise, rather than signaling détente.
The rumor originated with a Citi retention specialist who claimed the changes would come November 9. While I’m always skeptical of claims made by customer service agents, MilesTalk says there’s a memo and U.S. Credit Card Guide reports corroborating the information and learning the January date.
If nothing else this would make me regret giving up my Citi Prestige card. Those who still have the card likely kept it for fourth night free, if that benefit is limited to twice a year they’ll be disappointed. Those of us who valued the card for spending though may see this as a game changer. Stay tuned.