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Before we zero in on the individual Citi Prestige® Card benefits, let’s discuss how to make sure you’re getting enough value out of the card.
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The Citi Prestige® Card has some solid benefits, but it’s not always easy to know if they’re enough to cover the card’s high annual fee of $450.
Some of the card’s benefits, like its $250 air travel credit and $100 Global Entry application fee credit, are easily quantifiable. Others, like airport lounge access and trip insurance and protections, may not be.
Evaluate your travel habits to determine the value of each of the card’s benefits to you. Keep track of how often you use them throughout the year to see how the value adds up over time. If you consistently get more value than what you’re paying with the annual fee, you’ll have the peace of mind that the expense is worth it.
If you have the Citi Prestige® Card, here’s a quick guide to getting the most out of the card’s rewards and perks.
5 ways to maximize your Citi Prestige® Card benefits
1. Get your fourth night free with any hotel.
Hotel stays are often the most expensive part of a vacation, so use your Citi Prestige® Card on longer trips to get your fourth night free. Book your hotel stay (minimum of four-consecutive nights) through the Citi Prestige® Concierge and pay for the full stay with your card. Then, you’ll receive a statement credit for one night based on the average nightly rate for your stay, minus the taxes and fees.
There’s no limit to this perk, even if it’s for the same vacation. “If your trip is longer than four nights,” says Lee Huffman, travel blogger at BaldThoughts.com, “you can break up your trip into multiples of four to receive the credit again and again.”
For example, if your trip is eight nights, you can book two four-night stays back-to-back and get the credit twice.
2. Get to the airport early.
No, it’s not because you need to prepare for long security lines. For that, the card offers a $100 credit toward a Global Entry application fee.
The real reason you’ll want to get to the airport a few hours before your flight is so you can enjoy your airline lounge access. The Citi Prestige® Card gives you a Priority Pass Select membership, which includes more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.
You’ll be able to enjoy complimentary food and drinks, Wi-Fi, and even preflight spa treatments with some lounges.
3. Pay for airline expenses with your air travel credit.
Not all Citi Prestige® Card benefits are as straightforward as its $250 annual air travel credit. This credit applies to most flight-related purchases, including airfare, baggage charges and in-flight meals. After you make an eligible purchase, you can get refunded as a statement credit.
“I generally pair the airline credit with airline mile redemptions to pay for the taxes on my award tickets so that my flights are completely free,” says Huffman.
What’s more, the benefit is based on the calendar year. So, if you receive the card in August, you can use the credit to refund eligible purchases before the end of the year, then once more in the beginning of the next year.
In this case, you would get the air travel credit twice before your annual fee is due on your account anniversary. That’s a total of $500 the first card membership year. Just keep in mind that the credit doesn’t roll over from year to year.
4. Transfer your points for more value.
For everyday use, the Citi Prestige® Card gives you three points per dollar spent on air travel and hotel purchases, two points per dollar on dining at restaurants and entertainment, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere.
You can redeem those points for almost anything, but your best option may be to transfer them to a participating airline or hotel program. Some options include Etihad Guest, JetBlue’s TrueBlue®, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Hilton Honors.
Depending on how you redeem with those loyalty programs, you could get impressive rewards rates.
5. Know that you’re protected.
You won’t be able to use all the Citi Prestige® Card benefits on every trip, but some of them can be invaluable if your trip goes awry. Charge your trip to the Citi Prestige® Card, and you’ll get the following protections if you need them:
- Trip cancellation and interruption protection
- Trip delay protection
- Travel accident insurance
- Medical evacuation
- Lost baggage protection
- Baggage delay protection
“Luckily, I haven’t had to use any of those benefits,” says Huffman. “But it is nice to know that they are available in your time of need.”
If you travel a few times a year, the Citi Prestige® Card benefits can add a lot of value to your trips. There are plenty of ways to maximize your rewards and perks with the card, so be sure to take advantage of them every trip to make up for the card’s annual fee.
If you become complacent, or you don’t travel often enough, you may not get enough value to make up for the card’s cost. As with any credit card, evaluate your usage every year or two to make sure you’re getting enough value out of the card.
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