Citi Prestige Card Review: The Best Card for Luxury Travel?

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Have you always wanted to travel in the lap of luxury? Does your idea of the perfect holiday involve relaxing at some of the best hotels in the world without having to worry about things like airport transfers or car rentals?

If your answer to any (or all) of these questions is yes, then you are probably in the market for a travel credit card that offers these perks.

The Citi Prestige Card is a luxury credit card that not only lets you earn miles for every dollar that you spend but it also makes sure that the benefits it provides live up to the word ‘prestige’.

Citi Prestige Card

Who is the Citi Prestige Card for?

  • Frequent travellers.
  • Affluent people who want travel perks and are willing to pay the high annual fee of S$535.
  • Citigold members who are entitled to an annual relationship bonus.
  • People who are looking to redeem points at their convenience since points earned don’t expire.

Key benefits of the Citi Prestige Card

  • 62,500 Citi Dollars as a sign-up bonus and for each year that you renew your card.
  • 5 Citi Dollars (equivalent to 2 miles) for every S$1 spent overseas.
  • 3.25 Citi Dollars (equivalent to 1.3 miles) per S$1 spent on local transactions.
  • 25 Citi Dollars (equivalent to 10 miles) for every S$1 you spend on hotel bookings at Kaligo.
  • Up to 30% of your annual spend is credited as relationship bonus points for Citigold customers.

Now that you know what the card offers you in terms of points and miles, let’s break down the features of this card to see if it is worth the annual fee.

1. Joining perk of 62,500 Citi Dollars/25,000 miles

If your application for the Citi Prestige Card is approved, you can either choose to receive 62,500 Citi Dollars (equivalent to 25,000 miles) credited to your account or receive a tablet worth S$498.

What’s the catch? Well, the Citi Dollars will be credited to your account 4 to 6 weeks after you have paid the annual fee. If you are expecting an annual fee waiver, then sorry to disappoint you. Even people who have a long-standing relationship with Citibank have tried and failed.

If you look at it purely as a way to buy miles, then you are paying S$0.0214 for 1 air mile. Not the best rate around, especially when you can buy 35,000 miles at S$0.0139 per mile with the HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card (if you are a Premier banking customer). In fact, even if you aren’t a Premier banking customer, the cost per mile is still better at S$0.0185 per mile.

2. 5 Citi Dollars/2 miles on overseas spends

Spend S$1 overseas and you earn 5 Citi Dollars, equivalent to 2 miles. This is great especially if you travel overseas often or make foreign currency transactions. Does the Citi Prestige Card have the best mile earning rate on overseas spends?

Not quite.

When it comes to overseas spends, Standard Chartered’s Visa Infinite Credit Card rewards you with up to 3 miles per S$1; UOB PRVI Miles Card earns you 2.4 miles per S$1, and the OCBC VOYAGE Card earns you 2.3 miles per S$1

What we like: The 2 miles for every S$1, while not the highest miles earning rate on overseas spends, is on par with most travel credit cards such as the DBS Altitude Card or Citi PremierMiles Visa Card or the Maybank Visa Infinite Card. Plus, the Citi Dollars don’t expire.

3. 3.25 Citi Dollars/1.3 miles on local spends

For local spends, the Prestige Card’s miles earning rate is marginally better than most other miles credit cards in Singapore.

But, you’re purely concerned about miles, then you would be better off using UOB’s PRVI Miles Card. You earn 1.4 miles for every S$1 you spend, the income requirement is much lower, and the annual fee of S$256.80 is waived for the first year.

Related: UOB PRVI Miles Card Review: Amazing Miles Earning Rate + 30K Income Requirement

4. Citigold relationship bonus

Citigold customers stand to gain up to 30% as relationship bonus. The percentage of bonus is based on the tenure of your banking relationship with Citibank. Higher the tenure, higher the bonus.

Keep in mind, though, that this bonus is on your annual spend and not on the Citi Dollars or the equivalent miles that you have earned in the year. So, if you have a banking relationship greater than 10 years and have an annual spend of S$50,000 on your card, you get 15,000 Citi Dollars which is equivalent to 6,000 miles.

Citigold Relationship Bonus

Source: Citi website

What’s the catch? In the example above, you earn only 6,000 bonus miles since this is calculated on your annual spend. And this is when you have a banking relationship that is longer than 10 years (and use the same credit card for 10 years). Moreover, to get the 30% bonus you need to be a Citigold Private Client. And to be a Citigold Private Client you need to have investable assets higher than S$1.5 million.

We’re thinking if you have assets worth S$1.5 million to invest, earning 6,000 miles on your card is not something that you concern yourself about.

5. 25 Citi Dollars/10 miles on hotel bookings on Kaligo

Earning 10 miles every time you book a hotel is, without doubt, a great deal! But leveraging this is entirely dependent on how often you stay at hotels, and how you like booking your hotels. If you are more of an Airbnb kind of person, or if you like to engage the services of the concierge to book your accommodation, this Kaligo perk won’t matter as much to you.

6. 20 Citi Dollars/8 miles with Apple Pay

Under this promotional offer, all transactions made using Apple Pay will earn you 8 miles (20 Citi dollars) per dollar. This offer is only valid only on transactions made in S$ and cannot be used in conjunction with merchants who are part of existing accelerated miles promotions. So, if you thought you could earn 25 Citi Dollars on Kaligo and use Apply Pay and earn another 20 Citi Dollars, then we’re sorry to burst your bubble.

This being said, this is a great way to earn more miles each time you spend. So, go forth and spend because this promotional offer expires on 31 July 2018.

What are the other perks you enjoy?

1. Unlimited access to airport lounges

Sure, almost all premium travel cards will offer you complimentary airport lounge access. But they are usually limited to 6 per year (as with the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card) with each subsequent visit being charged.

The Citi Prestige Card, however, offers unlimited complimentary airport lounge access for you and a guest! So, if you are a frequent traveller, this is well worth the annual fee you pay since annual lounge access passes can range from USD 500 to more than USD 900.

Read: The Top VIP Airport Lounges in the World and How You Can Get Access!

2. 4th night free at any hotel or resort

Stay at any hotel or resort in the world for at least four consecutive nights and get the average cost of one night credited back to you! Of course, this does come with a catch. You will need to make the reservation via Citi Prestige Concierge only. Nonetheless, the concierge is able to book any publicly available rate, so you could tell them if you have a preferred OTA to book from, or to book directly with the hotel.

Since the terms state that “only one complimentary night is eligible per each stay”, you maximise your benefit by keeping your stays to four days. You also can’t change hotel every 4 days if you’re still in the same city.

Eligibility for the complimentary 4th night stay

Source: Citibank

Related: 8 Best Hotel Deals for Under S$200

3. Airport limousine transfer

As a Citi Prestige Card holder, you are entitled to 8 two-way airport limousine transfers. These transfers are capped at 4 per quarter, which probably isn’t a deal breaker for some. But if you travel frequently, this becomes limiting.

To be eligible for this service, you need to charge a minimum of S$1,500 to your card in foreign currencies within a qualifying quarter.

4. Citi Rebate

If you thought miles were all that you earned with this card, you thought wrong. You also earn up to 10% cash rebate when you use your card at over 300 locations including Subway, Starbucks, and Sheng Siong.

Additionally, you get access to some of the best dining deals in Singapore with their Gourmet Pleasures program and access to some of the best golf courses in Singapore.

Also read: Luxury Travel Experiences to Add to Your Bucket List and Ideas to Make Your Trip Less ‘Budget’

5. Extensive range of airline transfer partners

Compared to most other card issuers, Citi, by far, has a wide range of airline transfer partners. This flexibility allows you to redeem your points with an airline that you frequently use. Here are few of the airline transfer partners:

  • KrisFlyer (Singapore Airlines)
  • Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)
  • Privilege Club (Qatar Airways)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer (Qantas)
  • Etihad Guest (Etihad)
  • Miles&Smiles (Turkish Airways)

What else do you get?

Yes, there are more benefits (which is why we decided to break it up into two sections. For our own sanity!).

  • 24/7 access to global concierge services.
  • No additional fees on your supplementary card.
  • If you have misplaced your card, you will receive a replacement within 48 hours. Moreover, Citibank will also give you emergency cash up to your available credit limit to help you tide over the period until you receive your replacement card!
  • Enjoy golfing privileges and discounted green fees when you tee-off at some of the best golf courses in the country. You can enjoy this benefit by making your booking via the Citi Prestige Concierge.
  • Complimentary travel insurance up to S$1 million. The best part about this insurance is that even trips that have been booked partially by points are covered by this policy.
  • Complimentary purchase protection up to S$5,000.
  • Discounted and exclusive invitations to theatre shows and dining experiences

Read: 5 Reasons Why Not Getting Travel Insurance Could Really Ruin Your Vacation

How does the Citi Prestige Card compare to other cards?

Card name Citi Prestige Card OCBC Voyage Card HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card Maybank Visa Infinite Card Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card

Earnings on local spends

1.3 miles for every S$1 1.2 miles for every S$1 spent on retail purchases

1.6 miles for every S$1 spent on dining

1.25 miles for every S$1 1.2 miles for every S$1 1.4 miles for every S$1
Earnings on overseas spends 2 miles for every S$1 2.3 miles for every S$1 2.25 miles for every S$1 2 miles for every S$1 3 miles for every S$1
Expiry of points Citi Dollars don’t expire VOYAGE Miles do not expire Points are valid for 3 years TREATS points do not expire Points do not expire
Minimum monthly spend requirement S$50,000 (annually) S$2,000 (monthly)
Annual fee S$535 S$488 S$488 (for Premier Banking customers)

S$650 (for retail customers)

S$600 (fee waiver for the first year) S$588.50

The Citi Prestige Card stacks up pretty well against other premium travel cards in terms of the miles you can earn. Moreover, your Citi Dollars never expire. So, they can remain in your account until you decide to convert them to miles!

Here’s our verdict on the Citi Prestige Card

Citi Prestige CardCiti Prestige Card
Card Type: Air miles
Annual Fee: S$535
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Rewards :

  • 5 Citi Dollars (= 2 Miles) for every S$1 spent overseas
  • 3.25 Citi Dollars (= 1.3 Miles) per S$1 spent locally
  • Unlimited complimentary access to VIP airport lounges across the globe
  • Up to S$1 million complimentary travel insurance
  • Citi Dollars do not expire

The Citi Prestige Card has a mile earning rate that is on par with most other cards in the premium travel card segment. Since there is no minimum spend that you need to meet to earn air miles, you can use it for your general spends and charge other expenses to other cards that would give you bonus miles for different types of spends.

Beyond accumulating miles, the Citi Prestige Card is great because of the travel benefits that come with it. We particularly like the unlimited access to airport lounges and the complimentary night’s stay at any hotel of our choice.

Yes, the annual fee is high. But look at it this way, you get a complimentary night’s stay at any hotel of your choice, even if it’s a 5-star hotel that costs thousands of dollars per night. Throw in the renewal bonus of 25,000 miles and all the other benefits that come with this card and you will find that the Citi Prestige Card has already paid for itself!

So, if you meet the income requirement then go ahead and apply for the Citi Prestige Card. Once you get a taste of the privileges, you won’t regret it!

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