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If you’re a frequent traveler, the right credit card can help you save money and even improve your traveling experience. But how to pick the right card? If you’re looking for a new addition to your wallet and have good to excellent credit, check out the Citi Prestige® Card. It offers unique rewards and benefits that can enhance journey.
With the Citi Prestige® Card, you’ll earn 5X points per $1 spent on air travel and restaurants. You’ll earn 3X points per $1 spent on hotels and cruise lines, and 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Each points is worth about one cent each, so you can earn the equivalent of 3% cash back on select purchases. Points never expire, and there’s no limit to how many points you can earn.
The Citi Prestige® Card offers a robust signup bonus; spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening an account and get 50,000 points — a $500 value — redeemable for travel with no blackout dates.
While the Citi Prestige® Card offers strong rewards, it offers even more value with its benefits, including:
- $250 Travel Credit: Get up to $250 each year to apply toward air travel and other stays.
- Complimentary 4th night hotel stay: Get a 4th night free at a hotel of your choice when booking through ThankYou.com.
- VIP Lounge Access: Relax at the airport with access to hundreds of VIP lounges.
- Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit: Get up to $100 to reimburse you for fees to join Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
Terms & Fees
One thing to keep in mind with the Citi Prestige® Card is that it comes with a high annual fee of $495. To make the card worthwhile, it’s important to offset the annual fee with rewards.
To break even, you’d have to spend $9,900 a year on airlines and dining to earn $495 worth of points. If you spend only at the 3X or 1X level, you’d have to spend much more a year. If you spend about $10,000 a year on travel, the card may be worthwhile. But, if you spend less than that, it makes sense to look for another travel rewards card.
There are no foreign transaction fees, making it a good choice when traveling internationally. However, there is no promotional APR offer for new purchases or balance transfers.
3 Alternatives to the Citi Prestige® Card
While the Citi Prestige® Cardoffers exceptional value and benefits, it’s high annual fee may scare some people off. If you’re looking for a travel rewards card with a lower fee, check out these options:
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is consistently our best pick for travel cards. You will enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
There is a $95 annual fee, but that’s significantly less than the Citi Prestige® Card. You’ll also earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
There are no foreign transaction fees, and there’s no blackout dates or travel restrictions for redeeming your points.
2. Discover it® Miles
The Discover it® Miles card allows you to earn 1.5X miles per $1 spent on every purchase. At the end of your first year, Discover it® Miles will match the miles you’ve earned, doubling your rewards. You can redeem your points in a number of ways, including statement credits or gift cards, which may give you more value for your points.
There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. However, Discover is not as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard outside of the United States, so you may want to carry another card as a backup.
3. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
If you’re a devotee of budget airline Southwest, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card may be a good match for you. Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 7,500 anniversary points each year. Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. $75 Southwest® travel credit each year. 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available. No foreign transaction fees.
There is an annual fee is $149, but there are no foreign transaction fees.
The bottom line
For frequent travelers who spend about $10,000 a year on travel and dining out, the Citi® Prestige card is ideal. However, if you spend less than that threshold or spend your money in other spending categories, look for another card to avoid paying the costly annual fee.
Check out the best credit cards of 2019.
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