Unless you’ve been without internet access for the past week, there have been a slew of posts about how the signup bonus is changing tomorrow on the Citi Prestige card (if you did miss those posts, I’m sure there will be about 80 more today with titles like “LAST CHANCE” or “HOURS LEFT”). Anyway the signup bonus is currently 50,000 ThankYou Points for spending $3,000 in 3 months and I decided it was time for wife to get the card before the signup bonus changed. Officially we do not know what the new signup bonus will be but per the comments on this Doctor of Credit post, the signup bonus will be lower, if there is one at all.
I personally believe Citibank will drop the signup bonus to zero, just like they did on the ThankYou Premier card, so I wanted my wife to get the card and an easy 50,000 points before the opportunity was possibly lost for good. She applied last night and got a pending approval message that Citibank could not give her a decision right now but she was welcome to call in about the application. She was hesitant to call but I pushed her to call in ASAP because I wanted the approval to happen before the signup bonus officially changed.
After waiting on hold for a while (it is well known the Citibank has been experiencing long hold times in many customer service departments), a friendly rep from South Dakota came on. She literally asked one question before approving my wife for the card: “Is the phone number provided on the application a mobile number?”
With my wife’s answer of “yes”, the rep approved her for the card with a $10k credit line. I’ve never heard of an easier recon call and I was happy that my wife wasn’t grilled with a ton of questions (looking at you Chase). The annual fee of $450 ($350 for Citigold/Zombie Citigold members) is steep but look at what you get for it. Or another way to look at it is what my wife is paying $350 for:
- 50,000 Thank You Points
- $250 Annual Travel Credit (can be used twice in first year since calendar based so I’ll assign this a $500 value since I can buy actual airline tickets and/or gift cards with no issues unlike the Amex Platinum credit)
- American Airlines Lounge Access
- Priority Pass Membership (including free guests)
- Fourth Free on Hotel Stays
- Free golf, Global Entry Credit and more…
By the way, if you are not a Citigold account holder remember to signup in branch to get the reduced annual fee of $350 vs the standard $450. Zombie Citigold accounts (accounts that were Citigold but now Basic for example) should still work for the reduced annual fee of $350.
I’ve had the card for over a year now and I’ve argued it is a stronger premium card than the American Express Platinum card. The plan is to keep my wife’s card for just one year since we don’t need two Prestige cards in the household with the duplicative benefits such as the 4th night free, lounge access etc. In one year, I’ll probably downgrade her account to the no annual fee Thank You Preferred to preserve any unused ThankYou points. When I need to actually use them after downgrading her card, I’ll simply transfer them to my Citi Prestige card to get the maximum value of them by transferring to airline partners or redeeming them for paid AA flights at 1.6 cents/point.