My own Citi Prestige card
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A lot of the details in this post were previously covered in this post: Credit Cards With Travel Credits You Can’t Use: Downgrade Options.

However, historically Citi hasn’t offered any retention offers on the Prestige card ($495 annual fee) and so I thought it was worth plucking out to share.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

As I wrote in that post, its always better to downgrade the card (if you really don’t want it) to both preserve your ThankYou points and, perhaps, improve your overall ThankYou strategy as well (i.e. if you also have a Premier and downgrade the Prestige to a Rewards+.

 

Citi Retention Department

Retention works differently across different issuers. Some are harder to reach than others (Amex needs you to specifically state you are looking to cancel to be “allowed” to transfer you, for example).

Citi will allow you to ask to be transferred to the Retention Department directly. In fact, some front line reps can even look up your Retention Offers. I’m not sure why some can look it up and others will transfer you).

Here’s a VERY important thing to know: 

Citi Prestige / Premier Retention Offers
My own Citi Prestige card

If you were to state outright “I want to cancel my card” to either the frontline rep or the retention specialist and then the call dropped, they legally have to cancel your card. If that happened, by the time you called back, your card would be closed. Reopening the card is possible, but would involve a new hard pull on your credit and Citi could actually decline the reopening. You don’t want that to happen, so never state that in such a clear way.

YourBestCreditCards

You simply “want to explore ways to perhaps offset the annual fee” or similar in your own words.

Also worth knowing is that you can often get a retention offer every 6 months, not just once a year. Just please don’t abuse that. Remember that all banks can see your overall profitability as a customer. Someone that asks for and gets too much over time may eventually no longer be welcome at the bank.

 

Citi Retention Offers for Prestige

As mentioned above, Citi historically has not offered anything on the Citi Prestige. It’s Citi’s flagship premium card, though, in my view they were more than happy for you to move to a more profitable card for them, like the Citi Premier, so no offers were being made.

They are now, though, based on your overall profitability for Citi. This mean how much you spend, how good your payment history is and, overall, how much they care about keeping you.

Offers will vary by cardmember, and you may not be offered anything. That said, this is what I was offered;

  • Spend $5,000 total within 3 months for $250
  • Spend $4,000 per month for 3 months straight for 20,000 ThankYou points 
  • $3,000 in 3 months for $50 credit
  • $3,000 in 3 months for 10,000 ThankYou points

I took the first offer as it felt best to me. I’d have taken the second if it was just “within 3 months” like the first offer, but it wasn’t and would require $12,000 in spend.

Please let me know your own offers in the comments!

As an aside, I did not have to wait at all to reach a Prestige rep, despite my fiancée being hung up on at the Premier line. Apparently they didn’t have enough reps and simply told her to call back later.

 

Citi Retention Offers for Premier

Meanwhile, since I was already on with Retention, I asked about my Citi Premier card.

I also had two offers I was eligible for there.

  • $95 statement credit for spending $95 within one month
  • $1,000 within 6 months for 5,000 ThankYou points

While I love points, 5,000 ThankYou points is only worth around $75 to me, so I took the offer for $95. I’ll find a ~$100 charge to put on it and basically get free money for almost no effort.

 

Total Haul:

For the half hour call, I got $345 in cash money. I’d take on any task paying $60 an hour all day long!

 

How’d you do?

Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? The MilesTalk “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.


I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I received a verbal offer of 20K for a $3K spend in 90 days on my Prestige card.

    While I thought it a poor offer given the spend I annually put on card I accepted

    I recorded date, time , agent number.

    When I inquired why points had not posted was told offer was $3K spend for three months for 20 K points.

    When I objected was told they would investigate and review the recording of the call

    Getting no satisfaction on website chat over next several weeks I sent a certified letter.
    The reply was not all conversations are recorded and if available recording would not be shared with me. I could call the number on the back of my card if I still had an issue. Clearly no effort was made to see what the agent had actually said.

    When doing business with Citi over phone get the agent’s permission and record the conversation yourself.
    Include day, time and agent number in recorded conversation

    Then send in a message via chat and get the chat agent to acknowledge what retention offer terms are in your record and save that chat via screen prints.

    BTW – when Citi sends you a product change offer their real motivation is that if you have opened or closed a Citipoint card in
    two years you are blocked from a signup bonus. A product change from say Citi Preferred to City Double Cash blocks you for two years from getting a signup bonus.

    Doing business with Citibank is like going to a whore house – do not expect ethical treatment and anticipate a scam attempt

    (No insult to whores intended )

  2. @jon – It seems that the reps have two screens. When he read my offers, the second one read like yours did. It wasn’t until he opened the details he saw it was “per month.” They definitely should fix that. Sorry to hear about your experience – that’s awful.

  3. Dave

    Chase and other banks are out to make a profit, but I believe that Chase management has instilled an ethical culture in the organization. My most recent issue and other experience with Citibank convinces me their management does not.

    But I am willing “harvest the points” – I just now deal with Citibank cautiously and document everything.
    I recently signed up for a 5 X point promo offer for Grocery, Drugstore and Gas on the Prestige card. Be interesting see if they actually post without a fight.

    With all office supply stores closed due to pandemic I currently can not get my Amazon purchases at 5X Chase points using Chase Ink Cash Credit card to buy Amazon gift cards. 5 X on Citi points is best current option and came along just in time.

    Another hazard of pandemic – too much time to spend surfing Amazon and Woot

    BTW – Woot which is Amazon’s clearance website seems to always have good payout on shopping portals – particularly on Rakuten and you can check out using Amazon payment

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