PSA: Citi Prestige Now Earns 5x on Dining and Airfare (But I’m Still Chuffed About 4th Night Free)

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I want to be excited about this. I really do. 

So let me just state upfront, as I mentioned in the title: The Citi Prestige now earns 5x on dining and airfare and 3x on cruises.

But frankly I’m still gutted that Citi destroyed the 4th Night Free benefit by removing the ability to book it by Concierge. Many were upset about Citi capping it to 2x a year. Sure, I don’t love that either, but I GET IT.

My own Citi Prestige card

They couldn’t continue the card with unlimited 4th night frees and no other compelling benefits. It made the card a money loser for Citi.

And when they revamped the Prestige card, my initial reaction was that they totally nailed it. They added this 5x on dining, including internationally – an area where American Express’ Gold Card 4x Dining benefit falls short – 5x on airfare, 3x on cruises, and some yet to be explained cell phone protection benefit. Here are all of the revamped benefits.

They also announced a fee increase that I don’t love, but if you use your 4th Night Frees correctly, would still be fair enough.

But then, they ruined everything by burying in the fine print that we would no longer be able to use the Concierge to book our 4th night free benefit. It has to be done online.

This breaks the deal for me. I have hotel status to maintain and benefits to reap! Every 4th night free I book now will torture me. I *could* book that Marriott I want, but forgo my points, my lounge access, my 4pm checkout ,and generally feel like a 2nd Class citizen at the hotel despite my Platinum Premier status. Or I can overpay by 25% by not using my 4th night free benefit. Even for a total of 8 nights a year, when 50 is the benchmark for Platinum status at Marriott, I can’t afford to “waste” those 8 nights. Sure, if I’m heading somewhere without hotels I have status at there’s no huge difference – although even then, there is, because concierges could book rates you can’t book online like AAA rates, member rates, corporate discounts, etc. So not only do you lose benefits, but you also lose some of the discount as well.

In any event, this is your friendly reminder that now is the time to pull that Prestige card out of your wallet the next time you dine.

If you don’t have the Prestige, applications are rumored to be coming back online later this month.

Thoughts on the Prestige changes?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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