Citi Prestige will extend all airport limo rides earned in 2021 (but forfeits unused rides from 2020)

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Citi Prestige cardholders can accumulate airport limo rides throughout 2021, but will lose any unused rides from 2020.

If you’re a Citi Prestige cardholder, there’s some good news and bad news.

The good news is that Citibank will extend the validity of all airport limo rides earned in 2021. Instead of having to utilize them in the same calendar quarter they’re earned, rides can be used all the way up till 31 December 2021.

The bad news is that Citibank has cancelled any unused airport limo rides from 2020, despite the fact that customers couldn’t really use them in the first place. Perhaps they’re just trying to help you forget 2020. 

Citi Prestige’s 2021 limo policy

citi prestige card

Qualifying SpendRides per Qualifying SpendMaximum Rides
S$12,000 per quarter28 per year

Citibank has sent the following notification out to all Citi Prestige cardholders:

As travel restrictions continue in the new year, we would like to extend the flexibility of carrying over your unused airport limousine entitlement(s) from each quarter in 2021, to be used by 31 December 2021.

This mirrors the policy adopted mid-way through 2020. Basically, any rides earned during the 2021 calendar year can be used up till 31 December 2021, instead of within the same calendar quarter as is usually required. The Citi Prestige’s T&Cs have already been updated to reflect this:

Cardmembers can bring forward their unused qualifying entitlement(s) from each quarter and utilize their qualifying entitlement(s) within the year in which the qualifying entitlement is given.

That’s fair enough, I suppose. I’m personally hoping we’ll see some form of leisure travel resume this year, although that very much depends on the vaccine rollout in Singapore, and the willingness of other countries to open their borders. 

2020 rides have been forfeited

What is less fair to me is that all limo rides from 2020 have been forfeited. I reached out to Citibank for explicit confirmation, and was told the following:

For limo rides accumulated in 2020, customers would have been allowed to carry forward their qualifying entitlement within the calendar year, with limo rides to be utilized within 2020 until 31 Dec 2020. Thus unused limo rides in 2020 would have expired.  

Given that each pair of these represented S$12,000 of cardholder spending, you’d think the least Citibank could have done is roll them over again, if not provide some kind of cash out option.

That’s exactly what OCBC has done with the OCBC VOYAGE. Cardholders who are unable to use their rides could cash them out for S$20 each, which based on the minimum spend of S$5,000 represents a 0.4% rebate. It’s not life-changing, but makes for a nice gesture that cardholders will surely appreciate.

The decision to forfeit the rides is even more puzzling given the renewal dilemma that many Citi Prestige members will be facing this year. Benefits like the 4th night free and unlimited lounge access aren’t as valuable in a world where people can’t cross borders, so you really need every bit of encouragement to plonk down the S$535 for another year. 

Granted, airport limo rides won’t be that useful either (although you could always use them for a ride to Changi Jewel), but Citi could have scored some low-cost brownie points by simply extending them again. The rides are unlikely to be used, but the decision would at least generate a bit of goodwill- and if that causes a few more cardholders to renew, might even be worth it. 

Conclusion

A mixed bag for Citi Prestige cardholders, really. It’s basically “say goodbye to your 2020 entitlement, but feel free to earn more this year!”

As COVID-19 drags on, premium card issuers will need to pull out all the stops to get cardholders to commit to another year. Decisions like this may well turn out to be penny wise, pound foolish.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Wei

Hi, just to point out a calculation error: $20 for $5000 is a 0.4% rebate.

Anonymous

OCBC’s cash out option ($20 for $5,000 spending) represents 0.4% rebate, not 4%.

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