Targeted Offer: Renew Citi Prestige with ThankYou points

Selected Citi Prestige cardholders are receiving targeted offers to renew their card for 37,000 ThankYou points. Should you take it?

The Citi Prestige Card carries a S$535 annual fee, a considerable amount of money to spend during normal times, much less in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With travel all but non-existent, cardholders haven’t had much opportunity to enjoy its unlimited lounge access, airport limo rides or 4th night free benefit. 

In fact, the only perk of renewal is really the 25,000 miles (62,500 Citi ThankYou points), which still means paying 2.14 cents per mile- a very steep price, given the current circumstances. 

It’s for these reasons that I think most cardholders would be better off not renewing, and waiting for travel to resume before reapplying. Who knows, you might even be eligible for a new-to-bank sign-up gift by then. 

Now, Citibank isn’t offering fee waivers for the Citi Prestige. But I’ve learned that selected Citi Prestige Card members are getting offers to renew with points. If you’ve been targeted, here’s how to think about it.

Renew Citi Prestige with 37,000 points

The renewal offer is simple: Pay 37,000 ThankYou points to renew your Citi Prestige for another 12 months. You will not receive the 62,500 ThankYou points that customers normally get for renewal. 

So you’re basically saving S$535 by forgoing 99,500 ThankYou points (the 37,000 out of pocket, and the 62,500 opportunity cost). This is worth 39,800 miles, so it’s like taking a value of 1.34 cents per mile.

That’s not ideal, especially considering that Citi ThankYou points are one of the most flexible currencies out there. These can be transferred to 11 different frequent flyer programs and one hotel partner, the widest range among any bank in Singapore: 

  Transfer Ratio
(Points: Miles)
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2
5:2

Even if your primary concern is maintaining your points stash (Citi points don’t pool, so if you cancel your Citi Prestige you’ll need to zero out your balance first), you’ll find yourself in a strange “to save the village it became necessary to destroy it” situation. Is it worth paying that many points to keep the rest of your balance on ice? Maybe, but only if your stash is big, and I mean really big. 

Then there’s the question about what to do with your Citi Prestige Card once it’s renewed. I mean, every month that goes by without travel resuming is wasted money (or points, in this case). 

To be fair, we’ve seen some very good staycation deals for the Citi Prestige, and cardholders will also able to accumulate limo rides throughout 2021. Citibank has been running some very generous miles purchase promotions through PayAll (although you don’t need a Prestige Card to take advantage of them) and I understand that 1-for-1 dinners have relaunched, with Alma, Iggy’s and Zafferano among the recent choices. 

Citi Prestige has resumed its 1-for-1 dining offers

Maybe this will be enough to convince some to hold on, but others might be happier starting the clock on their new-to-bank status reset, reapplying 12 months from now and getting a S$250-300 cash gift in the process. 

Conclusion

From what I understand these retention offers are extremely selective anyway, so it’s an academic exercise if you weren’t targeted. Calling up the bank won’t change anything, so spare yourself the aggravation. 

To those of you who got the retention offer- will you be taking it?

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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