While this card may have been discontinued elsewhere, it’s still going strong in Singapore, rewarding cardholders with travel benefits, gourmet promotions, and various lifestyle offers. But with a non-waivable annual fee of S$535, getting a Citi Prestige is not a decision to be taken lightly.
Here’s a detailed look at what’s in store for cardholders.
|It’s not the powerhouse it once was, but the Citi Prestige still packs enough to be a worthy premium credit card.|
|👍 The good||👎 The bad|
|💳 Full List of Credit Card Reviews|
Overview: Citi Prestige Card
Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the Citi Prestige Card.
|Income Req.||S$120,000 p.a.||Points Validity||No expiry|
|Annual Fee||S$535||Min. |
|25,000 TY points|
|Miles with |
|FCY Fee||3.25%||Transfer Fee||S$26.75|
|Local Earn||1.3 mpd||Points Pool?||No|
|FCY Earn||2.0 mpd||Lounge Access?||Yes |
|Special Earn||10 mpd on Kaligo||Airport Limo?||Yes|
|Cardholder Terms and Conditions|
The Citi Prestige is marketed as a metal card, but it’s actually more of a hybrid. It weighs in at 8g, the lightest metal card on the market, and only marginally heavier than a typical 5g plastic card.
How much must I earn to qualify for a Citi Prestige?
The Citi Prestige has a S$120,000 p.a. income requirement, although it is also available to Citigold customers (min AUM: S$250K) who earn at least S$30,000 p.a.
If you don’t meet the income criteria, it may be possible to get the Citi Prestige as a secured credit card, with a deposit of at least S$10,000. There are a few data points (1, 2, 3) in the MileLion Telegram Chat regarding this, but keep in mind they come from 2019 and the situation may have changed since then.
If you want to try your luck on the secured version, visit a Citibank branch to make inquiries.
How much is the Citi Prestige’s annual fee?
|Principal Card||Supp. Card|
The Citi Prestige has an annual fee of S$535. Supplementary cards are free for life.
Annual fee waivers are not available for the Citi Prestige, so don’t even think about asking (Citigold has run acquisition promotions which waive the first year’s fee, but there’s nothing going on now to my knowledge).
Cardholders receive 25,000 miles for paying the annual fee, which works out to about 2.14 cents per mile. That’s a relatively high cost to pay, but remember, we need to look at the benefits in totality.
What sign-up bonus or gifts are available?
The Citi Prestige is currently offering 120,000 bonus ThankYou points (equivalent to 48,000 miles) for cardholders who:
- Apply online for a Citi Prestige Card by 31 October 2022
- Get approved within 30 days from application
- Pay the S$535 annual fee
- Spend at least S$800 on eligible transactions within the first 2 months of approval
The offer is open to individuals who have not cancelled a Citi Prestige in the 12 months prior to application. Existing Citi principal cardholders are eligible.
You can get the full details here.
How many miles do I earn?
|🇸🇬 SGD Spend||🌎 FCY Spend||➕ Bonus Spend|
|1.3 mpd||2.0 mpd||10 mpd on Kaligo|
Citi Prestige members earn 3.25 ThankYou points for every S$1 spent in Singapore Dollars, and 5 ThankYou points for every S$1 spent in foreign currency (FCY).
5 ThankYou points are worth 2 airline miles, so that’s an equivalent earn rate of 1.3 mpd for local spend, and 2.0 mpd for FCY spend.
|👫 Relationship Bonus|
The Citi Prestige card features a “relationship bonus” which awards 5-30% more points depending on your tenure with Citibank, and whether you have Citigold status.
Contrary to popular belief, a 5% bonus does not mean you earn 1.3 * 1.05 = 1.37 mpd. Instead, the relationship bonus percentage is applied to your overall dollar spend amount to derive bonus points. For example, if you spend S$10,000 in a year with a 5% bonus, you get 5% * 10,000= 500 bonus points, or a paltry 200 miles. The bump in mpd is a mere 0.02!
Here’s how much you can earn on local/overseas spending with the relationship bonus:
In terms of miles earning potential, the Citi Prestige ranks towards the bottom of the $120K pack, at 6th out of 8 cards.
However, the picture changes if you look at the base earn rates, without minimum spend requirements. In that case, the Citi Prestige ranks 4th out of 8 cards, somewhat more respectable- and perhaps slightly better, once you factor in its rounding policy (see below).
From now till 31 December 2022, Citi Prestige cardholders will earn 25 ThankYou points for every S$1 spent at Kaligo (equivalent to 10 mpd).
When are ThankYou points credited?
ThankYou points are credited when your transaction posts, which generally takes 1-3 working days.
How are ThankYou points calculated?
Here’s how you can work out the ThankYou points earned on your Citi Prestige Card.
|Local Spend||Round down transaction to nearest S$1, then multiply by 3.25. Round to nearest whole number|
|FCY Spend||Round down transaction to nearest S$1, then multiply by 5. Round to nearest whole number|
Unlike some cards which award points for every S$5 spent (such as the OCBC VOYAGE and UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card), the Citi Prestige awards points for every S$1 spent.
This means you lose fewer points through rounding, which can make a big difference on smaller transactions. For example, the Citi Prestige Card can outperform the ostensibly higher-earning UOB Visa Infinite Metal on certain transactions, as illustrated below.
Earn Rate: 1.3 mpd
|UOB VI Metal |
Earn Rate: 1.4 mpd
|S$5||6.4 miles||6 miles|
|S$9.99||11.6 miles||6 miles|
|S$15||19.6 miles||20 miles|
|S$19.99||24.8 miles||20 miles|
|S$25||32.4 miles||34 miles|
|S$29.99||37.6 miles||34 miles|
If you’re an Excel geek, here’s the formulas you need to calculate points:
|Local Spend||=ROUND (ROUNDDOWN(X,0)*3.25,0)|
|FCY Spend||=ROUND (ROUNDDOWN(X,0)*5,0)|
|Where X= Amount Spent|
For the full list of formulas that banks use to calculate credit card points, do refer to these articles:
What transactions aren’t eligible for ThankYou points?
A full list of ineligible transactions to earn ThankYou points can be found in the Citi rewards T&Cs.
I’ve highlighted a few noteworthy categories below:
- Educational Institutions (MCC 8211-8299)
- Donations (MCC 8398)
- Government Services (MCC 9000-9999)
- Insurance (MCC 6300)
- Professional Services and Membership Organizations (MCC 8651-8661)
- Quasi cash transactions (MCC 6529-6540)
- Real Estate Agents and Managers (MCC 6513)
- Top-ups to prepaid accounts like YouTrip and GrabPay
- Utilities payments (MCC 4900)
Citibank cards do not earn points with RentHero, but they will with CardUp.
What do I need to know about ThankYou points?
|❌ Expiry||↔️ Pooling||✈️ Transfer Fee|
|No expiry||No||S$26.75 per conversion|
ThankYou points earned on the Citi Prestige do not expire, but they also do not pool across cards. If you have 10,000 ThankYou points on the Citi Prestige and 15,000 ThankYou points on the Citi Rewards, you cannot combine them both and redeem 25,000 ThankYou points at one shot.
This means you’ll need to pay as many conversion fees as you have Citi cards, and if you cancel your Citi Prestige, you’ll need to transfer all your points out first or else forfeit them.
Citibank has the widest variety of transfer partners in Singapore, with 12 airline and hotel programmes to choose from. This gives you access to some great sweet spots, like with British Airways Executive Club, Etihad Guest, and Turkish Miles&Smiles.
Points transfer at a 5:2 ratio, with a minimum transfer block of 10,000 miles.
|Frequent Flyer Programme||Conversion Ratio |
(ThankYou Points: Partner)
Transfers cost S$26.75 per programme, regardless of how many points are converted.
Other card perks
4th Night Free
One of the biggest draws of the Citi Prestige is the 4th Night Free benefit, which allows cardholders to stay four nights at a hotel for the cost of three.
Here’s how it works: Citi Prestige cardholders make a hotel booking through the Citi Prestige concierge of at least four nights. The average pre-tax rate of the first four nights will be refunded within two billing cycles (up to 90 days) from completion of full payment, which must be made at the time of booking.
In the example above, the cardholder receives a refund of S$118 (the average of S$100, S$130, S$160 and S$80). Since the refund is on the Citibank side, elite credit and hotel points (if applicable) are earned on the full amount of spending.
A maximum of one free night can be enjoyed per stay, back to back stays will not be honoured. Back to back stays are defined as consecutive stays:
- In the same hotel, same city
- In a different hotel, in the same city
Consecutive stays are defined as any stay in which the check-in date is less than seven days from the previous check-out date.
Only the principal cardholder is entitled to this benefit, and he/she must be staying at the hotel. The following stays are excluded:
- Full and half board room stays
- Single and multi-room suites
- Home & farm stays
- Serviced apartments
- Packaged stay and member rates, such as air and hotel, hotel and car rental, hotel and meals bundled promotions
This means the concierge will not let you book an all-suites or all-villa hotel, even though I believe that might not have been the original intention of the exclusions.
Only prepaid rates that are available on the hotel’s website (excluding member’s rates) or Expedia can be booked.
As you can see, Citi has slapped a whole lot of restrictions on this benefit, so much so that existing cardholders complain it’s dying the death of a thousand cuts. You can still save money, sure, but you might drive yourself a little crazy trying to do it.
Complimentary Airport Limo
Citi Prestige cardholders enjoy complimentary airport limo transfers, though this benefit has unfortunately been devalued in a big way.
Once upon a time, spending just S$1,500 per quarter in foreign currency would unlock four free airport limo rides. But in April 2019, Citi hiked the spending to S$20,000 per quarter while reducing the rides to two. That was an outrageous change, and the bank’s attempts to spin it as an “enhancement” didn’t help.
In February 2020, Citi walked back the changes somewhat. The minimum spend was reduced to S$12,000 per quarter; better than before, but still a far cry from what it used to be.
Unlimited Complimentary Lounge Visits
Citi Prestige cardholders enjoy unlimited lounge visits via Priority Pass, along with one guest. This benefit only applies to the principal cardholder; supplementary cardholders do not receive access.
As far as cards in the $120K segment go, this is pretty competitive. Note that the Citi Prestige is the only one to offer a guest benefit; guests are chargeable with all other cards.
Buy Cheap Miles via PayAll
While this isn’t unique to the Citi Prestige per se, one of the best perks of holding a Citibank card is access to Citi PayAll.
This allows cardholders to pay bills with their credit cards and earn points in exchange for a 2% service fee:
|💰 Citi PayAll: Supported Payments|
Citi Prestige members normally earn 1.3 mpd on PayAll transactions, which represents buying miles at 1.54 cents each.
However, Citibank runs frequent promos that reduce the cost of miles even further. For example, cardholders could earn 2.5 mpd on PayAll from April to July 2022, reducing the cost per mile to just 0.8 cents each.
PayAll transactions count towards the minimum spend for airport limo rides, as well as any other Citi sign-up offers.
1-for-1 dining offers
Citi Prestige cardholders can take advantage of periodic 1-for-1 dining offers at high-end restaurants in Singapore under the Haute Dining programme.
Examples of recent offers include (all prices are for two diners):
- Amo (S$128++)
- Bedrock Origin (S$188++)
- Gemma Steakhouse (S$168++)
- Iggy’s (S$295++)
- Rhubarb (S$198++)
- VUE (S$388++)
These offers are first-come-first-serve, and get sold out very quickly. To improve your chances of snagging a slot, subscribe to the Citi Prestige Telegram Group, where news about these offers breaks first
Complimentary Golf Games
Citi Prestige cardholders enjoy complimentary golf games at the following clubs.
Cardholders enjoy complimentary green fee rounds at three local and three regional golf clubs per calendar year. The benefit can be used at the same club multiple times, e.g. they could book three rounds at Marina Bay Golf Course.
Complimentary Travel Insurance
Citi Prestige cardholders enjoy two different insurance travel insurance policies.
|Travel Inconvenience||Flight Delay: S$400|
Baggage Delay: S$400
Lost Baggage: S$1,000
Citi Prestige cardholders receive complimentary travel insurance when they charge their round-trip air ticket to their card. For avoidance of doubt, this includes situations where tickets are redeemed with miles, and the taxes/surcharges paid with the Citi Prestige Card.
Cardholders are covered for up to S$1,000,000 for accidental death or dismemberment while traveling on a scheduled public conveyance, with S$50,000 coverage for medical expenses and S$100,000 for emergency medical evacuation.
Flight delays, baggage delays and lost baggage are also covered.
Coverage includes the cardholder, spouse, and up to three children.
|Travel Inconvenience||Flight Delay: US$500|
Baggage Delay: US$500
Lost Baggage: US$3,000
On top of the protection provided by Citibank, Citi Prestige cardholders also enjoy additional coverage from Mastercard by virtue of World Elite Mastercard status. Like Citibank, Mastercard coverage is activated when you use your card to pay for your airfare (or taxes on an award ticket).
This features US$500,000 coverage for accidental death, US$500,000 coverage for medical expenses, plus US$7,500 for trip cancellation or curtailment.
Coverage includes the cardholder, spouse, and up to three children.
World Elite Mastercard benefits
As a World Elite Mastercard, Citi Prestige cardholders enjoy the following perks:
- Avis President’s Club status
- Complimentary 12-month HoteLux Elite Plus membership + US$200 in points
- US$20,000 annual purchase protection
- US$1,000 annual e-commerce purchase protection
- Held Tables for reservations at >600 dining venues worldwide
- Mastercard Priceless offers
Summary Review: Citi Prestige
- the nerfed limo benefit
- my personal inability to use the 4th night free benefit (since I rarely stay in the same place for four consecutive nights, and when I do, I make use of Hilton/Marriott points to enjoy the 5th night free)
- the removal of complimentary CDW coverage for rental cars
- the lounge benefit was superseded by the AMEX Platinum Charge
I’ve never seen reason to revisit, seeing as how the AMEX Platinum Charge is now my main “benefits card” (a card you hold not for spending, but for perks). It’s 3x the price, yes, but I’ve been quite happy with my track record of recovering the annual fee.
Since I jumped ship, there have been further nerfs to the Citi Prestige, namely the further tightening of the 4th night free perk, and the removal of Boingo Wi-Fi (which allowed you to surf for free on Singapore Airlines and other carriers).
Now all that being said, if someone wants a premium credit card and isn’t willing to pay a four-digit annual fee, I think the Citi Prestige can still be a viable option. Unlimited lounge visits, 1-for-1 dining offers, 25,000 renewal miles and airport transfers (albeit with a very high spending threshold) all help to recoup the annual fee- even more if you can make the 4th night free perk work.
So that’s my review of the Citi Prestige Card. What do you think?
|An essential card for miles chasers, with few viable alternatives|
|A very good card, although other equally good alternatives may exist|
|A decent card to round out your collection, but not absolutely essential|
|Very limited use cases, and outperformed by most other cards|
|Paperweight. Use for picking teeth or ninja stars|