Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Citi Prestige Visa offering 70,000 bonus Citi Rewards Points and a vast range of perks, but with points earn rates changing on 15th June

The Citi Prestige Visa is a card for the aggressive points collector – the card has a minimum income requirement of at least $150k – and has an annual fee of $700 – but with a large number of frequent flyer program transfer partners, and a vast range of perks.

The included more valuable benefits on offer are a free hotel night (from a select list of hotels), a 4th night free hotel booking discount, and airport limo transfers.

The card can be linked to Qantas Points or Citi Rewards points. Right now the signup bonus is in Citi Rewards points but points earned from spend could be switched to Qantas Points after you have been approved for the account and earned the Citi Rewards bonus.


Citi are making changes to their card range which are effective from June 15

Citi have decided to overhaul the earn rates on their rewards cards. The changes were announced on April 3, and take effect for cardholders as of June 15th, so if you apply for a Citi card between now and then, you’ll have two sets of points earn rates – those in place now as outlined this guide, plus those in place from that date onward.

You can read our full summary of these changes by Citi here. If you’re an existing cardholder, you may find you will earn a different number points from your Citi credit card thanks to the new earn rates, or if you are considering the card, you should understand the new earn rates fully before applying as they will be in place soon.


Changes to Citi Prestige Visa from June 15

We’ve summarised the upcoming changes in the tables below. In summary, the current earn rate of 2 Rewards points for eligible Domestic Spend will be replaced with a tiered rate based on categories, with earn rates increasing on certain categories and decreasing on others. Earn rates on eligible International Spend will also be lowered to 3 Rewards points per $1 from the current 5 points per $1.

Card TypeEligible Domestic Spend earn rateEligible International Spend earn rate
Citi Prestige Rewards Card

  • 3 Points per $1 for selected purchases made and booked directly from a range of major restaurants and restaurant chains, major hotel chains and flights directly booked with major airlines

  • 2 Points per $1 for selected purchases made at major petrol outlets, major supermarkets and major national retailers

  • 1 Point per $1 spent everywhere else on Eligible Transactions

3 Points per $1 spent on eligible International Spend

For the Qantas point earning Citi Prestige Qantas Visa, the current flat earn rate of 1 Qantas point on all eligible spend have also been replaced with a tiered earn rate with better earning potential on international spend. but lower for eligible domestic spend outside of the bonus categories.

Card typeEligible Domestic Spend earn rateEligible International Spend earn rate
Citi Qantas Prestige Rewards card

  • 1.5 Points per $1 for selected purchases made and booked directly from a range of major restaurants and restaurant chains, major hotel chains and flights directly booked with major airlines

  • 1 Point per $1 for selected purchases made at major petrol outlets, major supermarkets and major national retailers

  • 0.5 Points per $1 spent everywhere else on Eligible Transactions

1.5 Points per $1spent on eligible International Spend

Citi Prestige Visa 70,000 point sign-up bonus – considerations and example uses

The 70,000 point signup bonus would yield a value of either 70,000 Qantas points, 35,000 Velocity points, Krisflyer Miles or Asia Miles.

QF127 Sydney - Hong Kong A380 Business Class Cabin

You could use a signup bonus for Business Class between Sydney & Hong Kong, pictured here on the A380

If you want to earn Qantas points, you’ll need to specifically opt-in to Qantas Points for an additional $49 annual fee, and this will preclude you from earning Citi Rewards points.

The signup bonus on the card may be more valuable if you push it to Qantas Frequent Flyer, but the 2 point per $1 earn on eligible Domestic Spend for Citi Rewards makes accruing Citi Rewards points from spend potentially more lucrative, along with the greater flexibility of transfers to many airline programs, rather than one.

As a result, there is the option to pay the $49 fee for Qantas rewards on sign up, then change to Citi Rewards in future.


Guide to the Citi Prestige Visa Infinite credit card

Which points to earn – Qantas or Citi Rewards?

The Visa Prestige card, like Citi’s slightly less expensive Citi Signature Visa, comes with the option of either opting in to earn Qantas Points (at an additional $49 annual fee) with points swept over to Qantas on a monthly basis, or with Citi Rewards.

I’ve written a full guide to Citi Rewards here.

In brief, the Citi Rewards scheme lets you transfer your points over to a range of frequent flyer program partners. Citi Rewards points are transferred out at a rate of 2 Citi Rewards points to most frequent flyer programs, that essentially halves the value of any Citi Rewards sign up bonus on offer in frequent flyer point terms.

Note that the Citi Rewards website does not make the Prestige partners and transfer rates clear. Here’s a screenshot of the partners and transfer rates as of September 30 from an existing cardholder:

citi-prestige-airlines-1
citi-prestige-airlines-2
citi-prestige-airlines-3
citi-prestige-hotels-1

The key partners:

  • Virgin Australia Velocity (1 point per $1)
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer (1 mile per $1)
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1 mile per $1)

The secondary partners:

  • Emirates Skywards (0.8)
  • Delta Skymiles (1)
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich (1)
  • Qatar Privilege Club (1)
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid (1)
  • Etihad Guest (1)
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue (1)
  • Garuda Frequent Flyer (1)
  • Eva Air Infinity MileageLands (0.66)
  • Hilton HHonors (2)
  • IHG Rewards (1.25)
  • Club Carlson (2)

If you decide to earn Qantas Points, your points will be locked into Qantas and transferred over to Qantas each month.

Earning points from spend on the Citi Prestige Visa

As already mentioned, the earn rates on most of Citi’s rewards credit cards are changing on June 15th. The rest of this article references the current earn rates, but read our analysis of the changes for more about on this.

The points earn on eligible Domestic Spend for the Citi Prestige Visa is currently 2 Citi Rewards points per $1, or 1 Qantas point per $1.

On a Visa for Qantas Points earn, this is a good earn rate.

For Citi Rewards points earn, this is a high earn rate that can yield a good points haul if you’re going to pump a decent amount of spend through the card, with the most potential value equating to 1 Krisflyer miles or Velocity points per $1 spent, and with no annual or monthly cap.

On eligible International Spend, if you’re earning Citi Rewards points you’ll earn 5 points per $1, but will incur a 3.4% surcharge on non Australian $1 transactions. This equates to 2.5 Krisflyer Miles or Velocity Points per dollar spent on eligible international spend.

If your preferred currency is Qantas Points, then this may not be a card to hold only for the points earn rate on spend – if you’re opted into Qantas Point earn there are no international spend bonuses.

Big spenders using the Citi Prestige Visa with the Citi Rewards program however, could well justify keeping the card each year just for the points alone.

Have a read of some of the benefits of Citi Rewards (the full Citi Rewards guide is here), as well as the benefits specific to the Citi Prestige Visa below.

If you’re going for Krisflyer Miles, Asia Miles, or Velocity Points, the $700 annual fee may well pay for itself with the points earned. The transfer rate to Skywards is not so valuable.

Citi Rewards points benefits and considerations

Citi Rewards points don’t expire for the lifetime of you holding the card, and there’s also no points cap. This is one of the major benefits of the card – with unlimited points earning at excellent rates for Krisflyer or Velocity Miles (if you opt into Citi Rewards over Qantas).

The minimum transfer levels to airline programs are high, with a minimum of 20,000 Citi Rewards points to be transferred. This differs significantly to American Express Membership rewards, which is more flexible.

The Prestige Visa offers a great points earn rate for a Visa, on most eligible spend, to earn Krisflyer Miles, Velocity Points, or Asia Miles.

Creatively, Citi are also offering 30,000 points per year for Citigold customers to keep cardholders with the card, dubbed as an ‘annual relationship bonus’. This is a nice benefit, but it’s only for cardholders with a Citigold relationship where you’ll need to have $100,000 in assets or debt with the bank.

Other travel benefits of the Citi Prestige Visa

The Citi Prestige Visa also offers a number of travel benefits, including Priority Pass lounge access and discounts through the 4th night free and Visa Luxury Hotels programs.

Fourth night free benefit at hotels globally

If you’re a Prestige cardholder you’ll also get a fourth night free at large number of hotels globally – essentially pay for 3 nights, get the 4th free of charge.

Access to Visa Luxury Hotels

High end Visa cards globally have access to the ‘Visa Luxury Hotels Collection’ booking channel. Thankfully the website is open to the general public when it comes to researching the value of this, so it’s easy to get a good idea of which hotels participate – there are around 900 in the program.

The standard benefits of booking through Visa Luxury Hotels are

  1. Guaranteed best available rate
  2. Automatic room upgrade on check in
  3. Free continental breakfast
  4. Free internet
  5. 3pm checkout
  6. VIP Guest status
  7. $25 US food or beverage voucher per stay

The clearest value benefits are the breakfast, free internet and $25 credit, which could add up to $75+ value on a one night stay if they were otherwise chargeable. The room upgrade and 3pm checkout are at the Hotel’s discretion, so may not yield much value.

For Citi customers, the booking portal is accessed via http://citibank.visaluxuryhotels.com. For example, in Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong, the following hotels participate:

In Sydney:

  • Shangri-La
  • The Langham
  • The Darling

In Melbourne:

  • Park Hyatt
  • Grand Hyatt
  • The Lyall Hotel & Spa

In Hong Kong:

  • The Mira and Mira Moon
  • The Peninsula
  • The Landmark
  • Conrad Hong Kong
  • The Upper House

Helpfully, these are all generally fairly unique hotels where it is generally hard to get achieve any kind of hotel program status, so the additional benefits are very handy.

There’s also a range of special offers with specific hotels available which is worth keeping an eye on – For example, at the Shangri-La Sydney, there’s a $100 dining credit offer for 2 night stays.

With access to the Luxury Hotels service it’s possible to get a pretty good return if you want to travel and stay at these kind of hotels a few times per year.

Hilton HHonors Gold status upgrade

One of the biggest benefits of Hilton Gold is a free breakfast plus slightly better rooms when available. You’ll need to stay twice with Hilton and register for the promotion with your Prestige Visa before you stay to get Gold sooner. Gold can be more readily available through status matches and other offers so this benefit may be limited.

You can read our guide to the HHonors program here.

Two limousine airport transfers free of charge per year

The limousine transfer and meet and greet airport benefit does offer some tangible value, and is available in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, plus a range of cities outside Australia. There’s more on this here, and it’s available twice per calendar year and for fairly lengthy transfers so each one could be worth well in excess of $150 if used wisely.

Priority Pass Lounge Access

You’ll also receive Priority Pass membership with the card, with unlimited access worth $399 per year.(There’s also a 10% discount on paid Priority Pass memberships here for Point Hacks readers)

In reality, you’ll get better use out of this membership if you travel internationally, as there are only a couple of Priority Pass partner lounges in Australia.

Fine Dining Privileges

You’ll get three fine dining benefits with this card:

  • a free bottle of wine at participating Citi Dining restaurants in Australia
  • access to customised experiences and special events
  • priority bookings at the top 100 restaurants in the world

Then there’s also a few other Visa-specific benefits, such as ‘Visa Front Line’ (premium tickets to events) and ‘Visa Signature Bespoke Event Program’ access.

Free Golf – complimentary green fees at some select Golf Clubs throughout Australia & Asia

The Citi Prestige Visa also offers paid green fees at 20 participating golf clubs across Asia Pacific.

Finally, there’s also the usual range of travel, purchase protection and warranty insurances, and you should read the PDS to assess if these insurances meet your individual needs and have significant value to you.

This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this credit card.

You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.

Summing up – Citi Prestige Visa

The Citi Prestige Visa is positioned as a high-end card with a vast array of benefits, and at a cost that’s $550 less per year than the most similar card out there, the American Express Platinum Charge.

One of the biggest reasons to hold and use this card is for the good points earn rates on eligible domestic and international spend, along with a large range of third party points transfer partners. However that is changing come mid-June, so you’ll need to assess the new category bonuses being put in place by Citi then and see if they will work for you into the future after then.

The large signup bonus, ability to earn points quickly with Citi Rewards through spend with no points cap, the Visa Luxury Hotels, Limo transfer and Annual points bonus are all solid benefits too.

The extra partners now add a range of additional flexibility for those who can earn large points balances to get more uses from their points – a very good thing.

There’s a place in the market for a high-end Visa card, either to compliment American Express’ offering if you can justify holding two cards of this cost, or as a less expensive alternative.

The Citi Prestige Visa is not for everyone – there’s a minimum income requirements of $150,000, for example. But it could work for higher spenders, especially those who spend internationally or tip a lot of their spend into the bonus categories Citi will add to the card in June.

Jump back up to offer ↑

Point Hacks Credit Card Information

Point Hacks is published by Newformula Media. Newformula PTY LTD (ACN: 609 361 051) is a credit representative (486568) of Eurofinance Corporation Pty Ltd (Australian Credit License: 393845). In some instances, Newformula PTY LTD receives a commission or benefit for referring you to the services of a credit provider. This commission or benefit is disclosed at the point of referral to the credit provider. This website does not provide credit, assist you in obtaining credit, or advise you to apply for any particular product from a provider.

We have not taken into consideration your circumstances or financial situation when providing the information on this website. It is important you read the relevant PDS from the product issuer and seek the independent advice of an appropriately qualified professional before making a decision on a product.

While we invest a great deal of time and energy into ensuring we provide with you with the most up to date and accurate information, we do not warrant the accuracy of statements or information contained on the Website relating to third party goods and services, including credit card information, loyalty schemes and rewards. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability arising from any person acting on those statements or information to the fullest extent permitted by law. Where conditions or warranties are implied by law and cannot be excluded, our liability will be limited to the re-supply of information. You should confirm the accuracy of information provided on this Website with the third party product provider before acting on it.

Comments Expand Comments

  1. Robert Blake

    Does anyone know if you have a home loan with Citibank whether you get a free/reduced annual fee with the Prestige?

    Thanks
    Rob

  2. Peter Goh

    Is the reduced Ann Fee for sign up still valid? Also some comments re negotiation for reduced Ann Fee permanently? On Web site of Citi Rewards Transfer for Kris Flyers is 2.5 to ! not 2 to 1 ???
    Peter

  3. ofixler

    Any success applying for this deal with bonus if you have an existing Citi card? I have a Citi Signature no fee for life card.

  4. Hi

    Just wanted to check if the above info is current interms of citi rewards points transfer rate. Do the citi prestige card rewards points transfers calculate to 2 points or 2.5 points or 3 points ? –> when transferred to skywards/velocity/kris

    According to their website (citirewards.com – choose TRAVEL and then select POINTS TRANSFER) , info says 3, 2.5 and 2.5 for Skywards/Velocity/Kris respectively.

    According to info above, you have only mentioned velocity and kriss as the main examples and used 2 points as calculation. Could you please confirm?

    Thanks

    • Keith Author

      2 for KF/AM/Velocity is correct for the Prestige. The Citi Rewards website doesn’t seem to quote points transfer rates for the Prestige card. I have added screenshots of the Citi Rewards points transfer page into the guide above to help make this clear.

  5. Rachun

    150K net income requirement? Jesus, why so high. It has a $350 annual fee attached. I got the Amex charge card no problems on 80-100k income. Citibank are nuts.

  6. Reg57

    I have had some good value out of the card over the last year, in particular the free night which I used in Hong Kong. However regarding the chauffeur service, be aware that the car that is sent generally will accommodate one large case per traveller – any more and you have to pay extra. We had a C220 (hardly limo) on one journey – given that the card targets higher earners, one would expect that they probably fly business, thus baggage allowances would permit 232kg per passenger. In some cases UberX works out cheaper than the excess charged for the *free chauffeur service to include the 2 cases per passenger. Tried to book one from JFK to Manhattan and discovered the offer was valid for APAC countries only (note there are a number of definitions as to what are considered to be APAC countries).

    From memory there was a 30,000 point bonus upon annual renewal – haven’t seen this yet and will query with Citi. Any view on this?? Tried to negotiate a reduced renewal fee but no luck.

    All in all, good value IF you use the offered benefits – bear in mind the 4th night free offer must be for stays booked through VISA, not through Pointshound or other point-earning sites.

    • Keith Author

      Thanks for the feedback Reg.
      Limo – I have used the Citi Limo service once so far; I got picked up in a Merc R-Class (7 seater) – so I guess there are a lot of varying experiences to be had here.
      4th night free – we’ll have a guide on this coming in the next week, but yes, it needs to be booked through the dedicated Citi Concierge.

  7. Retireland

    NB The half price annual fee offer that is supposed to close out later in September no longer has valid links within the Citi site.
    My experience with this card is that the customer service department does not recognise its more important clients – an enquiry can take 40 minutes to be answered. So I finally sucummed and got an Amex card – wow the customer service levels kill those of Citibank – I just wish I could find a decent non – Amex card for those typical non- Amex purchases.

    • Keith Author

      You should still be able to find the half annual fee offer via the Qantas-linked offer shown above – let me know if this is not the case? It’s supposed to be valid until the end of September.

  8. Keith; Can you find in the Citi documentation that ATO payments are excluded? I do recall seeing this myself, but I can’t find it for love nor money? I’m starting to think they are included?

    • Keith Author

      The Citi Rewards terms are here.

      Quoting them:

      Points are the points earned on Eligible Transactions.

      Eligible Transaction means any Retail Purchase which is made by the use of a Card or any other means permitted by Citibank, excluding (but not limited to) transactions by way of Cash Advances, Balance Transfers, Special Promotions, fees, purchases of foreign currency and travellers cheques, foreign exchange and ATM/ Bank charges, interest charges, nance charges, government charges, payments to the Australian Taxation Of ce, insurance charges, payments to Citibank loan accounts (mortgage etc), purchases in excess of limits on the Account, transactions made in operating a business and if the Account is more than $10,000 in credit only, all other transactions.

  9. Hayden

    Is that 100 percent the reduction in reward points earned from March next year? I spoke with Citibank and they had no idea about this.

  10. captain_sloth

    w.e.f 1 November 2015 – Citibank have devalued transfer rate to KF and VA. If not earning for QF time to ditch this one!

  11. Sean

    Has anyone received a product upgrade offer to move from Citibank Visa Signature to Citi Prestige and maintain the Visa Signature annual fee / no annual fee as is?

    • Keith Author

      I haven’t heard of any specific success – I’d be interested in this too. What others have said is that a $350 annual fee seems to be readily negotiable out of Citi, sometimes even on application (after approval though) and not just renewal.

    • Anton

      I did receive an email about the upgrade. I assume since you asked about the zero fee did you apply for your signature card during the veda promo?

  12. Mark

    hi Keith

    do you know if the relationship bonus can be paid in Qantas points? also I presume there is no bonus points for overseas spend if you choose Qantas earning?

    • Keith Author

      I think the bonus is (probably) paid in the same currency as you are earning in. However I don’t know for sure that it pays out for Qantas Points. It would be worth double checking with Citibank. They should, but you never know.

      And yes, no bonus points on overseas spend with Qantas earn. Citibank Rewards is definitely the way to go for earn on spend with this card.

Links to this article

  1. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Beginners Guide - Point Hacks
  2. How to redeem points for Emirates Wolgan Valley resort in the Blue Mountains
  3. A guide to Citibank Rewards in Australia, Citibank’s credit card rewards program - Point Hacks

Leave a Reply