Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Citi Prestige Visa offering 70,000 bonus Citi Rewards Points and a vast range of perks

Citi Prestige Visa - 70,000 Citi Rewards points (35,000 KrisFlyer / Velocity points if transferred)

70,000 Citi Rewards Points are on offer with the Citi Prestige Visa when signing up and linking to Citi Rewards - you can transfer these points to Virgin, Krisflyer or Asia Miles.

  • 70,000 Citi Rewards points after first eligible transaction
  • Ability to transfer points to Velocity, Krisflyer, Asia Miles or other international frequent flyer programs
  • Priority Pass lounge access, Visa Luxury Hotels service, and other premium benefits
  • 2 Citi Rewards points earned per $ or 1 Qantas point per $, 5 Citi Rewards points per $ earned on overseas transactions
  • Points earn equivalent to 1 Velocity points or KrisFlyer miles per $ spent domestically, or 2.5 per $ spent on overseas transactions
  • 0% interest p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months
  • $700 annual fee
  • $150,000 p.a. minimum income requirement
  • Offer expires: April 30th 2017

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earn a maximum of $280 per applicant for this card. More about this →

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 high points earn rates, 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.
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The card 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.

If the card is linked to Citi Rewards, the effective earn points earn rates on spend when transferring out to the key partner programs are as follows:

  • Virgin Australia Velocity (1 Velocity point per $)wards
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer (1 KrisFlyer mile per $)
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1 Asia Mile per $)
  • Etihad Guest (1 Etihad Guest mile per $)
  • and many others.

Given that Citi Rewards are transferred out at a rate of 2 Citi Rewards points to frequent flyer programs (in the case of the example above), that halves the value of the Citi Rewards sign up bonus 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
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citi-prestige-hotels-1

Card Details

CardCiti Prestige Visa 'Infinite'
Loyalty programCiti Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer via Citi Qantas Rewards
Citi Rewards earn rate2 Citi Rewards points per $ spent domestically or 5 Citi Rewards per $ on overseas transactions
Velocity, KrisFlyer & Asia Miles effective earn rate 1 point/mile per $ on domestic spend, 2.5 points/miles per $ on international spend, when transferred from Citi Rewards at 2:1
Qantas Point earn rate1 Qantas Point per $ spent, earned directly into Qantas Frequent Flyer each month
Points capNone
Earns points at ATONo
Travel benefitsVisa Luxury Hotels, Hilton HHonors Gold status
Ritz-Carlton & Starwood preferred booking benefits
Two limousine transfers per year
Priority Pass membership
Included insurancesTravel, purchase protection and warranty insurances (PDS)
Minimum income requirement$150,000 p.a.
Overseas transaction fee3.40% of the converted amount
Annual fee$700 + $49 for optional Qantas Point opt-in

Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates

Frequent Flyer ProgramDomestic SpendOverseas Spend
Qantas Points*1 point / $1 point / $
Velocity Points1 point / $2.5 points / $
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles1 mile / $2.5 miles / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1 mile / $2.5 miles / $
* Qantas Points are only earned through the Citi Prestige Qantas Visa card

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 $ earn on 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 Citibank 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 Citibank’s slightly less expensive Citibank 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 the following partners, with the effective earn rate per $ on domestic spend shown after the program:

The key partners:

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

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

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

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 $ spent, and with no annual or monthly cap.

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

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 overseas spend bonuses.

Big spenders using the Citi Prestige Visa with the Citibank 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 Citibank 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 Citibank 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 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.

Earlier this year Citi revised the range of benefits on the card for 2016:

  • The 4 nights for the price of 3 hotel benefit is now being managed by Hotels.com, offering a wider range of hotels and hopefully a more streamlined redemption/booking system
  • Back to back stays on the 4 nights for the price of 3 are no longer permitted
  • The Citi travel service/concierge can book stays under the Starwood Privileges program which offers some extra benefits on Starwood stays when paying with your card.
  • A similar set of exclusive booking benefits with Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental hotels
  • The limo transfer benefit (2 x per year) is being reduced to journeys of 25km, down from 30km
  • Hilton HHonors Gold status used to be automatic with this card – now you have to complete two paid stays or four nights at Hilton properties (see below)
  • Shangri-La Golden Circle status has been removed

The full terms can be accessed here.

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 Citibank 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 Citibank 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 Citibank 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 domestic and overseas spend, along with a large range of third party points transfer partners.

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 might be for you.

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Comments Expand Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

Links to this article

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

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