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 travel perks.
The 150,000 Citi Rewards points bonus offer for new cardholders is extended until 31 July 2018, with the bonus points available after spending $3,000 within 90 days of being approved for the card. This bonus is only available for new cardholders who sign up for the Citi Rewards-linked card, although cardholders could also choose to earn Qantas Points.
The most valuable benefits on offer with Citi Prestige are a free hotel night (from a select list of hotels), a 4th night free hotel booking discount, and airport limo transfers.
Digging into the details of the Citi Prestige Visa
|Card||Citi Prestige Visa 'Infinite'|
|Loyalty program||Citi Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer via Citi Qantas Rewards|
|Earn rates||1.5 Qantas point or 3 Rewards 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 and international spend
1 Qantas point or 2 Rewards points per $1 for selected purchases made at major petrol outlets, major supermarkets and major national retailers
0.5 Qantas point or 1 Reward Point per $1 spent everywhere else on Eligible Transactions
|Earns points at ATO||No|
|Travel benefits||Visa Luxury Hotels
Ritz-Carlton & Starwood preferred booking benefits
Two limousine transfers per year
Priority Pass membership
|Included insurances||Travel, purchase protection and warranty insurances (PDS)|
|Minimum income requirement||$150,000 p.a.|
|Overseas transaction fee||3.40% of the converted amount|
|Annual fee||$700 + $49 for optional Qantas Point opt-in|
If the card is linked to Citi Rewards, the effective points earn rate on spend when transferring out to the key partner programs are as follows:
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||Major restaurants, |
hotels and major
|Major petrol stations, |
|All other eligible spend||International Spend|
|Qantas Points*||1.5 points / $||1 point / $||0.5 point / $||1.5 points / $|
|Velocity Points||1.5 point / $||1 point / $||0.5 point / $||1.5 points / $|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles||1.2 miles / $||0.8 miles / $||0.4 mile / $||1.2 miles / $|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1.2 miles / $||0.8 miles / $||0.4 mile / $||1.2 miles / $|
|* Qantas Points are only earned through the Citi Prestige Qantas Visa card|
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, allows cardholders to either opt 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. Our full guide to Citi Rewards is 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 different rates to most frequent flyer programs as detailed below:
The key partners and transfer rates:
- Virgin Australia Velocity (2 Citi Rewards to 1 Velocity point)
- Singapore Airlines Krisflyer (2.5 Citi Rewards to 1 Krisflyer mile)
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (2.5 Citi Rewards to 1 Asia Miles)
The secondary partners and transfer rates:
- Emirates Skywards (2.5:1)
- Delta Skymiles (2:1)
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich (3:1)
- Qatar Privilege Club (3:1)
- THAI Royal Orchid (3:1)
- Etihad Guest (3:1)
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue (3:1)
- Garuda Frequent Flyer (3:1)
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (3:1)
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles (3:1)
- IHG Rewards (2.5:1)
- Radisson Rewards (2:1)
A note on Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
This program was added as a transfer partner in October 2017.
Whilst it does offer a sweet spot for roundtrips within Oceania (including, Australia, New Zealand, Guam and Hawaii) for 30k Economy/50k Business, they have to be direct flights with Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand (so no transfers through Auckland), which is notorious for releasing little award space.
Plus, the program will charge fuel surcharges and you must ticket the award physically at the airline’s sales office in Sydney’s CBD or email its Toronto office. And if you want to redeem an award for someone else using your miles, you have to provide quite a lot of paperwork.
Therefore, KrisFlyer is the more logical choice for Star Alliance redemptions for Australia-based travellers.
Alternatively, if you decide to earn Qantas Points, your points will be locked into Qantas Frequent Flyer and transferred over to Qantas each month.
Earning points from spend on the Citi Prestige Visa
The points earn on eligible spend for the Citi Prestige Visa is tiered, with spend on a range of major restaurants, restaurant chains, major hotel chains and flights booked directly with major airlines and international spend earning 3 Citi Rewards points per $1, or 1.5 Qantas point per $1. Then 2 Citi Rewards or 1 Qantas point per $1 at major petrol stations, supermarkets and retailers and 1 Citi Rewards or 0.5 Qantas point per $1 spend everywhere else.For earning Qantas Points for spend on a Visa, 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 up to 1.5 Velocity points or 1.2 Krisflyer miles per $1 spent, and with no annual or monthly cap.
On eligible International Spend, if you’re earning Citi Rewards points you’ll earn 3 points per $1, but will incur a 3.4% surcharge on non Australian $ transactions. This equates to 1.2 Krisflyer Miles or 1.5 Velocity Points per dollar spent on eligible international spend.
If your preferred currency is Qantas Points, you’ll earn 1.5 Qantas points per dollar spent on eligible international spend.
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 Velocity Points or Qantas points, the $700 ($749 for Qantas) annual fee may well pay for itself with the points earned. The transfer rate to Krisflyer Miles, Asia Miles or Skywards are not as 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 rate for Velocity points and a relatively decent rate for Krisflyer, Asia Miles and Skywards (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 Velocity Points or Qantas Points.
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
- Guaranteed best available rate
- Automatic room upgrade on check in
- Free continental breakfast
- Free internet
- 3pm checkout
- VIP Guest status
- $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:
- The Langham
- The Darling
- 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.
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.
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 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, you’ll need to assess if the category bonuses fits your spending habits and will work to your advantage in the long run.
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.
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