When looking for a great travel card, very few compare to the Citi Prestige card. It comes with good bonus categories, and lots of perks that make it a worth while credit card to carry with you on all of your trips. Top features of the card like 4th night free at almost any hotel, and Admirals Club access make it worth while to pay the very high fee on this card. I used the 4th night free for a few hotel stays, and that alone has saved me hundreds of dollars.
The list of benefits doesn't stop there though. Included with the card is a $100 fee refund for Global Entry signup, $250 back on airfare purchases every year, and 3x points earning on hotels and flights. Beyond those are smaller but fairly common features like trip protection and no foreign transaction fees. All in all the features of this card way outpace the $450/year price of owning the card.
Citi has some bad news for us this week though. One of my most used features of the card is going away, Admirals Club access. While you still needed to be flying on American Airlines to make use of this feature, the lounge access on this card was worth the yearly price alone. This does present a huge problem. It is yet another blow to American Airlines, these punches keep landing and keep reaffirming my choice to leave American Airlines.
Once June of next year rolls around, I lose my access to lounges with American through this credit card. That would be something I could work around with another credit card, but I don't yet have that card. Also, the AAdvantage credit card that does give you access is yet another $450 per year fee, and the club access is about the only really good value on that AAdvantage card, everything else can pretty much be gotten with the Platinum version of the card with a much lower yearly fee.
The other question is, does this change ruin the Prestige card?
In my opinion, no, not at all. This card still will rank as the best card for travel in my opinion. 4th night free is staying as far as we can tell. The $250 back on airfare immediately offsets a good portion of the yearly fee. Combine these features and the card will pay for itself many times over, as long as you make use of the 4th night free a few times a year.
I think this change is more of a blow to American Airlines than to Citi. Some people will leave Citi because of this, but I see the huge value that still exists on this card. AAdvantage seems to be dying the death of 1000 blows now. It will remain a good program, but it keeps loosing value, and my choice to change loyalty is only reaffirmed by this change.