FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Citi suspends USA Prestige card applications August 2018
Old Aug 3, 18, 6:39 pm
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Programs: AA (Exec Plat), ANA (Plat), Club Carlson (Gld), Hilton (Diamond), IHG (Plat), SPG (Gld)
Posts: 431
My thoughts are they are planning a full card refresh based on the survey they conducted around September 2017 which is why they are planning to close card applications. They likely are making significant changes that they want to have in place a mechanism to auto deny all applications for the prestige that exist from zombie links. After all, we are talking about Citi who is notorious for having zombie links for months and sometimes years after a promotion has ended so being able to weed out these links with the old terms will be crucial if they are planning a full refresh.

If I had to guess, I think the card will have the following benefits:
  • 4th night free capped at 4X per year or 3rd night free 2X per year
  • 5X points on dining
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • Roundup every purchase to the nearest 50 points (a $5 cup of coffee purchase would earn 50 points instead of 25 points, a $30 gas station fill-up would earn 50 points, a $25 purchase at a department store would earn 50 points)
  • $250 airfare credit
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Priority Pass Membership with unlimited lounge access for cardmember + 2 guests
  • $450 annual fee
  • Points worth 1.25 cents towards air travel, 1 cent towards gift cards, and 0.8 cents towards Amazon
My rational for the above designed card is multifold and is completely based on the options that were presented in the September survey which were previously posted online. It is my understanding that credit card companies want cardholders to use their card for all purchases and I believe this card design accomplishes this. First off, the card offers a 4th night free on hotels which requires the cards use so for many cardmembers who only travel a few times a year they will put their hotel stays on this card to earn the 4th night or 3rd night free thus no bonus earnings is needed for hotel stays. Once the cardmember has the card with them for travel, it is likely to be more frequently used since it is already in their wallet. Add in the fact that the card offers 5X points on dining which is category leading and it once again makes the card top of wallet. In addition, the roundup every purchase encourages cardmembers to use the card for smaller purchases and all purchases since many are likely to earn more than the headline one point per dollar. As such, this card is differentiated from other cards on the market and encourages daily use in comparison to the existing card. However, the big question is whether encouraging general spend is more profitable then encouraging travel related spend which tends to be less frequent but much larger ticket size. This really depends on the interchange that the credit card company receives for travel related categories versus general spend.

Please note that this would not be my ideal card but what I think Citibank is leaning towards based on the survey questions I saw posted online.
Joe1690 is offline