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Citi Prestige considering major changes (again) per survey

Citi Prestige considering major changes (again) per survey

Old Sep 19, 17, 2:01 pm
  #1  
formerly known as daveland
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Citi Prestige considering major changes (again) per survey

Got an emailed survey asking me about how I would feel about various changes to the Prestige.

I took lots of screenshots which are in my blog post but here is a summary from my own survey questions of changes they are *considering* (obviously this is super preliminary on Citi's side as they are asking cardmembers hat is most important to us):

Earning 2, 3 or even 5 points per dollar in travel and dining categories

Earning 3 points per dollar for all online purchases (interesting since this was an AT&T card feature)

Earning 1 or 1.5 points per dollar in the “all other purchases” categories

Redeeming at 1.25 (as today) or 1.5 cents per point on air travel

Increasing the air travel credit to $300

Replacing the air travel credit with $300 in dining credits or online purchase credits

A “round up” feature giving you the nearest 50 points on purchases (i.e. a $3 purchase earns 50 points instead of 30

Allowing you to shop at Amazon with the same 1.25% point value as airfare
$50 or 5,000 point bonuses when you spend $20,000 (threshold bonus – not all at once)

25% points back when you redeem (clearly to compete with the Amex Platinum perk). i.e. Redeem 10,000 points and get 2,500 back later.

$50 off a travel service benefit – i.e. in flight wifi / lounge passes

Some variants remove Priority Pass and/ or the 4th night free benefit (though 4th night free is in almost all variants).

They definitely are looking at limiting the 4th night free benefit to 4 times a year.

They are also considering making it 3rd night free instead of 4th but only 2 uses per year.

If you scroll past all the “this or that” questions in my post, they have two sections on potential new perks. One involves “set pricing” for airfare awards. i.e. 20k points for domestic flight and 40k for international. This is super interesting as the Citi Thank You program launched with this feature and they removed it because it was so easily abused. One wonders if they have a short memory or this line item is incomplete (i.e if there is a limit on ticket cost).

They also ask how important a bunch of other potential new perks would be, such as happy hours to earn or redeem points at 2x, free 15 min massages before flights, hotel statuses (Hilton Gold????), credits for various services, and many more that may appeal to you more than they do to me.

Full coverage with screenshots is here
MilesTalk is offline  
Old Sep 19, 17, 2:10 pm
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I took the survey and should get an AMZN gift card, but I thought these types of surveys were not uncommon even when the issuers were not strongly considering major changes to the card. OTOH, Prestige probably doesn't look that great to most people these days relative to CSR or even AmEx Platinum.
milypan is offline  
Old Sep 19, 17, 3:32 pm
  #3  
 
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I'm glad they are trying to make changes to make the card worthwhile to keep. As of now, I'm planning to cancel before my AF anniversary.
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Old Sep 19, 17, 4:29 pm
  #4  
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It wouldn't be Citi if they weren't continually tinkering with this card...
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Old Sep 19, 17, 5:20 pm
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And in the comments section, I've made it very clear that the only value of the card is the 4th-night free benefit.

Take that away and there is no need to have the card.

I'll be OK if they will limit it for 4 times a year - seems reasonable and not hurting my travel pattern too much.

If they could just make it completely automatic it would be great.

Interesting one other option in the survey - is breakfast included is booked with the card.
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Old Sep 19, 17, 5:25 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
It wouldn't be Citi if they weren't continually tinkering with this card...
+1

Seriously, assuming being ignorance, can anyone point out that which changes Citi has made on any cards have not been perceived as devaluation, but an actual improvement?
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Old Sep 19, 17, 5:46 pm
  #7  
formerly known as daveland
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Originally Posted by MD/DC Flyer View Post
And in the comments section, I've made it very clear that the only value of the card is the 4th-night free benefit.

Take that away and there is no need to have the card.

I'll be OK if they will limit it for 4 times a year - seems reasonable and not hurting my travel pattern too much.

If they could just make it completely automatic it would be great.

Interesting one other option in the survey - is breakfast included is booked with the card.
You can, with the last round of changes, book the 4th free online and have it instantly credited. But the tradeoff is it becomes a third party booking with no earned points or loyalty perks.

Agree I don't care if they limit to 4x a year, though if they did 3rd night free that would be even better - except that would be limited to twice a year.... at only twice a year the other perks need to be stepped up.

That said I have saved $1,000 in the last two months with this perk
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Old Sep 19, 17, 10:20 pm
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Would be fine if they limited the perk to 4 but only if we get something back in return
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Old Sep 20, 17, 7:02 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by daveland View Post
You can, with the last round of changes, book the 4th free online and have it instantly credited. But the tradeoff is it becomes a third party booking with no earned points or loyalty perks.
No I cannot for my kind of booking - I never book the BAR, most always use a discounted, fully refundable, post-pay rate - which is not available on their website. A lot of my booking are speculative, to lock the price until my plans are firmed, or the price drop, or a better hotel is opened up.

My last booking had to be done by phone because the hotel by design is not present in any online booking engine, including their own website.

So, I don't mind having Citi pay the concierge to make all those booking for me, although I'd rather have it be completely automatic - exactly like the airline reimbursement is. You stayed, you paid, you get a refund. If the system cannot tell it was 4 nights or more, make me send the invoice - it would be much more efficient and much less time consuming than the current system.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 7:59 am
  #10  
mia
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Originally Posted by MD/DC Flyer View Post
...- it would be much more efficient...
Aside from not generating the travel agency commissions which offset much of the cost of this benefit.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 8:47 am
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I wouldn't mind them ditching Priority Pass to add a different benefit. I like the points rebate and/or redeeming for 1.5 cents per point. I don't use the 4th night free benefit as much as others (or as much as I thought I would) but even the 1x a year I use it more than justifies the annual fee. 3rd night free 2x per year would work for me as well. If they're going to cap it, though, I would hope they'd go back to including taxes and fees, and maybe the actual cost of the night.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 9:36 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Aside from not generating the travel agency commissions which offset much of the cost of this benefit.
We all assume that - but in many of my bookings, for smaller hotels that are not affiliated, it was clear that the agent was mimicking the online booking that does not even have a place for IATA number. So I doubt there is even commission there.

Other rates I regularly book are specifically marked as "none commissionable rates".

So, while I'm sure there is a commission that somehow off set some of the costs, I'm not sure it is a universal truth.

But then again, one cannot make the benefit TOO easy to use. As I said, I don't mind wasting everyone time in making bookings.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 9:56 am
  #13  
 
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I'm too late to the party. Just tried to take the survey and after some prelim questions it tells me their quota has been filled and no longer needs my participation.

Personally I'm on the verge of cancelling this card. 4th night free is the only real benefit, however seeing that Amex FHR offers this on a good number of properties, this card is becoming less attractive.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by jbeans View Post
Personally I'm on the verge of cancelling this card. 4th night free is the only real benefit, however seeing that Amex FHR offers this on a good number of properties, this card is becoming less attractive.
IMHO, the strength here is the 4th night free on almost any hotel, and on discounted rates. I know everyone has different use cases, though. I used to use FHR quite a bit, but now with a little kid, the 4th night free at Disney World is a really strong benefit when the rate is 4-500 a night, and combineable with other offers. I went FHR -> Virtuoso -> Prestige 4th night, and I'm happiest with the Prestige.

Where I miss FHR, though, is with the frequent 3rd night free offers.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 11:34 am
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Yes the flexibility of being able to use it on almost any hotel is a huge plus, which is why I'm still kinda on the fence. I just recently got the Amex Plat, so I haven't really used FHR yet, but seeing that I can get an upgrade via FHR tips the scale a little bit, although I'm not sure how frequently you actually get a good upgrade.

Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
IMHO, the strength here is the 4th night free on almost any hotel, and on discounted rates. I know everyone has different use cases, though. I used to use FHR quite a bit, but now with a little kid, the 4th night free at Disney World is a really strong benefit when the rate is 4-500 a night, and combineable with other offers. I went FHR -> Virtuoso -> Prestige 4th night, and I'm happiest with the Prestige.

Where I miss FHR, though, is with the frequent 3rd night free offers.
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