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-   -   Citi suspends USA Prestige card applications August 2018 (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/citi-thankyou-rewards/1923186-citi-suspends-usa-prestige-card-applications-august-2018-a.html)

garykung Aug 3, 18 6:14 am

Citi suspends USA Prestige card applications August 2018
 
[NOTE - This post is edited to reflect the confirmation of the news.]

Declaimer - this has been now confirmed.


I was told by a Citibank banker that Citi will stop accepting Citi Prestige Application as of 8/18. The banker did not discussed anything further regarding this nor sharing any written materials regarding this as well.

When I was skeptical about this news (in fact I was skeptical about the banker as well), AFAICT, Citi has a tendency to do something like this, which makes this news plausible (and now confirmed).

It can mean many things if this turns out to be true. However, the worst case scenario could mean this card would be discontinued very soon.

I would suggest that those of you who have this card plan ahead (but don't act yet). Also - can someone verify this news as well?

For those of you who want the card, it is now or never.

akr1970akr Aug 3, 18 1:15 pm

So they plan on having no competitor to the CSR or Amex Plat?

That seems strange.

mia Aug 3, 18 1:30 pm


Originally Posted by akr1970akr (Post 30044397)
So they plan on having no competitor to the CSR or Amex Plat?

-OR- they are refreshing the product.

zzrayzz Aug 3, 18 1:48 pm

Most likely a refresh imo. 3x dining/travel

rbw5t Aug 3, 18 2:01 pm

Having recently (i.e., within 24 months) opened a Thank You Premier won't impact getting the bonus on the Prestige will it? I just applied (still pending, don't yet know if I'm approved) for the 60k offer on the Premier. If they do refresh the Prestige, maybe there will be a nice sign up bonus too.

krazykanuck Aug 3, 18 3:02 pm


Originally Posted by mia (Post 30044435)
-OR- they are refreshing the product.

It is that time in the Prestige life cycle. Create great new card, remove a bunch of the good benefits, remove move a year later, pull the card and re launch it!

jayzee9 Aug 3, 18 4:02 pm

Reminds me of the Chairman Card
 
One of my favorite travel hacks. Used 60k TY points (in their infancy) to get 2 x tickets to Kazakhstan. Purposefully got the most expensive economy ticket, each worth about $9k. Didn't use them and bought 2 x Circle pacific business class on star and had the rest to buy tickets on united over the next year or two. Unfortunately I think those days are gone..

lotrbfme Aug 3, 18 4:39 pm


Originally Posted by jayzee9 (Post 30044982)
One of my favorite travel hacks. Used 60k TY points (in their infancy) to get 2 x tickets to Kazakhstan. Purposefully got the most expensive economy ticket, each worth about $9k. Didn't use them and bought 2 x Circle pacific business class on star and had the rest to buy tickets on united over the next year or two. Unfortunately I think those days are gone..

Holy mother of loopholes!! LOL

mikesyr18 Aug 3, 18 5:09 pm


Originally Posted by mia (Post 30044435)
-OR- they are refreshing the product.

I don't believe it.

AAdvantage Platinum was recently refreshed and Citi didn't pull the application.

There's simply no need to stop applications just for a refresh

CarefulBuilder14 Aug 3, 18 6:03 pm

While not impossible, I'd bet against a serious refresh. Maybe some little changes, but not necessarily good on balance. Maybe customers will get 3x on dining, or 3x on all travel...but not get more transfer partners...and maybe 4th Night Free will be capped in some new way.

There has been no public bonus offer since December 2017. Retention bonuses have been non-existent to mediocre. That doesn't suggest to me they want to attract or keep customers.

Citi announced the meganerf (Admirals access, 4th night taxes, golf) more than two years ago. Why wait so long? What could they possibly be working on? They've been losing customers steadily, so I would think they'd have put something together by now.

They've lost Hilton cards and lost exclusivity (for new cards) with AA, so cobrand perks may not be likely.

*But I'd love to be wrong! Even without a bonus, my Double Cash could go back to being a Prestige if the perks were right.

Joe1690 Aug 3, 18 6:39 pm

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.

CarefulBuilder14 Aug 3, 18 6:48 pm

I think "roundup" would lead to frequent Amazon $0.51 reloads...would be interesting to see how long it would take them to stop that.

10 cents per debt transaction stopped working for Discover.

mikesyr18 Aug 3, 18 7:01 pm


Originally Posted by Joe1690 (Post 30045366)
...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

The card will likely have a traveling multiplier... Either gas, flights, hotels, ore "travel" or a combination of the group. I wouldn't think 5x on dining and 1x on everything else would be a structure Citi would go with.

Renard Aug 3, 18 7:54 pm

I sure hope they don’t cap the 4th night free credit. After the downgrade of the travel insurance I’ve moved all my airfare spend to the CSR so 4th night free hotel nights are about the only thing I’m still putting on it.

CarefulBuilder14 Aug 3, 18 8:24 pm

It seems like they have to do something about point value if they want to make money. They need some point use that is cheap for Citi to provide but gives many customers a good value with convenience.

Sure, some FTers can use TY's exotic transfer partners...but they are probably the same people who book a lot of 4th nights free.

For normal people...profitable people...people who have one main card and don't make a lot of benefit claims or seek retention...TYs can be a hassle.

3 x 1.25 cpp will struggle to challenge 3x Hyatt/United/BA/etc...even though the latter can cost an issuer less.


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