Review: Is Citi Prestige Mastercard still good in 2022?

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Basic information

  • This credit card has an annual income requirement of S$120,000 (4 times more than most credit cards)
  • Annual fee of S$535 is non-waivable
  • Cardholders receive 62,500 points (25,000 miles) at the start of every membership year

Additional note: Some readers shared that you can bypass the income requirement by placing a S$10,000 fixed deposit and applying for a “secured” Citi Prestige card. By doing so, you will have to convert all existing Citi cards to secured cards. Share your experience on Suitesmile Chat Telegram group if you’ve done it!

Citi Prestige

Unlimited free airport lounge visits for two, 4th night free on hotel bookings

+ Card Summary
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Unlimited Priority Pass airport lounge access

A key benefit of this card is unlimited complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass. Cardholders can also bring along 1 guest for each visit.

Related: Reviews of airport lounges that I’ve accessed for free with this benefit

I used the complimentary Priority Pass benefit at La Valette Club Malta Airport (read my review)
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Is Citi Prestige’s “4th Night Free” still a good benefit?

If you are new to this benefit, it may sound like a lovely 25% discount at first. That’s until you dig deeper into the terms and conditions and find that you will probably only get a maximum of 9% in ACTUAL savings by using this card, instead of other specialized cards, provided you meet all the strict conditions.

Here are some quirks that you should know about this 4th Night Free benefit:

  • All stays must be booked through Citi Prestige Concierge via phone or email
  • Stays can only be booked directly with the property or on Expedia (via the Concierge)
  • No promo codes are allowed
  • All stays must be prepaid. If the rate is not prepaid, the concierge team is able to reach out to the hotel to request for a prepayment.
  • Member rates are not allowed
  • You will receive a rebate of the rate of 1 night, without taxes and fees. In other words, you will be paying the taxes and fees for that “free” night. This can go well over 20% of the gross nightly rate, depending on the city/country!
  • You will receive Elite member benefits like points, upgrades and breakfast, if any.
  • Apartment bookings can only be made on Expedia (via the Concierge).

Related: Hotel stays that I’ve booked with Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free benefit

I used the 4NF benefit at DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai M Square (read my review)

Example 1: Staying in an overseas Marriott hotel

Let’s take a look at what you will be paying with each credit card when booking directly with a Marriott property, through Citi Prestige Concierge.

Assumptions:

  • 20% taxes and fees (typically 15% to 25%)
  • 5% cashback via shopping portal (typically 3% to 10%)
  • 5% discounted member rate (typically 2% to 10%)
Overseas
(Marriott)
Citi
Prestige
UOB
VS
Amaze +
Citi PM
Nightly rate
(excl. taxes/fees)
$150
Taxes & fees
(20%)
$30
Forex fee
(3.25%)
$5.85
Gross total
(per night)
$185.85 $180
Rebates & extra value
4th Night Free
(cash rebate)
$37.50
($150/4)
Miles value 2 MPD
(4% value)
4 MPD
(7% value)
1.2 MPD
(2% value)
Shopping
portal
5% cashback
Member rate 5% discount
Net total
(per night,
4-night stay)
$141 $154
(9% more)
$158
(12% more)
Net total
(per night,
7-night stay)
$157 $154
(2% CHEAPER)
$158
(1% more)

The table above shows that Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free benefit will only save you about 9% if you stay exactly 4 nights in a hotel. This saving starts to shrink if your stays are longer than that.

FAQ: Can you book 4 nights with Citi Prestige and other nights with another card?
This is against the card’s 4NF terms and conditions. However, I’ve heard of cardholders who’ve done this successfully. Just tread carefully.

Example 2: Staying in an overseas hotel booked through OTA

Let’s now take a look at what you will be paying with each credit card when booking through Expedia and other online travel agency (OTA).

Assumptions

  • 20% taxes and fees (typically 15% to 25%)
  • OTA instant discount of 20% (typically 15% to 25%)
  • Online payment
Overseas
(OTA)
Citi
Prestige
DBS
WWMC
Amaze +
Citi PM
Nightly rate
(excl. taxes/fees)
$150
Taxes & fees
(20%)
$30
Forex fee
(3.25%)
$5.85
Gross total
(per night)
$185.85 $180
Rebates & extra value
4th Night Free
(cash rebate)
$37.50
($150/4)
Miles value 2 MPD
(4% value)
4 MPD
(7% value)
1.2 MPD
(2% value)
OTA discount 20%
Net total
(per night,
4-night stay)
$141 $136
(4% CHEAPER)
$140
(0.5% CHEAPER)
Net total
(per night,
7-night stay)
$157 $136
(13% CHEAPER)
$140
(11% CHEAPER)

Citi Prestige’s 4NF saving is pretty much non-existent for OTAs bookings as you would be missing out on other ongoing discounts.

Related: Great Deal: Get 20% off hotels worldwide on Agoda with Mastercards

I used the 4NF benefit at Sheraton Petaling Jaya (read my review)

Is Citi Prestige’s S$535 annual fee justified?

tl;dr: Yes, it is easily justified if you use Citi’s annual points for high value airline redemptions and are able to utilize the airport lounge benefit on your travels.

To recap, the annual fee comes with 4 noteworthy benefits:

1) Get 62,500 points annually

Limited-time welcome bonus!

Get 100,000 points (40,000 miles) welcome gift if you are a new Citi Prestige cardholder (existing holders of other Citi cards qualify too!).

To qualify, spend at least $800 by the end of two calendar months after the first month (i.e. if you apply on 15 July, spend by 30 September).

Get approved by 31 July 2022 to qualify.

Terms and conditions

Cardholders get 62,500 Citi points (25,000 miles) upon paying the annual fee every year. I value 25,000 Citi miles at ~S$500. Receiving these miles alone almost justifies the annual fee of S$535!

Here are a couple of high-value Business Class redemptions that you can use Citi’s Miles and Points for:

  1. 75,000 miles for one-way Qatar Airways Business Class to Europe
  2. 45,000 miles for one-way Turkish Airlines Business Class to Europe

2) Unlimited airport lounge access

Cardholders get unlimited airport lounge access + 1 guest. This is a valuable benefit, especially for long layovers and crowded airports.

There is only one other card in Singapore that matches or better this benefit. That is the AMEX Platinum Charge card with an annual fee of S$1,712 and a laughable general-spending earn rate of 0.78 MPD.

3) 4th Night Free on hotel stays

This unique benefit is a bonus that keeps me a little more interested in keeping this card. However, I do not go out of my way to fully take advantage of this “9% discount” benefit and stay exactly 4 nights in every hotel (although I used to, when I could stack with BRG for a further 25% discount).

4) 1.3 MPD on general spending

I value Citi’s miles and points more than those from other banks as they give me access to a larger range of Business Class seats through Frequent Flyer Programs from Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Etihad.

Although UOB PRVI offers 1.4 MPD on general spending, having 1.3 MPD from my Citi Prestige card is more valuable and the miles/points don’t expire!

Bottom line

With its unique benefits, this is still one of the best credit cards in Singapore. With all the strict rules in place, I personally do not see 4th Night Free as a benefit any more. I’ll let go of the card if/when the Priority Pass benefit is nerfed.

Unless if you redeem your annual Citi points for shopping vouchers (please don’t), the annual fee on this card can be easily justified.

4 thoughts on “Review: Is Citi Prestige Mastercard still good in 2022?”

  1. the 4NF benefit is getting more and more rediculous, citibank is offering me $1500+ (rebate included) for my total 5 night stay, while I can book directly with the hotel, for the same room and same level of services, for $1300+ myself, without any special discount, just hotel regular long-stay discount that anyone can get.

    Reply
  2. Concierge booked 4th night at Hilton but was told my Gold Honors privileges (eg free breakfast; potential upgraded) was no longer valid as it was booked through Expedia.

    Reply
    • The concierge should have asked if you want to book direct or through Expedia. Unfortunately, they usually don’t.

      Reply
  3. There has been many restrictions on using the 4th night rebate. Things like complimentary dinner, airport transport, on-prem payment will disqualifies the free 4th night stay.

    Reply

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