Citi Prestige Visa Infinite credit card (Qantas, Citi Rewards)

Credit Card Review: Citi Prestige Visa Infinite credit card (Qantas, Citi Rewards)

What's Hot

  • Unlimited Priority Pass access
  • High points earn rates without capping or tiering
  • Hotel, travel, golf, shopping and dining perks

What's Not

  • High annual fee, overseas transaction fee

X-Factor

  • Choose to earn Qantas Points, or convert your points to 15 other programs

Introduction

Promising cardholders complimentary and unlimited global airport lounge access, chauffeur-driven airport transfers, a free hotel night and a fast-track to Hilton Honors Gold status, the Citi Prestige Visa Infinite credit card is a magnet for high earners, frequent jetsetters, and of course, heavy spenders.

Citi Prestige Visa Infinite card: fast facts, points

  • Grade/tier: Black
  • Card type: Visa Infinite
  • Loyalty program: Citi Qantas Rewards or Citi Rewards
  • Points capping: Uncapped

Customers opting for Citi Qantas Rewards will automatically earn one Qantas Point per dollar spent on all purchases, while Citi Rewards users instead earn two Citi Rewards points per dollar spent in Australia and five Citi Rewards points per Aussie dollar spent abroad.

Importantly, you can't exchange Citi Rewards points for Qantas Points: Qantas Points can only be earned after choosing the Citi Qantas Rewards option, which comes with an additional $49/year charge.

Citi Rewards points can instead be manually converted into frequent flyer points or miles with 12 other airlines and three hotel loyalty schemes (various minimum transfer limits apply), or can be spent to purchase various products from the Citi Rewards catalogue.

Assuming frequent flyer or frequent guest points are your goal, here's how many of those points you'd effectively be earning per dollar spent (split for domestic / international charges), after crunching the card's earning and conversion rates:

  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 1 / 2.5 miles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 1 / 2.5 miles
  • Club Carlson: 2 / 5 Gold Points
  • Delta SkyMiles: 1 / 2.5 miles
  • Emirates Skywards: 0.8 / 2 miles
  • Etihad Guest: 1 / 2.5 miles
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands: 0.66 / 1.66 miles
  • GarudaMiles: 1 / 2.5 miles
  • Hilton Honors: 2 / 5 points
  • IHG Rewards Club: 1.33 / 3.33 points
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich: 1 / 2.5 miles
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club: 1 / 2.5 Qmiles
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 1 / 2.5 miles
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus: 1 / 2.5 miles
  • Virgin Australia Velocity: 1 / 2.5 points

Payments to the Australian Taxation Office earn no points on this card under either rewards option.

Fees, charges and interest: 4/5

  • Annual fee: $700
  • Yearly opt-in fee if choosing Citibank Qantas Rewards: $49
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.99% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 44
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.74% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.4%
  • Minimum income requirement: $150,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $30,000

Earning points for free flights: 4.5/5

Apply and be approved for Citi Prestige by April 30 2017 and spend at least once on the card in the first three months to pick up an easy 70,000 Qantas Points via Citi Qantas Rewards, or 70,000 Citi Rewards points, which can become 35,000 frequent flyer points with most other airline partners including Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines.

With Qantas, that's more than enough for a one-way business class flight from Sydney to the likes of Singapore and Hong Kong (plus taxes and fees), or a one-way upgrade to first class on a paid flexible business class ticket between Sydney and London.Citi Prestige: your ticket to a free Qantas first class upgrade to London...

In converting your points to Virgin Australia, the bonus could instead get you a one-way upgrade from most premium economy fares to business class between Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne and Los Angeles, or a business class flight from Sydney to Perth (plus taxes and surcharges) if you're in a position to transfer a further 500 Velocity points.

Thereafter, every $8,000 spent via Citi Qantas Rewards nets enough points for a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight in economy (plus taxes and fees), while spending $7,800 on home soil or $3,120 abroad earns enough Citi Rewards points to achieve the same through Velocity (again, plus taxes and fees).

If choosing the latter, just note that you'll need at least 20,000 Citibank Rewards points in your account before they can be shipped across to Velocity – earned after spending $10,000 in Australia or just $4,000 overseas – but if you've retained your welcome bonus, you'll already be above that threshold.

Airport lounge access, hotel privileges: 4.5/5

Whichever rewards option is chosen, cardholders receive a free Priority Pass Prestige membership worth US$409 (A$534), granting unlimited access to over 1,000 airport lounges across the globe. Citibank also covers the cost of one guest with every visit: normally billed at US$27 (A$35).

Use Priority Pass for free access to the SATS T1 Premier Lounge in Singapore...

Absent is free airport lounge access for domestic travellers with Qantas or Virgin Australia, but you'll be well-covered after your flight with a fast-track to Hilton Honors Gold status with perks like free daily breakfast and room upgrades at check-in, after just two stays or four nights at Hilton group hotels.

Added to that: a free hotel night each year, a further opportunity to stay three nights and receive a fourth night free at many more hotels worldwide, plus two free airport limousine transfers within the Asia Pacific region (including Australia) and upgrades, breakfast and late check-out with Starwood, Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental hotels.

Golf and shopping perks: 5/5

Avid golfers can tee off three times a year at selected courses without paying green fees and can net a Harrods Rewards Black Tier card which provides with free gift boxes when shopping at the London icon, complimentary tea and coffee in Harrods' cafes and restaurants, two hours of free car parking with every visit and a 'priority personal shopping service'.

On home soil, Citi's much-promoted perk of a 'free bottle of award-winning wine' has you covered at a range of restaurants, with dining discounts found at others.

Free travel insurance, other insurance cover: 5/5

Use your Citi Prestige card to pay for an interstate trip of 14 days or less and you may be covered against delayed flights, lost or stolen personal items, travel cancellation due to unexpected circumstances and more.

When heading overseas on trips of six months or less, you may also be covered for a wider range of issues including medical expenses, loss of income and legal liability when charging your return flight to your Citi Prestige card or booking via the Citibank Travel Program.

As an added bonus, you're also covered on international trips booked using airline frequent flyer points if you converted at least 15,000 Citibank Rewards points across to that same program in the 12 months before the flights were booked, or after earning more than 15,000 Qantas Points on the card in the past 12 months when booking via Qantas Frequent Flyer.

In line with most other premium cards, extended warranty cover of up to 12 months, 90-day purchase protection, transit accident insurance and 'guaranteed pricing scheme' cover is too provided.

Citi Prestige Visa Infinite card: our verdict

With a minimum credit limit of $30,000, a minimum annual income requirement of $150,000 plus a $700 annual fee (or $749 when earning points with Qantas), the Citi Prestige Visa Infinite credit card clearly isn't for everybody, but then again, it's not really intended to be.

Instead, it's tailored towards high-earners who travel frequently and are in position to make use of the card's many benefits including unlimited airport lounge access, travel insurance, complimentary or upgraded hotel stays and more, the combination of which would easily surpass the annual charge.

We're also pleased to see no points capping or tiering of any kind and a broad selection of airline and hotel transfer partners, allowing you to earn up to 2.5 airline frequent flyer points per dollar spent, without limit.

Overall, the Citi Prestige Visa Infinite card sits well in tandem with the high-end American Express Platinum Charge Card, and being welcome wherever Visa is accepted, you could pair the two to maximise the points you earn and the perks you can enjoy.

 

4 Comments

  • Charles Furrows

    OOLflyer

    13 Feb, 2017 12:00 pm

    There are major issues to be resolved with this card.

    Its pricing and points earning make it the intended default Visa for AMEX platinum and black card holders.

    But where it should compliment them it just duplicates them. And worse.

    The equivalent card in the USA has as its main selling point unlimited "fourth night free" hotel stays at every hotel in the world, with Citi's travel agent contractor booking rates which confer all hotel program loyalty benefits, in terms of both status and earning.

    But the Aussie card uses hotels.com for the same purpose, but booking prepaid stays, with no earning potential or loyalty program recognition. So no points earning, no night or stay credit and for elite members no late checkout or upgrades or breakfast. This clientele is unlikely to appreciate that.

    So what should be the best Visa card in the country looks like a poor man's AMEX.

    The annual free night is even worse. If you pay US$100-150 to be an Intercontinental ambassador you get a free night at a luxury property. But this card's annual free night is at a range of 3 and 4 star properties that are unlikely to appeal to holders of such a card.

    The execution just doesn't seem quite right currently.
    Member who gave thanks

    grumpytravel

  • grumpytravel

    grumpytravel

    13 Feb, 2017 01:17 pm

    I have one of these cards and wasn't aware of the Harrods Black Card.I spent 15 minutes talking to their call centre in Manila and got nowhere.The girl didn't even know who Harrods was! I was transferred(after answering multiple security questions) to their third party concierge in Sydney.

    Apparently the Harrods offer no longer exists,even though it's still on their website.

    Citibank have a major problem with their call centre,they haven't got a clue and are incapable of lateral thinking.

    I also have an AMEX Centurion card.Their customer service is light years ahead of Citibank.Why? because the call centre for Centurion is in Australia,that's why!

    No member give thanks

  • Charles Furrows

    OOLflyer

    14 Feb, 2017 09:01 am

    I'm not sure that THE issue is an outsourced call centre.

    The main issues for a card at this price are:

    1. Outsourcing the Australian booking of the Hotel Fourth Night Free benefit to  an agency which can't (or won't) book rates which honour the cardholder's loyalty benefits with a chain. The card's most compelling benefit is instantly rendered worthless. But does anybody at Citi Australia even understand what a wasted opportunity this is?

    2. Failure to provide any airline status as a privilege. This is a $749/$700 card, not a $395 one.

    3. The hefty annual fee basically buys nothing more than a $395 card than uncapped points earning. But by restricting the Fourth Night Free benefit to rates which don't earn with hotels, they alienate the very points accumulators at whom the card is aimed. 

    4. The airport transfer benefit basically covers addresses within 20-30 km of an airport. Really? How many customers live that close to an international airport?

    This could - and should - be the most coveted Visa card in Australia. But the sloppy execution has turned what should have been its biggest selling point - the accommodation benefits - into a liability.

    It looks like a Citi Prestige Visa Infinite. But it's had the benefits turned into cartoon caricatures of what they are overseas.
    No member give thanks

  • andrew84

    andrew84

    13 Feb, 2017 05:01 pm

    besides their now clarified position on changing the goal posts (last year's FFP conversion debacle), I cancelled my card due to the 3.4% FX rate, the rate already being disappointing compared to 28*, before the additional clip.

    4th night free benefit mentioned above is also strange. 

    they have such an opportunity to differentiate with SPG or another transfer partner that is utilised in USA not offered by others in the AUS market
    No member give thanks

Guest

21 Jul, 2017 04:38 pm

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