Promising cardholders 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 packed with perks for high flyers, and now comes with an optional Linked Diners Club card too, which has its own advantages.
With a minimum income requirement of $150,000/year, the Visa offering triple points overseas purchases plus airline, hotel and restaurant spend in Australia – and the Linked Diners Club Card having no international transaction fees – this combo is naturally best-suited to affluent professionals who spend big on travel and other lifestyle purchases.
Australian Business Traveller puts Citibank's top-of-the-line credit cards under the microscope, including a new sign-up offer that promises cardholders up to 410,000 bonus points across both cards.
Citi Prestige Infinite credit cards: fast facts, points
- Grade/tier: Black
- Card type: Visa Infinite + optional Linked Diners Club Card
- Loyalty program: Citi Qantas Rewards (Citi Qantas Prestige) or Citibank Rewards ('Citi Prestige')
- Points capping: Uncapped
Choose the Citi Qantas Prestige Visa, and you'll earn Qantas Points for every A$1 spent as follows...
- Transactions made overseas and with major restaurants, hotels and airlines in Australia: 1.5
- Major Aussie petrol stations, supermarkets and national retailers: 1
- Government and government-related transactions: No points
- Everything else: 0.5
- Eligible purchases on the optional Linked Diners Club Card: 1
Or, opt for Citibank Rewards points via the standard Citi Prestige Visa, and earn the following per A$1 spent via the Citibank Rewards program:
- Transactions made overseas and with major restaurants, hotels and airlines in Australia: 3
- Major Aussie petrol stations, supermarkets and national retailers: 2
- Government and government-related transactions: No points
- Everything else: 1
- Eligible purchases on the optional Linked Diners Club Card: 2
From your Citibank Rewards account, points can be converted to a range of airline and hotel partners, but don't confuse the earn rate of 'three points per dollar spent' at Australian restaurants as three frequent flyer points per dollar spent: these are Citibank Rewards points, which you can later convert into frequent flyer points at varying rates.
Let's explain that a little more: here's a list of Citibank's current transfer partners for Prestige cardholders, along with the conversion rate used for each program. That helps you determine how many actual airline frequent flyer points you can get for every $1 spent on your card.
|Loyalty program||Conversion rate from Citibank Rewards
||True earn on everyday transactions
||On 2/$1 categories
(e.g. petrol, or Diners spend)
|On 3/$1 categories
Virgin Australia Velocity
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
IHG Rewards Club
Jet Airways Jet Privilege
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
|Air France Flying Blue
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
Malaysia Airlines Enrich
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
For example, let's say you're earning points through Citibank Rewards with the goal of turning them into Virgin Australia Velocity points. As a 2:1 conversion rate applies to those transfers, the 3 Citibank points you can earn earn per $1 spent at Australian restaurants are equal in value to 1.5 Velocity points, so that's 1.5 Velocity points in the bag per $1 spent on dining.
Be aware that minimum transfer amounts apply when converting points to some programs, and that the only way to get your points into Qantas Frequent Flyer is to select the Citi Prestige Qantas Card at the time of application (or request a product change later), as Citibank Rewards points can't be manually converted to Qantas, as is possible for the card's other hotel and airline transfer partners.
Fees, charges and interest: 3.5/5
- Annual fee (Visa): $700 ($749 in total if choosing Citi Qantas Rewards)
- Annual fee (Linked Diners Club Card): No additional charge with either rewards option
- Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0 (up to 4)
- 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
- Maximum credit limit: $100,000
Earning points for free flights: 3.5/5
Apply for the Citi Prestige Qantas Card and you could pocket 70,000 bonus Qantas Points after making your first purchase within 90 days of card approval – more than ample for a one-way business class ticket from Australia's east coast to the likes of Singapore or Hong Kong with Qantas or its web of partners.
Or, choose the Citi Prestige Card (attached to Citibank Rewards), and you could earn up to 400,000 bonus points when you apply by March 31 2019 and meet the spending criteria over the first 20 months.
Yes, that's one year and eight months – you'll get 20,000 bonus points per month in each of the first 20 months where you spend $1,000 or more in each statement period, giving up up to 400,000 bonus points.
Request a Linked Diners Club Card during your application at no extra cost and you can also earn a bonus 10,000 points after your first eligible card spend within 90 days of approval: pair both offers together and that's a serving of up to 410,000 bonus points, equal in value to 205,000 Velocity points.
That'd be enough to book a return Virgin Australia business class trip to Los Angeles from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane (191,000 Velocity points return, converted from 382,000 Citibank points); or you could even take a one-way first class sojourn to London aboard either Etihad's Airbus A380 Apartments or with Singapore Airlines in Suites Class, both bookable for 203,000 Velocity points (converted from 406,000 Citibank points).
Bonus points aside, we like that the Visa offers a reasonable earning rate equal to 1.5 Qantas or Velocity points per dollar spent overseas, and that the Linked Diners Club card provides either one Qantas Point or the equivalent of 1 Velocity point per dollar spent on the same, with the latter also offering no international transaction fees.
However, on most everyday purchases within Australia outside of a few bonus spend categories, the Visa provides only around 0.33-0.5 airline frequent flyer points per dollar spent, depending on your earning and conversion preferences, cementing this card as a better-fit for big lifestyle spenders poised to take advantage of the card's bonus categories.
Airport lounge access, hotel and golf privileges: 4.5/5
When you're paying $700+ for a credit card each year, you expect a reasonable number of perks: and in that respect, the Citi Prestige card is quite pleasing.
Among them, a complimentary and unlimited Priority Pass airport lounge membership (which you can use with one additional guest each visit at no charge), Hilton Honors Gold status after two stays or four nights with Hilton, and a free hotel night each year at selected properties.
When you spend four nights or more on paid hotel stays booked through Citibank, you can also receive the fourth night free – plus, two complimentary airport limousine transfers are included each year, which you can use regardless of which airline you're flying with.
Avid golfers can tee off three times a year at selected courses without paying green fees, and on Australian soil, Citi's much-promoted perk of a 'free bottle of wine' is available when dining at a range of restaurants.
While the Linked Diners Club Card doesn't provide access to the global Diners Club airport lounge network, you'll still have the Priority Pass card attached to your Visa, granting access to many of the same lounges.
Speaking of Diners Club, while it doesn't enjoy the widest acceptance in Australia outside of major chains and travel-related businesses, it's accepted more widely overseas through a range of partner card networks, so you can use it wherever Discover cards are accepted in the USA, wherever international UnionPay cards are accepted in China, and so on, making the most of the waived international transaction fee.
Travel insurance, other insurance cover: 4.5/5
Use your Citi Prestige Card or the Linked Diners Club 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.
International travel insurance may also be available after charging your return flight to either card or booking via the Citibank Travel program. Itineraries booked using frequent flyer points may also be covered if you've earned at least 15,000 frequent flyer points in that program via your Citi Prestige card in the past 12 months, but check the PDS to make sure you qualify.
As 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 provided too.
Citi Prestige Infinite credit cards: our verdict
With a minimum credit limit of $30,000, a minimum annual income requirement of $150,000 and 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, its focus is on higher-earners who travel frequently and are in position to make use of the card's travel benefits like airport lounge access via Priority Pass, complimentary hotel nights and upgraded hotel stays: the combination of which could surpass the annual charge for high flyers.
Add the Linked Diners Club Card into the mix and there's also the potential of earning a higher number of points on your everyday purchases and the cash saving of paying no international transaction fees when using the Linked Diners Club card overseas.
Considering the savings that can provide for regular travellers, combined with the valuable benefits listed above plus the generous sign-up bonus offers and uncapped points earning potential, the Citi Prestige Card could easily pay for itself – and then some, especially with the Linked Diners Club Card – provided it's a good fit for your own lifestyle and spending habits, of course.