The Prestige MasterCard from Citibank is one of my favorite premium travel credit cards. It has a lot of bonuses – $250 air travel credit per year, 3X Thank You points for flights, 2X Thank you points for dining, Global Entry, access to airport lounges, and so on. It also offers great trip delay protection coverage. However, some of the benefits of the Prestige card are being pulled back later this year (Admiral’s Club entry, 4th night free, and free golf, to name a few). In all honesty, the I’ll miss the Admiral’s club access the most. This has been a very convenient perk of the Prestige card.
The annual fee for the Prestige card just hit my account ($350 because I’m a Citigold customer, otherwise $450). Frankly, I haven’t decided whether I’ll pay the renewal fee and keep the card or cancel it.
Whenever an annual fee hits, unless I am absolutely certain I do not want to keep the card, I contact the credit card issuer (in this case, Citibank) and see if they can offer anything to sweeten the deal.
My first step is to refresh myself on what the card offers – the positives and the negatives, including the details of the upcoming devaluations. My second step is to research what offers others have received under similar circumstances. Looking at Flyertalk or frequent flyer blogs is a good place to start.
Shawn from Miles to Memories wrote on his recent experience (see his post, My Decision to Keep or Cancel Citi Prestige & Current Retention Offers for the Card, HERE). His circumstances and considerations were similar to mine, so I carefully reviewed his post before picking up the phone.
He received three different offers from Citibank:
- Option 1: $200 statement credit after spending $4K per month for 3 months.
- Option 2: 10K bonus ThankYou points after spending $3K total in 3 months.
- Option 3: Additional 4X ThankYou points per dollar on hotels and airfare for 6 months. Up to 35K bonus points.
After carefully weighing the choices, he chose Option 2 and that is exactly the option I wanted. Armed with my ammunition, I proceeded to phone Citibank. I guess this was the day for volleying because I kept getting handed over to other agents. Only after I said the magic words (i.e., I’m considering canceling the card) was I connected to a Retention Officer.
Lo and behold, I was offered Options 1 and 3, but not Option 2! Option 1 is not for me – a $12K spend in 3 months is pretty hefty. I’m not particularly interested in option 3 either. I was disappointed and thought “Damn you Shawn!” for getting my hopes up! (just kidding).
What will I do? Nothing yet. I’ll probably call back and see if they pull something different out of the hat next time. What would you do?