Citi Prestige is all set for major devaluation from 1st Jan 2020

Citi Bank is in the news for a while for all bad reasons. This October 2019, they removed reward points benefit on insurance spends and few other categories. This was a major blow to some, but well it makes sense from bank’s point of view.

A week back they stopped Home Loan & Demat Holding being part of NRV for CitiGold. I wonder which soul removed Demat and for what reason. This in-turn reduces the ability to earn bonus points for credit card holders.

After all these changes across products, they’re now removing one of their major USP – meet and greet / airport transfer benefit among others. Here’s the email that Citi sent out last evening to its Citi prestige  Cardmembers (thanks to Amex Guy for the sharing it)

Let’s see the upcoming changes in detail one by one:

# 4th night Complimentary Stay

This change is expected and many were aware of it even before. I think it makes sense as it still gives you the ability to use the benefit twice, would typically work well for 2 short vacations.

While this one is not a big devaluation as such, frequent travellers may not like this going away.

Going forward, if you need more such complimentary night benefits, you may need to check Amex plat card, which currently runs 3rd night complimentary benefit with Oberoi Hotels & lucrative 25% off at Taj.

# Meet & Greet / Airport Transfer

This is the major change out of all, esp. because it’s one of their USP. I personally see citi prestige as a card that enables “miles game” and “luxury airport transfer experience”. Now that the latter is removed, it definitely looses its aspirational value.

From what I know, meet & greet / airport transfers costs the bank heavily (at times as grand as 17K INR as mentioned by the coustomer) and so it seems Citi decided to cut down the costs.

This is a big devaluation which most of its customers gonna hate. I wish they could have rather enabled it on some spend criteria rather than just removing it altogether so that high spenders are not affected. Bad move indeed.

So going forward, if you need meet & greet, there is only one card that’s reachable for wider audience, that’s Axis Magnus, but again the problem is it can be used only in Domestic Airports!

# Golf Benefit

Green fees waiver is going away! I’m super surprised to see how they even removed it completely as this is one of the major and regular benefit on a super premium credit card

While it looks like Citi prestige cardholders played golf a lot, it doesn’t make sense at all to remove the benefit on a 20k fee card

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