One of my 2021 predictions is that Citi wouldn’t do anything notable. Did they manage to prove me wrong on Day 1 of the new year? I’ll argue no, but you may disagree. Yesterday, Citi announced that the $250 travel credit on the Citi Prestige card can be used on supermarket and restaurant purchases from 1/1/21 to 12/31/21. That makes this already-easy-to-earn credit even more like money in your pocket, so this is welcome news for Prestige cardholders.
Citi made this same change temporarily for 2020 as part of the COVID credit card enhancements instituted by many issuers. It is great to see them extend this change into 2021.
While I find this to be a net win and good news for cardholders, I don’t find it all that interesting. The Prestige travel credit has long been incredibly easy to trigger since all sorts of paid travel qualify (flights, hotels, car rentals, time share presentation fees, etc). I imagine that most people who would consider paying $500 a year to have a travel credit card easily spend more than $250 on travel even if just making speculative bookings for the next calendar year. I view the credit on this card as pretty similar to cash as-is. Sure, the ability to use the credit at supermarkets and restaurants makes it even more cash-like. It’s an improvement, but I won’t be dinging myself for an incorrect prediction just yet as I just don’t find this to be a significant enough change. Of course, that’s easy for me to say as I dumped my Citi Prestige card last year. Still, given that I already found the $250 travel credit cash-like, this wouldn’t have changed my mind as to whether to keep or cancel, and I can’t imagine it will have much influence for those on the fence about it this year.
H/T: Doctor of Credit