Citibank Australia's just-launched Citi Prestige Card offers perks such as airport lounge access, free limousines transfers and a bonus 70,000 points when making your first purchase.
Cardholders also pick up a free overnight stay at selected hotels each year, can ‘buy three nights and get one free’ at over 900 hotels, receive Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Hilton HHonors Gold status, and have unlimited access to over 700 Priority Pass airport lounges with one free guest.
Added to that are two free airport limousine transfers with ‘Meet & Assist’, and the possibility of saving up to 15% on international business and first class travel with participating airlines when booking through Citi’s Lifestyle Manager concierge service.
Avid golfers will enjoy waived green fees at 20 courses around the Asia Pacific region – including Australia – and three waived green fees at any other public-access golf club each calendar year.
For regular visitors to the UK, a Harrods Black Tier Card will also be slipped into your wallet – providing access to the chain’s personal shopping service and freebies such as London car parking, tea and coffee at Harrods, and alterations when purchasing clothing and garments.
Earning frequent flyer points
Currently the only credit card in Australia to be issued under the Visa Infinite banner, customers can choose to earn either one Qantas Frequent Flyer point per dollar spent, or to earn two points per dollar spent in the Citibank Rewards Program: both of which are uncapped.
International transactions – whether made abroad or from your office or lounge room when shopping online – attract an impressive five Citibank Rewards points per Aussie dollar spent, which can then be converted across into the loyalty programs of Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Emirates.
We’ve crunched the numbers – you’d earn 1.33 Velocity points or KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent on everyday purchases, one Asia Mile or 0.8 Emirates Skywards miles on the same spend, with the former rather impressive for a Visa card.
The welcome bonus of 70,000 points can be taken as either 70,000 Qantas Points or 70,000 Citibank Rewards points – equating to 46,666 Velocity points or KrisFlyer miles – when receiving the card before January 6 2015 and spending once within the first three months.
Our tip? Choose Qantas when you sign up, wait until the 70,000 points hit your account and then switch to earning Citibank Rewards points for the more generous 1.33 Velocity points per dollar against the one point you’d earn with Qantas on the same spend.
Fees, charges, insurance
You’ll need to earn at least $150,000 each year to apply for the Citi Prestige card, which comes with an annual fee of $700 and a Qantas Rewards opt-in fee of $49.
As you’d expect, the card provides free international travel insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty cover and access to the guaranteed pricing scheme – whereby if an item purchased with the card goes on sale soon after, you’re refunded the difference.
Interest rates are also the norm for a top-tier rewards card, with 20.74% p.a. levied on purchases unless the balance is paid in full after up to 55 interest-free days, and 21.24% p.a. charged on cash advances from the day of the transaction.
Existing Citibank customers with the Citi Select card will be upgraded to Citi Prestige at no additional cost.
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