Citi Prestige Changes $250 Travel Benefit for 2021

The Citi Prestige card is one I have had in my wallet since I began exploring and documenting the world, as I see it. The card, while cute and heavy, comes with a $495 USD annual fee. This is by far the largest fee of any card I have. The fee is somewhat subsidized by the growing list of benefits offered.

Citi, as a “gift” (my words) to travelers, has announced a significant change to their $250 USD travel credit. The company has temporarily expanded the credit to include supermarket and restaurant purchases. The temporary expansion is due to most travelers being unable to do so during the surging pandemic. The main stipulation, which I think goes without saying, is that the Citi Prestige account has to be open prior to the statement credit posting to the account.

The new benefit is scheduled to run, at least, for this calendar year, 1 January – 31 December 2021.

With anything, there is always some fine print. Here is the fine print for this temporary benefit:

  • Supermarket Purchases are defined as purchases made within the Supermarket category. Purchases that won’t count toward the Expanded Travel Credit are those made at general merchandise/discount superstores, freezer/meat locker provisioners, dairy product stores, miscellaneous food/convenience stores, markets, drugstores, warehouse clubs, wholesale clubs, specialty vendors, bakeries, candy stores, nut stores, confectionery stores, and meal kit delivery services. Purchases made at online supermarkets which are not classified as a supermarket by using the supermarket merchant code also won’t count toward the Expanded Travel Credit.
  • Restaurant Purchases are defined as purchases made within the Restaurant category. Purchases that won’t count toward the Expanded Travel Credit are those made at bakeries, caterers, and restaurants located inside other establishments (such as hotels, department stores, grocery stores, discount and convenience stores or warehouse clubs).

One last thing. The travel credit offered by Citi Prestige is only for personal travel, not business travel. Noted.

Final Word

The expansion of the benefit, to include restaurants and supermarkets, is a great thing. A huge majority of us are not traveling, but we sure are eating (Is the “COVID 15” still a thing?). Thanks to Citi for showing a bit of compassion and understanding during these trying times. Now, let’s take a look at reducing that annual fee…k, thanks.

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