Banks survey customers all the time, including about potential changes that may not come to fruition. Sometimes change is real, other times the possibility is ephemeral.
Recently Chase surveyed Hyatt cardmembers about new benefits for the product to make it more appealing. Whatever they ultimate come up with, it definitely is real that they’re considering updating the card now that they’ve re-signed Hyatt as a partner.
Citibank is surveying some Prestige cardholders about new benefits and earning structure.
The card lost access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs when flying American; the free golf benefit; redemption of points at 1.6 cents for American Airlines flights or other airlines at 1.33 cents replacing it with 1.25 cents across the board; and rebate of taxes on fourth night free hotel benefit.
Citi Prestige No Longer Provides American Airlines Lounge Access
Citi just updated the Prestige card in July to be a metal card (albeit lighter than other cards), offer online reservation of 4th night free benefit and ability to use points to pay for hotels while redeeming fourth night free (at 1 cent per point). But you shouldn’t book online because it’ll potentially mitigate elite benefits and hotel points-eaerning. These hardly offset the card’s losses.
Perhaps Citi is realizing this. Here are (4) of the earning and benefits packages presented in one survey:
- All four of these options would increase mileage-earning compared. I personally like 5 points per dollar on dining because at 2 points per dollar it wouldn’t be my go-to card for travel (even paired with 5000 bonus miles for every $20,000 spent). Even at the current 3 points on air and hotel it isn’t.
- All come with the option to spend points on retail instead of travel. But they already offer cash value at a penny, so what’s the benefit here?
- All come with a $250 air travel credit. Customers are also surveyed about a higher credit. To make the devalued card worthwhile a higher credit would be nice, only the 4th night hotel benefit is truly unique.
- All options in this graphic include 4th night free at hotels. However other surveyed options include 3rd night free but limits on use e.g. twice per year. It’s concerning that they’re surveying new limits on the best benefit the card has, cost cuts when they need to invest more in the product.
Here’s the version where air travel credit potentially goes up to $300:
And here’s one that particularly fascinated me, they compare Prestige pretty directly to American Express Platinum without naming the card, they even mention Centurion lounge access.
As part of the process they asked cardmembers to rank order different kinds of benefits. This is interesting because it shows the kinds of buckets that they think of benefits as falling under.