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Over the summer Citi Prestige Card customers lost:
- Access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs when flying American
- Free golf
- Points worth 1.6 cents apiece towards paid American Airlines flights
- 1.33 cents apiece on other airlines (all air travel is now down to 1.25 cents)
- Rebate of taxes for the fourth night free hotel benefit
They introduced new benefits in July and those were uninspiring at best.
- Book 4th night free hotel reservations online (but in doing so, give up points-earning and elite status benefits for the say)
- Metal card, but not as nice or heavy as others
- Redeem points for cash at a penny apiece (lower value than air redemptions)
In other words it seemed like Citibank had given up. And in the face of Chase’s success with the Sapphire Reserve product and increased investment in the Platinum Card by American Express, it turns out they have at least according to the bank’s CFO.
[A] Citigroup executive said that after JPMorgan’s move Citi changed course and turned its marketing toward no-fee cards that offer free borrowing for as long 21 months instead of travel rewards.
“We shifted our focus away from rewards because of the competitive heat,” Citigroup Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said in a conference call with reporters after posting quarterly results.
They appear to be focused far more on the admittedly fantastic Citi Double Cash Card than they are investing to keep up with Chase and American Express at the top of the rewards game.
Frequently these strategies seem to shift and they’re at least surveying more changes to the Prestige card so we could still see improvements yet.