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TravelAmerican Express Platinum vs. Citi Prestige: Should you make the switch?

American Express Platinum vs. Citi Prestige: Should you make the switch?


Citi is a TPG advertising partner

Over the past decade, newer premium credit cards, including those from Chase, Hilton and Marriott, have entered a now-crowded market. Annual fees of $400 or more on premium cards are common these days.

There may be readers with one or both of the “older” premium cards — The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Citi Prestige® Card. Although the Citi Prestige has not been open to new applicants since 2021, current cardholders may want to know if it’s worth switching to the Platinum.

So, let’s look at how the Platinum and Prestige match up against each other in key categories, including welcome bonuses, points-earning potential, redemption options and the all-important perks and benefits.

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

American Express Platinum vs. Citi Prestige comparison

Card

American Express Platinum

Citi Prestige

Annual fee $695 (see rates and fees) $495
Earning rates 5 points per dollar on flights booked with airlines or with Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar)

5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel

1 point per dollar on all other purchases

10 points per dollar on hotel, rental car and eligible attraction bookings made through the Citi ThankYou travel portal=

5 points per dollar spent at restaurants, airlines and travel agencies

3 points per dollar spent at hotels and cruise lines

1 point per dollar spent on other purchases

Welcome offer 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 in the first six months of card membership No welcome offer
TPG points valuation 2 cents per point 1.8 cents per point
Benefits
  • Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by one airline you select
  • Up to a $200 annual hotel credit per calendar year, in the form of a statement credit, on prepaid Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings with Amex Travel when you pay with your Amex Platinum (Hotel Collection stays require a two-night minimum)
  • Up to $200 per calendar year in Uber Cash, valid on Uber rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S. (split into monthly $15 credits plus a $20 bonus in December)
  • Up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year to cover your Clear Plus annual membership
  • Up to $240 in annual digital entertainment statement credit disbursed as up to $20 monthly statement credits when you pay for eligible purchases with the Amex Platinum at eligible partners
  • Up to a $155 statement credit per calendar year that covers the cost of a monthly Walmart+ membership when paying with the Amex Platinum (on one membership, subject to auto-renewal); Plus Up excluded.
  • A $100 statement credit for Global Entry every four years or an up to $85 fee credit for TSA PreCheck every 4½ years (depending on which application fee is charged to your card first)
  • Up to a $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit per calendar year (up to $50 bi-annually)
  • Complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy
  • Complimentary car rental status and hotel status
  • Trip delay and trip interruption insurance*
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection**

Terms apply to the benefits listed. Enrollment required for certain benefits.

  • Citi will cover the cost of your fourth night at a hotel stay booked through the ThankYou portal. Certain hotels are excluded, and this benefit may only be used twice per calendar year
  • Up to $250 statement credit every calendar year for eligible travel purchases, including airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies, travel aggregators, tour operators, commuter transportation and more
  • Up to $100 statement credit every four years for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Cellphone protection for up to five lines
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
Lounge access Yes; access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Airspace lounges, Escape lounges, Plaza Premium lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (Effective February 1, 2025: Eligible Platinum Card Members will receive 10 Visits per Eligible Platinum Card per year to the Delta Sky Club or to Grab and Go when traveling on a same-day Delta-operated flight). Terms apply. Yes; Priority Pass Select membership
Authorized user annual fee $195 (see rates and fees) $75

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
**Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

American Express Platinum vs. Citi Prestige welcome offer

The first factor to consider when considering a new card is the welcome offer, as it’s the fastest way to rack up points and miles.

THE POINTS GUY

The Amex Platinum currently has a welcome offer of 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 on the card within the first six months of card membership. According to TPG’s valuations, 80,000 Membership Rewards points are worth up to $1,600. That makes this one of the best welcome offers currently available for any card, assuming you can meet the spending requirement.

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Be sure to check the CardMatch tool, though, as you may be able to get a 175,000-point elevated offer. CardMatch offers are subject to change at any time.

Since the Citi Prestige no longer accepts new applicants, it has no welcome offer.

Winner: The Amex Platinum easily wins this first challenge. Since the Citi Prestige isn’t accepting new applicants, it has no welcome offer to compete with the Amex Platinum’s.

Related: The ultimate guide to Citi ThankYou rewards

American Express Platinum vs. Citi Prestige benefits

It’s no secret that the Amex Platinum has many benefits. With perks like a $20 monthly Uber credit, up to $240 statement credit for eligible digital entertainment charges per calendar year, access to various airport lounges and complimentary hotel and car rental status, it’s almost overwhelming trying to keep up with everything this card offers. Terms apply; enrollment required.

RUDI_SUARDI/GETTY IMAGES

Many of the Citi Prestige’s benefits were stripped in previous years. Certain benefits remain, including having Citi cover the cost of your fourth night at a qualifying hotel and up to $250 in statement credits every calendar year for eligible travel purchases.

Winner: Amex Platinum. While the Citi Prestige still offers a few solid perks, its severe devaluation several years ago left it behind the Amex Platinum in this category.

Related: Is the Amex Platinum worth the annual fee?

Earning points with the American Express Platinum vs. Citi Prestige

Although many cards are worth opening for the first-year welcome bonus alone, the ones that will earn a long-term spot in your wallet are often those that continue to offer solid earning rates.

MASKOT/GETTY IMAGES

The Amex Platinum is a simple travel card when it comes to its earnings structure. Cardholders will earn 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar), 5 points per dollar on hotel bookings made directly through Amex Travel and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

The Citi Prestige has a more well-rounded earnings structure. Cardholders can earn 10 points per dollar on hotel, rental car and eligible attraction bookings through Citi’s travel portal. The standard earnings rates for this card are 5 points per dollar on restaurant purchases, airlines and travel agencies, 3 points per dollar on hotels and cruise lines and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Winner: Citi Prestige. While the Amex Platinum offers solid earnings on airfare and hotels, the Prestige covers more bonus categories and earns double the points on eligible hotel purchases compared to the Amex Platinum.

Related: Maximizing credit cards to become points-rich without spending a ton

Redeeming points with the American Express Platinum vs. Citi Prestige

The Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige offer a fixed 1-cent-per-point redemption value when booking travel directly through their respective portals, much lower than TPG’s valuation of either currency.

The ThankYou points you earn with the Citi Prestige can also be redeemed for charity, gift cards or cash back or to cover purchases at eligible online retailers; and the Amex Platinum offers similar redemption options.

JUSTIN PAGET/GETTY IMAGES

The best redemption options typically come from transferring points to one of Amex or Citi’s airline partners.

Winner: Tie. Since both cards earn points that can be redeemed for the same options, there isn’t a clear winner here. Differences only become apparent when we consider transfer partners.

Related: The ultimate guide to American Express Membership Rewards

Transferring points with the American Express Platinum vs. Citi Prestige

Despite their differences, the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige share the following transfer partners:

So why does TPG value Amex Membership Rewards points more than ThankYou points if Amex shares this many partners with Citi?

Amex’s additional partners, including Air Canada Aeroplan, ANA Mileage Club, British Airways Executive Club and Delta SkyMiles, give it the edge. It also runs more frequent transfer bonuses than Citi does.

These programs can help you unlock everything from long-haul premium-cabin awards to short domestic hops on Delta and American. You can fly luxurious first-class products, avoid fuel surcharges on partner awards and mix and match your bookings to get the best value.

TPG vice president of marketing and communications Becca Manheimer transferred 45,000 Membership Rewards points to Aer Lingus for a business-class flight from New York City to Ireland.

ANA first class, booked using Avianca LifeMiles. CHRIS DONG/THE POINTS GUY

Meanwhile, Citi’s list of “unique” transfer partners isn’t nearly as impressive. Programs like EVA Air Infinity MileageLands and Thai Royal Orchid Plus don’t offer much value to the average traveler, and it’s safe to say that nearly all of Citi’s redemption value can be recreated through Amex Membership Rewards.

Winner: Amex Platinum

Related: Guide to transferring points and miles to airlines and hotels

Should I get the American Express Platinum or the Citi Prestige?

Since the Citi Prestige is no longer accepting applicants, if you don’t currently hold the card there isn’t a choice to be made here.

If you do hold the Citi Prestige, a more appropriate question might be: “Should I keep the Citi Prestige or switch to the Amex Platinum?” While the Citi Prestige has a lower annual fee and a better earnings structure than the Amex Platinum, it has fewer benefits, and the points it earns are worth less than those the Amex Platinum earns (according to TPG’s valuations).

Unless you can’t afford or justify the Amex Platinum’s annual fee or strongly prefer Citi’s exclusive transfer partners, I think it’s better to go with the Amex Platinum.

Related: Who should (and shouldn’t) get the American Express Platinum?

Bottom line

For those currently holding the Citi Prestige, considering switching to the Amex Platinum is worthwhile. The extra benefits and exclusive transfer partners that the Amex Platinum offers are nothing to scoff at. Before switching, consider which card best suits your spending habits and lifestyle.

There is also an argument for holding both cards as long as you can maximize their benefits to justify the high annual fees charged.

To learn more, check out our full reviews of the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige.


Apply here: The Platinum Card from American Express. But check the CardMatch tool first to see if you can access an elevated offer.


Related: American Express Gold vs. Platinum

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

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