Credit Cards News

Citi Prestige cancels unused 2020 limo rides, but will combine 2021 accruals

Citi is allowing Prestige cardholders to combine accumulated airport limo transfers again in 2021, but if you didn't use last year's rides - tough.

Citi Prestige cardholders in Singapore are no doubt familiar with one of the cards more contentious benefits – up to 8 free airport limo rides per year. This one gained some notoriety in 2019 for hiking the minimum spend needed in each quarter to activate a pair of free transfers from S$1,500 to S$20,000 (no, it wasn’t a typo).

There was some reprieve in early 2020 when the bank reduced the spend requirement from S$20,000 to S$12,000 per quarter, but this still left it as the most expensive among the five cards in town offering such a perk.

Key facts

Here are the basics of the Citi Prestige Airport Limousine Service.

Card2019.png
Card Annual Fee: S$535.00
Complimentary Rides: Up to 8 per year
Direction: To or from Changi Airport
Minimum Spend: S$12,000 in each quarter
Provider: Roset Limousine Services Pte. Ltd.
Car Type: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Maximum Pax: 4
12am-6am Surcharge: Nil
Sentosa Surcharge: Nil

This is one of the few cards not applying either a midnight surcharge or a Sentosa surcharge on the complimentary limo bookings, though that doesn’t detract from its steep spend requirement for the benefit to kick in!

Earned rides can still be accumulated in 2021

In June 2020, Citi acknowledged the lack of travel opportunities brought about by the COVID-19 situation and began allowing members to combine accrued limo transfers, which usually had to be consumed in the same quarter they were earned.

Under the new policy for 2020, any earned benefits for Q2, Q3 and Q4 could be used anytime by 31st December last year. Citi then clarified that expired rides earned in Q1 of 2020 could also be reactivated and used any time during the year.

The good news is that Citi has extended this policy for rides earned in 2021.

“Cardmembers can bring forward their unused qualifying entitlement(s) from each quarter and utilize their qualifying entitlement(s) within the year in which the qualifying entitlement is given.”

Citi defines the earning quarters as follows:

  • Q1: 1 January to 31 March
  • Q2: 1 April to 30 June
  • Q3: 1 July to 30 September
  • Q4: 1 October to 31 December

Unused 2020 rides are forfeited

The bad news here is that Citi has not had a change of heart regarding its policy that the total number of accumulated rides will still need to be used by the end of each calendar year.

Effectively that means even if you clocked up 8 complimentary airport limo transfers in 2020 and didn’t use any of them, they have now been forfeited, even if you earned them in Q4!

While this was the policy in force, we did expect some leniency would continue to apply, especially given the very large sums Prestige cardholders are pushing through the card to generate each free transfer, not to mention the substantial annual fee.

OCBC, for example, is allowing limo rides earned by its Voyage cardholders in 2020 to be used by 30th June 2021, plus offering a S$20 statement rebate alternative per unused ride for those simply wishing to “cash out”.

We feel that Citi could and should be doing something similar here.

Full terms and conditions for the Citi Prestige limo benefit in 2021 can be found here.

Credit cards with limo benefits

We’ve updated our comprehensive guide to Singapore credit cards which provide free limo rides with your spending to reflect this latest change for the Citi Prestige card.

There are five cards in total and as you’ll see, there’s quite some disparity in how generous each one is.

Summary

Good to see that Citi is extending its Prestige card limo benefit into 2021 and, sensibly, allowing you to use the perk throughout the year regardless of the earning quarter. Let’s hope by later in the year travel begins to open up and our readers can actually start using some of these airport transfers.

Unfortunately if like many of our readers you had expiring unused limo rides in 2020, these have not been carried into 2021, with no alternative compensation offered.

That’s a poor way to reward customer loyalty and we think Citi should be providing some alternative arrangement here, even via a cash credit or voucher arrangement.

Ultimately of course, spending S$12k+ per quarter to activate a pair of complimentary airport limos is terrible value for that perk alone, so for Prestige cardholders keeping this card means valuing its other perks too.

Fast Facts

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Annual fee: $535.00/yr
EIR: 26.9%
Sign-up bonus: 25,000 miles
Local earn rate: 1.3 miles per $1
Overseas earn rate: 2 miles per $1
Minimum Age: 21
Minimum income: $120,000/yr

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(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)

1 comment

  1. Free limo somehow dropped from the list of benefits in my mind somehow, although I often meet the $12,000 threshold. One of the possible reasons is that it’s so much easier to just take a Grab than making a phone call to the concierge or the limo service provider to arrange a pickup. In addition, Grab fare to/from the airport is less than $30 for me so the limo is not that attractive to me. Nevertheless, I’m curious – is the limo service so good that it justifies all the hustles of arrangement?

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