There’s 1 Citi credit card that 99% of us will never even see in real life, much less hold in our hands. The odds of meeting a Citi Ultima Card are about as high as the odds of meeting Oscar-winning actress Michelle Yeoh, who was a fireside chat guest at the Citi Ultima Gala Dinner earlier this year.
If you haven’t already guessed, the Citi Ultima Card is for Citi’s ultra-high net worth clients. We’re talking at least $500,000 in annual income, or a few cool million worth of assets stashed away with Citibank. It’s not a card anyone applies for—not even the most affluent of folks, because it’s a by-invitation only credit card.
The likes of you and me probably won’t be getting an invite anytime soon, but we can kaypoh. Here’s a glimpse into the luxury, exclusiveness, and privilege that the Citi Ultima Card offers—from luxury private islands access to supercar drive experiences on racetracks around the globe.
|Citi Ultima Card Review—Is it MoneySmart?
|Earn rates: ThankYou points
– 1.6 miles per S$1 local spend
|Annual fees and charges
|S$4,199.04 (including 8% GST)—no waiver.
Supplementary cards are free.
|– $500,000 minimum annual income OR
– $2M in assets with a minimum spending of $20,000 a month.
You must be invited to be a cardholder—you can’t just apply for it.
– Golfing experiences at St Andrews, one of the oldest golf clubs in the world, and The Open, the oldest golf tournament in the world.
|No sign-up promo per se, but you get 375,000 ThankYou points (150,000 miles) upon paying the annual fee each year.
See our credit card ranking rubric to find out how we rank credit cards.
Citi Ultima Card—MoneySmart Review 2023
- Citi Ultima Card: Summary
- Citi Ultima Card: Eligibility
- Citi Ultima Card: Annual fees
- Citi Ultima Card: Earn rates
- Citi Ultima Card: Rewards points (ThankYou points) redemption
- Citi Ultima Card: Benefits and privileges
- Citi Ultima Card: Sign-up promotion
- Alternatives to the Citi Ultima Card
1. Citi Ultima Card: Summary
The Citi Ultima Card is as far from an entry-level card as you can get. It’s right up there with the AMEX Centurion Card, UOB Reserve Card, and DBS Insignia Visa Infinite Card as an ultra luxury, super premium credit card for the most affluent members of high society.
You don’t apply for the Citi Ultima Card—you get invited. In fact, a previous iteration of their website marketed the card as joining the “Club of One”. That website is now defunct, but the principle of the Citi Ultima Card is the same—to make the cardholder feel ultra privileged and super special.
Before we dive into more details about the Citi Ultima Card, I want to add 2 disclaimers: Firstly, luxury credit cards like this one can be pretty mysterious. Not all of the Citi Ultima Card’s benefits are published, and probably never will be in their entirety. These privileges are so exclusive that even information about them is restricted.
Secondly, Citi recently launched the Citi Ultima’s latest iteration with a whole host of exclusive privileges, but haven’t explicitly confirmed that the card’s other stats are unchanged. For example, the Citi Ultima’s earn rates. In this article, we’re assuming that they’ll most likely remain the same as before, and do state where we make these assumptions.
2. Citi Ultima Card: Eligibility
The first question you might be wondering is: Who are these people
walking around zipping past in their limousines with the Citi Ultima Card in the first place?
It goes without saying that the card is only for Citi’s highest net worth clients. It falls under the category of luxury credit cards for Citigold Private Clients:
As you might have noticed, there’s no “find out more” for the current iteration of the Citi Ultima Card. Even their latest Citi Ultima press release doesn’t reveal the exact income requirements or minimum asset value you need to have to score an invite.
We can only guess from previous iterations of the card that one needs a minimum annual income of S$500,000. Alternatively, having at least S$2M assets under management (AUM) and spending a minimum of S$20,000 a month might also do the trick.
3. Citi Ultima Card: Annual fees
As we said earlier, the Citi Ultima Card is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the friendly entry-level credit cards we know—some of which can even come with a $0 annual fee.
Citi Ultima cardmembers can expect to pay S$4,199.04 (including 8% GST) a year in annual fees for the Citi Ultima, and no—this fee is not going to be waivable. On the plus side, at least your supplementary cards come free.
4. Citi Ultima Card: Earn rates
The Citi Ultima Card isn’t here to earn its cardmembers miles. I mean, it does, but its earn rates pale in comparison to the exclusive privileges and luxuries it affords its cardmembers. Still, let’s take a quick look at the rates, based on the last iteration of the card:
- 1.6 miles per S$1 local spend
- 2.0 miles per S$1 overseas spend
How do these compare with other cards? Here’s a look at how the Citi Ultima’s mile earn rates compare with entry-level miles cards:
|Miles per dollar (S$1)
|Citi Ultima Card
|HSBC TravelOne Card
|1.2 miles (3 Reward points)
|2.4 miles (6 Reward points)
|Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card
|Citi PremierMiles Card
|OCBC 90°N Card
|UOB PRVI MASTERCARD Miles Card
|1.4 miles (UNI$3.5 per S$5 spend)
|2.4 miles per S$1 overseas spend (UNI$6 per S$5 spend)
|DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card
Currently, the Citi Ultima Card has the highest local miles earn rate in the market, coming in at 1.6 miles per dollar (mpd). The next highest local earn rate is 1.5mpd, belonging to cards such as the DBS Vantage Visa Infinite Card.
However, the Citi Ultima’s 2mpd for foreign spend is pretty lacklustre, especially for a card that comes with a 4-figure annual fee and $500,000 annual income requirement. You can get 2.4mpd on overseas spending with the HSBC TravelOne Card and UOB PRVI MASTERCARD Miles Card, both of which are entry-level cards with a standard $30,000 annual income requirement. As mentioned earlier, the Citi Ultima Card is not a card known for its earn rates. Its clientele is looking for service, not miles or reward points.
5. Citi Ultima Card: Rewards points (ThankYou points) redemption
We talked about the Citi Ultima Card’s earn rates in terms of miles, but that was for easy comparison with other credit cards. Citi will actually give Ultima cardmembers ThankYou points.
When do ThankYou points expire?
Trick question! There is no one answer. Citi’s ThankYou points have gotten a bit of a rep for being almost random in their validity periods. That’s because when your ThankYou points expire depends on the card you earned them on. For example, ThankYou points earned on the Citi Rewards Card expire in 5 years, while ThankYou points earned on the Citi Prestige Card never expire.
So…when do the Citi Ultima’s ThankYou Points expire?
The aforementioned Citi Prestige Card is actually a fellow luxury credit card for Citigold Private Clients, but is 1 (big) level below the Citi Ultima. Since the Citi Prestige’s ThankYou points don’t expire, it only makes sense that neither do the ThankYou points earned on the Citi Ultima Card.
Another plus point: Conversion fees are waived for the Citi Ultima Card. For a S$4,199.04 annual fee, they better be!
6. Citi Ultima Card: Benefits and privileges
This is where the Citi Ultima Card truly packs a punch. The latest iteration of the Citi Ultima Card boasts 4 areas of privilege, each with their own fancy names. Here’s a summary of the privileges, with my own translation of their fancy schmancy category names:
Citi Ultima Card: Ultimate Dedication
Having a dedicated agent from Citi you can bother directly, while the rest of us call their hotline and get put on hold. Specifically you’ll get a dedicated Ultima Lifestyle Relationship Manager.
Citi Ultima Card: Ultimate Horizons
Lifestyle experiences worldwide. These can be pretty crazy—private island access or supercar racetrack experience, anyone?
- Golf where golf was born:
- Golf with a Pro at St Andrews Golf Club, Scotland—one of the oldest golf clubs in the world, and home to what’s considered the oldest golf course in the world.
- Enjoy a gold experience at The Open Championship—the oldest golf tournament in the world.
- Access luxury private islands: Visit luxury private islands across Asia and the Pacific Islands with full-serviced resorts.
- Access to renowned distilleries and vineyards in Europe
- Supercar drive experiences: The Citi Ultima grants you supercar experiences on racetracks around the world, on top of exclusive tours to automotive museums. For anyone else out there who doesn’t know what a supercar is, it’s a high-performance, luxury sports car—yup, supercars rank above sportscars.
- Complimentary one night stay at luxury accommodation: Book at least 2 consecutive nights to get 1 night’s complimentary stay. Citi promises these at “over 900 luxurious participating properties worldwide”, so you can expect real fancy stuff.
- Complimentary companion airfare: Your companion travels free if you buy a full fare First or Business class ticket with participating airlines.
Citi Ultima Card: Ultimate Indulgence
Basically, food. This is all about dining privileges as high-end as you can get, so that means:
- Priority booking for designated Michelin restaurants in Hong Kong
- Access to exclusive chef-created dinners in Singapore
Citi Ultima Card: Ultimate Balance
This is all about health and wellness. Citi only writes “exclusively curated Wellness retreats”, so we’re expecting luxurious spa treatments and the like.
7. Citi Ultima Card: Sign-up promotion
While the press release unveiling the latest iteration of the Citi Ultima Card doesn’t promise any sign-up promotion, the last iteration of the card gave cardholders 375,000 ThankYou points (150,000 miles) when they paid the annual fee each year. We can expect something similar this time around too. It works out to paying S$4,199.04 for 150,000 miles, or about $28 for 1,000 miles. To give you an idea of how far miles can get you, a return trip on SIA from Singapore to London is about 10,142 miles.
8. Alternatives to the Citi Ultima Card
What if you really want the ultra exclusive, high-end luxury the Citi Ultima Card offers, but you haven’t been invited for it?
If you’re already a Citigold Private Client, you stand a chance of scoring an invite. You might want to contact your Relationship Manager and put in a request to be considered.
Should Citi still not invite you to be an Ultima cardholder, there are 4 other luxury credit cards with exclusive privileges that are worthy of being compared to the Citi Ultima’s—the AMEX Centurion Card, UOB Reserve Card, DBS Insignia Visa Infinite Card, and OCBC Elite World Card. The latter has the lowest minimum income requirement, at $250,000 per year. Read more about these other super premium credit cards.
P.S. Here’s our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric
In case you’re wondering, here’s how we decide on our credit card rankings.
|Is that credit card MoneySmart? Our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric
|The average rating for the credit card on the whole, calculated from the ratings for the individual categories below. Plus, we’ll give you a one-liner on who we think the credit card is best suited for.
|Earn rates: Air miles / Cashback / Rewards points
|Air miles ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ / Cashback 💰💰💰💰💰/ Rewards points 🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁. This category looks at the depth rather than breadth of earn rates.
|This category looks at the breadth rather than depth of your earnings.
|Annual fees and charges
|Minimum income requirements:
Exclusivity: We dock 1-2 stars if there is/are another category/categories that make the card exclusive and very specific to a certain clientele.
We count the number of benefits and award between 0.5 to 2 stars for each, depending on how good the perk is.
Check out all our MoneySmart credit card reviews: The Ultimate List of Credit Card Reviews in Singapore.
Found this article interesting? Share this glimpse into the luxurious life of a Citi Ultima cardholder with your friends and family!