Citibank Ultima limits Priority Pass benefits

Citibank seems to be falling off the cliff on the Citibank Ultima credit card, which was their equivalent of the most aspirational credit card in the Indian plastic space. Like I wrote earlier, they recently withdrew the proposition where you could pay the exceptionally high fee for this card and also get Jet Airways Platinum membership in the process.

The few benefits still on the card are also seeming to be withdrawn slowly and steadily. One of the prime benefits of the card, for the travel focussed tribe, was the Priority Pass, where you could access it and bring along a colleague, or two, or three along into the same lounge along with yourself. This was of interest if you frequently travel with colleagues who do not have status and you’d like to bring them along to the lounge.

However, on my latest statement, there was an announcement sneaked in, which stated that with effect from 1st April 2013, the ability to bring in guests on Priority Pass will be withdrawn, which means you and only your add-on card holders will be able to access the lounge, and none of the card members will be able to ‘guest’ someone in.

In my book, that is one lesser reason to retain this card going forward. It is quickly trying to become the lesser cousin to American Express Platinum, and this race to the bottom has not ended yet, specially when the fees they charge is Rs. 50,000.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. I was shocked to receive charges for lounge usage suddenly last month. They say they started charging for every use .Buti was not informed and never ever paid even a single penny for my frequent use

  2. Aj – have u spoken to someone in the ultima top deck on what they are willing to compensate customers who have paid 50k fees and now all of a sudden this benifit is taken away? I was thinking of logging a complain in consumer court and have a charge of 50k on the card which won’t be paid unless an adequate compensation is given. Thoughts?

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