Subscription Modal Banner
Weekly newsletter subscription
Get SingSaver’s top tips and deals, plus an exclusive free guide to investing, sent straight to your inbox.

I agree to the terms and conditions and agree to receive relevant marketing content according to the privacy policy.

Success Tick Icon
Congratulations on successfully joining Singsaver Newsletter

Citi ULTIMA Card Review: Best Luxury Card For High Income Earners?

Yen Joon

Yen Joon

Last updated 19 September, 2023

 

The Citi ULTIMA Card offers all the bells and whistles of a luxury card. But it also comes with a hefty annual fee and high general eligibility criteria.

The Citi ULTIMA Card is a luxury card that a large population of people will probably never get their hands on. 

In fact, it’s not a card that anyone can apply for, as membership to the card is strictly by invitation — available only to ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWS) who happen to be Citigold Private or Citi Private members.

So, is the Citi ULTIMA Card all about jet planes, islands, and tigers on a gold leash, or is there more to it? 

If you’re one of the lucky few to receive the invitation, here’s what you can expect.


Table of contents

 


Citigold_Tactical_47_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

⚡Flash Deal⚡: Get an Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max 512GB (worth S$2,340.45) or an Apple Products Bundle [Apple iPad Air (5th Generation) 10.9" WiFi 256 GB + Apple Magic Keyboard Bundle + Apple Pencil (2nd generation) + Airpods Pro (Gen 2)] (worth S$2,145.20) or S$1,500 cash when you successfully apply for a Citigold account and make a S$250,000 deposit within 3 months of account opening and maintain these funds until gift fulfilment. Valid till 21 April 2024. T&Cs apply.

Applicable to new-to-bank only (i.e. users with no Citigold or Current and Savings Accounts). If a user has applied for Citi Credit Card or Personal Loan, they will still be eligible.

Plus, score over S$2,460 bonus cash when you maintain your Citigold relationship and fulfil the following qualifying criteria (T&Cs apply):

  • Complete an Investment Risk Profile and Fact Find Report and get S$100 cash
  • Hold a valid primary/main Citi Credit Card and get a S$300 bonus cash reward.
  • Take up a Citi Home Loan with min. loan size of S$800,000 within 3 months of account opening and get a S$500 bonus cash reward.
  • Purchase S$100,000 worth of investments and/or insurance from Citibank to enjoy a S$600 bonus cash reward.
  • Maintain a Citigold relationship for 12 months from date of approval and get a S$960 cash reward.

 

Citi ULTIMA Card: overview and eligibility

Citi-ULTIMA-Mastercard

  • Local spend: 1.6 miles per dollar (mpd)
  • Overseas spend: 2 mpd
  • By invite only
  • S$500,000 minimum annual income
  • Available to Citigold Private Client (min. AUM: S$1.5 million) and Citi Private (min. AUM: US$10 million) members only
  • Annual fee: S$4,237.92 (inclusive of 9% GST), non-waivable
  • ThankYou points never expire
  • No conversion fees to miles or hotel points
  • Unlimited airport lounge visit
  • Up to S$1 million travel insurance coverage
  • Complimentary APEC Business Card
  • Exclusive travel and lifestyle perks

The Citi ULTIMA Card is a by-invite-only luxury card reserved for Citi’s top clientele. Originally a Visa Infinite Card, the Citi ULTIMA Card was relaunched in August 2023 as a World Elite Mastercard and is exclusive to the upper echelons of society.

This card is so exclusive that Citi has kept the eligibility criteria a closely guarded secret. However, based on the previous iterations as well as the qualifying criteria for Citigold Private and Citi Private, we can derive the general requirements that one needs:

  • At least S$1.5 million in AUM (Citigold Private) or US$10 million (Citi Private)
  • An annual income of no less than S$500,000
  • To spend at least S$20,000 monthly

Aside from that, it has an annual fee of S$4,237.92 (including 9% GST), which is non-waivable. Cardmembers will receive 375,000 ThankYou points or 150,000 miles per year when they pay the annual fee. 

You’ll also earn 4 ThankYou points (1.6 mpd) for every eligible S$1 spent locally and 5 ThankYou points (2 mpd) for every eligible S$1 foreign currency spent. 

While the miles earning rate might not be among the highest in the market (considering that there are other air miles cards with higher earning rates), this isn’t a card designed for its earning rates; it's geared towards a select few, specifically business travellers who want convenience and also happen to enjoy travel, lifestyle, and dining benefits. 

In fact, according to a survey conducted by Citi, it was found that UHNWS clients value travel and lifestyle perks for themselves and loved ones, which is why the Citi ULTIMA Card comes included with bespoke lifestyle and travel experiences.  

Back to top


Pros and cons of Citi ULTIMA Card

Pros

Cons

1.6 mpd and 2 mpd earn rates for local and overseas spend, respectively

Exclusive to Citigold Private and Citi Private Banking customers (by invitation only)

Unlimited Priority Pass airport lounge access for principal cardholder and two supplementary cardholders

Minimum assets under management (AUM) of S$1.5 million

Non-expiring points

S$4,237.92 annual fee

No conversion fee

S$500,000 min. annual income

One free night stay at selected luxury hotels

Min. monthly spending of S$20,000 required

Complimentary First or Business Class ticket for one companion 

No guest allowance for airport lounge access; standard US$32 guest fee apply

Up to S$1M travel insurance coverage

APEC Business Card fee waiver only if you spend a minimum S$200,000 a year before your card application


Why should you choose the Citi ULTIMA Card?

#1. Citi ThankYou points don’t expire

The Citi ULTIMA Card earns you 1.6 mpd for local spend and 2 mpd for foreign spend. 

Moreover, ThankYou points earned on the Citi ULTIMA Card will never expire. This is great because it allows you to accumulate miles over time without worrying about expiration dates. 
 

#2. Unlimited airport lounge access (up to three cardmembers)

Citi ULTIMA principal cardholders and two supplementary cardholders can expect unlimited Priority Pass lounge access. However, it’s worth noting that there aren’t any guest privileges, which means that each accompanying guest will be charged US$32 per visit. 

#3. Complimentary hotel night program

Enjoy one complimentary night’s stay when you book at least two consecutive nights at any of the 900 luxury partner hotels globally with your Citi ULTIMA Card. 

You’ll also enjoy these additional treats:

  • Complimentary breakfast for two daily
  • Room upgrade at time of arrival (subject to availability)
  • Early check-in and check-in (subject to availability)
  • Amenities worth up to US$100 (subject to availability and varies by property)
  • Lowest hotel rate guarantee
  • Mastercard Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee (you’ll receive a refund in difference if you found the exact room at a cheaper rate after booking)   

Note that this is only valid for hotel stays outbound of Singapore. There are also other terms and conditions to note, such as:

  • The hotel bookings for stays must be made within six months from the booking date
  • The booking must be completed at least 72 hours prior to the check-in date
  • This offer is valid for Citi ULTIMA main cardholders only
  • The cardholder must be one of the staying guests

You can read the full terms and conditions here.


CITI_LIGHTNING_BLOGARTICLE_KV1_800x250

⚡Flash Deal⚡: Be one of the first 500 applicants to get a PlayStation 5 Disc Version (worth S$799) or Dyson Airwrap (worth S$859) or S$500 ecapitaVoucher when you apply for a Citi Card and spend a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Remaining applicants will enjoy existing rewards. Applicable to new-to-Citibank cardmembers only. Promo runs from 9 April, 9AM SGT - 30 April 2024. T&Cs apply.

SingSaver's Exclusive Offer: Receive the following rewards when you sign up for a Citi Credit Card:

SS_Citi_PM_BLOGARTICLE

Citi PremierMiles Card: Receive an Apple iPad 10th Gen Wifi 64GB (worth S$691.60) or Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699) or S$400 eCapitaVoucher or S$300 cash via PayNow upon activating and spending a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid until 30 April 2024. T&Cs apply.

Citi CC_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

Other Citi Credit Cards: Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699) or Apple iPad 9th Gen 10.2 Wifi 64GB (worth S$508.30) or Dyson V8 Slim Fluffy (worth S$509) or S$400 eCapitaVoucher or S$300 cash via PayNow upon activating and spending a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid until 30 April 2024. T&Cs apply.



#4. Airfare Privilege Program

Citi ULTIMA main cardholders who purchase a First or Business Class ticket with the following airlines will also receive a complimentary companion ticket:

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Qatar Airlines
  • Etihad Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Qantas
  • Delta

Take note, however, that the complimentary companion ticket and discount are only applicable to airfares, so you’re still liable for taxes, surcharges, and any other fees. Below is an illustration from Citi as an example:

Singapore to New York (Business Class return)

ULTIMA main cardholder

Your travel companion

Final cost

Airfare

S$9,800

S$0

S$9,800

Tax and airline surcharge

S$1,579

S$1,579

S$3,158

Ticket issuance fee

S$80

S$80

S$80

Price

S$11,459

S$80

S$13,118

You’ll also enjoy up to 15% savings on non-promotional First or Business Class flights on the eight partner airlines. Again, the discount only applies to your airfare, so you must still pay taxes, fees, and other surcharges. 

There are also a few other T&Cs to note, including:

  • Travel dates must be within six months of the booking date, and must be a minimum of 72 hours before departure
  • All travel must start and end in Singapore
  • The main Citi ULTIMA Cardholder who purchases the companion ticket(s) must be one of the travellers
  • The companion traveller must travel with and have the same itinerary as the cardholder and the companion ticket must be purchased at the same time
  • The companion ticket is based on the lowest available fare booking class
  • Only one companion ticket can be redeemed in the same itinerary

#5. Complimentary APEC Business Card

Citi ULTIMA cardholders will get reimbursed for their APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) application fee of S$100. But the catch is that you need to make a qualifying spend of at least S$200,000 in 365 days prior to your card application. 

If you didn't already know, the ABTC is a business visa that facilitates the movement of business travellers/government officials with frequent business dealings within APEC economies. It helps business travellers to fact-track immigration procedures in major international airports in APEC countries, saving time. 

#6. Airport travel assist privileges

Citi ULTIMA main cardholders are also entitled to complimentary one-way airport limousine transfers and fast-track immigration services at participating airports in Asia Pacific when they purchase a Business or First class ticket with their Citi ULTIMA Card. 

There are a few things to take note of:

  • The air ticket must originate from Singapore and can be one-way or return
  • Only a maximum of four passengers and two large suitcases per transfer
  • Limo transfer can be used either in Singapore or overseas
  • Bookings must be made at least 72 hours prior
  • Cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance

#7. Dining and lifestyle perks

As part of its partnership with MICHELIN Singapore, Citi ULTIMA Cardmembers will receive special invitations to chef-curated dinners by Michelin-star chefs. 

Aside from that, you’ll also receive dining discounts at luxury hotels in Singapore:

  • 15% off afternoon tea and lunch buffet at The Courtyard and Town Restaurant (The Fullerton Singapore)
  • 15% off a la carte dinner (Sunday to Wednesday) at La Brasserie (The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore)
  • Up to 30% off your food bill at Prego, Asian Market Cafe, Mikuni, and Kopi Tiam (Fairmont Singapore)
  • 15% off your food bill at Colony and Republic (The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore)
  • 15% off your food bill at Bob’s Bar, Fiamma, and Chef’s Table (Capella Singapore)
  • S$200 off with a minimum spend of S$1,500 (Les Amis)

You’ll also get to enjoy other exclusive dining, entertainment, and whisky experiences via Mastercard Priceless. These include luxury journeys to private island vacations, supercar driving experiences, and vineyard tours.

Back to top

#8. Complimentary travel insurance of up to S$1 million

Citi ULTIMA cardholders who purchase a round-trip flight ticket will also enjoy complimentary travel insurance of up to S$1 million (insured by HL Assurance).

Here are some of the coverage:

Benefits

Cardholder

Accidental death/ Permanent Disablement 

S$1 million

Overseas medical expenses

S$500,000

Baggage loss

S$1,000

Baggage delay (S$200 every six hours)

S$600

Flight delay (S$200 every six hours)

S$600

Trip cancellation/ loss of deposit/ trip curtailment

S$600

Emergency medical assistance and evacuation, emergency medical repatriation, local burial/ repatriation of mortal remains

S$100,000

Overseas medical expenses due to COVID-19

S$50,000

Overseas hospital allowance due to COVID-19

S$1,000

Rental car access

S$1,000

You can view the full policy terms and exclusions here

 

#9. Golf privileges

Citi ULTIMA primary cardholders can enjoy exclusive access to premier golf clubs around the world, including:

  • Complimentary green fees and buggy at world-renowned participating golf clubs, along with one companion
  • Complimentary green fees up to three times per calendar year at participating golf clubs
  • Two complimentary green fees per quarter at Sentosa Golf Club Singapore with a minimum qualifying spend of S$25,000 per quarter

Back to top

Citi ULTIMA Card: what transactions are excluded from ThankYou points?

You’ll earn ThankYou points for most transactions, except transactions made with the following Merchant Category Codes (MCC):

  • Annual fees, interest charges, late payment charges, GST, cash advances, instalment plans, preferred payment plans, balance transfers, quasi-cash transactions, and any fees imposed by Citibank or third parties
  • Bill and utility payments (MCC 4900)
  • Payments to educational institutions (MCC 8211 to 8299)
  • Payments to government institutions and services, including tax payments, fines, and postal services (MCC 9000 to 9999)
  • Payments to financial institutions (MCC 6012)
  • Insurance premiums (MCC 6300)
  • Betting and lottery tickets (MCC 7995)
  • Quasi cash and brokerages (MCC 6529 to 6540) 
  • Bill and utility payments (MCC 4900)
  • Top-ups or payment of funds to payment service providers, prepaid cards and prepaid accounts (AXS, AMAZE, Ez-link, Youtrip, etc.)
  • Transit-related transactions, including bus/MRT rides (MCC 4111)

You can view the full exclusion list here


Citi ULTIMA Card: Fees and charges

Annual fee

S$4,237.92 (inclusive of GST, non-waivable) 

Late payment charge

Not applicable

Overlimit fee

S$40

Minimum monthly payment

S$50 or 1% of the current balance, whichever is higher

Interest on purchases

26.9% p.a.

Interest on cash advance

26.9% p.a.

Cash advance fee

S$15 or 6% of the amount drawn, whichever is higher

Foreign transaction fee

3.25%

 

Back to top

Bonus welcome gift 

Customers who apply for a Citi ULTIMA Mastercard will receive a welcome gift of 375,000 ThankYou points (150,000 miles) when they pay the annual fee each year. 

Additionally, new Citi ULTIMA Mastercard members also stand to earn a bonus welcome gift of 125,000 ThankYou points (50,000 miles) when they spend a minimum of S$25,000 during the qualifying period. 

The qualifying period is defined as the period starting from the card approval month plus three full calendar months. For example, if the card is approved on 15 September 2023, the qualifying period is from 15 September 2023 to 31 December 2023, including both dates. You may read the full T&Cs here


Other alternatives to the Citi ULTIMA Card

The Citi ULTIMA Card is in the same tier as the likes of other luxury cards, such as the DBS Insignia Card, UOB Reserve Card, and the American Express (AMEX) Centurion Card. 

Here’s how the Citi ULTIMA Card fares against these cards:

Card

Local earn rate

Overseas earn rate

Annual fee (inclusive 9% GST)

Airport lounge access

Benefits

AMEX Centurion Card

0.98 mpd

0.98 mpd

Undisclosed, but said to be around S$15,000 (including initiation fee)

Unlimited

- Elite hotel status (Hilton, IHG, Shangri-La, etc.)

-  Emirates Skywards Gold status

- 50% airfare rebate

- Tower Club access

Citi ULTIMA Card

1.6 mpd

2 mpd

S$4,237.92 

Unlimited

- Free night stay at luxury hotels

- Free First/Business class companion ticket

- Free green tees for principal cardholder and one guest

DBS Insignia Card

1.6 mpd

2 mpd

S$3,270

Unlimited

- Free two nights stay at premium resorts

- Fast-track immigration clearance

- Complimentary high tea for two

UOB Reserve Card

1.6 mpd

2.4 mpd

S$3,924

Unlimited

-  Mandala Club membership

- Reserve dining at Michelin-starred restaurants in Singapore

- Expedited immigration service

The Citi ULTIMA ranks alongside the DBS Insignia Card and UOB Reserve Card with the highest local miles earn rate at 1.6 mpd, and its 2 mpd earn rate for foreign miles earn rate is only behind the UOB Reserve Card’s 2.4 mpd in foreign miles earn rate.

Back to top


Should you get the Citi ULTIMA Card?

While The Citi ULTIMA Card's 1.6 mpd and 2 mpd for local and foreign spending isn't on par with other miles cards, the main appeal of this card stems in its lifestyle perks such as unlimited airport lounge access and complimentary hotel stays, premium flight tickets, golf privileges, and airport meet and greet services, so consider this card if you travel frequently and want to enjoy these benefits.

 

 

Read these next:
Citigold Promotion: Earn Up to 7.51% p.a. Interest With Citi Wealth First Account
Priority Banking vs Private Banking: Which One Suits You Better?
Metal Credit Cards With The Best Perks
Premium Credit Cards: Which Gives High Income Earners The Best Value?

 

In my past life, I was always broke because of a lack of financial literacy. Now, I publish a few posts every week* on personal finance to help you manage your money better. *I mean, I’ll try

FINANCIAL TIP:

Use a personal loan to consolidate your outstanding debt at a lower interest rate!

Sign up for our newsletter for financial tips, tricks and exclusive information that can be personalised to your preferences!