This golf benefit expires July 23, 2017.

The Citi Prestige® Card offers cardholders three free rounds of golf per calendar year at over 2,400 public and private courses. That’s six free rounds before your second annual fee is due–three in 2015 and three more in early 2016.Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 3.10.13 PM

That’s in addition to the more famous benefits of the Citi Prestige® Card like:

I love golfing, so I wanted to investigate this benefit. Here’s what I found:

  • Golf Switch, a tee time portal, handles the benefit for Citi
  • You sign up for a free account through citiprestige.golfhub.com and book tee times online
  • You can only have one pending reservation at a time
  • You can only book free tee times for yourself
  • Some of the top courses in the world are free through the benefit including TPC and PGA courses

What Courses Are Available?

At citiprestige.golfhub.com, you should be able to see all participating courses by selecting “Golf Courses” or “Golf Destination” at the top.

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Unfortunately that kept redirecting me to log in or create an account, and I don’t have my Citi Prestige® Card at the moment. (I lost it in Madrid, and they are sending a new one to me in Tallinn.)

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If you don’t want to sign in or don’t have a Citi Prestige® Card yet, you can search Golf Switch courses through this link.

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I believe all the courses on that search engine are included in the 2,400 courses that you can play for free with the Citi Prestige® Card golf benefit.

TPC Properties

Tournament Players Club (TPC) courses are courses owned and operated by the PGA tour. They’re professional caliber courses that often host professional tournaments. These 29 TPC courses are available through the Citi Prestige® Card golf benefit.

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Most of the private courses must be booked between 14 and 3 days before teeing off.Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 3.00.19 PM

Many of the resort courses can be booked farther in advance.Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 3.00.29 PM

It would be a dream for me to play the TPC Sawgrass, the perennial host of The Players Championship and flagship TPC course. This course is bookable for free with the Citi Prestige golf benefit. The course goes for over $450 during the Spring.Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 3.03.22 PM

Hawaii

More likely, I’ll play my free rounds in Hawaii. On Oahu, Ko Olina is a free course that normally goes for over $200 per round.

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Good Courses

Cross check convenient courses against the Golf Digest course rankings to see if the course you’re looking at is worth playing.

There is also a good list of top courses included in the benefit in this FlyerTalk post.

Booking Rules

  • The big booking rule is that you can only book your free tee times in your name.
  • You must book your free round at least three days in advance. Different courses open reservations at different times, so the maximum advanced booking varies by course.
  • You can only have one active reservation at a time. You must cancel or play your active reservation to be able to make the next reservation.

These are the official rules, though they may not all be enforced in practice. One FlyerTalker claims to have gotten his parents a free round each by making two reservations in his name. Whether someone else can play a reservation in your name will probably be up to the pro shop’s discretion on the day of the round.

You get three free rounds per calendar year. If you opened the Citi Prestige® Card today, that means you could play three rounds in the rest of 2015 and three more by June 2016 to get six free rounds before your second annual fee is due.

I’ll Keep Prestige

The Citi Prestige® Card has a $450 annual fee, but I believe I’ll keep mine indefinitely. The first annual fee is a no-brainer because the sign up bonus on the card and first year’s benefits like $500 in free flights are worth $1,700+ to me.

But I wasn’t sure about holding the Citi Prestige® Card for a second year and paying another $450. After having the card and investigating its benefits, I think $450 is a small price to pay. For the $450, I’ll get:

  • $250 more in free airfare or award taxes in 2017
  • three more free rounds of golf in 2017
  • lounge access for another year

I value that at $600 to $700.

Bottom Line

The Citi Prestige® Card offers three free rounds of golf per calendar year. That’s six before your second annual fee is due.

There are over 2,400 courses you can book online for your free rounds including top TPC courses and courses all over the world including places you’ll vacation like Hawaii.

This benefit can be worth over $1,000 per calendar year at retail prices for the tee times. I value it at around $250 per calendar year, so along with the other benefits of the Citi Prestige® Card, it has tipped the balance and made me plan to hold the Citi Prestige® Card indefinitely.

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