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If you’re looking for a travel credit card with flexible redemption options, check out the Citi Premier℠ Credit Card. To avoid confusion, the Citi ThankYou Premier is now simply known as the Citi Premier. While this card was easy to overlook a few years ago, the Premier is once again a competitive travel rewards card.
In-Depth Citi Premier Review
The information for the Citi Premier℠ Credit Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
It’s possible for new cardmembers to qualify for a signup bonus worth up to $750. New cardholders can earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. If you earn the bonus and apply it towards award travel through the ThankYou® Travel Center, it can be worth $750. Your points are most valuable when redeeming points for award flights.
The Citi Premier may also be a good alternative to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Or maybe the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card isn’t quite for you. Compare the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture if you want a clearer understanding of either card.
The Citi Premier can be a good fit if you want a travel credit card that lets you redeem your points for award travel with different airlines. This card doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of a premium card like travel fee credits or airport lounge access. But, the Citi Premier makes it easy to earn travel rewards.
But you will need to read this review to decide if the differences make this one of the best travel credit cards for you.
60,000 Bonus ThankYou Points ($750 Value)
New Citi Premier℠ Credit Card cardmembers can qualify for a signup bonus of 60,000 bonus Citi ThankYou points. This bonus is worth up to $750 in award flights booked through Citi’s ThankYou Travel Center. You get the bonus by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
Unfortunately, this bonus isn’t available to all new cardmembers. You won’t qualify for this bonus if you have received a signup bonus for another ThankYou credit card or closed ThankYou credit card in the past 24 months. These cards include the Citi Prestige® Card, Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Rewards+℠ Card, and Citi ThankYou Preferred.
Earn Up to 3x ThankYou Points on Purchases
Each card purchase earns ThankYou points per $1 spent:
- 3x points on travel, including gas stations
- 2x points for restaurants and entertainment
- 1x points for everything else
Your points won’t expire as long as you ThankYou account remains in good standing. As this card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, you will earn bonus points on foreign purchases too. But if you want to compare or earn points on other purchases, check out the best Citi credit cards.
Redeem Points for Award Flights
Your points are most valuable when redeeming award flights on ThankYou.com or by transferring to an airline partner. Your points are worth 1 cent or less when redeemed for gift cards, non-airfare travel rewards, cash rewards, and merchandise credit.
25% Travel Redemption Bonus
Each point is worth 25% more (1.25 cents each) when booking award flights through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center.
The points are only worth 1 cent each when booking other travel on the ThankYou Center. Your points are also worth 1 cent each when redeeming points for gift cards. This can be one of the best miles credit cards.
Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners
A potentially more valuable redemption option is transferring your points to the Citi ThankYou airline transfer partners. The current list of airline partners include:
- Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- EVA Air
- Etihad Guest
- Air France KLM FlyingBlue
- Jet Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
You can transfer your ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio to most of these airlines in 1,000-point increments. Most airline miles are worth at least 1.5 cents for main cabin seats. If you’re patient, they can be worth as much as 8 cents each when flying in business class or first class on an airline like Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
Most of these transfer partners are ideal for international flights. However, you can also book domestic flights through an airline alliance. For example, Singapore Airlines partners with United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
If you prefer more domestic airline transfer partners, American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards might be better. Amex partners with Delta Air Lines and JetBlue. Chase Ultimate Rewards domestic airline partners are JetBlue, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.
Additional Card Benefits
Citi has recently rolled back the various additional card benefits with the recent Citi ThankYou Premier rebranding. Not too long ago, you may have had Citi Price Rewind which monitored eligible purchases for price drops.
The best additional benefit can be Citi Entertainment (previously known as Citi Private Pass). After all, the Citi Premier earns double points on entertainment purchases. You can get early access to ticket presales for concerts, movies, sports, and dining events.
If you’re looking for more cards that earn on entertainment, check out the best credit cards for theme parks.
World Elite Mastercard Benefits
Benefits that are easy to overlook are those that Mastercard offers. The Citi Premier℠ Credit Card is a Mastercard World Elite product. Some of the complimentary perks include:
- Take 5 Lyft rides in a month and get a $10 Lyft credit
- 5% cash rewards on Boxed purchases redeemable for future purchases
- $5 off every $25 purchase at Postmates
- Up to $1,000 in annual cell phone protection
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership
The annual fee for the Citi Premier is $95. There is no foreign transaction fee, therefore a viable option as one of the best credit cards for international travel.
Credit Score Needed for the Citi Premier
Plan on applying for the Citi Premier once you have a 740 credit score or higher.
Several recent applicants have waited to apply with a score near 770. They report having an initial credit limit between $6,000 and $7,000.
You might be able to qualify with a score in the low 700s, but it can be worth trying to pre-qualify. Seeking pre-approval is free and only requires a soft credit pull. If Citi doesn’t extend a pre-approval offer, it’s best to wait and improve your credit score.
Citi Premier Positives and Negatives
Here’s a quick summary of the Citi Premier℠ Credit Card’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Earn up to 3x points on purchases on travel (including gas stations)
- Earn up to 2x points on dining and entertainment purchases
- Points are worth 25% more when booking award travel on Citi ThankYou Center
- 1:1 airline transfer partners
- No foreign transaction fee
- Travel redemption bonus only applies to award flights
- JetBlue is the only current domestic airline transfer partner
- Signup bonus may be difficult to qualify for if you own another Citi ThankYou credit card
Summary of the Citi Premier Review
The Citi Premier℠ Credit Card has attractive 3x and 2x purchase rewards categories. They also have valuable airfare redemption bonuses and the signup bonus worth up to $750 in award travel makes this an attractive option. However, if you prefer transferring airline miles, the American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards programs may have more attractive transfer partners.
Is the Citi Premier Card worth it?
The Citi Premier℠ Credit Card is worth it if you redeem your ThankYou points for award flights. Each point is worth 1.25 cents each when booking airfare directly through your ThankYou account. Your points can be worth more when transferring to 1:1 airline transfer partners including Air France KLM FlyingBlue, Etihad, and Singapore Airlines.
This card is also a good option if you spend a lot in the 3x and 2x purchase categories. All travel and gas station purchases earn 3 ThankYou points per $1. Dining and entertainment purchases earn 2 points per $1. All non-bonus purchases earn 1 point per $1.
Is Citi Premier a World Elite Mastercard?
Yes. The Citi Premier is a World Elite Mastercard product. This is the Mastercard equivalent of a Visa Signature card. Some of the most valuable Mastercard World Elite benefits include a $10 monthly Lyft credit after your first 5 rides, up to $1000 in annual cell phone protection, and $5 off every $25 Postmates purchase.
Does the Citi ThankYou Premier have foreign transaction fees?
No, the Citi Premier (previously the Citi ThankYou Premier) never charges a foreign transaction fee. You will earn up to 3x points on travel purchases. As long as you pay your monthly statement balance on-time, the only fee you pay is the $95 annual fee.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
- 1 In-Depth Citi Premier Review
- 2 60,000 Bonus ThankYou Points ($750 Value)
- 3 Earn Up to 3x ThankYou Points on Purchases
- 4 Redeem Points for Award Flights
- 5 Additional Card Benefits
- 6 Fees
- 7 Credit Score Needed for the Citi Premier
- 8 Citi Premier Positives and Negatives
- 9 Summary of the Citi Premier Review
- 10 FAQs