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If you’re looking for a credit card with flexible redemption options and travel credits that you can use annually (like for a nice little getaway after everything that was 2020), check out the Citi Premier® Card. While this card was easy to overlook a few years ago, the Premier is once again a competitive travel rewards card thanks to a $100 hotel savings benefit and 3x rewards for some everyday purchases.
New Citi Premier Card cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Keep reading to learn why the Citi Premier Card might be your best option.
Learn more: Citi Premier® Card
In-Depth Citi Premier Card Review
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 or will use the $100 annual hotel benefit. Cardholders can enjoy $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) through thankyou.com, once annually.
The Citi Premier may also be a good alternative to other popular travel cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (compare the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture if you want a clearer understanding of either card). Note that both of these cards have amazing bonus offers.
Keep reading to learn if this is one of the best travel credit cards for you.
Earn Signup Bonus ThankYou Points
New Citi Premier Card cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The 80k bonus points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com.
Unfortunately, this bonus isn’t available to all new card members. You won’t qualify for this bonus if you have received a signup bonus for another ThankYou credit card or closed a ThankYou credit card in the past 24 months. These cards include the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi Rewards+® Card.
Earn Up to 3x ThankYou Points on Purchases
Each card purchase earns ThankYou points per $1 spent:
- 3x points on air travel, hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations
- 1x points for everything else
Your points won’t expire as long as your ThankYou account remains in good standing. There is also no limit as to how many points you can earn.
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 worth 1 cent or less when redeemed for gift cards, non-airfare travel rewards, cash rewards, and merchandise credit.
The points are only worth 1 cent each when booking on the ThankYou Center. Your points are also worth 1 cent each when redeeming points for gift cards.
Citi ThankYou 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 also pack up one of the best face masks for flying and transfer your ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio to most of these airlines in 1,000-point increments.
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 travel partners include JetBlue, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. Visit our best American Express Cards review and our best Chase credit cards review if you want to learn more about those specific options.
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.
Another nice additional benefit can be Citi Entertainment (previously known as Citi Private Pass). 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. You may also be interested in the best credit cards for Netflix and streaming services.
World Elite Mastercard Benefits
Benefits that are easy to overlook are those that Mastercard offers. The Citi Premier® Card is a Mastercard World Elite product. Some of the complimentary perks include:
- 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 Card 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
You will need good to excellent credit for the Citi Premier Card. Consider 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® Card’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Earn 3x points on air travel, hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
- $100 annual hotel benefit
- 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
The Citi Premier® Card has attractive 3x purchase rewards categories and a nice $100 annual hotel benefit. There are also valuable airfare redemption bonuses and the signup bonus 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.
Learn more: Citi Premier® Card
Is the Citi Premier Card worth it?
The Citi Premier® Card is worth it if you spend a lot in the 3x categories and don’t mind redeeming for gift cards. It can also be worth it if you’ll transfer points but there is no transfer bonus, which can be a bummer. Other cards have transfer bonuses that add more value to the card.
Is Citi Premier a World Elite Mastercard?
Yes. The Citi Premier Card 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 $1,000 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 Card (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.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
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