The Citi Premier Card is Citi’s mid-tier travel rewards card with a $95 annual fee, competing with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the American Express Green Card. Recent changes mean the card offers strong points while traveling and at home, and Citi’s collection of useful (if slightly oddball) airline partners make this card a strong contender for a spot in your wallet.
In This Article
The Citi Premier currently has a welcome offer of 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending at least $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. This is worth at least $750 if redeemed through the Citi Travel Portal by April 10, 2021. After April 10, 2021, points will be worth only one cent each when redeemed through the Citi Travel Portal.
However, there’s an even more valuable way to use your points: by transferring them to partners like Singapore Airlines and British Airways. It’s more work to redeem points in this way, but it’s possible to get significantly more than 1.25 cents per point in value.
Citi is in the midst of making changes to the Citi Premier’s earning structure, so at the moment it’s a bit confusing – and varies depending on when you opened the card. But overall, the points earning is strong, and arguably the best feature of the card.
All cardholders earn bonus points in these categories moving forward:
- 3x points on air travel and hotels
- 3x points at restaurants (including takeout)
- 3x points at supermarkets
- 3x points at gas stations
- 1x everywhere else
Currently, the card also offers additional bonus categories:
- 3x points on other travel purchases like train tickets, cruises, and ridesharing apps
- 2x points on entertainment
These bonus categories go away after August 22nd if you applied on or after April 10, 2020; if you applied before that date, you’ll continue to earn bonus points in these categories through April 9, 2021.
The card has no foreign transaction fees, so you can make purchases anywhere in the world that accepts MasterCard without having to pay extra fees.
The Citi ThankYou program allows you to transfer points to 16 airline partners.
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||EVA Air Infinity MileageLands|
|Etihad Guest||Air France/KLM Flying Blue|
|Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer||Malaysia Airlines Enrich|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||Qatar Airways Privilege Club|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus|
|Avianca LifeMiles||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
|AeroMexico Club Premier||Emirates Skywards|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles|
Some of our favorite options for redeeming Citi ThankYou points include:
- Avianca LifeMiles, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, for booking flights on Star Alliance airlines like United and Lufthansa.
- Air France–KLM Flying Blue, which works well for booking flights on Delta
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which is also great for Delta flights, and has interesting opportunities with its eclectic group of partners including Air France, Air New Zealand, ANA, and KLM.
The range of airline partners that you can transfer your ThankYou points to gives you a ton of flexibility when planning your travels.
You can also redeem points directly for flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises through the Citi travel portal at ThankYou.com. With the Citi Premier card, you’ll get a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point when using your points this way until April 9, 2021. After that date, you’ll only get 1 cent per point for travel redemptions.
This redemption avenue can definitely make sense in certain circumstances, especially since airline tickets booked this way typically earn miles in airline loyalty programs. However, there’s often potential to get significantly more value by transferring points to airline partners.
Beginning August 23, 2020, Citi Premier cardholders will receive a $100 discount on prepaid hotel reservations of $500 or more booked through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. The $100 savings can be used once per calendar year and is valid on reservations booked with cash, ThankYou Points, or a combination of the two.
This is a potentially useful benefit that can effectively offset the annual fee if you’re able to take advantage of it. However, always make sure to compare the cost of a reservation through the ThankYou Travel website with a direct booking, keeping in mind that you won’t be able to use any additional discounts like AAA memberships. Hotel reservations through the ThankYou portal are also generally ineligible for points earning and elite status benefits in hotel loyalty programs.
If you also have a Citi Prestige card, this benefit cannot be stacked with the 4th Night Free benefit offered by that card.
Because the Citi Premier is a World Elite MasterCard, it also unlocks special promotions with Lyft, Postmates, Boxed.com, and Fandango.
- Lyft offers a $10 ride credit (valid for 30 days) after you use your card to pay for 5 rides in a calendar month. Once you add your World MasterCard as a payment method, you’ll see a tracker in your sidebar showing how many rides you have left until getting your credit.
- Postmates offers an automatic $5 discount on orders of $25 or more (before tax and delivery charges).
- Boxed.com will give you 5% back in Boxed.com Cash Rewards to use on future orders.
- Fandango will give you double Fandango VIP+ points – meaning you get $5 toward a future purchase for every two tickets you buy.
You don’t have to do anything to register for these offers – just use your World Elite Mastercard to pay and the promotion will be applied to your account automatically.
When you make a purchase with your Citi Premier, you automatically get some extra peace of mind. If the item is stolen or damaged within 90 days of your purchase, Citi will cover the cost of repairing or replacing it (up to the amount you paid with your card or ThankYou points), up to $10,000 per covered incident and $50,000 per year.
For anything you buy that has a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less, Citi will add 24 months of coverage – even if the original warranty was only for 30 days!
As with all insurance, there are some important restrictions; while you don’t need to do anything special to qualify for coverage, always check the card’s benefits guide before making a major purchase to make sure that it’s eligible.
In September 2019, Citi discontinued travel protections on all of its cards: if you use this card to pay for your trip, you won’t have any protection from Citi in case of trip cancellation or interruption, trip delay, lost or stolen luggage, delayed luggage, or damage to a rental car. To get those benefits, you’ll want to use a card from a different issuer like Chase, American Express, or Bank of America, or consider purchasing third-party travel insurance.
For cards that earn ThankYou points, Citi has restrictions on receiving a signup bonus if you’ve received a bonus on another ThankYou points earning card within the past 24 months. You also aren’t eligible for a new signup bonus if you’ve closed any of those cards in the past 24 months (this does not apply to product changes). There are four cards that count towards this rule: Citi Rewards+ Card, Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, Citi Premier Card, and Citi Prestige Card.
With its strong bonus categories, the Citi Premier is a compelling card to consider for everyday spending. It’s also a great card to pair with the no-fee Citi Double Cash, which earns 2% cashback everywhere – the cashback earned with that card can be converted into Citi ThankYou Points at a rate of 1 cent per point, opening up even more opportunities for rewards.
10xTravel is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.