For travelers looking for a new credit card, the Citi Premier Card has a lot to offer. It earns bonus points on travel and dining, has a lucrative signup bonus, and the points can be transferred to valuable airline partners. Plus, your points are worth 25% more when booking flights through the Citi ThankYou portal.
The Citi Premier Card offers bonus points on many of the categories that we use regularly. You’ll receive 3x points on travel and purchases at gas stations, plus 2x points on dining and entertainment. All other spending earns one point per dollar.
There’s also a nice signup bonus waiting for new applicants. You’ll receive 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of opening the account. These points are worth $750 in airfare or $600 in gift cards. You can also transfer points to airline partners for potentially even more value.
Citi Premier Card Highlights
These are just a few of the benefits of the Citi Premier Card that make it a great choice.
- Signup Bonus: You’ll get 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months. You can use points to purchase flights, transfer to partners, buy gift cards, or shop online. When redeeming for airfare, the points are worth $750 when booking through the Citi travel portal.
- Earn Points on Spending: You’ll earn unlimited 3x points per dollar on travel and gas and 2x points per dollar on dining and entertainment. All other purchases earn one point per dollar.
- Lucrative Airline Transfer Partners: Citi has 15 airline transfer partners to choose from, including JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Points transfer on a 1:1 basis with no fees.
- Points Worth 1.25 Cents For Airfare: When booking airfare through the Citi travel portal, your points are worth 25% extra. This means travel and gas purchases earn 3.75% towards flight purchases.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: You will not be charged a foreign transaction fee when making a purchase in another currency.
- Annual Fee: Annual fee of $95.
Where It Shines
For people who love to travel, the Citi Premier Card will help you get there.
Your purchases earn up to 3x Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent. These points transfer on a 1:1 basis to 15 different airlines or can be used to book travel with Citibank. When booking flights, your points are worth 25% more through the Citi ThankYou travel portal.
While you’re traveling around the world thanks to your points, there are no foreign transaction fees.
The Citi Premier Card offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 points, which is worth up to $750, after spending $4,000 in three months. You can also redeem points for gift cards for retailers and restaurants such as Domino’s, Lowe’s, and Sephora. In addition to booking flights with points, there are 15 airline transfer partners to choose from.
I like having options with my rewards, and the Citi Premier Card offers several valuable options when it comes to planning a vacation.
Tips for Getting the Most from Your Citi Premier Card
To get the most from your Citi Premier Card, you’ll want to use it when you’re spending in its bonus categories. This travel rewards credit card offers bonus points on travel, gas, dining, and entertainment, which makes it very lucrative to keep in your wallet.
When redeeming Citi ThankYou points, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by redeeming for flights or transferring to an airline partner.
You’ll receive 1.25 cents per point in value when booking flights through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. For example, the welcome bonus of 60,000 points is worth $750 in flights. If you don’t have enough points for a flight you’re booking (or want to save some for later), you have the option of paying with a combination of points and cash.
To maximize the value of your Citi ThankYou points, look into Citi’s airline transfer partners. For example, you can fly 16 hours in Cathay Pacific Business Class from New York to Hong Kong for only 85,000 miles each way. This same flight would cost more than $4,800 if you were paying cash.
What You Might Not Like
The Citi Premier Card has a lot to like, but there are some things to consider before applying.
Annual Fee: Some travel credit cards have no annual fee or waive the fee the first year. The $95 annual fee for the Citi Premier Card is not waived.
High Minimum Spend Requirement: To earn the 60,000-point welcome bonus, you’ll need to spend $4,000 within three months. Some can do that with no problem, while others might find it to be a challenge. Your best bet is to time your application with a major expense, such as annual insurance premiums, college tuition, or a home remodel.
No Hotel Transfer Partners: Citi offers 15 airline transfer partners, but does not have a partnership with any hotel brands. The airline partners are good, but your options are limited without the ability to transfer to a hotel to redeem for a room.
Points Worth 25% More Only for Airfare: Your points are worth 25% more when redeeming them for airfare with the Citi ThankYou travel portal. However, booking hotels, rental cars, cruises, activities, and other goods and services only yield one cent per point in value.
No Shopping Portal: Unlike Chase, Citi does not offer an online shopping portal for cardholders to earn more ThankYou points on their purchases. We still recommend using a shopping portal to earn points, miles, or cash back. Just know that you can’t earn additional Citi ThankYou points.
Travel and Shopping Benefits Eliminated: Unfortunately, in September 2019, Citibank decided to eliminate most of its travel and shopping benefits that protected your purchases. The Citi Premier no longer offers rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption protection, or 90-day return protection, to name a few.
Alternatives to the Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier Card offers a lot of value to cardholders, but it does fall short in some areas. For example, its ThankYou points are only worth more when booking flights, and there are no hotel transfer partners to choose from.
In direct competition with the Citi Premier Card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. They both target travelers who want the flexibility of using points to book travel or transfer to partners. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 1.25 cents per point on travel purchases, including flights, hotels, and attractions, through its travel portal. Cardholders can also transfer points to three hotels and 10 airlines on a 1:1 basis. Partners include World of Hyatt, United MileagePlus, and Emirates Skywards.
New applicants can earn a 80,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 within three months. It earns 2x points on travel and dining and one point per dollar on all other purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees and it offers travel and purchase coverages, like primary rental cover coverage, to protect you. The card has an annual fee of $95.
The Citi Premier Card is a solid travel credit card that offers up to 3x points on your spending. The points can be used for airfare, gift cards, shopping, and transfers to airlines. You’ll receive 1.25 cents per point of value when booking flights through Citi ThankYou and possibly more when transferring to airline partners. Plus, new cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points that are worth up to $750 in airfare.
This card is a great way to diversify travel rewards you’re earning. We think it deserves a look.
What did you use your Citi Premier Card Welcome Bonus for? Tell us in the comments!