Citi Premier® Card Review: A Solid Rewards Card for Travelers

Citi Premier Card Review - picture of young couple running hand in hand at airport

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Do you love to travel? The Citi Premier® Card has a lot to offer. This card earns bonus points on travel and dining, has a lucrative signup bonus, and the points can be transferred to valuable airline and hotel partners.

Even better, the Citi Premier Card offers bonus points on many of the categories that we use regularly. You’ll receive 3x points on purchases on air travel and hotels, as well as at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets. All other spending earns one point per dollar.

There’s also a nice signup bonus waiting for new applicants. For a limited time, you’ll receive 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of opening the account. These points are worth $800 in gift cards, so it is definitely worth considering. You can also transfer those points to hotel and 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: For a limited time, you’ll get 80,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months. You can use points to purchase flights, transfer to partners, buy gift cards, or shop online.
  • Earn Points on Spending: You’ll earn unlimited 3x points per dollar on travel, hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets. All other purchases earn one point per dollar.
  • Lucrative Airline Transfer Partners: Citi has 14 airline transfer partners to choose from, including Air France/KLM Flying Blue, JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. With most programs, but not all programs, points transfer on a 1:1 basis with no fees.
  • 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.
  • Learn how to apply

Where It Shines

For people who love to travel, the Citi Premier Card will help you get there.

The Citi Premier Card offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 points, which is worth up to $800, after spending $4,000 in three months. You can redeem points for cash or gift cards at retailers and restaurants such as Domino’s, Lowe’s, and Sephora. In addition, you can use your points to book flights or hotel stays with 15+ airline and hotel transfer partners.

Your purchases earn up to 3x Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent. These points typically transfer on a 1:1 basis to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs, or they can be used to book travel with Citibank. While you’re traveling around the world thanks to your points, there are no foreign transaction fees.

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 for spending in its bonus categories. This travel rewards credit card offers bonus points on travel, gas, dining, and supermarkets, which makes it very lucrative to keep at the top of your wallet.

To maximize the value of your Citi ThankYou points, look into Citi’s airline transfer partners. For example, in the past, you’ve been able to 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 have cost more than $4,800 if you were paying cash.

Citi Premier Card: Learn How to Apply Here

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 80,000-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. That will help you reach the minimum spending requirement with ease.

Some Travel Benefits Eliminated: Unfortunately, in September 2019, Citibank decided to eliminate many of its benefits that protected your travel – the mot important of which include eliminating rental car insurance and trip cancellation and interruption protection.

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, there are no hotel transfer partners to choose from and there’s no increased value of your points when booking airfare.

image of Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

In direct competition with the Citi Premier Card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. 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 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 within three months. It earns 5x points on travel purchased through the Chase portal, 3x points on dining, 2x points on other travel purchases, and one point per dollar on everything else. 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.

Learn How to Apply: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Wrapping Up

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. Plus, new cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus points that are worth up to $800 in gift cards when redeemed through the Citi portal.

Citi Premier Card Review Pin - picture of young couple running hand in hand at airport

This card is a great way to diversify travel rewards you’re earning. We think it deserves a look.

Citi Premier Card: Learn How to Apply Here

What did you use your Citi Premier Card Welcome Bonus for? Tell us in the comments!

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One Comment

  1. 80,000 is a great point bonus, especially now that airlines are clamping down on frequent flier miles and basing them on dollars spent rather than miles flown. We already have the Chase Sapphire and then use no annual fee cards as a secondary, but will definitely have to weigh the big bonus to the $95 annual fee. If you value the points at 1-cent each, that’s a $800 value so tempting!

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