Citi Premier® Card review: Earn points for travel on everyday purchases
Citi Premier® Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Enjoy 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points, worth $600 in gift cards or travel rewards when redeemed through thankyou.com, after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn 10 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on hotels, car rentals, attractions (excluding air travel) booked through the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.
- Earn 3 points per dollar spent at supermarkets and restaurants and on hotels, air travel and at gas stations.
- You can redeem points at any time on any airline, without blackout dates, when you book through the ThankYou Travel portal.
- While you can transfer your points to some airline loyalty programs, the list of options is short on domestic carries so cardholders that tend to fly within the United States might not be able to maximize the transferable points flexibility.
(Citi is a CardRatings advertiser)
For a travel card that provides plenty of rewards for everyday purchases, consider adding the CardName to your line-up of credit cards. Even if you're not traveling right now, this can be a great card to rack up points for use in the future. The card issues its rewards in the form of ThankYou Points.
Cardholders earn extra bonus points on spending in the following popular spending categories:
- 3 points per dollar spent at restaurants
- 3 points per dollar spent at supermarkets
- 3 points per dollar spent at gas stations
- 3 points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels
All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent.
Citi Premier® offers a welcome bonus as well. Spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account and receive 60,000 bonus points. That bonus has a $600 value when redeemed for gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com. Plus, for a limited time, earn 10 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on hotels, car rentals, attractions (excluding air travel) booked through the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.
ThankYou Points have multiple redemption options. You can redeem them for gift cards, travel, charity, or a statement credit. They can also be used to shop online at Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. Points can be transferred to partnering loyalty programs such as TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and there is no fee to transfer points. These transfers can be completed with as few as 1,000 points.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
- Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
- Member FDIC
When redeemed for gift cards, the ThankYou Points awarded by the CardName are worth one cent each. Cash back redemptions are valued lower at 0.5 cents per point, but you may get more value by transferring points and using them in a partnering loyalty program.
While the opportunity to earn and redeem ThankYou Points is one of the main benefits of the CardName, it isn't the only one. And although a travel rewards credit card, the Citi Premier® offers plenty of benefits for those who are staying close to home.
The card offers these extra perks, among others:
- $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit which provides $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more each year.
- Citi Entertainment which offers access to tickets for exclusive experiences.
- Citi Concierge which provides 24/7 access to experts who can help with everything from finding an open pharmacy to providing ideas for activities.
- World Elite Mastercard Benefits which include a variety of valuable extras such as cell phone coverage, discounts on movies from Fandango and credits for rides on Lyft.
- Cardholders also receive a complimentary ShopRunner membership that offers free 2-day shipping from more than 100 online retailers.
The CardName charges a AnnualFees annual fee. If you are a frequent traveler, the card's $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit can offset the cost, but even non-travelers may find the fee is worth the rewards potential.
Good news for international travelers: the CardName doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee. This also saves you money if you make online purchases in a foreign currency.
No card is perfect, and the CardName lacks some of the bells and whistles you'll find with other travel cards. You won't get lounge access, free checked bags, or enhanced point values for travel redemptions. What's more, the ThankYou Points program doesn't have any of the major domestic carriers among its partners. Still, the annual fee on this card is reasonable and in line with what you'd expect for the benefits offered.
CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:
|Current Scores||Past Scores|
|Rewards Program Satisfaction||8.3||7.6|
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use||8.6||7.8|
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague||8.5||7.8|
*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.
CardName vs. CardName
New Prestige cardholders receive 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months. That's 10,000 points fewer than what comes with the Premier. However, the Prestige awards five points per dollar spent on restaurants and air travel as well as three points per dollar spent on hotels and cruise lines. For the frequent traveler, those bonus point categories could add up quickly.
Plus, the CardName offers benefits such as a $250 travel credit each calendar year, complimentary fourth night during hotel stays, VIP lounge access and a credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. But to get all that, you'll need to pay a AnnualFees annual fee.
The CardName makes sense for those who travel heavily and will use all the card's perks. If you're staying close to home right now, the CardName may be a better choice for everyday purchases.
CardName vs. CardName
If you like the idea of earning ThankYou Points but aren't thrilled about paying an annual fee, the CardName may be the card for you. The CardName doesn't charge an annual fee but the downside is lower earning potential.
With CardName, cardholders earn two points per dollar spent on up to $6,000 in purchases at grocery stores and gas stations each year. After that, the card awards one point per dollar spent. All other purchases also earn one point per dollar. Unlike the CardName, there are no bonus points for spending on travel or at restaurants.
However, the CardName does offer two nice perks not available on the CardName. With every purchase, reward points are rounded up to the next 10. Plus, cardholders receive 10% of their points back upon redemption, valid for the first 100,000 points redeemed per year. That could mean an extra 10,000 points in your account with no additional spending required.
As for its welcome bonus, CardName awards 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in three months. That's obviously lower than the bonus of the CardName, but the spending requirement is significantly lower as well. The Rewards+® Card also awards new cardholders five points per $1 spent on hotels, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.
CardName vs. CardName
Both the CardName and CardName make our list of best travel rewards credit cards, but they have different strengths. While the CardName offers travel perks, it also rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Meanwhile, the CardName will appeal mainly to those who travel often.
The CardName awards 5X total points on flights and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually; 3X points on other travel and dining; and 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Cardholders also receive an automatic $300 travel credit each account anniversary year.
When points are redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel or qualifying Pay Yourself Back categories, cardholders get 50% more redemption value. That extra boost in value can make points on the CardName worth more than the ThankYou Points offered by the CardName. For instance, the bonus 60,000 points offered by Citi are worth $600 when redeemed for gift cards or travel through thankyou.com, but the Reserve awards 60,000 bonus points that are worth $900 when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal. You'll need to spend $4,000 in three months to earn the bonus from either card.
The rewards and benefits of the CardName don't come cheap though. The card charges a AnnualFees annual fee which is its biggest downside.
We think so, especially if you only travel occasionally. With the CardName, you can earn points for travel by making every day purchases, but if a vacation isn't in your future, the ThankYou program offers flexible redemption options that allow you to use your points for gift cards, online shopping and more. That makes this card a good fit for just about anyone.
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2022 to conduct surveys among 1,554 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2022-Aug. 31, 2022 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. "Current Scores" reflect scores from the most recent survey (2022); "Past Scores" reflect scores from the 2021 survey.
Citi Premier® Card Compared to Other Travel rewards Cards
Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.
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