Citi Premier℠ Card Review
Citi Premier℠ Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Enjoy 60,000 bonus ThankYou® points, worth $750 in airfare when redeemed through the ThankYou® Travel Center, after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for airfare through the ThankYou® Travel Center.
- You can redeem points at any time on any airline, without blackout dates, when you book through the ThankYou® Travel Center.
- 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 Premier℠ Card Essentials
The Citi Premier℠ Card (Citi is a CardRatings.com advertiser) offers high rewards for everyday purchases like gas, tolls and parking and good-for-you splurges like amusement park trips, RV and boat rentals, and airfare.
The Citi Premier℠ Card's best features:
- Spend $4,000 in the first three months and receive 60,000 bonus points, worth $750 in airfare when redeemed through the ThankYou® Travel Center or $600 in gift cards when redeemed through thankyou.com
- Three points for every $1 spent on travel, including gas.
- Two points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment.
- One point on other purchases.
- Designed for businesses
- Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line
- 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card
- Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations
- Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
What Our Editors Like Most About Citi Premier℠ Card
Thanks to changes Citi® made in early 2015, you now can earn more points on travel (up from 2 points per dollar to 3 points). For most cards, this typically includes airfare, hotels and public transportation, but the Citi Premier℠ Card also gives you rewards for gas – which adds up quickly, especially if you’re a chauffeur for the little ones, a commuter or a road warrior.
Your points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for airfare through the ThankYou® Travel Center, Citi’s online booking tool.
No foreign transaction fees. The card also has several travel protection benefits, including chip technology for enhanced security, which is a bonus when traveling abroad.
One great card benefit is Citi’s 24/7 personal concierge service. Too busy to book your own travel? Use the service and a representative will book your flight and hotel. A rep can even make your restaurant reservations and help you find the perfect gift.
And if you’re an avid concert goer or sports enthusiast, use Citi® Private Pass® to purchase pre-sale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, sporting and various entertainment events.
Potential Downsides of Citi Premier℠ Card
While you can transfer points to different loyalty programs from airlines and hotels, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a domestic carrier on the list. Unless you’re headed to Qatar (maybe to check out World Cup 2022) or Singapore on your next vacation, you’ll likely be underwhelmed by the rewards transfer program. Citi’s ThankYou® Rewards Program only includes the following airlines:
- Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Eva Air
- Etihad Guest
- Flying Blue
- Garuda Indonesia
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- TrueBlue (JetBlue, the only domestic airline on the list)
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
The annual fee is in line with competitors, but you need to spend around $800 per month to offset the fee. If you’re a light credit card user, considering a card without an annual fee may mean more rewards for you.
Another drawback of the Citi Premier℠ Card is that there’s some red tape on redeemable offers, so you’ll need to be strategic about redeeming points. Gift cards and flight redemptions will get you the most value. Statement credits, shopping purchases and cash back offer less. To get the most benefit, redeem your points for air travel through the ThankYou® Travel Center, where they’re worth 1.25 cents each.
How Citi Premier℠ Card Compares to Other Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Citi Premier℠ Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also requires $4,000 in spending for the first three months to earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards® points, which are worth $1,000 in travel. It's technically an identical bonus offer, though Chase offers your 25% more value on any travel redemption, not just airfare, through the Ultimate Rewards® portal.
In terms of ongoing rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers two times the points on travel and dining, while you’ll get three times the points on travel with the Citi Premier℠ Card and two times the points on dining out and entertainment.
However, if you prefer to use your rewards points on domestic travel, Chase Sapphire Preferred® is the better option, because Citi Premier℠ Card's points transfer program includes fewer airlines and most are international.
The information related to this card has been collected by CardRatings and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card.
Citi Premier℠ Card vs. American Express® Gold Card
New American Express® Gold Cardholders can earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser; See Rates and Fees.)
There are a few differences from the Citi Premier℠ Card to the American Express® Gold Card. While the Citi Premier℠ Card offers three times the points on travel, which includes gas, the American Express® Gold Card offers:
- 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- 4X Membership Rewards® Points at restaurants worldwide. 4X Membership Rewards® Points for shopping at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Who Should Get The Citi Premier℠ Card
If Citi® could mold the perfect consumer for its Citi Premier℠ Card, it would probably be a suburbanite who commutes an hour to work every day, has date nights at a place sans coloring placemats and is game for a family RV adventure.
If you tend to use your credit card for everyday expenses like gas, tolls, parking, dining out and going to the movies, offsetting that annual fee after the first 12 months shouldn't be a problem.
For rates and fees of American Express cards mentioned in this post, please see the following link: American Express® Gold Card (See Rates and Fees).