The Citi Premier Card offers industry-leading rewards on travel, as well as the opportunity to earn high-level rewards on everyday purchases like groceries and gas – but cardholders will need to be prepared to pay a $95 annual fee.
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The Citi Premier® Card offers industry-leading rewards on travel, as well as the opportunity to earn high-level rewards on everyday purchases like groceries and gas. However, it also charges a $95 annual fee. And although you may earn unlimited ThankYou points, claim a $100 annual hotel credit and take advantage of a welcome bonus worth as much as $800, some may be disappointed to learn that Citi ThankYou points are worth less when redeemed for statement credits and cash back.
When is the Citi Premier card worth it?
The Citi Premier functions best as a travel credit card, so if you don’t foresee yourself traveling often you should consider a different kind of rewards card. However, it could be worth it for those who want to earn travel rewards and take advantage of perks like presale tickets and a 24/7 concierge service.
You travel frequently
The Citi Premier Card offers 3X ThankYou points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels, with no limit on the number of ThankYou points you can earn. All other purchases earn 1X ThankYou point.
New cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of opening their account. Although not the best sign-up bonus, the 80,000 ThankYou points are still valuable to new cardholders. In fact, those points can be worth as much as $800.
To really maximize your ThankYou points, you should use your points to book travel (through the Citi ThankYou portal) and transfer your points to participating airline loyalty programs. There is no transfer fee, and you only need 1,000 points to begin the transfer process. For the most part, using your points for travel is one of the highest redemption options at 1 cent per point.
And as one of Citi’s top travel credit cards, the Citi Premier offers a $100 annual hotel savings benefit that you can redeem once per calendar year. For the credit to apply, you must book your hotel through ThankYou.com, the total stay must cost $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) and you need to pay with your Citi Premier, ThankYou points or a combination of the two. Best of all: Using this hotel credit will offset your $95 annual fee.
You love redeeming for gift cards
Another good way to redeem your ThankYou points is by turning them into gift cards. At 1 cent per point, the ThankYou points are worth the most when you use them for gift cards at your favorite retailers like AMC Theaters, DoorDash, Nike, Ulta Beauty and more.
You love dining out or attending concerts
Your Citi Premier Card is good for more than just ThankYou points. It also offers some entertainment perks.
Citi Entertainment gives you access to presale tickets and exclusive experiences, whether you love concerts, sporting events, dining or other popular entertainment options.
Cardholders can also access a 24/7 concierge service to help with hotel and restaurant reservations, as well as assistance with any other related travel, dining or entertainment needs.
When is the Citi Premier Card not worth it?
You prefer cash back or statement credit
The Citi Premier performs worst when you redeem your ThankYou points for something other than travel or gift cards. With Citi’s Pay With Points feature, you can redeem your ThankYou points for statement credits to cover your credit card bill or Shop with Points at participating partners, including Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. However, we don’t recommend this because your ThankYou points will be worth only 0.5 cents per point.
You don’t plan to use the card often
CreditCards.com estimates the Citi Premier’s average rewards rate at 2.22, with the point value at an average of 1.2 cents per point. With those rates, you’d have to spend around $4,000 in a year to make up for the annual fee. If you don’t see yourself using the card that much, you should consider a no-annual-fee credit card.
Should you get the Citi Premier Card?
When choosing a travel credit card, be careful which one you settle for. Some travel cards work well as all-around cards, but the Citi Premier doesn’t meet its full potential if you don’t redeem its ThankYou points for travel or gift cards.
Also consider the card’s sign-up bonus. You must spend $4,000 in the first three months, which averages out to about $1334 per month, to receive your 80,000 ThankYou points. If that’s not feasible, we suggest another card that has a lower threshold for its sign-up bonus, such as the Citi Rewards+® Card.
Be sure to take advantage of the card’s $100 hotel credit at least once a year to maximize the card’s benefits. Not only is it a great travel perk, but it’s also a quick and easy way to offset the card’s annual fee.
Ultimately, if you don’t plan on traveling anytime soon or prefer staying close to home, you will not find the Citi Premier Card’s built-in travel benefits useful. In that case, consider a high-earning cash back card such as the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.
The Citi Premier Card is a top travel card that gives cardholders the opportunity to earn high-level rewards on both travel purchases and everyday spending. With 3 points per dollar on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels, the Citi Premier Card gives you plenty of opportunity to earn Citi ThankYou points – and even more opportunities for redemption.
For those eager to earn points and traveling soon, you’ll quickly rack up points to book your next vacation with the Citi Premier Card. Before applying, be sure that you have the credit score needed to be accepted. And consider how the Citi Premier compares to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, another travel card with a $95 annual fee.