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Citi card combinations that maximize rewards

Why signing up for more than one Citi rewards card might be best for you

Summary

By combining Citi rewards cards, you can rack up ThankYou points faster.

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With the launch of the new Citi Rewards+℠ Card, Citi is offering a great new option for cardholders wanting a straightforward rewards program that offers points on everyday purchases. But how do you know which Citi card is right for you?

Other Citi credit cards, like the Citi Premier℠ Card and newly updated Citi Prestige Card, offer appealing travel benefits, such as bonus points on travel purchases and the notorious fourth-night free perk. However, both of these cards come with an annual fee.

Whether you are signing up for your first Citi card or considering adding the new Rewards+ to your wallet, you might actually get more value by combining two of these options. You’ll earn bonus ThankYou points in new categories and unlock additional perks. Based on your spending patterns, pairing the Citi Rewards+ with the Prestige or Premier can boost your earnings.

Which Citi cards earn ThankYou points?

If you are considering pairing another Citi card with the new Citi Rewards+, a card that earns ThankYou points can be a great way to stockpile rewards. Points are easily transferred between accounts and redeemable for gift cards, merchandise, travel purchases and more.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the new Citi Rewards+, as well as the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige – two of our favorite ThankYou point-earning cards.

Citi Rewards+

Citi Premier

Citi Prestige

Citi Prestige® Credit Card

Rewards rate
  • 2 ThankYou points per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 per year in purchases)
  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar on other purchases
  • Every purchase gets rounded up to the nearest 10 ThankYou points (a $12 lunch will earn you 20 points)
  • 10% points back for redeeming ThankYou points (on up to 100,000 points per year)
  • 3 points per dollar on travel, including gas
  • 2 points per dollar on restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • 5 points per dollar on dining and air travel
  • 3 points per dollar on cruise lines and hotel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
Sign-up bonus
15,000 ThankYou points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
60,000 ThankYou points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
50,000 ThankYou points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Annual fee$0$95$495
Estimated earnings in the first year ($1,325 monthly spend)$308$413$751

Why should you pair cards?

Signing up for more than one Citi credit card unlocks a slew of great benefits.

More bonus categories for a better rewards rate

All three of these cards offer unique rewards rates, with bonus ThankYou points in different purchase categories. By using each card primarily on the purchases that earn more points, you boost your overall earning.

Higher ThankYou point value

With the Citi Premier card, ThankYou points have a 25 percent higher value when redeemed for travel purchases through the ThankYou Travel portal. By transferring all the ThankYou points you earn on other Citi cards to the Premier, you can get more out of your redemptions.

Expanded card benefits

All three of these options come with additional perks, such as the Citi® Private Pass® (which gives exclusive access to presale tickets and VIP events) and extended warranty. The Citi Prestige, however, comes with extra benefits, such as Priority Pass lounge access and a fourth night free at any hotel twice per year.

Transfer points to travel partners

Both the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige card allow users to transfer their ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio to 15 travel partners, including Flying Blue (AirFrance, KLM) and Virgin. This is especially valuable to frequent flyers of Avianca, Singapore Airlines and JetBlue, as all three rewards programs boast a mile value higher than 1 cent. That means your ThankYou points will stretch a bit farther if you transfer to one of these airlines.

 
Transfer ratio
Mile valuation (cents)
Asia Miles1:11.0
Avianca LifeMiles1:11.5
Etihad Guest1:11.0
Eva Air1:11.0
Flying Blue (AirFrance, KLM)1:11.0
Garuda Indonesia1:11.0
JetBlue TrueBlue1:.081.53
JetPrivelege1:11.0
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1:11.0
Qantas Frequent Flyer1:11.0
Qatar Privilege Club1:11.0
Singapore Airlines1:12.36
Thai Royal Orchid Plus1:11.0
Turkish Airlines1:11.0
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:10.8

Which Citi cards should you pair?

If you are eager to boost your rewards rate and start stockpiling ThankYou points, here are some strategic Citi card combinations based on where you spend your money.

Best combination for foodies: Citi Rewards+ and Citi Prestige

By pairing the Citi Rewards+ Card with the Citi Prestige, you’ll earn bonus ThankYou points on both eating in and dining out. The Citi Prestige boasts one of the highest rewards rates available for dining purchases – 5 ThankYou points per dollar. Then, for the nights you cook for yourself, the Citi Rewards+ can snag you 2 ThankYou points per dollar at supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 point per dollar).

Unfortunately, the Citi Prestige does come with a high annual fee. If you are looking for dining rewards but won’t use the card’s travel benefits enough to offset the cost, this combination might not be for you.

Best combination for occasional travelers: Citi Rewards+ and Citi Premier

Both the Citi Prestige and Citi Premier are rewarding for travelers, offering similar bonus categories for travel purchases. The biggest factor to consider when pairing one with the Citi Rewards+ is the annual fee. If you travel occasionally, but not frequently enough to take advantage of the Prestige benefits, the Premier is a great option.

By combining the Premier card with the Rewards+, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on travel purchases. Then you can use the Rewards+ to stockpile extra ThankYou points with bonuses on groceries and any small purchase (thanks to the round up feature). With this pair, you’ll rake in enough points for your next trip faster. Plus, the Citi Premier comes with a 25 percent higher point value on ThankYou points redeemed for airfare in the ThankYou Travel portal.

Best combination for frequent travelers: Citi Rewards+ and Citi Prestige

The Citi Prestige card comes with a high annual fee – $495 – but is also one of the most rewarding travel cards available. It includes a $250 annual travel credit and a fourth night free at any hotel two times per year.

If you are a frequent traveler who can take advantage of these great perks, pairing the Prestige with the Citi Rewards+ is a no-brainer. Since the Rewards+ does not charge an annual fee, you can rack up more ThankYou points at no extra cost. In addition to bonus points on travel and dining purchases earned with the Citi Prestige card, users who also own a Citi Rewards+ can rack up ThankYou points on more common purchases such as gas and groceries.

Who can apply for a Citi rewards card?

Unlike other issuers, Citi doesn’t put any limit on the number of cards you can have open with the bank, making it easy to combine offers. They do however limit the frequency at which you can apply. For personal credit cards, you are limited to one application every eight days and no more than two in 65 days.

Unfortunately, sign-up bonus offers are much more restricted. If you have opened or closed another Citi card in the last 24 months, you aren’t eligible for an introductory offer. If you don’t have any Citi cards and are considering signing up for more than one, choose the higher sign-up bonus first.

We also recommend applicants for both the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige have an excellent credit score (above 740).

Bottom line

When deciding which Citi rewards card is right for you, the answer might be more than one. You’ll earn ThankYou points in more bonus categories and quickly stock up for your next gift card or travel purchase.

See related: Guide to the new Citi Rewards+℠ CardCiti’s latest no-fee card will reward you for every purchase, Is the Citi Prestige card the best dining rewards card available?

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: June 19th, 2019
Business
15.61%
Airline
17.54%
Cash Back
17.68%
Reward
17.57%
Student
17.79%

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