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Is the Citi Premier Card worth it?

This card earns travel rewards and offers perks like an annual hotel credit

Summary

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, the Citi Premier Card also charges a $95 annual fee – and although you have the opportunity to earn unlimited ThankYou points, claim a $100 annual hotel credit and take advantage of a welcome bonus worth as much as $800, some people may be disappointed to learn that Citi Premier Card points are worth less when redeemed for statement credits and cash back.

If you were hoping to use the Citi Premier Card cash back redemption option as a way to maximize your rewards, this card might not be the best choice for you. If you are thinking about getting the card to earn travel rewards and take advantage of perks like presale tickets and a 24/7 concierge service, the Citi Premier Card could be worth it.

Here’s what you need to know.

Rewards and redemption options

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 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent.

New cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of opening their account. The Citi Premier Card’s sign-up bonus isn’t currently on our list of top credit card welcome bonuses, but that doesn’t mean the 80,000 bonus ThankYou points aren’t still valuable to new cardholders. In fact, your Citi Premier Card sign-up bonus can be worth as much as $800 when redeemed for gift cards.

Want other Citi Premier Card reward redemption options? With Citi’s Pay With Points feature, you can redeem your ThankYou points for statement credits against your credit card bill or make Amazon.com and BestBuy.com purchases. You can use your points to book travel through the Citi ThankYou portal and transfer your points to participating airline loyalty programs. You can even redeem your ThankYou points for cash – though it’s worth noting that the Citi Premier Card cash back redemption rate is only 0.5 cents per point.

Right now, the best way to redeem your Citi Premier Card ThankYou points is by turning them into gift cards. At $0.01 per point, you’ll get the most out of your rewards by redeeming them for gift cards at your favorite retailers. Other redemption options, including statement credits and online purchases, may lower the value of your ThankYou points.

Citi Premier Card entertainment and travel benefits

Your Citi Premier Card is good for more than just ThankYou points. It also offers various entertainment and travel perks:

  • Citi Entertainment® gives you access to presale tickets and exclusive experiences, whether you’re interested in concerts, sporting events, dining or other popular entertainment options.
  • The Citi Premier Card offers a $100 hotel credit that can be redeemed once per calendar year. You’ll need to book your hotel through ThankYou.com, and the total stay must cost $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) to be eligible.
  • Cardholders can 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.
  • As mentioned above, your Citi Premier Card ThankYou points can be transferred to participating airline loyalty programs, including TrueBlue®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. There is no transfer fee, and you only need 1,000 points to begin the transfer process.

Weigh the rewards you use against the annual fee

The Citi Premier Card annual fee is $95 per year. Will you earn enough rewards with your Citi Premier Card to cover the cost of the annual fee, or should you consider a no-annual-fee credit card? Here are a few calculations you can do to help you make up your mind:

How many ThankYou points are you likely to earn?

Take a look at your spending history, especially in the categories of restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels. Add up the amount of money you spent in each of those categories over the past month, then multiply by three to get the number of ThankYou points you could have earned with those purchases. Multiply that number by 12 to estimate the amount of ThankYou points you could have earned in an entire year. If you are likely to earn more than 10,000 points in a single year – which can be worth $100 when redeemed for gift cards – the $95 annual fee could be worth it.

How do you plan on redeeming your points?

Your ThankYou points may be worth more or less depending on how you redeem them. If you plan on redeeming your points for lower-value options, such as statement credits, it might take more points to offset the cost of the $95 annual fee. Keep that in mind as you calculate whether the fee is worth it.

Will you take advantage of the annual hotel credit?

The Citi Premier Card offers a $100 hotel credit that can be redeemed once per calendar year. This credit is good for a single hotel stay booked through ThankYou.com, and the total cost of the hotel stay must be $500 or more (not including taxes or fees). If you plan on redeeming your $100 hotel credit every year, you’ve already offset the cost of your $95 annual fee.

Bottom line: Is the Citi Premier Card good for me?

The Citi Premier Card is a top travel credit 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.

The Citi Premier Card annual fee might be too high for some cardholders, but other people will find it easy to offset the $95 fee with the rewards they earn. Other cardholders might be disappointed that the Citi Premier Card cash back redemption rate is lower than other redemption options and may want to consider a Citi credit card that offers cash back, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card or the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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