Citi Strata Premier℠ Card review: New name, same great rewards

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card review: New name, same great rewards

Updated: May 16, 2024

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Updated: May 16, 2024

Partner Offer: Citi is an advertising partner

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
4.6 rating
4.6 rating
4.6 / 5
Rewards value5.0
Rewards flexibility3.0
Issuer customer experience3.0

In a Nutshell:

The newly-rebranded Citi Strata Premier offers the same features as its predecessor with a boosted welcome offer, offering an excellent array of everyday bonus categories and a generous rewards program.

See Rates and Fees

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 10X points on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked through Citi Travel
  • 3X points at restaurants (including takeout), supermarkets, air travel, hotels, gas stations and EV charging stations
  • 1X points on all other purchases
Very Good

Sign-up Bonus

Earn 70,000 ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months


Annual Bonus

$100 annual hotel benefit: Once per calendar year, you’ll get $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more — excluding taxes and fees — when booked through (benefit applied instantly at time of booking).

Very Good

Annual Fee





21.24% - 29.24% (Variable)



Citi Customer Service Ratings

  • J.D. Power 2023 customer satisfaction rating: 798 (highest ranked)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.7/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.9/5

Other Notable Features

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Free concierge service
  • Travel protection
  • Auto rental collision damage insurance

The revamped Citi Strata Premier℠ Card keeps everything that makes its predecessor, the Citi Premier Card, a top travel credit card. You’ll still earn excellent rewards rates in popular everyday categories like restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels. The newly-renamed card permanently adds EV charging stations as a 3X category, keeping the 10X earning rate for hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through Citi Travel. These additions add even more to an already powerful earning card.

Current Citi Premier members have reported that their existing cards now show the updated name and features when logging into the Citi website. Also, you’ll only be able to get a welcome bonus on this card if you haven’t earned one on the Citi Premier or Citi Strata Premier in the last 48 months.

ThankYou Points can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise, as well as travel through the Citi portal or with Citi’s transfer partners. The flexibility offered and the range of bonus categories add to the solid value of this card.

The Citi Strata Premier looks to measure well with the best credit cards on the market. It can serve you well as a standalone credit card while also pairing well with other Citi cards for added value. With a boosted welcome offer, this is a great time to consider applying for this card. However, you’ll want to consider your spending and travel habits to see if you can justify the annual fee.


  • Wide range of bonus categories: This variety covers many everyday spending needs, making this a great standalone option.
  • Pair with other Citi cards: Combining points from other cards helps boost your balance and increase point value.
  • Elevated welcome offer: The welcome offer is higher than its predecessor and worth $700 when redeemed for travel at (70,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months).


  • Must redeem for travel to get full value: Redeeming points for non-travel options will come at a reduced value.
  • Annual fee: You won’t want to pay a fee if you aren’t utilizing the card’s features.
  • Transfer partner limitations: Most of Citi’s travel partners are carriers outside the U.S., which may be difficult to understand.

Why you might want the Citi Strata Premier card

The Citi Strata Premier covers many everyday expenses, offers flexible point redemption options, and features an elevated welcome offer. Here are some reasons why you might want the Citi Strata Premier card.

Excellent rewards rate in a variety of categories

The Citi Strata Premier Card is a points-earning powerhouse. The old Citi Premier earned 3X points in popular categories like restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels. All that stays with this rebranded card while adding EV stations to the 3X group. In addition, you’ll permanently get a whopping 10X points on hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through Citi Travel. According to Bankrate’s valuations, Citi ThankYou Points are worth 1.6 cents per point, meaning the 3X categories earn an excellent return of 4.8 percent and the 10X category comes in with an incredible 16 percent return on spending.

For a card with only a $95 annual fee, it out-earns most cards, including those with much higher costs. You can also make an excellent case for using only this card for all expenses, as it covers a wide range of commonly used categories. Most cards offering a 3X rate or better will only cover one or two categories, but none have the overall reach that the Citi Strata Premier has.

While your points are worth their highest value when redeemed for travel, you’ll still get excellent value even if you don’t travel frequently. Pairing this card with another Citi card, like the Citi Double Cash® Card, gives you the flexibility to pool points from both cards to create a powerful reward machine that can be optimized for cash back or travel expenses.

Boosted welcome offer and added perks

While the freshly re-named Citi Strata Premier mostly stays the same as the old Citi Premier, notable differences are an increased welcome offer and some sorely-needed perks.

The new welcome offer earns 70,000 ThankYou points (increased from 60,000 on the Premier) for spending $4,000 in the first three months, worth $700 when redeemed for travel with With our valuations, the offer can be worth up to $1,120. If you were to meet the minimum spending requirement solely in 3X categories, which isn’t hard to do considering the number of categories, you’d end up with 82,000 ThankYou points when you add in the welcome bonus. That’s worth $1,312!

One area where the old Citi Premier fell short of the competition was that it didn’t have any notable travel perks, even though it was Citi’s primary travel card. That has now been rectified. The revamped Citi Strata Premier offers the same competitive set of travel benefits found with its competitors:

  • Trip delay insurance
  • Travel cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Lost or damaged luggage protection
  • MasterRental coverage auto rental collision damage insurance
  • Emergency assistance

These changes add an extra layer of value to an already solid card. An increased welcome offer adds further value, while the travel perks fill a needed gap in the card’s overall portfolio.

Flexible rewards program

One of the biggest appeals of this card is the Citi ThankYou rewards program. There are many flexible options for redeeming points, whether you travel frequently or prefer cash back.

You can redeem your points for statement credits, a direct deposit, a check in the mail, gift cards, merchandise through shopping partners, charitable contributions or payments toward a student loan or a mortgage. Cash back options redeem at 1 cent per point, while other non-travel options often come in with a lower value and aren’t recommended.

To get the most value from your points, you’ll want to redeem them through the Citi travel portal or transfer them to one of Citi’s extensive list of airline and hotel partners. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio (with a card earning full ThankYou points) unless otherwise noted:

  • Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
  • Aeromexico Rewards
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Choice Privileges (1:2)
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Leaders Club (5:1)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles &Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Wyndham Rewards

You can also increase the value of points earned from non-premium Citi cards. These cards earn basic ThankYou points that don’t have access to transfer partners and a lower redemption rate. By combining them with your Citi Strata Premier, these points gain the total value you would get with rewards earned on the Citi Strata Premier, helping to create a more formidable card combination.

The flexibility of how and where you can use Citi ThankYou points combined with their overall solid value makes the Citi Strata Premier a great choice for earning high returns.

Why you might want a different card

While there is much to like about the Citi Strata Premier card, it may only work for some. An annual fee only makes sense if you get proper value in return. Also, Citi’s travel partners may not be a fit for you compared to other issuers.

You don’t want to pay an annual fee

The Citi Strata Premier card comes with an annual fee of $95. Unlike other cards, it isn’t waived in the first year, and there are no easy options to offset it. The annual hotel credit is the closest feature to offset your fee, but you still have to pay $500 for a hotel stay. If you aren’t already planning to do that, it wouldn’t make sense to do so.

You’ll need to see whether the value offered by the bonus categories will generate enough rewards to justify the expense of the annual fee. If you aren’t using those categories consistently enough, perhaps a no-annual fee card or a flat-rate card may serve you better.

Transfer partners may not work for you

While Citi cards come with a long list of transfer partners, you might need something else for your travel needs. Most of Citi’s options are with international airlines. While there are plenty of uses for booking partner awards with domestic airlines using these programs, it can be very time-consuming and confusing to figure out the specifics and book the awards.

Citi carries only one domestic airline transfer partner (JetBlue) and has minimal hotel options, notably missing luxury hotel brands. All issuers with transfer partners have different options, so if Citi’s list doesn’t work for you, you’ll want to explore other options. Most airlines and hotel brands are covered by one of the major issuers or a co-branded card, so if you have a specific need, you should be able to find the right card to suit your needs.

How does the Citi Strata Premier card compare to other travel cards?

The Citi Strata Premier card does well compared to other top travel cards. However, one of these alternatives may work better for you based on your spending and travel needs.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Rewards rate 

  • 5X points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase Travel℠ (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 anniversary hotel credit)
  • 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5X points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025, maximum 25,000 points)
  • 3X points at dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on all other travel purchases
  • 1X points on all other purchases
Rewards rate

  • 5x points at hotels
  • 4x points at airlines
  • 3x points at restaurants and on other travel
  • 1x points on other purchases
Rewards rate

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 6% cash back on U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Welcome bonus

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
Welcome bonus

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s $600 toward your next trip.
Welcome bonus

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
Annual fee 


Annual fee


Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Other things to know

  • $50 annual Chase Travel℠ hotel credit
  • Points worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • 10% anniversary points boost
  • Complimentary Doordash DashPass subscription for one year
  • Complimentary Instacart+ subscription for 6 months
  • Up to $15 quarterly Instacart credit
Other things to know

  • $50 annual statement credit with a $50 minimum airline purchase
Other things to know

  • Up to $84 back on eligible streaming subscriptions

Citi Strata Premier vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is the closest competitor to the Citi Strata Premier. Both do well in the rewards category and have an identical welcome offer and annual fee. The Citi Strata Premier covers more ground in the 3X category and earns more with its travel portal earnings, while the Sapphire Preferred uniquely offers 5X on Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025), 3X on streaming services and 2X on other travel purchases.

The Sapphire Preferred offers better benefits, including a 10 percent anniversary points boost, a $50 annual hotel credit, and a 25 percent boost in points pooled from other Chase cards when using Chase Travel℠. While the Citi Strata Premier can also pool points, there’s no further added value.

Both cards overlap in some transfer partners, with Citi having more choices overall. However, Chase offers more domestic airline options and hotel brands offering luxury properties. Chase Ultimate Reward points have a higher value of 2.0 cents per point compared to 1.6 cents per point for Citi ThankYou points.

While your spending and travel needs may dictate which card works better, the Sapphire Preferred offers more overall value.

Citi Strata Premier vs. Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

Another card new to the mid-tier travel space is the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey. Once again, the Citi Strata Premier covers more 3X categories but is outearned by the Autograph Journey in the hotels and air travel category (unless booked through Citi Travel).

The new welcome offer on the Citi Strata Premier earns more points from the same spending. According to Bankrate’s point value estimates, ThankYou points earned with the Strata Premier are also worth more than Wells Fargo Rewards: Bankrate estimates Premier Strata points are worth around 1.6 cents per dollar with the right transfer partner, while Wells Fargo Rewards are only worth 1 cent per point

Both cards could be better at offering perks, but Wells Fargo does offer a $50 airline annual statement credit with a $50 minimum airline purchase. On the other hand, Citi has a superior list of transfer partners and more flexible redemption options.

Unless you spend heavily on hotels and airlines and get outsized value from one of Wells Fargo’s travel partners, the Citi Strata Premier will be a better option.

Citi Strata Premier vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Regarding cards with great everyday spending rates, the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express is among the best. While this card earns cash back instead of rewards points, it boasts strong 6 percent categories at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent) and select U.S streaming subscriptions. The 3 percent categories cover U.S. gas stations and a variety of transit expenses, while the Citi Strata Premier also covers restaurants, hotels, and air travel. You’ll need to run your spending numbers to assess what gives more reward value, but if you maximize your supermarket spending, it may tilt towards the Amex Blue Cash Preferred.

The welcome offer from Amex falls very short of the Citi Strata Premier, but Amex does waive the annual fee for the first year. You’ll also get up to $84 in streaming credits on select services with the Blue Cash Preferred, but only at $7 per month when spending at least $9.99.

While the Citi Strata Premier may not quite measure up from an everyday spending perspective, it’s the superior choice if you want to redeem rewards for travel expenses. Cash back is earned at a fixed rate, while Citi ThankYou points can earn outsized value when redeemed with the right partner. Both cards have excellent qualities. It’s just a matter of which benefits you most.

How to use the Citi Strata Premier card

  • Use it for all your purchases in the 3X bonus categories like resstaurants, gas stations and supermarkets.
  • Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months to earn the welcome bonus.
  • Book a $500 or more hotel stay through to earn the $100 annual hotel benefit.
  • Pair with other Citi cards for additional value.

Is the Citi Strata Premier card right for you?

It’s hard to argue against the Citi Strata Premier being one of the top cards on the market at its price point. No other card covers the wide range of bonus categories while providing flexible redemption options. By increasing the welcome offer and adding perks to match its competitors, the card has very few flaws and offers excellent value.

If your travel needs better align with programs not covered by Citi’s transfer partners or you prefer not to pay an annual fee, you may want to explore other options. Otherwise, this card works great as a standalone card or with other Citi cards. If you haven’t had a welcome bonus on this card or its predecessor, now is a great time to consider applying for the card.

Frequently Asked Questions

All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.

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