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Citi Premier Card review

Published: October 26, 2018

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Published: October 26, 2018

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.1
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.8
Rewards Flexibility: 3.8
Features: 3.0

In a Nutshell:

The Citi Premier card offers a generous travel rewards program, but its meager airline transfer options limit its appeal.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 on travel, including gas
  • 2:1 on restaurants and entertainment
  • 1:1 on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
50,000 ThankYou® points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee
$95, $0 first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)

16.49-25.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

  • Points don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • No point limits
  • 25% higher redemption value on travel when redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center
  • Redeem points on gift cards, merchandise, travel, cash and more
  • Use your points on and
  • Transfer points to airline and hotel partners


  • Redemption value is only high on gift cards and travel purchases
  • Travel must be booked through Citi

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, free concierge service, trip cancellation and interruption protection, travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, price protection, extended warranty, EMV chip

You don’t have to venture far to reap the benefits of this travel rewards card. The Citi Premier card offers triple the rewards points on a wide variety of travel-related expenses, including gas, toll-road fees, subway fares and more.

Cardholders can also earn bonus points on an unusually wide range of entertainment and restaurant purchases, making this a good card for cardholders who like to spend their evenings out.

Inclusive bonus categories

The card offers three points for every dollar spent on travel and two points for dining and entertainment purchases. But what really stands out on the card is its inclusive definition of what counts as a qualifying purchase. For example, everyday purchases – such as gas, bus, train and subway fare, parking and tolls – all count as spending on travel. Everyday forms of entertainment – such as downloading music, renting movies, visiting bars and nightclubs, and meeting friends for coffee – also earn cardholders additional rewards.

Elevated sign-up bonus

The Citi Premier card is currently offering an elevated sign-up bonus of 50,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This barely puts it on par with several of its major competitors — including the Barclaycard World Elite Mastercard and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card — which offer similar bonuses and have far better redemption values for their points. However, it is a potentially very valuable bonus, worth up to $625 in airfare when booked through Citi’s ThankYou Travel Center or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at If you are looking to add an additional card to your wallet, now could be a good time to sign up for the Citi Premier card.

Flexible redemption

Citi gives you a ton of options for redeeming your rewards, so you won’t have trouble finding something to do with all the points you’re racking up. The ThankYou points program allows you to redeem your points on everything from purchases to credit card statement credits. But you’ll get more bang for your buck if you redeem points for gift cards and travel, which offer a higher redemption value. If you book your travel through Citi’s travel center, for example, your ThankYou points will be worth 25 percent more.

Limited transfer options

Another major downside to the card is its paltry transfer options for cardholders who do most of their traveling stateside. You can transfer points to partnering travel rewards programs. But all 11 of Citi’s airline transfer partners – including Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, Air France and Qatar Airways – are based overseas, so cardholders who do most of their traveling on domestic carriers won’t benefit. Domestic travelers can, however, earn additional free hotel stays by transferring points to Hilton’s HHonors program.

Rich side benefits

Citi’s Premier card also offers a number of premium credit card perks that are usually reserved for higher-fee cards. For example, cardholders can access round-the-clock concierge services to help book hotel and restaurant reservations, premium travel assistance, and access to VIP entertainment and concert ticket pre-sales.

Why get the Citi Premier card?

  • You spend a lot of time on the road and want to be rewarded for both gas and travel purchases.
  • You frequently take taxis or public transportation and want to cash in your commute.
  • You eat a lot of takeout or frequently visit fast food restaurants or coffee shops as well as traditional dining establishments.
  • You spend a lot of money at nightclubs or bars or on movies and music.
  • You travel frequently abroad.

How to use the Citi Premier card:

  • Don’t bother redeeming your points for cash or merchandise. You’ll get more value from your spending if you stick to travel purchases, such as airfare or hotel reservations, or gift cards.
  • Book your rewards-funded travel through Citi’s travel center so you can cash in on the higher redemption value for travel purchases.

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