Citi Accelerates Premier Benefits, Adds Temporary Spending Bonus for Prestige Citi Accelerates Premier Benefits, Adds Temporary Spending Bonus for Prestige

Citi Accelerates Premier Benefits, Adds Temporary Spending Bonus for Prestige

Bonus Points

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It's safe to say that most people aren't spending money the same way they were last year. Recognizing this, credit card issuers have implemented an unprecedented number of benefit changes and card updates over the past few months. We have compiled all of these in our comprehensive guide.

With the intention of realigning card benefits to its customer's “evolving needs and spending habits”, Citi has announced the addition of a few new bonus categories to the two top cards in its ThankYou Point earning portfolio—the Citi Premier® Card and the Citi Prestige® Card.

Citi Premier® Card

In addition to the myriad of other benefits offered by the Citi Premier, Citi is adding two new bonus categories for cardmembers with an account open as of May 22. Starting June 2, 2020, cardholders will earn the following category bonuses:

  • 3 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on supermarket purchases
  • 3 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on restaurant purchases, including takeout and curbside pickup

If these categories sound familiar, there's a reason for that. In early April, we wrote about major updates coming to the Citi Premier. At the time, these changes were scheduled to go into effect on August 23, 2020. While most of the card updates we've detailed over the past few weeks are temporary, these are permanent changes to the Citi Premier.

Citi Prestige® Card

This promo has ended.

Recognizing that people are spending a lot more online, Citi has added “Online Purchases” as a temporary bonus category for the Prestige Card. Now through August 31, 2020, current cardholders will earn 5 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on all online purchases up to 7,500 points ($1,500 in spending). Only accounts open as of May 22, 2020 are eligible for this bonus. Citi lists the following as qualifying purchases:

  • Retailer website orders
  • Online grocery orders
  • Online drugstore orders

Remember that you can see how a merchant codes by checking AwardWallet's Merchant Category Lookup Tool.

With its $495 annual fee and largely travel-centric benefits, the Prestige Card is a particularly hard sell right now for customers stuck at home. Citi had previously responded to the coronavirus crisis by allowing purchases at restaurants and supermarkets to qualify for the $250 travel credit between May 1 and December 31, 2020. (Update: This has now been extended through December 31, 2021)

Bottom Line

Even after seeing so many benefit updates and new perks over the past few weeks, it's still exciting to see credit card issuers pivoting to provide more value to customers.

In my recent guide to current grocery bonuses, I listed my baseline valuation of ThankYou Points as 1.7¢ each. This means that the Citi Premier now earns a 5.1% return at supermarkets and restaurants—with no cap on your earnings. This is a fantastic return for a card that only charges a $95 annual fee.

In regards to the Prestige Card, bonusing online spend is an innovative idea that we haven't seen a lot of yet—which is especially surprising considering the current value of the category. At my baseline valuation of 1.7¢ per ThankYou Point, earning 5X translates into a stellar 8.5% return. That's an excellent return on the first $1,500 worth of spending.

Are these new Citi bonus categories valuable to you?

5 / 5 - (6 votes)
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  • Nice perk for sure — anything more is just a bonus. I was (probably still am) going to cancel the card next round when the AF hits. Wish they’d give a monthly bonus like Chase.. even if capped, it’s nice to have a monthly bonus rather than just a capped total. But, extra is extra…

  • Will take any bonus points I can get. New to the Premier card and am seeing that Citi is venturing into the arena to compete with the other bigger players in the reward travel credit card industry!

  • Interesting that the new temp category is for new accts. I like that they are looking to make changes for what’s current but I still prefer MR and UR. Citi still doesn’t have that much going for it for me.

  • arshi007 says:

    This info seems to be on a lot of blogs/sites but i can’t find any info on the actual citi website or in my emails. Is there an official link for this information ?

    • JT Genter says:

      That’s one frustrating part of Citi. Cardholders can often be the last to hear from Citi about changes. I haven’t found anything online about this, unfortuantely.

  • Card companies are really stepping up. I’m a little surprised as they don’t have to but it’s very much appreciated.

  • These cards unfortunately useless when you cannot travel. Sad.

  • It has taken a long time for the Citi Prestige Card to catch up with the Chase travel cards.

  • Great! Sadly it doesn’t apply to new cardholders… probably they don’t want to entice new potentially risky customers to get on board.

    • Why would new members be particularly risky?

      • Just a guess, but @Jimmie might mean that in today’s economic environment, with its historic unemployment numbers, credit card companies are likely seeing an increase in applications from folks in economic duress and thus more of a credit risk, unfortunately.