Citi Premier® Card Review: Earn 60,000 Bonus Points

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Featuring a wide range of spending categories, top transfer partners, and an affordable annual fee, the Citi Premier® Card is one of the best mid-tier rewards cards you can add to your wallet.

When you factor in the 60,000 point sign up bonus, $100 annual hotel savings benefit, and the lack of foreign transaction fees, the Citi Premier card is one of the best rewards cards available for a $95 annual fee.

The Citi Premier also takes out the top spot in our review of the best rewards cards for gas & fuel, earning 3X points per $1 spent on airfare and hotels and at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets.

Citi Premier® Card
Citi Premier® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Offer Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
The Citi Premier card offers some of the top earning rates of any rewards card with an annual fee under $100. This card is best-in-class for rewards on air travel and hotel spending, and it tops our list of the best cards for gas & fuel purchases with a generous 3X ThankYou® Points.
  • 60,000 point signup bonus worth $800 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
  • 3X points per $1 on airfare and hotels and at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
  • Annual Hotel Benefit: Save $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when you book through ThankYou.com
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • 3X points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, and at gas stations
  • 3X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including cafes, bars and lounges
  • 3X points per $1 spent at supermarkets
  • 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases

Earn 3X Points on Valuable Bonus Categories

One of the primary reasons new cardmembers apply for the Citi Premier® Card is the lucrative earning rates on everyday spending categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and more.

Citi Premier bonus categories include:

  • 3X points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, gas stations
  • 3X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including cafes, bars and lounges
  • 3X points per $1 spent at supermarkets
  • 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases

When paired with the Citi® Double Cash Card—which we think is one of the best personal rewards cards available for non-bonus spending—the combo will supercharge your earning strategy and you'll only pay a modest annual fee to hold both cards over the long term.

Redeem Citi Premier Points for a Fixed-Value for Air Travel and Hotels or with Transfer Partners

As a Citi Premier cardholder, ThankYou Points are redeemable for 1¢ per point towards air travel and hotels when redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center. You can redeem points for airfare, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and more. There are no blackout dates, and airline tickets are treated as revenue fares—meaning you'll earn both elite and redeemable miles. This gives the sign up bonus a base value of $600 towards travel when redeemed through the Citi travel portal for a fixed value.

The most valuable way to redeem your ThankYou Points, however, is transferring them to Citi's airline partners.

Citi Transfer PartnerTransfer RatioTransfer Times
Aeromexico Club Premier1:1Up to 6 days
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1:1Instant
Avianca LifeMiles1:1Instant
Emirates Skywards1:1Unknown
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands1:1Instant
Etihad Guest1:13 days - 7 days
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
1:1Instant
Jet Airways InterMiles (formerly JetPrivilege)1:1Instant
JetBlue TrueBlue1:1Instant
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1:11 day - 2 days
Qantas Frequent Flyer1:1Instant
Qatar Airways Privilege Club1:11 day - 2 days
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:12 days
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus1:13 days - 7 days
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1:11 day
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1Instant
Sears Shop Your Way®1:12Unknown

Citi ThankYou transfer partners don't receive quite the same attention as rival programs Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, but the program has some fantastic partners offering top value for your points.

For example, one of the best ways to book flights on United Airlines (and many Star Alliance airlines) is using Singapore KrisFlyer miles. You can book a round-trip, business-class ticket within the continental U.S. for 40,000 miles and a round trip to Hawaii for only 35,000 miles in economy or 60,000 in business class.

When booking United flights, many people assume Chase points are better since they transfer directly to United's MileagePlus program, but all three of these tickets cost fewer points if you transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer than if you booked the same itinerary with United MileagePlus.

Welcome Bonus: Earn 60,000 Bonus ThankYou Points

In addition to the stellar points-earning potential on air travel and hotels, new cardmembers will earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. That's a lot of points for a $95 annual fee card.

Citi Premier Card Benefits and Annual Fee

$100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit

Outside of the huge earning potential of this card, it also offers an annual $100 hotel savings benefit. Once per calendar year, you can get $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding fees and taxes), through ThankYou.com. You're effectively getting ~20% off a cash hotel stay of $500. As the card charges a $95 annual fee, using this benefit once per year can cover the cost of holding the card year-on-year.

Citi Premier Card Retail and Travel Protection Benefits

Unfortunately, Citi announced dramatic changes to retail and travel benefits in 2019, including the removal of almost all travel and purchase protections across almost all Citi cards.

The Citi Premier retained extended warranty coverage and purchase protection but lost many of its benefits including:

  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Trip Delay Protection
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Baggage Protection
  • Citi® Price Rewind
  • Return Protection
  • Missed Event Ticket Protection
  • Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service
  • Travel & Emergency Assistance

Who is Eligible for the Citi Premier Card?

Citi dishes up a somewhat complex set of application restrictions that can have a significant impact on your ability to get ThankYou Rewards earning cards. Rules include:

  • Maximum of one (1) personal card per eight days
  • Maximum two (2) total cards per 65 days
  • Maximum one (1) business card per 95 days
  • You can only receive the signup bonus if you haven't opened or closed a ThankYou Rewards earning card in the previous 24 months.

Bonus ThankYou® Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+℠, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou®Premier/Citi Premier℠ or Citi Prestige®, or if you have closed any of these accounts, in the past 24 months.

It's worth noting that the ThankYou card family application restrictions listed above don't apply to the Citi Double Cash or Citi Custom Cash, making it much easier to piece together a winning combo of ThankYou Rewards cards.

Related: Who is Eligible to Get a Bonus on the Citi Premier® Card?

Final Thoughts

The Citi Premier® Card is a reward-focused card that will help you earn the maximum number of points possible from your spending, particularly when paired with other ThankYou points earning cards. While it's light on big-ticket benefits, the high points earning rate still makes it a great standalone travel card you can use at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, and hotels to earn 3 points per $1 dollar spent.

The 60,000-point offer provides enough points for a round-trip business class flight to Hawaii, plus, you can make use of great category bonuses to earn valuable points that transfer to a variety of airline partners.

If you haven't taken advantage of the Citi Premier earning rates, now is the time to get your application in and start stacking ThankYou Points.

Citi Premier® Card
Citi Premier® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Offer Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
The Citi Premier card offers some of the top earning rates of any rewards card with an annual fee under $100. This card is best-in-class for rewards on air travel and hotel spending, and it tops our list of the best cards for gas & fuel purchases with a generous 3X ThankYou® Points.
  • 60,000 point signup bonus worth $800 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
  • 3X points per $1 on airfare and hotels and at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
  • Annual Hotel Benefit: Save $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when you book through ThankYou.com
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • 3X points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, and at gas stations
  • 3X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including cafes, bars and lounges
  • 3X points per $1 spent at supermarkets
  • 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases

Citi Premier FAQ

Is the Citi Premier hard to get?

Outside of Citi's standard application rules, you can get the Citi Premier if you haven't opened or closed a ThankYou Rewards earning card in the previous 24 months.

Does the Citi Premier Card have an annual fee?

Yes, the Citi Premier Card has a $95 annual fee, however, the card does not charge foreign transaction fees.

What is the top-tier Citi credit card?

In the past, The Citi Prestige was considered the top-tier ThankYou Rewards earning credit card, but as it is not currently open to applications, the Citi Premier Card is Citi's top ThankYou Rewards card.

What is 60,000 Citi points worth?

The Citi Premier currently features a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus points, enough points for a family of three to fly round-trip from much of the Continental U.S. to Hawaii if transferred to the right transfer partner.

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Comments

  • Does Citi have 5/24 restriction like Chase has?

    • Tom – no, but they have their own rules. They’re sensitive to how many inquiries you’ve had recently. People often say Citi has a 6/6 rule: if you have 6 or more recent inquiries in the last 6mo, expect a denial. You also can’t get more cards than this with Citi: 1 new card every 8 days, 2 personal cards in 65 days, 1 business card every 90 days. Lastly, it seems like Citi is strictest (recent inquiries, number of new cards in the last year) with its Premier Card.

  • Citi is catching up with Chase offers, having more good promotion offers now.

  • I agree that this card has some good benefits, however, Citi would need to partner with American to get me to get a card. I get good benefits from Chase and Amex. I just don’t need Citi, unless they have a partnership with AA. I wonder why they are dragging their heels on this.

  • Combining the Premier card with the Custom Cash and Double Cash cards makes for a compelling strategy.

  • This is super tempting… but I finally get under 5/24 in February and still need to pickup a Chase Ink Business Preferred and a World of Hyatt card.

    Really tough call. Should I do it??

    Although the fact that Citi doesn’t even have a single hotel transfer partner kinda makes it less valuable for me.

    Is anyone else besides Chase ever gonna be able to partner with Hyatt?!

  • “Ending soon” is pretty vague. Got an actual date?