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Taking the top spot in our review of the best rewards cards for gas & fuel, the Citi Premier℠ Card offers some of the top earning rates of any rewards card with an annual fee under $100. Cardholders earn 3X points on travel and at gas stations, 2X points on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else.
In addition to the stellar points-earning potential of the Citi Premier, the signup bonus was recently increased to 60,000 ThankYou Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. That is 10,000 points higher than the typical offer on this card!
Citi Premier℠ Card
- 60,000 point signup bonus worth $750 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
- 3X points per $1 on travel, including gas stations, plus 2X points at restaurants and on entertainment
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee
- 3X points per $1 spent on on travel including gas stations, as well as airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, public transportation, tolls, and parking
- 2X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including many cafes, bars and lounges
- 2X points per $1 spent on entertainment, including sporting events, movie theaters, concerts and more
- 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Citi Premier℠ Card Signup Bonus
New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Redeem ThankYou Points for a Fixed-Value or Transfer to Airline Partners
As a Citi Premier cardholder, ThankYou Points are worth 1.25¢ per point towards travel 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 signup bonus a base value of $750 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 Partner||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time (based on our experience)|
|Asia Miles||1:1||1 business day|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||1:1||1 business day|
|Etihad Guest||1:1||6 business days|
|Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer||1:1||2 business days|
|Jet Airways JetPrivilege||1:1||Instant|
|Malaysia Airlines Enrich||1:1||2 business days|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1:1||2 business days|
|Qatar Airways Privilege Club||1:1||2 business days|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1:1||2 business days|
|Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus||1:1||5 business days|
|Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles||1:1||2 business days|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1:1||Instant|
|Sears Shop Your Way®||1:12||Unknown|
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 thinking about 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.
Points Earning Potential and Category Bonuses
Citi Premier bonus categories include:
- 3X points per $1 on travel purchases including gas stations
- 2X points per $1 at restaurants and on entertainment
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Citi Premier Retail and Travel Benefits
The Citi Premier is a World Elite Mastercard, so cardholders can access a wide array of perks and benefits including Purchase Protection, Citi's Price Rewind feature, auto-rental insurance, and trip delay protection of up to $500 per person traveling on the same itinerary.
Update: Citi has just announced dramatic changes to benefits that are scheduled to take effect for purchases made after September 22, 2019. Unfortunately, it looks like many of our favorite protections may be eliminated. We’ll be investigating the full range of changes and will update this post accordingly.
Current benefits include:
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance up to $5,000
- Trip delay protection up to $500 per covered traveler
- Baggage delay cover of up to $100 plus lost baggage cover up to $3,000 per traveler, up to $10,000 per trip
- Auto Rental Insurance on rentals worldwide up to $50,000, coverage is secondary in the U.S. and primary outside the U.S.
- Citi Price Rewind – register purchases and if the price drops in the next 60 days you'll be reimbursed the difference up to $200 per item, $1,000 per year
- Purchase Protection – Purchase an item with your card or ThankYou Points, and if it is damaged or stolen in the first 90 days, Citi will cover you up to $10,000 per item, up to $50,000 per year (secondary cover)
- Extended Warranty up to 24 months past the manufacturers' warranty, up to $10,000
- Return Protection for up to 90 days – max $300 per item up to $1,000 per year
- Access to Luxury Hotels & Resorts portfolio – receive perks like free breakfast, late checkout, and welcome gifts
- Discounts on select airfare from a variety of carriers like Etihad, Qatar, and Cathay Pacific
- $10 Lyft discount when you take 5 rides in a calendar month
- Free FICO scores
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.
The Citi Premier℠ Card is a reward-focused card that will help you earn the maximum number of points possible from your spending. While it's light on big-ticket feature benefits, the World Elite Mastercard perks and protections add another layer of value to the card over, above the ability to earn points, making it a great standalone travel card with a modest annual fee.
The welcome bonus alone provides enough points for a round-trip business class flight to Hawaii, plus you can take advantage of great category bonuses and earn valuable points which transfer to a variety of airline partners.
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