The Citi Premier® Card is a solid travel rewards credit card, especially if you’re also looking to earn points on non-travel purchases. This card earns 3X points on air travel and hotel purchases as well as at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations. Further, any purchases that fall outside of these categories earn 1X points.
If you’re looking for flexible travel credit card options, the Citi Premier Card is a valuable choice. Keep reading to learn more about the Citi Premier Card’s benefits—including its significant sign-up bonus—and decide if it’s the right card for you.
What does the Citi Premier Card offer?
- Rewards: 3X points on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases; 1X points on all other purchases
- Welcome bonus: 80,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Annual fee: $95
- Variable APR: 18.24 percent to 26.24 percent
The Citi Premier Card offers a notable 80,000-point sign-up bonus for spending at least $4,000 within your first three months of card ownership; that’s just under $1,334 in spending per month.
As is typical with credit card rewards valuations, your points are worth about 1 cent each—making the bonus worth around $800 toward gift cards when redeemed via thankyou.com. You can boost the value of your rewards, though, by transferring your points to a Citi airline or hotel partner. According to monthly valuations from The Points Guy, Citi ThankYou points can be worth up to 1.7 cents when transferred, increasing the value of your bonus to up to $1,360 toward travel.
As noted above, the Citi Premier Card earns 3X points on air travel, hotels, gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets. Anything outside of those categories will still earn 1X points. Further, your rewards are considered Citi ThankYou points, allowing you to combine points earned with other Citi credit cards.
Your ThankYou points can be redeemed for cash back and statement credits, payment credits, gift cards, shopping through Amazon and PayPal and charitable contributions.
You can also transfer points to another account or combine points, which can be helpful if you own more than one Citi credit card. For example, if you own a Citi credit card that earns “basic” ThankYou points, such as the Citi Rewards+® Card, you can pool those rewards into your Citi Premier account. Doing so will give you the ability to transfer points to Citi airline and hotel partners for heightened value.
Citi Premier Card benefits
One of the most notable benefits of the Citi Premier Card is its $100 annual hotel savings benefit. If you book through thankyou.com or 1-800-THANKYOU, you can receive an annual $100 discount on a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees). By taking advantage of this perk, you’re already offsetting the card’s $95 annual fee.
The Citi Premier Card also offers purchase protection, extended warranty, World Elite Mastercard benefits (like travel accident insurance and Free ShopRunner membership) and access to both Citi Concierge and Citi Entertainment.
Lastly, the Citi Premier doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, meaning you won’t be charged additional money in fees when you swipe your card outside of the United States.
Who should get the Citi Premier Card?
The Citi Premier is a good travel card option for frequent flyers and hotel hoppers with a yearning for everyday rewards (thanks to its 3X rate on air travel, hotels, gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets). And considering ThankYou points can be more valuable when used toward transfer partner travel, those with an interest in maximizing their rewards are best suited.
Further, this card is a solid option for those who already own a basic Citi credit card and are looking to both pool points and heighten their rewards’ value via partner travel.
How does the Citi Premier Card compare to similar cards?
Even if you’re set on the Citi Premier, it doesn’t hurt to look into other rewards credit cards. While the Citi Premier is a great all-around travel option, it does lack some common benefits offered by other travel cards on the market.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example, is a good alternative to consider as it features a similar welcome bonus and rewards for the same $95 annual fee—but there are different travel-related benefits to note.
You can enjoy trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, 24/7 travel and emergency assistance services, an auto rental collision damage waiver, up to $50 back each year in statement credits for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, a 25 percent points-value boost on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards and more. And if you’re most interested in transfer partner travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be worth up to 2 cents apiece, according to The Points Guy.
The bottom line
Overall, the Citi Premier Card is a respectable travel card thanks to its rewards categories, welcome bonus, $100 annual hotel savings benefit, lack of foreign transaction fees and reasonable annual fee.
If you’re looking for a versatile travel rewards card that also earns points on non-travel or everyday purchases, you should definitely consider applying for the Citi Premier.