Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
23 Valuable Benefits of the Citi Premier Card [For Travelers]
- Lots of Ways to Earn ThankYou Rewards Points
- Share the Benefits with Others
- Redeeming Your ThankYou Point Rewards
- Recreation and Entertainment Benefits
- World Elite Mastercard Benefits
- Travel Protections and Benefits
- Shopping Protections and Benefits
- Final Thoughts
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Perhaps you’ve been thinking of applying for a travel rewards credit card but you’re not quite ready to pay the higher annual fee that can come with premium travel rewards cards.
Although premium travel rewards cards offer a lot of luxury travel perks and other benefits that can negate all or most of the annual fee, there’s still that large fee that has to be paid every year.
If you’re a frequent traveler and want an alternative to a premium travel rewards card, you might consider the Citi Premier® Card. If most of your spending is on travel, gas, entertainment, and dining, you’re going to find elevated earnings that will make it easy to accumulate rewards quickly. Your points will also be easy to redeem with several flexible options, including travel.
That’s not the end of the benefits that come with the Citi Premier card; however, as there are so many other reasons to consider the card, so here’s a long list of all the benefits of the Citi Premier card.
Lots of Ways to Earn ThankYou Rewards Points
The Citi Premier card is perfect for the traveler as bonus earning categories include common travel purchases. Rewards are also valuable as they are earned in the form of ThankYou Points, which have several flexible redemption options.
1. A Generous Welcome Bonus
Earn a welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.
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Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Good to Excellent (670-850)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!
- 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
- Access to Citi transfer partners
- Annual hotel credit
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee
- Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
- Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
- 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
- No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
2. Earn on Travel Purchases
Points will add up quickly as you earn 3 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on airfare and hotels.
3. Earn When Dining Out
Whether it’s a late-night hamburger, a high-end dining experience, or lunch at an outdoor café, you’ll be earning 3 points for every dollar you spend on dining.
4. Earn on Gas
Do a lot of commuting? Use your Citi Premier card at gas stations and earn 3 points per dollar spent.
5. Earn on Supermarket purchases
If you’re like most people, supermarket purchases make up a significant amount of your yearly expenses. So put those purchases on your Citi Premier card and earn 3 points per dollar spent.
6. Earn on Every Purchase
Every purchase you make with your Citi Premier card earns at least 1 ThankYou Point per dollar spent.
7. No Limit on the Number of ThankYou Points You Can Earn
Unlike some travel rewards cards that limit the amount of spending that earns elevated rewards in bonus categories, the Citi Premier has no such limit.
Share the Benefits with Others
8. Add an Authorized User to Earn Even More
There is no cost to add an authorized user to your Citi Premier card and their purchases earn ThankYou Points.
9. Share Points between Accounts
There are no fees to transfer ThankYou Points between accounts. Up to 100,000 points can be shared and 100,000 points received in a calendar year. Points expire 90 days after points are received.
Redeeming Your ThankYou Point Rewards
One reason ThankYou Points are so valuable is because of their flexibility. They can be transferred to airline loyalty programs, used to purchase travel, redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, or even cash-back.
10. Transfer Points to Airline Loyalty Programs
Transferring points to airline frequent flyer programs can result in great value for your ThankYou Points. Simply log in to your online Citi Premier account, click on Rewards and Benefits, then “more ways to redeem”. ThankYou Points transfer at the rate of 1 point to 1 mile.
Check out some of the best ideas for redeeming your ThankYou Points by transferring to airline partners.
11. Redeem for Travel via the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal
Your ThankYou Points can be worth 25% more when redeemed for flights through the ThankYou Rewards portal and 1 cent when redeemed towards travel.
12. Transfer to Sears Shop Your Way
Transferring your ThankYou Points to Sears Shop Your Way points is a decent option that gives you more than 1 cent in value for your ThankYou Points. A ThankYou Point is worth 12 Shop Your Way points. Since a Shop Your Way point is worth 1/10 of a cent, 1 ThankYou Point will equal 1.2 cents worth of Shop Your Way points.
13. Redeem for Gift Cards
Generally, your ThankYou Points are worth 1 cent per point when redeeming for gift cards, but occasionally there are specials where the value is greater. With the 1 center per point, that means 2,500 ThankYou Points will earn you $25 to one of the many retail partners. For a list of Citi’s current gift card merchants, visit the ThankYou Rewards portal.
14. Redeem for Cash-Back or Shopping
While redeeming your points for cash-back or merchandise is not the best value for your points, at least it’s an option if you need to do it. You’ll receive less than 1 cent per point in value and in many cases just 1/2 cent per point. As of May 2019, there’s a few retailers that were available:
15. Make a Charitable Donation
Redeem your ThankYou Points for a charitable donation to the American Red Cross or Smile Train for a value of 1 cent per point.
Recreation and Entertainment Benefits
16. Citi Concierge
With the Citi Premier card, you’ll have access to an expert 24/7 with the Citi® Concierge dedicated phone line. Get help with travel, shopping, entertainment, and dining out. The concierge staff can help with concert tickets, dinner reservations, or planning out that dream vacation with a simple phone call.
17. Citi Entertainment℠
Receive special access to events, exclusive invitations, dining perks, ticket pre-sale privileges, preferred pricing, and more.
World Elite Mastercard Benefits
Some of the benefits covered below are actually World Elite Mastercard benefits that come complimentary with the Citi Premier card. The list of World Elite Mastercard benefits is lengthy, but here are some of the most notable:
18. Luxury Hotel and Resorts Benefits
Receive upgraded rooms, hotel amenities, credits to use during your stay, late checkout, complimentary breakfast, and more at over 2,000 luxury properties worldwide.
19. World Elite Air Program
Receive up to 25% discount on premium flights with several airlines.
20. Priceless Mastercard Golf Experiences
Receive special access to courses, even private courses, worldwide and be treated like a member. Enjoy select tee times, use of member facilities, discounted pricing, and more.
Travel Protections and Benefits
21. No Foreign Transaction Fees
Take your card along when you travel as foreign purchases will not incur foreign transaction fees.
Shopping Protections and Benefits
22. Purchase Protection
Simply purchase an eligible item with your Citi Premier card and if the item should be damaged or stolen within 90 days of the purchase or delivery date, you could receive up to $10,000 per incident. There is a maximum limit of $50,000 per calendar year.
23. Extended Warranty
Why items seem to break down just after the manufacturer’s warranty expires is still a universal mystery. This benefit extends the manufacturer’s warranty on eligible items for 24 months. The benefit is valid on items with a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item.
The Citi Premier card with its lower annual fee, waived the first year, is a good alternative to the high-end travel rewards cards. You’re not getting that complimentary lounge access or hotel elite status but you’re not paying that higher annual fee, either.
The card delivers a nice combination of bonus rewards earning opportunities for purchases travelers make most and plenty of flexible options to redeem those points for good value.
Keep in mind that Citi does not provide the travel protections and benefits that other travel rewards card may offer.
With that said, when it comes to earning and redeeming points, the Citi Premier is a good choice.
Featured Image Credit: Upgraded Points
Frequently Asked Questions
If the Citi Premier card worth it?
Yes. If you’re spending money on travel and want a card that will earn on those purchases plus offer plenty of flexible redemption options, the Citi Premier card is worth it.
The annual fee is waived the first year on the card so you can try the card out for a year to see if it is a fit.
With a nice welcome bonus after meeting a minimum spending requirement in the first 3 months after card approval, and elevated earnings on travel, entertainment and dining purchases, you’ll earn hundreds of dollars worth of travel in just the first year.
How do ThankYou Points work?
ThankYou Points are earned on purchases made with your Citi Premier card.
Every purchase you make with your card will earn at least 1 ThankYou Point per dollar spent. However, certain categories of purchases earn multiple ThankYou Points per dollar spent.
With the Citi Premier card, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on all airfare and hotel purchases, gas stations, dining, and supermarket purchases.
The points you earn are deposited into your ThankYou account after each statement period. You can sign in to your Citi Premier account online and access your ThankYou account when you’re ready to redeem your points.
You can redeem your points for travel, gift cards, pay your mortgage, get cash back, and more.
Can I transfer ThankYou Points to airlines?
Yes, ThankYou Points are transferable to 15 airline partners and it’s an easy transaction.
Just log in to your Citi Premier account online and select Rewards and Benefits, then ThankYou Rewards. You’ll then see a list of all the available redemption options, and there are many.
Under the Travel tab, you’ll see the Transfer option. Select the transfer option and you’ll see a list of airlines.
Prior to transferring your ThankYou Points, you’ll need to have a frequent flyer account established with the airline you’re transferring to so make sure you’ve set one up in advance and have the account number handy.
Many transfers happen nearly instantly, others can take 1-2 days.
How much are ThankYou Points worth?
ThankYou Points vary in value depending on the redemption option but generally you’ll find their worth to be between 1/2 cent per point and 5 to 6 cents per point.
For example, if you redeem your ThankYou Points for a statement credit, you’ll receive just 1/2 cent per ThankYou Point.
If you transfer your ThankYou Points to airline partners, it is possible to receive 5 to 6 cents per point when redeeming for award flights.
A redemption that yields less than 1 cent per ThankYou Point is not good value.
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