Citi has just announced some significant changes to this card, which can either be positive or negative, depending on what you’re hoping to get out of this card.
New Citi Premier bonus categories
The Citi Premier Card is getting new bonus categories:
- These changes kick in as of August 23, 2020
- Existing cardmembers get the best of both worlds — they’re receive the new bonus categories as of August 23, and will maintain the existing bonus categories through April 9, 2021
As of now the Citi Premier offers the following bonus categories:
- 3x points on travel
- 3x points on gas
- 2x points on dining
- 2x points on entertainment
With these changes, the Citi Premier will offer the following bonus categories:
- 3x points on airfare and hotels
- 3x points on gas
- 3x points on dining
- 3x points on supermarkets
To recap the changes:
- The card is losing 3x points on travel purchases other than airfare and hotels
- The card is losing 2x points on entertainment
- The card is gaining 3x points on dining (rather than 2x points) and 3x points on supermarkets (rather than 1x points)
Those are some incredibly well rounded bonus categories going forward, if you ask me. Earning bonus points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels, is almost unrivaled.
The Citi Premier will offer 3x points on dining
Citi Premier loses 1.25 cent per point airfare redemptions
Currently Citi ThankYou points can be transferred to ThankYou airline partners, can be redeemed for 1.25 cents towards airfare, or can be redeemed for 1.0 cents towards various other purchases.
As of April 10, 2021, ThankYou points earned on the Citi Premier can be redeemed at only one cent each towards airfare purchases. I figured this change would happen sooner rather than later, because similar changes were made to the Citi Prestige Card last year.
Personally I don’t view this as being a huge deal — my favorite use of these points was always transferring them to airline partners, and that opportunity continues.
I value ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each due to the ability to transfer them to other programs, and that opportunity remains.
You can still transfer ThankYou points to airline partners
Citi Premier gets $100 annual hotel credit
As of August 23, 2020, the Citi Premier will be getting a $100 annual hotel credit, which you can use when booking a $500+ hotel through thankyou.com.
Don’t get too excited about that, though, since there’s usually a significant opportunity cost to booking through Citi’s website (you typically don’t earn elite benefits if it’s a chain hotel, and you can often find cheaper rates elsewhere).
The Citi Premier is adding a hotel credit (which is of limited value)
These changes are a mixed bag, though personally I think they’re positive overall.
For those who liked earning 3x points on travel purchases other than airfare and hotels, and liked earning 2x points on entertainment, this is a negative development. The same is true for those who redeemed points towards the cost of airfare.
However, for other people this is going to be a spectacularly well rounded card. Earning 3x points on airfare, hotels, dining, supermarkets, and gas stations, is almost unrivaled.
What do you make of the changes to the Citi Premier Card?