While Citi has several great welcome bonuses at the moment, there are two that I consider to be especially good:
- The Citi Premier® Card (review) is offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months
- The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is offering a welcome bonus of 65,000 AAdvantage miles after making $4,000 of purchases within the first four months. The $99 annual fee is waived for the first 12 months.
If you wanted to, the cool thing is that you could potentially get approved for both of these cards the same day — that’s exactly what happened with my mom. Earning 125K+ points with the annual fees on both cards waived for the first year is pretty awesome.
Which Citi bonus is better?
While you could potentially get approved for both cards if you wanted to, which of the two bonuses is more rewarding , if you just wanted to apply for one card — that on the Citi Premier® Card or CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®?
Well, personally I value American AAdvantage miles at 1.4 cents each and Citi ThankYou points at around 1.7 cents each, so based on that I value the welcome bonus on the Citi Premier at ~$1,020, and the welcome bonus on the CitiBusiness AAdvantage at ~$910. So I’d say the Premier bonus is a bit better, though it does depend what you’re trying to redeem for.
Citi ThankYou points are incredibly versatile, while almost 70,000 AAdvantage miles (the welcome bonus plus miles earned from minimum spend) is enough for a one-way ticket in business class from the US to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, India, etc. So that is a nice increment of miles to have.
Do keep in mind that applying for a Citi business card wouldn’t count as an inquiry towards the 5/24 limit, if that’s a consideration.
Which Citi card is better long term?
If you’re looking for a card to maximize your everyday spend, the Citi Premier® Card is tough to beat. The card offers triple points on gas stations, airfare, hotel, restaurants and supermarkets. You earn flexible points that can either be converted into airline miles, so there are lots of great uses. This is a card it could make sense to use for long-term spend.
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, on the other hand, offers double miles on purchases with American Airlines, as well as double miles on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and at gas stations. For the most part those bonus categories aren’t quite as generous.
The card does offer some great perks if you frequently fly with American, though, including a first checked bag, preferred boarding on American Airlines, and 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi purchases.
Both the Citi Premier® Card and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® have great welcome bonuses at the moment that are among the best we’ve seen. You can potentially get approved for both of these cards the same day if you wanted to, which would earn you a lot of points, and get you some great benefits.
If you do just want to pick up one card, though, the better option depends on what you’re looking for. I value the ThankYou Premier Card bonus a bit more, but the AAdvantage Card bonus could also be valuable for oneworld business class redemptions. Long term the Premier Card offers a much better return on spend, while the AAdvantage Card offers more useful perks if flying American.