The $95 annual fee Citi Premier® Card (review) is in my opinion the most rewarding mid-range credit card. While many people might be familiar with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review), the Citi Premier is an overlooked competitor (or complement, depending on how you look at it).
In this post I wanted to share six reasons you should get the Citi Premier, if you don’t yet have it. In no particular order:
60K Bonus ThankYou Points
The Citi Premier Card has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months. Personally I value ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that bonus is worth a massive $1,020. Since a lot of people don’t have this card, these are some easy rewards points to rack up.
Redeem Citi ThankYou points for travel in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The Best 3x Points Bonus Categories
Among credit cards with annual fees of under $100, the Citi Premier almost unarguably offers the best bonus categories. The Citi Premier offers 3x ThankYou points in the following categories:
Of particular note is being able to earn 3x points on dining, gas, and groceries, which for some people covers a majority of everyday expenses.
Earn 3x ThankYou points on hotel spending
Annual $100 Hotel Credit
Once every calendar year, the Citi Premier offers $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees. This is valid when booking through the Citi ThankYou portal. While there may be an opportunity cost to booking this way, many people will find this to be valuable, and in those cases this alone can more than justify the annual fee.
Receive a $100 annual hotel credit
Great Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners
The Citi Premier is ideal if you’re looking to earn points that can be transferred to airline partners. Even if you’re not traveling right now, these points hold their value quite well, and can give you some amazing premium travel experiences in the future.
For example, Citi ThankYou points can be transferred to Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles, Emirates Skywards, Singapore KrisFlyer, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and many more. The opportunities to redeem these points for premium travel are endless.
Best of all, if you have Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, there is some overlap between airline partners, so in many cases you can transfer points to the same partners from both programs.
Emirates Skywards is a Citi ThankYou transfer partner
Maximize The Citi Double Cash Card
This is arguably the most compelling reason to get the Citi Premier. The no annual fee Citi® Double Cash Card (review) is the single best card for everyday, non-bonused spending. The card offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase.
While this is ordinarily a cash back card, if you have the Citi Double Cash in conjunction with the Citi Premier, then rewards can be converted into ThankYou points at the rate of one cent per point. This means you can earn 2x ThankYou points per dollar with the Citi Double Cash.
If you have the Citi Premier and Citi Double Cash you’d pay a single $95 annual fee, and you’d earn:
- 3x points on airfare
- 3x points on dining
- 3x points on gas
- 3x points on groceries
- 3x points on hotels
- 2x points on all other purchases
The Citi Double Cash is a great complement to the Citi Premier
Get Even More Value With The Citi Rewards+ Card
The no annual fee Citi Rewards+® Card (review) is another incredible complement to the Citi Premier. While there are lots of benefits to having this card, the single best benefit is that you get 10% of your points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou points you redeem each calendar year.
This includes Citi ThankYou points earned on other cards, meaning the 2-3x points you can earn on all your spending can potentially get you even further, more in the range of 2.2-3.3x points on all your purchases (again, with restrictions and up to certain limits).
Get 10% of your points back when you redeem Citi ThankYou points
The Citi Premier Card is an excellent credit card that’s all too often overlooked by people. The card has a huge welcome bonus, offers some of the best 3x points categories of any card, and perhaps most exciting of all is that this card allows you to really maximize the no annual fee Citi Double Cash Card, which is the best card for everyday spending. The Citi Premier and Citi Double Cash are one of the best card duos out there.
If you don’t yet have the Citi Premier Card, I’d highly recommend applying. There’s huge upside with the sign-up bonus, and then most people will probably see the long-term value in the card.