The $95 annual fee Citi Premier® Card (review) is one of the most rewarding mid-range credit cards. 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 seven reasons you should get the Citi Premier, if you don’t yet have it. There has never been a better time to pick up the card, so now is the time to give it a try. In no particular order:
80,000 Bonus ThankYou Points
The Citi Premier Card has a welcome bonus of 80,000 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 $1,360. Since a lot of people don’t have this card, these are some easy rewards points to rack up.
Those 80,000 points can earn you at least $800 in rewards, or can be converted into airline miles of ThankYou partners at a 1:1 ratio.
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.
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.
Great Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners
The Citi Premier is ideal if you’re looking to earn points that can be transferred to airline partners. 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.
Earn American AAdvantage Miles (Limited Time)
Separate from the standard Citi ThankYou transfer partners, for a limited time there’s an exciting additional transfer partner. Through November 13, 2021, Citi ThankYou points can be converted into American AAdvantage miles at a 1:1 ratio.
That means 80,000 ThankYou points could get you 80,000 American AAdvantage miles. That’s more than enough for a one-way business class ticket from the United States to Africa, Asia, Europe, etc., on a premium carrier like Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, or Qatar Airways. This is the best credit card bonus for earning AAdvantage miles at the moment.
Maximize The Citi Double Cash
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
That’s incredible, and makes this one of the best credit card duos out there.
Get Even More Value With The Citi Rewards+ & Citi Custom Cash
- The Citi Rewards+ offers 10% of your points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou points you redeem every calendar year; this includes ThankYou points earned on other cards, meaning that 2-3x points can potentially earn you the equivalent of 2.2-3.3x points back, when all is said and done
- The Citi Custom Cash offers 5x points on your top eligible spending category every billing cycle (on up to $500 of spending), with categories including drugstores, fitness clubs, gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, live entertainment, restaurants, select streaming services, select transit, and select travel
If you really wanted to maximize rewards you could pick up all three no annual fee complements to the Citi Premier, though even one or two could get you a long way.
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, especially with the current best-ever bonus. There’s huge upside with the sign-up bonus, and then most people will probably see the long-term value in the card. The card has been offering an elevated welcome bonus for a couple of months now, and I can’t imagine it’ll last that much longer (purely speculation on my part).