What’s Included In Citi Premier Bonus Categories?

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At the moment the Citi Premier℠ Card has a best-ever welcome bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months. Those 60,000 points could be redeemed for $750 worth of airfare, or could be transferred to one of the Citi ThankYou airline partners.

What makes this card so lucrative long-term is that it has the best bonus categories of any card earning Citi ThankYou points (and arguably the best bonus categories of just about any mid-range card). The card offers 3x points on travel and gas, 2x points on dining and entertainment, and 1x points on all other purchases.

Often there’s some confusion regarding what belongs in these categories and what doesn’t, so in this post I wanted to break down the Citi Premier℠ Card bonus categories a bit more closely.

Citi Premier 3x points on travel and gas

Purchases with the following types of merchants would qualify for 3x points on travel:

airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies/travel aggregators/tour operators, gas stations, commuter transportation, ferries, commuter railways, subways, taxis/limousines/car services, passenger railways, cruise lines, bridge and road tolls, parking lots/garages, campgrounds and trailer parks, timeshares, bus lines, motor home/recreational vehicle rentals and boat leases and rentals

Then here are examples of some non-qualifying purchases of travel and gas that wouldn’t earn 3x points:

You won’t earn 3x points for purchases made at recreational camps, insurance companies, auto clubs, fuel used for non-automobile purposes, and real estate agencies; gas purchases made at warehouse clubs, discount stores, department stores and convenience stores do not qualify for 3x points.

Citi Premier 2x points on dining and entertainment

Purchases with the following types of merchants would qualify for 2x points on dining and entertainment:

restaurants (including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants), and on select entertainment, including live entertainment, live theatrical productions, concerts, live sporting events, movie theaters, amusement parks (including zoos, aquariums, circuses and carnivals), tourist attractions (including museums and art galleries), record stores, video rental stores and on-demand internet streaming media

Then here are examples of some non-qualifying purchases of dining and entertainment that wouldn’t earn 2x points:

You won’t earn 2X Points for purchases made at bakeries, restaurants/cafes inside certain department, grocery, discount and convenience stores or warehouse clubs, sporting camps, public and private golf courses, country clubs (including membership fees), stores that sell musical instruments, video game arcades, bowling alleys, stores that primarily sell video games/accessories, charitable organizations that provide live entertainment, bookstores, and sports complexes where you participate in the sport

Things to keep in mind about Citi Premier bonus categories

While other cards offer bonus points on dining and travel (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example), I think it’s the other bonus categories that really set this card apart).

Triple points on gas is a unique bonus category, as not many cards offer bonus points for that.

Furthermore, the double points on entertainment is a unique bonus category that you don’t see on many cards. For those who spend money on things like amusement parks, concert tickets, etc., that can really help with points adding up.

For earning triple points on travel, it’s great just how many things qualify for that, including many purchases you make without ever leaving your hometown. Expenses you may incur every day, including everything from Ubers to subway tickets to tolls to parking meters, all qualify for triple points.

For more traditional travel purchases, both flights purchased directly from airlines and through online travel agencies would qualify. Furthermore, since the card has no foreign transaction fees, it’s lucrative to be able to use the card when you travel and earn triple points plus not pay any fees when abroad.

Bottom line

The Citi Premier℠ Card offers incredibly well rounded bonus categories, as you can earn triple points on travel and gas, and double points on dining and entertainment. When you add it all together, you can easily average multiple points per dollar spent.

I think a lot of people don’t realize just how many things qualify in these categories, given how much you can spend on “travel” just by going about your everyday life.

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  1. The 3x gas and 2x entertainment is nice for a transferable points card. But the additional points in those categories weren’t worth the $95 fee. I ended up canceling a couple years ago.

  2. Hi Lucky, I have a new job and my company requires we book travel through Concur. Do you know if airfare and hotels booked through there would qualify for the 3X points? It sounds like it would. Do you know if airfare purchased through Concur would qualify for 5X points on Amex Platinum?


  3. Lucky, do iTunes purchases count as entertainment? I watch movies, and subscribe to Hulu and Netflix via Apple TV.

  4. Lucky, what’s going on with the citi Prestige card? There are rumors that it is either being discontinued or relaunched with benefits changes soon.

  5. Lane — When I had the Citi Premier, I recall Netflix and Hulu netting the 2x entertainment. It should count as “on-demand internet streaming media”.

  6. @ House — It’s a great question, I have no clue. It is odd that it hasn’t had a bonus for so long and it seems like they’re not trying very hard with it. I guess we’ll see soon what happens.

  7. @ Lane @ Marsh — I believe all of those things do, though hopefully someone with firsthand experience can chime in on that.

  8. Thank you Lucky and Matt.

    One more question, what is the best way to pay for VRBO and AirBnb rentals?

  9. Can you stop writing about this god dam card

    And for the record the amax platinum gives 5x points on airfare and this stupid card only gives 3x points. Ben must get paid a fortune for every post about this card.

  10. My Citi ThankYou Premier card has long been my “go to” card for all gasoline, parking, taxis, public transit, and bridge toll fees (among others) precisely for the 3x points. No other card in my wallet gives me that, and at ~1.6¢/TYP, I’m getting a 4.8¢ return in readily transferrable points. Airfare, hotels, etc. go either on my Citi Prestige (can’t forget the 4th night free!) or Chase Sapphire.

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