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.
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.