Guide To Citi Premier Card Bonus Categories

Guide To Citi Premier Card Bonus Categories

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Link: Apply now for the Citi Premier® Card

There’s a lot to love about the $95 annual fee Citi Premier® Card (review), including that the card is currently offering a best-ever welcome bonus. One particularly compelling aspect of the card is that it’s the mid-range credit card with the best bonus categories, in my opinion.

In many ways the Citi Premier Card is a competitor to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review). While there are pros and cons to both cards, a huge advantage of the Citi Premier is the superior bonus categories. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at how those bonus categories work.

Citi Premier Card 3x ThankYou points bonus categories

What makes the Citi Premier Card lucrative long-term is that it offers 3x points in five different categories. The Citi Premier offers 3x points on:

  • Dining & restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Groceries & supermarkets
  • Airfare
  • Hotels

How does Citi define each of these categories? In other words, specifically, which kinds of purchases qualify, and which don’t? Let’s go over each category below. I’d also like to mention that the card is ideal for purchases abroad, given that:

  • The Citi Premier has no foreign transaction fees
  • The Citi Premier bonus categories apply globally, rather than being US-centric

3x points on dining & restaurants

The Citi Premier offers 3x points on dining and restaurant purchases, which generally includes cafes, bars, lounges, fast food restaurants, takeout, and delivery.

You generally won’t earn bonus points for purchases made at bakeries, caterers, and restaurants located inside other establishments (like hotels, department stores, grocery stores, discount stores, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs).

That makes the Citi Premier one of the best cards for dining and restaurant purchases.

Earn 3x ThankYou points on dining purchases

3x points on gas stations

The Citi Premier offers 3x points on gas station purchases. This typically includes purchases of gas, as well as other gas station purchases.

You generally won’t earn bonus points for gas purchases at warehouse clubs, discount stores, department stores, convenience stores, or other merchants that aren’t classified as gas stations.

That makes the Citi Premier one of the best cards for gas station purchases.

Earn 3x ThankYou points on gas station purchases

3x points on groceries & supermarkets

The Citi Premier offers 3x points on grocery and supermarket purchases.

You generally won’t earn bonus points for purchases made at general merchandise or discount stores, freezer or meat locker provisioners, dairy product stores, miscellaneous food and convenience stores, markets, drugstores, warehouse clubs, wholesale clubs, specialty vendors, bakeries, candy stores, nut stores, confectionary stories, and meal kit delivery services.

That makes the Citi Premier one of the best cards for grocery and supermarket purchases.

Earn 3x ThankYou points on grocery store purchases

3x points on airfare

The Citi Premier offers 3x points on airfare. This includes all airfare purchased directly with airlines or through a travel agency. It’s not just ticket costs that qualify, but generally other fees associated with airline tickets as well.

That makes the Citi Premier one of the best cards for airfare purchases.

Earn 3x ThankYou points on airfare purchases

3x points on hotels

The Citi Premier offers 3x points on hotels. This includes hotels booked directly or through a travel agency. This also includes incidental purchases at hotels, and not just the room rate.

That makes the Citi Premier one of the best cards for hotel purchases. Also keep in mind that the Citi Premier offers a $100 annual hotel credit, which can be applied toward a single hotel stay of $500+ when booking through Citi ThankYou.

Earn 3x ThankYou points on hotel purchases

Maximize ThankYou points with Citi no annual fee cards

If you want to maximize the Citi ThankYou points you earn, you can’t beat having the Citi Premier Card plus some of the no annual fee Citi cards that can potentially earn ThankYou points:

  • The Citi® Double Cash Card (review) can earn you up to 2x points for everyday spending, making it one of the best cards for non-bonused spending
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card (review) rounds up purchases to the nearest 10 points, and can help you maximize your points by offering 10% of your points back on the first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed every calendar year, including those earned on the Citi Premier Card
  • The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card (review) earns 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

At a minimum, you can’t beat the combination of the Citi Premier Card and Citi Double Cash Card, so that you can earn 2-3x points on all purchases. Picking up other cards can make a lot of sense as well.

There are some awesome Citi credit card combos out there

Bottom line

The Citi Premier Card offers incredibly well rounded bonus categories, as you can earn triple points on gas, grocery, restaurant, airfare, and hotel purchases. When you add it all together, you can easily average multiple points per dollar spent, making this one of the most compelling mid-range cards out there.

Hopefully the above sheds some light on how each bonus category is defined, since it can sometimes get confusing to figure out which purchases qualify for each bonus category.

If you don’t yet have the Citi Premier Card, this is a fantastic time to apply.

Conversations (4)
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  1. Dawn Newton Guest

    About to pay $5K for a safari package that includes lodging, food, transportation, etc, as one package. Wondering how this one will be coded and will it still earn 3x?

  2. Andrew Guest

    About half of those places that won't count as a restaurant will still earn 3x because they'll probably hit another 3x category with Citi Premier.

    "You generally won’t earn bonus points for purchases made at bakeries, caterers, and restaurants located inside other establishments (like hotels, department stores, grocery stores, discount stores, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs)."

    Restaurants inside hotels will probably code as a hotel purchase, so 3x. Location inside a grocery store...

    About half of those places that won't count as a restaurant will still earn 3x because they'll probably hit another 3x category with Citi Premier.

    "You generally won’t earn bonus points for purchases made at bakeries, caterers, and restaurants located inside other establishments (like hotels, department stores, grocery stores, discount stores, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs)."

    Restaurants inside hotels will probably code as a hotel purchase, so 3x. Location inside a grocery store still 3x thanks to coding as a grocery store. And if the convenience store is also a gas station then there's a decent chance it'll code as gas and bingo 3x

  3. roundwhitemug Guest

    Does Airbnb code as a travel/hotel for this card? I think AW said via their merchant category code list it does but I've yet to charge this card.

    1. Mike Guest

      When I'm home I definitely have different cards for different things but when travelling I just want to deal with one card for everything and that's the Citi Premier. Capturing all 3 of the big categories: Gas, Groceries, Restaurants - makes this a no brainer without Foreign Transaction Fees.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Dawn Newton Guest

About to pay $5K for a safari package that includes lodging, food, transportation, etc, as one package. Wondering how this one will be coded and will it still earn 3x?

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Andrew Guest

About half of those places that won't count as a restaurant will still earn 3x because they'll probably hit another 3x category with Citi Premier. "You generally won’t earn bonus points for purchases made at bakeries, caterers, and restaurants located inside other establishments (like hotels, department stores, grocery stores, discount stores, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs)." Restaurants inside hotels will probably code as a hotel purchase, so 3x. Location inside a grocery store still 3x thanks to coding as a grocery store. And if the convenience store is also a gas station then there's a decent chance it'll code as gas and bingo 3x

0
Mike Guest

When I'm home I definitely have different cards for different things but when travelling I just want to deal with one card for everything and that's the Citi Premier. Capturing all 3 of the big categories: Gas, Groceries, Restaurants - makes this a no brainer without Foreign Transaction Fees.

0
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