Guide To Citi Premier Card Bonus Categories

Guide To Citi Premier Card Bonus Categories

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The $95 annual fee Citi Premier® Card (review) is the mid-range credit card with the best bonus categories, in my opinion.

In many ways this 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 towards 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:

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.

Conversations (3)
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  1. Jrome Guest

    "At a minimum, you can’t beat the combination of the Citi Premier Card and Citi Double Cash Card"-I have to completely disagree with this statement since most people would be better served with a custom cash/Premier setup (if you're gonna have just 2) since you could max the c.c every month with a single 500$ vgc that would outpace the earn rate on a double cash (usually 1.2% fee, but 5x vs 2x) for unbonused spend

  2. Wetner Andre Guest

    Absolutely great!!!

  3. Art_Czar New Member

    Ben - In the dining/ restaurant category, I've noticed that the Amex Gold card's 4x category bonus isn't typically triggered at pubs, cafes, etc, but the 3x dining category bonus for the Chase Sapphire card is triggered at these same pubs and cafes. Do you suppose the 3x dining category bonus for the Citi TY Premier card is as broadly applied as that of the Chase cards? Do you have any points of comparison between the Chase & Citi cards in this regard?

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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.

Jrome Guest

"At a minimum, you can’t beat the combination of the Citi Premier Card and Citi Double Cash Card"-I have to completely disagree with this statement since most people would be better served with a custom cash/Premier setup (if you're gonna have just 2) since you could max the c.c every month with a single 500$ vgc that would outpace the earn rate on a double cash (usually 1.2% fee, but 5x vs 2x) for unbonused spend

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Wetner Andre Guest

Absolutely great!!!

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Art_Czar New Member

Ben - In the dining/ restaurant category, I've noticed that the Amex Gold card's 4x category bonus isn't typically triggered at pubs, cafes, etc, but the 3x dining category bonus for the Chase Sapphire card is triggered at these same pubs and cafes. Do you suppose the 3x dining category bonus for the Citi TY Premier card is as broadly applied as that of the Chase cards? Do you have any points of comparison between the Chase & Citi cards in this regard?

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