7 Reasons To Get The Citi Premier Card

7 Reasons To Get The Citi Premier Card

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The Citi Premier® Card (review) is one of the most rewarding mid-range credit cards, and it has an exceptional welcome bonus that will be ending soon. If you’re interested in this card but haven’t yet applied, I’d highly recommend doing so now.

While many people might be familiar with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review), the Citi Premier is an often 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. In no particular order:

60,000 bonus ThankYou points

The Citi Premier Card has a welcome bonus of 60,000 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 $840, making it one of the best credit bonuses out there. Since a lot of people don’t have this card, these are some easy rewards points to rack up.

Those 60,000 points can earn you at least $600 in rewards, or can be converted into airline miles of ThankYou partners at a 1:1 ratio.

See here for the general restrictions on applying for Citi cards, and also be aware of Citi’s 24-month rule.

Redeem Citi ThankYou points for travel in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Reasonable $95 annual fee

We’ve seen quite a bit of inflation when it comes to credit card annual fees in recent years, as credit cards have continued to become more rewarding. It’s pretty noteworthy that the Citi Premier Card has an annual fee of just $95 per year, and there’s no cost to add additional authorized users.

There’s a lot of value in having a premium credit card, so paying a fee of under $100 per year for that is very reasonable when you think of how much value you can get with the card.

Pay an annual fee of just $95 with the Citi Premier

The best 3x points bonus categories

Among credit cards with annual fees of under $100, the Citi Premier Card almost unarguably offers the best bonus categories. The Citi Premier offers 3x ThankYou points in the following categories:

  • Airfare
  • Dining
  • Gas
  • Groceries
  • Hotels

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.

Earn 3x ThankYou points on hotel spending

Annual $100 hotel credit

Once every calendar year, the Citi Premier Card 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.

Receive a $100 annual hotel credit

Great Citi ThankYou transfer partners

The Citi Premier Card 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, Etihad Guest, Singapore KrisFlyer, Turkish Miles&Smiles, 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, Capital One, or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, there is some overlap between partners, so in many cases, you can transfer points to the same partners from multiple programs.

Emirates Skywards is a Citi ThankYou transfer partner

Maximize the Citi Double Cash

This is arguably the most compelling reason to get the Citi Premier Card. The no annual fee Citi® Double Cash Card (review) is one of the best cards 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.

The Citi Double Cash is a great complement to the Citi Premier

Get even more value with the Citi Rewards+ & Citi Custom Cash

There are two other incredible no annual fee complements to the Citi Premier Card — the Citi Rewards+® Card (review) and the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card (review). Most significantly:

  • 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.

Get 10% of your points back when you redeem Citi ThankYou points

Bottom line

The Citi Premier Card is an excellent credit card that’s all too often overlooked by people. The card has a huge welcome bonus that’s ending soon, 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 one of the best cards for everyday spending. The Citi Premier and Citi Double Cash are one of the best card duos out there.

If you have the Citi Premier, what has your experience been with the card?

Conversations (16)
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  1. CJ Guest

    Ben, any indication if AA transfer will come back?

  2. Chris Guest

    Off topic but where did Tiffany go? I miss her contributing posts.

  3. Anthony Joseph Guest

    So, is it still of value to hold onto the Prestige WE card vs switching to Premier. I like the legacy Priority Pass that covers lounges and restaurants with up to 2 guests.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      That's a question after you apply the Premier and get 80k points.

  4. 54austin Guest

    If I'm approved for the card, does it mean that I am eligible for the 80k bonus points? Not sure if I meet the 24-month rule. Thanks!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      It means you're approved for the card.
      If you don't meet the 24-month rule, you won't get 80k bonus points. But you can still get the card.

  5. Foofoofoo Guest

    Is this the best card for getting Virgin Atlantic points to redeem ANA's premium tickets?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Foofoofoo -- This is probably the best sign-up bonus at the moment if you're looking to earn Virgin Atlantic points. It's a great option for that.

    2. Another Lump Guest

      Amex are probably better for transferring to Virgin Atlantic, since Amex has frequent transfer bonuses. Recently there was a 30% bonus, I booked RT ANA for I think about 85k MR, which is pretty insane. But it's good to have more transferable currency options, and this is an outstanding bonus with a low AF.

  6. Joe Guest

    Do you receive 3x points in the following categories on worldwide purchases or only in the United States? This is my first Citi card and therefore don't know the specifications. AMEX cards usually say on the description, but I haven't found any info regarding this topic with the Citi Premier Card.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Joe -- The 3x points categories on the card are all global. :-)

  7. Chris Guest

    Just watch out if you got the Citi Premier (or any other Citi Card bonus, really) within the past 24 months. Language on the card Website indicates that you would NOT be eligible for the 20000 point bonus for the Citi Rewards+. Since Citi Rewards+ has no annual fee, it could well be worth it if you are looking to "spend" a ton of Thankyou points but that's a calculation to make before committing.

  8. Steven M Guest

    Ben, our 80,000 points recently posted and we can’t figure out whether to get the Double Cash or Citi Rewards+ next. Because if we’ve got 80,000 points — soon to be over 85,000 points when the next statement posts — we should maximize ROI.

    If we spend 80,000 points this year then 10% of the points back would be 8,000 points.

    With the Double Cash card we’d need to spend $4,000 to get...

    Ben, our 80,000 points recently posted and we can’t figure out whether to get the Double Cash or Citi Rewards+ next. Because if we’ve got 80,000 points — soon to be over 85,000 points when the next statement posts — we should maximize ROI.

    If we spend 80,000 points this year then 10% of the points back would be 8,000 points.

    With the Double Cash card we’d need to spend $4,000 to get those 8,000 points.

    So if we are planning to put almost all of our spending on an Amex this year, does it sound right to go with the Citi Rewards+ card?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Steven M -- I definitely think the Citi Rewards+ is a better fit in your case. The math works differently for everyone, and since your spending is going on an Amex card, the Rewards+ is a better fit right now.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      maximize ROI?
      Wait and get Rewards+ 20k points sign up bonus.

      You need to spend 200k points (thus, need to earn another 115k) to get those 20k points.

      With the Double Cash card we’d need to spend $10,000 to get those 20,000 points.

      You think too much, just get both cards.

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.

Another Lump Guest

Amex are probably better for transferring to Virgin Atlantic, since Amex has frequent transfer bonuses. Recently there was a 30% bonus, I booked RT ANA for I think about 85k MR, which is pretty insane. But it's good to have more transferable currency options, and this is an outstanding bonus with a low AF.

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CJ Guest

Ben, any indication if AA transfer will come back?

0
Eskimo Guest

That's a question after you apply the Premier and get 80k points.

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