To keep up with shifting consumer spending habits due to the coronavirus pandemic, Citi has changed a great deal of things on its Citi Premier Card.  No longer just a travel rewards card, the Citi Premier now also caters to consumers who spend more money at supermarkets and restaurants.  Check out our review to see if the Citi Premier Card now makes the cut!

Citi Premier Card

CURRENT WELCOME BONUS

60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 during first 3 months

REWARDS

Earn 3X ThankYou points on air travel, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations; 1X point on everything else

APR

15.99% – 23.99%

ANNUAL FEE

$95

FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

0%

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE

800 – 850

The Citi Premier Card is best for …

First, people with excellent credit.  Should you need help improving your credit score, check out our post here.  Second, frequent travelers and those who tend to spend a lot at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations.  Obviously you will earn more points if you use your card for travel, but large families with big grocery bills and commuters also earn the same 3X points per $1 spent.  That’s a pretty good rate for a card with such a low annual fee.  Finally, if you fly frequently with JetBlue, this could work for you as is the ONLY U.S. airline transfer partner.

Welcome Bonus for the Citi Premier

Spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening and Citi Premier card will give you 60,000 bonus points.  So in order to receive the bonus, you must spend at least $1,334 per month.  When redeemed for airfare through Citi’s ThankYou Travel Center, the welcome bonus is worth about $750.  In contrast, the 60,000 points are only worth $600 in gift cards.  So, ultimately, one of the best ways to spend this bonus is to book flights or hotels through Citi, as there are no restrictions on airlines or hotels.

Welcome bonus not available if you’ve already received one for any Citi card or closed any account in the past 24 months.

Citi Premier ThankYou Points & Rewards

The Premier offers 3X points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets.  Qualifying purchases from restaurants also include fast food places, bars, cafes, and lounges.  Unfortunately, wholesale clubs, bakeries, drug stores, convenience stores, etc., do not qualify for additional points.  Finally, everything else not included in the phlethora of categories earns only 1X points per $1.

ThankYou Points Redemption

There are tons of ways to redeem Citi Premier ThankYou Points.  As a travel rewards credit card, of course the first thing would be to redeem points for travel.  In order to get the best value, book airfare, hotels or car rentals through Citi’s ThankYou Travel Center.  That’s because you will receive 25% more value on your points.  However, you can also transfer them to your favorite frequent flyer program, where the points might be worth even more.  For instance, 1,000 ThankYou points are worth 1,000 Emirates Skyward Miles, which can be worth up to 1.2 cents a piece when redeemed for award flights on Emirates.

JetBlue TrueBlue program is currently the only participating loyalty program in the U.S.

Additional Perks

Bottom Line

Although Citi only partners with one U.S. domestic airline, you can still book travel with your favorite airline through Citi ThankYou portal.  However, if your U.S based airline, such as Delta, gives you more value on miles, a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred might be a better option.  Overall, the Citi Premier Card is a pretty solid credit card, and not just for those who spend more time in the air.  The annual fee isn’t too bad either.  Spend at least $500 on a hotel for you and your girlfriends and receive a $100 hotel credit.  Voila, fee erased!  A massive bonus, flexible options to redeem travel rewards, and tons of ways to earn the 3X points, Citi has really upped its game with the Citi Premier Card.