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Citi Premier Credit Card Review

Citi Premier Credit Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jul 31, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you travel on a regular basis, the Citi Premier® Card, issued by our partner Citi, offers an elevated rewards rate on travel, gas station, dining and entertainment purchases, as well as a generous sign-up bonus worth $750 when redeemed for travel through the ThankYou Travel Center.

We break down the pros and cons of the Citi Premier® Card, and show how it compares to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – which also offers premium travel and dining benefits, but at a much lower annual fee.

Citi Premier® Card

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on Citibank's secure site

  • Earn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X on all other purchases

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • NEW! Earn 3 Points at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • NEW! Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

See additional details for Citi Premier® Card

More Info

Citi Premier® Card pros

Sign-up bonus. Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, travel and more, are typically worth 1 cent each – making the sign-up bonus worth $600.

However, when you redeem those points for points for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals through the ThankYou Travel Center, you’ll receive 25% more value from your rewards – boosting the value of the sign-up bonus to $750 in travel. Just know, the 25% increase in rewards value will no longer be available as of April 10, 2021.

Read: Citi Premier® Card Sign-Up Bonus

Rewards rate. Earn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X on all other purchases .

In addition to gas stations, the travel category currently includes airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, public transportation, tolls, parking and more. The dining and entertainment category includes restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, sporting events, movie theaters, concerts and more.

Note, the reward rate for several categories will increase on Aug. 23, 2020. At that time, Citi Premier® Card members who applied on or after April 10 will earn 3x points on air travel and hotels, 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations and 1x points on all other purchases.

Also, starting Aug. 23 for new card members and for existing card members who got the card after April 10, the rewards rate for entertainment purchases and some travel purchases, including cruises, transit and ride shares, will be reduced to 1x points.

Travel transfer partners. ThankYou points can also be transferred to several airline partners at a 1:1 rate, including:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Flying Blue Air France KLM
  • InterMiles
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Additional Citi Premier® Card benefits:

  • 0% foreign transaction fees. If you need to use your credit card to make purchases outside of the U.S., you won’t be charged additional fees to do so.
  • Authorized user cards. You can add an authorized user to your account at no additional charge, and earn points on the purchases made by the authorized user.
  • Citi Entertainment℠. Receive exclusive access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events and dining experiences.
  • Annual hotel savings benefit. Starting Aug. 23, cardholders will earn a $100 annual hotel savings benefit when you book a single hotel stay of $500 or more through thankyou.com, excluding taxes and fees.

Citi Premier® Card cons

No intro APR. If you’re planning to finance a large purchase, such as a trip, or transfer high interest debt from a different credit card, the Citi Premier® Card may not be ideal, since it doesn’t offer an intro APR on purchases or balance transfers.

Limited travel benefits. The Citi Premier® Card does not have many of the same benefits often associated with travel credit cards, such as auto rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and travel assistance.

Annual fee. With the Citi Premier® Card, you will be charged an annual fee of $95. However, the value you can get from the card’s sign-up bonus more than covers that amount during the first year of card membership.

Compare it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

If you want to get comparable value from your sign-up bonus as well as access to more robust benefits, you may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card instead.

Similar to the Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash, gift cards and more.

However, when Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card members redeem points for airfare, hotel stays, car rentals or cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, they are valued 1.25 cents each – making the card’s sign-up bonus worth $1,000 in travel.

Read: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Offer

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers a number of travel benefits, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and travel and emergency assistance services. Plus, cardholders receive purchase protection and extended warranty protection.

See how these two cards stack up side by side:

Citi Premier® Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 Citi Premier® CardChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual fee$95$95
Sign up bonusEarn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account openingEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Rewards programEarn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X on all other purchases 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Regular purchase APR15.99% - 23.99% (variable)15.99% - 22.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee0%$0

Earn 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide You can also earn 3X points on Instacart pickup orders and deliveries on up to $3,000 in purchases, 3X points on gas station purchases on up to $1,500 in purchases and 5X points on select streaming services on up to $1,500 in purchases through Sept. 30, 2020. Plus, cardholders earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also allows cardholders to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to several airline loyalty partners at a rate of 1:1, including Flying Blue Air France KLM, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers three hotel transfer partners: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy™ and World of Hyatt®.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

Which credit card is best for me?

If you’re in the market for a travel rewards card, the Citi Premier® Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are both hard to beat. Each card offers a generous sign-up bonus, rewards on travel purchases, $0 foreign transaction fees and several travel transfer partners.

But if you want access to more benefits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may be the better choice, since it comes with a number of noteworthy travel perks – all for the same $95 annual fee as the Citi Premier® Card.

Read: Best Travel Credit Cards


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