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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 pros
- Citi Premier℠ Card cons
- Compare it to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Which credit card is best for me?
Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points 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*
- Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- 60,000 Points are redeemable for $750 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $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
- Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
See additional details for Citi Premier℠ Card
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.
Rewards rate. Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points 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
- 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 travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 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 travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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 $750 in travel.
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℠ Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
|Sign up bonus||Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening||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®|
|Rewards program||Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases||2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide|
|Regular purchase APR||18.24% - 26.24% (variable)||15.99% - 22.99% variable|
|Foreign transaction fee||0%||$0|
In addition to 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 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