*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and 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 Jun 15, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card targets those who spend money on things like travel, dining, and entertainment. Once you’re approved for the card, you get Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. You can use it instantly and redeem it for $625 — a 25% bonus — for airfare on any airline, with no blackout dates, when you book through the ThankYou® Travel Center. It can also be used for $500 in gift cards redeemed from the ThankYou® Rewards collection.
Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. It also comes with an annual fee of $95, waived for first 12 months*.
Where this card stands out in its category
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card allows you to boost the buying power of your points when you’re ready to use them for a trip. The 25% bonus for booking through the ThankYou® Travel Center can be used for airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages and destination excursions. There are no blackout dates, no minimum stay requirements, no seating limits and no Saturday night stay required — but the travel must be booked via ThankYou.com.
You can transfer your points to participating airline loyalty programs, including JetBlue’s TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, with a minimum transfer of only 1,000 points.
You can also use your points to pay for flights on any airline via the ThankYou.com website, with no blackout dates and minimum stay or Saturday night stay requirements. After paying for a ticket with the card, you can have the points removed and get a rebate on your statement.
Your points can also be used in the ThankYou® center for gift cards, shopping, bill pay, cash rewards and charitable donations.
There’s no expiration or limit on the number of points you can earn. You can use a mix of points and your credit card if you don’t have enough to book an airfare, and there’s no 0% when you travel outside the United States.
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has an expansive definition of travel, offering 3 points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, ridesharing services, gas stations, public transportation, tolls, parking and more. The same can be said about what’s covered under dining and entertainment — with 2 points per $1 spent — which includes restaurants, music downloads, movie theaters, concerts and more.
Where this card falls short in its category
The spending required to get the bonus points when balanced with the card’s annual fee may seem a little steep for some. You need Excellent credit to get the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.
The card’s annual fee kicks in after the first year, so make sure you spend enough (within your budget) to balance it out. Other cards have more airline loyalty program partners for points transfers, and this card doesn’t have the option to transfer points to any hotel loyalty programs. This card doesn’t offer perks like auto rental and flight insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip assistance like other cards that compete with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.
Additional card benefits
- Citi® Concierge: Get access to specially trained experts 24/7 to help you with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and things like making reservations or help with finding gifts.
- Citi® PrivatePass®: Book music, sports, dining and theater events, along with special events, at this cardmember portal.
- Citi® Price Rewind: When you pay for items on your card and register them with Citi® Price Rewind, Citi searches for a lower price at hundreds of online merchants. If it finds the same item at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found by Citi® Price Rewind.
How to use it most effectively
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is all about spending in the expansive travel category. Use the Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening to book travel with 25% more value or to buy gift cards through the ThankYou® Travel Center. As points pile up, consider transferring them to one of the card’s airline partners to boost the miles in your account. And as few as they are, take advantage of the card’s additional benefits.
Compare it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If you want a card with more benefits than the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, then consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It allows new cardmembers to Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. It has an annual fee of $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95.
You can earn another 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user if they make a purchase within the first three months of opening the account. This card requires you to have Excellent credit.
The big difference between the two cards is that you can transfer your Chase points 1:1 to nine airline and three hotel loyalty programs through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website. This allows you to boost your miles or points in your chosen loyalty program. The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card allows transfers to 15 airline programs, but no hotel loyalty programs.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases isn’t quite as good as the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.
Like the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, you can boost your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points for travel with 25% more value when you redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website. So 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does have more benefits than the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, including auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and travel and emergency assistance services. You get purchase protection and extended warranty protection, and you can earn 10,000 points — to a maximum of 50,000 — for each friend you recommend and is approved for the card.
|Citi ThankYou® Premier Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
|Annual Fee||$95, waived for first 12 months*||$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95|
|Regular Purchase APR||16.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)||17.74% - 24.74% Variable|
|Rewards||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 worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases|
|Sign Up Bonus||Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening||Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||0%||$0|
The biggest attraction of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is the chance to Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases. While the Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening is generous, the amount you need to spend to get it may be higher than you’re comfortable with.
The points bonus offered on both cards when spent in special portals is a great benefit for those who like to travel. But the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows you to transfer your points 1:1 to airline and hotel loyalty programs.
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers fewer points per $1 spent in the travel category, it has more robust perks than the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, so you need to decide what is more important to you. The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card’s more generous points and expansive definitions of the travel and dining categories might be enough to make this the card for you.