How to maximize the Citi Premier®’s 4 bonus categories
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Almost every credit card has a unique value proposition.
Whether it’s luxury travel perks, strong cash-back earning or an array of category spending bonuses, there is likely a card catered to fit your needs. The Citi Premier® Card falls into that last bucket and is arguably one of the best when it comes to its relevant and rich categories.
Recently, Citi changed up its category bonuses on the Premier — adding on things intended for everyday spending but also eliminating select categories too. Here are the current Citi Premier® bonus categories and how you can maximize earning ThankYou points.
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Related: Citi Premier® credit card review
The refreshed category bonuses
As of mid-August 2020, Citi changed the category bonuses that you’ll earn for new Premier card applicants. The good news is that Citi added two categories that will help you earn ThankYou points faster.
- 3x ThankYou points per dollar at restaurants
- 3x ThankYou points per dollar at supermarkets
- 3x ThankYou points per dollar at gas stations
- 3x ThankYou points per dollar on air travel and hotels
Restaurants and supermarkets are key spending categories that have long been dominated by cards such as the American Express® Gold Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Citi is clearly trying to carve a niche in this area while still maintaining 3x points at gas stations and select forms of travel.
While the above categories are fairly straightforward, know that it’s up to the merchant to assign the correct code for you to receive bonus ThankYou points. Citi notes that:
…you won’t earn additional points for purchases made at general merchandise/discount superstores, freezer/meat locker provisioners, dairy product stores, miscellaneous food/convenience stores, markets, drugstores, warehouse clubs, wholesale clubs, specialty vendors, bakeries, candy stores, nut stores, confectionery stores, and meal kit delivery services. You also won’t earn additional points for purchases made at online supermarkets if the merchant does not classify itself as a supermarket by using the supermarket merchant code.
Finally, cardholders will now also begin receiving an annual $100 hotel credit, eligible on purchases of $500 or more made through Thankyou.com. That’s a nice bonus — and new as of summer 2020.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news on the category bonus front. Citi eliminated the bonus on entertainment purchases (previously 2x) and the broad category of travel (previously 3x).
Entertainment was a unique category that covered movies, sporting events, museums, tourist attractions and more. While the Citi Premier® Card still earns 3x ThankYou points specifically on air travel and hotels, other forms of travel — such as car rentals, transit, tolls and more — are no longer included.
The caveat for select existing cardholders
If you’re a current Citi Premier® cardholder who applied before April 10, 2020, you’ll still have through April 10, 2021, to enjoy the now-eliminated bonuses. Essentially, you’ve been grandfathered in on the 2x on entertainment and 3x on the broad category of travel for another year.
What points do you earn?
If you’ve been waiting to get the Citi Premier® Card, now might be a good time. Currently, you can earn 60,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Based on TPG’s latest valuations, 60,000 ThankYou points are worth $1,020 when transferred to Citi’s travel partners.
You could also use the 60,000-point sign-up bonus to book $750 of paid airfare through the ThankYou travel center. (This will drop to $600 after April 10, 2021.) This also allows you to earn miles and elite qualifying credit with the airline.
There are now many ways to earn 3x ThankYou points with the Citi Premier® card, and by understanding exactly which categories they are, you can use this card to its fullest potential. However, note that entertainment and the broad category of travel are no longer eligible for bonuses.
Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy.
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WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
- $250 Annual Fee
- Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
- Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
- Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
- Earn 2X miles on all other travel
- Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
- Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.