4 reasons the Citi Premier Card should be on your short list

Aug 9, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit cards information. For the most up-to-date card benefits due to the pandemic, read our guide to limited-time COVID-19 card perks

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The ongoing pandemic has changed the value proposition of cards, but a few remain excellent top-of-wallet options.

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

If you’re looking for a new credit card that provides a lot of value, the Citi Premier℠ Card — with a solid sign-up bonus, strong category spending bonuses and valuable redemption options — should be on your short list. We’ve recently considered why the Citi Premier is particularly great for families, road trips and RV rentals — but let’s consider the main reasons you might want to add the card to your purse or wallet.

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The information for the Citi Premier has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

In This Post

60,000-point sign-up bonus

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.

However, if you value simplicity or just want to use your points to purchase cash fares, the card gives you the option of redeeming miles for a paid fare directly at the Citi ThankYou travel center. With this redemption method, the 60,000-point sign-up bonus can be used to book $750 of paid airfare. (This will drop to $600 after April 10, 2021.) This also allows you to earn miles and elite qualifying credit with the airline.

Earn bonus points on many spending categories

(Photo by Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images)
(Photo by Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images)

The Citi Premier Card has strong bonus spending categories, especially for a card with an annual fee of $95:

  • 3x points on travel
  • 3x points on gas
  • 3x points on restaurants
  • 3x points on grocery stores
  • 2x points on entertainment
  • 1x points on all other purchases

However, these categories will be changing as of Aug. 23, 2020, but for now, the bonus spending categories are broadly defined.

On Aug. 23, new Citi Premier applicants (after April 10, 2020) will lose the 3x on the broad category of travel and instead only receive 3x on air travel and hotels. Additionally, the 2x on entertainment will be eliminated. All the other categories remain.

Based on TPG’s valuation of Citi ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, you’ll earn a 5.1% return gas, making the Citi Premier Card one of the best cards for gas purchases. Gas purchases at warehouse clubs, discount stores, department stores and convenience stores are excluded from 3x earnings and instead earn only 1x.

The 3x dining out spending category is also broadly defined. You’ll earn 3x at restaurants — including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants. The Citi Premier Card made TPG’s lists of best credit cards for dining.

New bonus categories as of Aug. 23, 2020: 

  • 3x on air travel and hotels
  • 3x points at restaurants
  • 3x points at supermarkets
  • 3x at gas stations
  • 1x on everything else

If you applied for this card before April 10, 2020, you’ll continue earning 3x points on all travel and 2x on entertainment through April 10, 2021.

Useful shopping protections

Citi has historically provided the best shopping protections of any major card issuer, but some shopping protections were removed from the Citi Premier Card as of Sept. 22, 2019. The shopping protections currently available are:

Redemption possibilities

The Citi Premier Card participates in the ThankYou Rewards program, which means you can redeem Citi ThankYou points directly for airfare at the Citi ThankYou Travel Center for a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. This will be reduced to 1 cent per point on April 10, 2021, however. You’ll usually get better value by transferring your points to one of Citi’s 15 travel transfer partners:

JetBlue is the only U.S.-based airline among the transfer partners, but there’s still plenty of value in these partners, even for domestic travelers. For example, you can find cheap Delta awards by booking through Virgin Atlantic — like 50,000-mile business-class flights to Europe — or get excellent value on Star Alliance awards using Avianca LifeMiles, including domestic United flights.

Bottom line

The Citi Premier Card features useful shopping protections and strong category bonuses for travel, gas, dining and entertainment purchases. For more information on the Citi Premier Card, check out the following stories:

Additional reporting by Chris Dong.

Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 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.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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