Citi Premier Card, Big Changes on Earning Categories & Popular Bonus Removed

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Big Changes for Citi Premier Card

Big Changes for Citi Premier Card

Citi has announced new benefits to ensure that the Citi Premier Card continues to align with the everyday spending habits of customers notably, supermarkets and restaurants (including takeout). But there is good and bad news in this announcement.

As part of their Citi Prestige changes, the bank is adding 3X earning categories, while removing some categories as well. Also points redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals through the ThankYou Travel Center will no longer receive 25% more value. There is also changes for the Citi Preferred Card.

For new cardmembers, Citi Premier Card will also continue to offer a 60,000 limited time bonus offer after making $4,000 in purchases with the card in the first three months of account opening.

Citi Premier Changes

Beginning August 23, 2020, a variety of new benefits will be introduced to the Citi Premier Card:

  • 3X ThankYou points on every $1 spent at supermarkets and restaurants (including takeout).
  • $100 off on a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) once per calendar year through Thankyou.com

Then the negative changes:

  • Starting August 23, 2020 for new cardmembers and April 10, 2021 for existing cardmembers, the 3X ThankYou point benefit on all other travel such as cruises, toll, and parking and 2X ThankYou point benefit on entertainment will change to 1X ThankYou points on other travel and 1X ThankYou points on entertainment, respectively.
  • In addition, as of April 10, 2021, points redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals through the ThankYou Travel Center will no longer receive 25% more value as compared to gift cards.

Cardmembers will continue to earn 3X ThankYou points on every $1 spent on air travel, hotels and gas stations.

Citi Preferred Changes

For existing Citi Preferred cardmembers, the value proposition will evolve to include 2X ThankYou points on cable and popular streaming and 2x on live entertainment in addition to the 2X ThankYou points on restaurants, and 1X ThankYou points on all other purchases as of August 23, 2020.

Conclusion

The 25% bonus on redeemed points was a popular benefit for this card. The card will continue to offer no foreign transaction fees and any annual fees will not change because of these enhancements, Citi says. But not everyone will see these changes as positive.

Let us know how you feel about this changes.

DDG
Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last two years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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15 COMMENTS

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15 COMMENTS

  1. This sucks for me. I got the card exclusively for the 2x on entertainment. I review movies, and have to pay for my own concessions. There goes $500/month of 2x spending.

  2. Well, that’s a kick in the teeth. I JUST completed min spend on this card, which I got solely to pair with my Double Cash card for the 1.25% airfare benefit. The Double Cash card is our default card for non-category spend, and that would have made it absolutely stellar for that purpose. I have equal or better options for dining and groceries, and am not the sort of jet-setter that cares about transferring points to exotic foreign airlines. So that answers the question of whether or not to renew the card after the first year or try to use up all my TY points and dump the thing. I just hope I can find a way to do that in the next year while the points still have their full value.

    • Well, at least you have a year to do whatever needed. I don’t like the changes either but hope to get something out of them come AF time based on changes.

  3. I have to say losing 1.25cpp on travel is a huge hit for me. Pre-Covid, I enjoyed visiting many smaller communities not well served by chains and I got quite a bit of value booking independent hotels. Especially once Double Cash became convertable to ThankYou points, this essentially made it a 2.5% back everywhere card for me. Sad.

  4. Still the cheapest Citi Card that allows partner transfers. Really just paying $95 to allow points earned from Citi Doublecash to transfer to Turkish. If I use the hotel credit, great.

  5. effectively becomes a 3x on gas, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and airfare card. A very good all around card for those that don’t want to juggle multiple cards.

    • That is true and for those people it is good, no argument there, but the question posed above was how did it affect any individual reader. For me, it is not good. For other folks, yes, it may very well be a positive change.

      I’ll likely be keeping it though as I have managed to figure a few ways to productively get 4-5x on a few thousand points a month on my Rewards card without much effort so it teams with the Premier. Still, I don’t care for the change.

      I am hoping maybe to use the changes this year to prompt some good action on retention though, so maybe that will be ok at least for this year. Fingers crossed.

    • Right. Good for the average consumer, bad for reward maximizers, which I assume is intentional to encourage people to use the card for everything instead of selective bonus spending

  6. Well, this sucks for me. I get 4X at grocery and restaurants via AMEX Gold. I usually use (don’t judge) TY Points on Rental cars and so losing the extra 25% sucks as well. I do a fair amount of miscellaneous travel categories for the 3X and that’s gonna disappear as well? Bummer.

    Not to mention I don’t pay for Hotels usually (Points and free nights then Airbnb after that) and I cannot think of the last time I spent $500 on one hotel stay anyhow so that free $100 is nowheresville for me as well.

    Glad they ain’t raising the AF as they have punched this card down come the effective date, at least for me.

    That’snot to mention that they NEVER send me any offers for extra points, etc. I gotta call still to ask why. GRR! Not enough bad news already?

  7. Thanks for the update. Any idea if Citi will be defining qualifying “supermarkets” in a similar way to Amex (US supermarkets only, not grocery stores and not warehouse stores)?

    • I have the card right now and was wondering the same thing, so I went through my past charges. ALL charges on my Citi Premier coded the same (“Merchandise – Grocery Store, Supermarket”). That goes for: Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Jewel-Osco and numerous supermarkets in Europe (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Switzerland). Let us hope it stays that way and as far as I can tell, Citi doesn’t have the “U.S. only” restriction to this category like Amex has.

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