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Citi ThankYou Premier 60K Bonus
News surfaced last night that Citi has a 60K offer on the ThankYou Premier card. This represents yet another bold move by Citi this year. As a recap, in 2015 they have refreshed card designs, updated features and benefits and most importantly increased bonuses on a number of cards. The ThankYou Premier for example came into the year with a split 20K/30K bonus, then upped it to 50K and now we have a 60K option.
Earn 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,500 during the first 3 months. The $95 annual fee IS WAIVED the first year.
- 3X ThankYou points on travel including gas.
- 2X ThankYou points on dining and entertaiment.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Chip which works very well overseas, except at unaccompanied kiosks since it doesn’t have a pin.
- Points transfers to travel partners.
On the surface this bonus looks like it is worth $600. If you decided to cash in the points for gift cards I suppose it is worth that. With the Premier ThankYou points are worth 1.25 cents each for travel, so this bonus could be worth $750 for that purpose. Of course by transferring to travel partners you could get even more value than that.
There is one more interesting option as well. I currently have the Citi Prestige card, meaning I get 1.33 cents on flights and 1.6 cents per point when booking flights on American Airlines. Since ThankYou points are co-mingled, these 60,000 points are suddenly worth $960 towards American Airlines flights for people with the Prestige card.
Family Member Transfers
Unfortunately I already have a Premier card so I can’t get this bonus, but I do have a family member who doesn’t have it. My wife could get this card with its beautiful 60K bonus and then transfer the points to me where they could be redeemed at the higher value. For more information on ThankYou points transfers between people, see How to Share ThankYou Points Between Accounts & A Good Strategy for Two People.
ThankYou Premier vs. Sapphire Preferred
This offer really highlights the shortcomings of the Sapphire Preferred. During my recent trip to Europe I brought both my ThankYou Premier and Sapphire Preferred cards. I found that I used my ThankYou card almost exclusively for two reasons. First, it pays 3X on travel expenses compared to 2X with the Sapphire and the truth is I am starting to favor ThankYou points a little more over Ultimate Rewards.
As Julian the Devil’s Advocate pointed out yesterday, Ultimate Rewards just aren’t the same as they used to be. Chase has made their cards more difficult to get, they may be losing Amtrak and United is a shell of what it once was. Even Southwest has devalued somewhat. That leaves only a handful of decent transfer partners with Hyatt being the most useful for me.
So when I compare the ThankYou Premier to the Sapphire Preferred, it really isn’t a competition. Perhaps the points are about even value wise, however the Premier has a 50% higher bonus and earns 3X on travel compared to the 2X on the Sapphire. The Sapphire does have primary car insurance and better travel insurance coverage which may tip the scales for some, however not for me.
This is a fantastic offer on what I believe to be a great card. My wife will most likely be applying for it, since a 60K bonus is highly valuable to us, especially given the generous retention bonus she has on her ThankYou Preferred card. In other words, we are racking up ThankYou points in a way I am excited about and will continue to collect them as long as Citi wants to dish them out in such large quantities.