Citi Premier Credit Card Review: Is It The Best All Around Card Out There?

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Citi Premier Credit Card Review

Citibank offers three different cards (Preferred, Premier, and Prestige) in their ThankYou points family.  ThankYou points are a part of Citi’s transferable points program which offers a few different airline and hotel transfer partners. The Citi Premier is the program’s mid tier card and comes with a rewarding earning structure. In our Citi Premier credit card review we will go over the current welcome offer, the card’s earning structure and the perks it offers.  We will also discuss the fees that come with the card and whether it is worth getting and keeping long term.

Citi Premier Credit Card Review

Current Welcome Offer Vs The Historical High

The largest welcome offer for the Citi ThankYou Premier has been 65,000 points in branch from time to time. If you don’t live in an area with a branch then the current 60,000 point offer is about as good as it gets.

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • $95 annual fee is NOT waived
  • Learn More

Citi Premier Credit Card Review – Welcome Offer Restrictions

Citi has the following bonus restrictions for their ThankYou cards:

  • Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier, or Citi Prestige card welcome offer or closed one of these cards in the past 24 months.
  • It is unclear whether or not product changes reset the 24 month clock.  It is believed that if your card number stays the same, after the product change, the clock will not be reset.
  • Currently holding a version of a ThankYou card, even a Citi Premier card, does not disqualify you from the offer. As long as it has been 24 months since receiving the offer you are good.
  • Learn More

Citi Premier Credit Card Review

Citi ThankYou Premier Earning Structure

The Citi Premier earns points at the following rates:

  • 3X ThankYou points at
    • Grocery stores
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
    • Hotels
    • Airfare
  • 1X ThankYou points on all other purchases
  • Learn More

Citi Premier Cardmember Perks

The ThankYou Premier card comes with a few perks of membership, they are as follows:

ThankYou Points

Fees

The Citi Premier has a $95 annual fee which is not waived the first year.

Sign Up Bonus Value – $655

Citi ThankYou points are valued at around 1.25 cents a piece.  That puts the value of 60,000 points at $750. When you subtract out the $95 annual fee you are left with a net value of $655. This does not put a value on the $100 hotel discount each year either.

Citi ThankYou Premier Credit Card Review

Summary

The Citi ThankYou Premier card comes with a pretty nice welcome offer and an earning structure that surpasses Citi’s more expensive/premium Prestige card. The earning structure lines up well with a lot of people’s biggest areas of cost, gas & groceries. Adding grocery earlier in 2020 was a good move on Citi’s part.  Losing the ability to redeem ThankYou points through the travel portal at 1.25 cents was a big loss too though.

Citi still falls behind American Express and Chase in terms of transfer partners.  Turkish Airlines can offer some large value, if you are willing to jump through the hoops. Not many partners are unique to Citi outside of that which limits the value some.  Shop Your Way rewards is a great alternative to travel though.

Double Cash
The Citi Premier is a perfect companion to the Citi Double Cash

Long Term Keep or Cancel?

The Citi Premier will be a long term keeper for many people because of the rewarding earning structure.  And while the grocery category does not quite reach the 4X earning level of the Amex Gold it is uncapped (Gold has a $25K per year cap) and the annual fee is $155 a year cheaper.  Throw in the fact that the Citi Premier offers bonus earning on gas and certain travel too and it is one of the best all around cards out there.

You can pair the Citi Premier card with the Citi Double Cash card as well. Holding the Premier allows you to turn the Double Cash cashback into ThankYou points.  The pairing also means you would be able to earn 2X or 3X on every single purchase you have, that is tough to beat.

Citi Premier Credit Card Review – Final Thoughts

The Citi Premier card offers a compelling earning structure, a valuable welcome offer all at a reasonable annual fee price point.  The card allows you to earn bonus points on most of the larger spend categories in your life. It covers groceries, gas, restaurants, air travel and hotels.  It becomes even more powerful if you pair it up with the Citi Double Cash.

The area where it is lacking is with the ThankYou points transfer partners.  Outside of Turkish Airlines there are not any uniquely valuable partners. Pretty much all other partners are covered by other transferrable currencies as well.  Having said that, some people may find it easier to rack up ThankYou points with this card versus Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards because of the earning structure.

Miles to Memories
Fair and balanced credit card reviews with all of the information you need to know before applying.

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25 COMMENTS

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25 COMMENTS

  1. You need to fix the wording on the bonus point restrictions – The Opening of a TYP card does not effect you, only when you CLOSE an account and/or get a bonus. For instance I got a Premier card 1 year ago but did a product change on another card to to TY Preferred card, my card number changed so its like I opened an account. Since I did a product change, I did not receive a bonus. This will not effect me in terms of getting a bonus on a card such as the Prestige in about 1 year from now.

    60,000 Bonus Point Offer
    Bonus ThankYou® Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Premier® Card within the first 3 months of account opening. To receive bonus points, make $4,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. Balance transfers, cash advances, account fees, interest and items returned for credit are not purchases. Bonus ThankYou® Points will typically appear as a bonus on your Citi® ThankYou® Rewards account and may take up to 2 billing cycles after you have met the purchase requirements. Bonus ThankYou® Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+℠, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier® or Citi Prestige®, or if you have closed any of these accounts, in the past 24 months.

    • As long as you product changed a non ThankYou point card to the Preferred you are correct that you are fine. If it was from your Premier or Prestige etc. and the number changed that would act as a ThankYou card closure and the clock would reset. I tweaked the wording a bit though – thanks.

  2. Although it’s not as lucrative as the CSR on a per point basis, for 1.25 cents per point the ability to redeem for flights is a solid redemption just for the ability to pick times and dates for the exact flight you want. One additional factor is that you can generally get the annual fee waived every year through retentions calls every year. For the last 3 years I’ve gotten the annual fee waived with some type of spending credit(Spend $95 get $95 credit). However, with the CSR now in my wallet, this card seems kind of redundant so I’ll probably cancel it to reset the 24 month clock. I would expect the redemptions to change to 1 cent per point soon with the expectation they’ll probably raise the points earned to match the Prestige.

    • Good points Danny – it sounds like you have held the card for over 24 months so closing it would reset it. People have had luck signing up for a second account and getting the bonus and then closing their first card. That makes it so you don’t have to wait another 24 months right now since you have had it long enough already. You could do that or get one of the other TY cards before closing it. Just an idea.

  3. Thanks Mark…interesting thought! My Prestige is at two years, and the Premier will be there in Dec/Jan. Not sure I want a second Prestige, and definitely don’t want two Premiers…but another 50k bonus is enticing. Only other thought is Chase’s 5/24, and Freedom Unlimited as well as Ink Preferred. Anyway, as always, ymmv.

  4. This card has fallen into the sock drawer for the wife and I. The only category where it even pops into my head as a possibility is for like movie tickets or entertainment type things, but that was really more before I got the Amex Blue Business Plus. Now I can always reliably get 2x and there is no doubting whether or not the place I am charging will fall into the entertainment category. I don’t even put broadway tickets on this card anymore because the Prestige has an awesome missed ticket insurance that is easily worth twice as much as the extra point I would get charging to the premier for entertainment category bonus. Gas goes on my Everyday preferred which will give me 3x Amex points which I value more than 3x TY points. And travel 3x is inferior to my sapphire reserve 3x just bc of the value of the points. So I literally see zero value in this card anymore.

    • Same here…are you keeping it, and what are you thinking? If nothing else, I learned from a comment above to ask for a retention bonus while I find out what my options are with my points if I cancel. Cheers,

      • I think I am going to cancel my card, because I have the Prestige to keep my points alive, but my wife only has the Premier, so we’re kinda stuck carrying it so we keep her points until we use them. The other thing I was thinking was to get her a Prestige in January when the 24 month clock resets since her last thank you family bonus on the Premier was Jan 2016. Then I would cancel her premier right after that. The only thing that bugs me about that plan is the $450 annual fee, but I am thinking the sign up bonus will be worth it after accounting for the $250 travel credit. How about you?

        • My anniversary is in January. I plan to follow the situation and call them at anniversary to make sure I understand my options. Will keep the Prestige. Will likely have the Chase Sapphire Reserve by then (waiting to be under 5/24, and then maneuver thru Chase’s new rules too). If I don’t get a retention offer, I will likely cancel it. Cheers.

          • If it has been more than 24 months since you got the Prestige or Premier and they don’t give a retention offer it may be worth considering signing up again before canceling so you get another sign up bonus.

            I do find it weird that you can redeem Premier TY points towards hotels at 1.25 cents but not with the Prestige. Seems like that should be reversed.

  5. I got this for the sign up bonus almost two years ago. As Thank you points are only worth about of 1.25 cents (unless you can use the transfer partners regularly) I’m on the fence. Sapphire reserve + freedom/unlimited + an Amex really doesn’t make this worth the fee unless you have huge purchases in entertainment like @ND. However, I’ve kept mine bc Citi has given me a decent retention offer and I imagine they will continue to do so. Never hurts to have another currency…

  6. I know that people always give the Citi ThankYou Premier a lower rating because of the transfer partners but that merely reflects the FF programs that someone feels is important. I rarely or don’t want to fly on the Big 3 Domestic Airlines so CC transfer programs that have those airlines are of no value to me. But I do go to Asia a lot and have friends in Taiwan so I am in both the EVA and Singapore FF programs. Citi is the only CC with EVA as a transfer partner and it, as well as most programs, have Singapore. For me it works out perfectly to have the two FF programs that I belong to.

    I fly both EVA and Singapore depending on where in Asia I am going. Though both are great airlines I prefer EVA for almost everything other than going to some places in Southeast Asia that EVA does not go. I credit most of my flights to EVA’s program and the Citi CC miles are used to either transfer to EVA or Singapore depending on what I want to do.

    For me, I calculated that the best value for transferring miles is to transfer EVA so that I can upgrade from Premium Economy to Business. Transferring 70,000 miles saves me about $3,000…for a value of .0428 per mile. And when you consider that I only needed to spend $23,333.33 [x3 =70,000] in travel related charges to save $3,000….that is like a 12.85% rebate on my travel charges. For the way that I travel the Citi card is perfect. It is also why you need to take the rankings of benefits with a large grain of salt to consider what is important to you.

    • Good comment Franklin! Everyone’s valuation will be different depending on their uses/needs. This is definitely not a one size fits all type of game. I am glad you found a card and program that works well for you!

    • Hi Franklin. It was my impression that EVA InfinityMileagelands (or whatever lol) had steep prices for US to East Asia flights. I was very interested in EVA because Taiwan is a priority of mine, but I wasn’t able to find much value in my initial findings. Are you referring to intra-Asia travel, or do you have any advice for squeezing value out of EVA? I’m genuinely interested. Thank you.

  7. I’m in my first month with the card and love getting 3x points for gasoline and museums. I have the Reserve and that’s my favorite card so have to think about renewing the Premier next year.

  8. Have both Premier and Prestige. Considering dropping Premier. Is it true that the points would then go into a 60 day expiration mode? What do you recommend for someone who has no current use for the points? Any transfer partners where their miles don’t expire? Take cash (@$.01)? Book some travel on their website? Thx!

  9. The Citi Premier is a great card. Don’t underestimate the Entertainment spend bonus. One can get thousands of bonus points for charging baseball season tickets (mine are coded that way, YMMV). Travel (other vehicle services) can also get bonus points for car dealership work (YMMV too) like tuneups, oil changes.
    Car washes, parking garages, metro transit also can score bonus points. Great Asian airline travel transfer partners like Asia Miles and Eva too.

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