Citi ThankYou 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.
Current Sign Up Bonus Vs The Historical High
The largest sign up bonus for the Citi ThankYou Premier was 60,000 points, last offered back in 2015. It seems unlikely that a 60,000 point offer will return anytime soon. Citi recently increased the sign up bonus on the Premier card to the following:
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening.
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 opened or closed 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.
- You can however apply for a duplicate of a card you currently hold if it has been open for more then 24 months and still receive the bonus.
Citi ThankYou Premier Earning Structure
The Citi Premier earns points at the following rates:
- 3X ThankYou points on Travel including Gas Stations
- 2X ThankYou points on Dining Out and Entertainment
- 1X ThankYou points on All Other Purchases
It is interesting to note that the Premier’s travel category has a much broader definition of travel than Citibank’s more expensive Prestige card. The Prestige only includes airlines and hotel in it’s travel category.
Citi ThankYou Premier Cardmember Perks
The ThankYou Premier card comes with a few perks of membership, they are as follows:
- ThankYou points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through the ThankYou Travel Center.
- The Premier comes with the ability to transfer ThankYou points to partner airlines and hotels.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- The card comes with Citi Price Rewind.
- You gain access to Citi Private Pass.
- You can redeem points at 1 cent per piece towards gift cards.
The Citi Premier has a $95 annual fee which is waived the first year.
Sign Up Bonus Value – $625
Citi ThankYou points are valued at 1.25 cents a piece when redeeming for travel through the travel center. That puts the value of 50,000 points at $625. Since the annual fee is waived the first year you get the full $625 in value.
The Citi ThankYou Premier card comes with a nice sign up bonus and an earning structure that surpasses Citi’s more expensive/premium Prestige card. It has a very broad travel category, including gas stations, which makes it one of the better cards for road warriors of all types (not just the jet-setting ones).
Having said that, the lack of truly meaningful transfer partners greatly limits/reduces the value of ThankYou points. It is essentially a cashback card, for most people, which can only be redeemed when using Citi’s travel center.
Long Term Keep or Cancel?
If you have a lot of expenses which fall into the broad travel category (gas, tolls, trains, public transport, parking etc.) then this could be a long term keeper. A 3.75% return on these expenses is one of the better returns out there. This may be an option for people unable to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card because of Chase’s 5/24 rule.
For most people it is probably not worth keeping long term because of the lack of meaningful transfer partners. You would need to spend $5500 in the travel category to cover the $95 annual fee, after the first year, vs using a 2% cashback card. This doesn’t take into account the fact that ThankYou points have more restrictions than cash does.
If you are a road warrior who has a lot of reimbursable travel costs, and you are unable to get the CSR, then this could be a great fit for you. Or, if you want a “premium” card without the $400 plus annual fee this is a decent option.
The valuable sign up bonus makes this a card worth getting. You then get 12 months fee free to test out the card and see if it is worth keeping long term.
One thing to consider is if you would be better off getting the Citi Prestige card vs the Citi Premier. The Prestige would be the better option if you have a lot of paid stays that are 4 nights or longer. The Prestige comes with a 4th night free perk, on paid stays, at most hotels. Signing up for the Citi Premier card would make you ineligible for the Prestige card for 24 months so make sure to research which card works better for your needs before applying.
If you were planning on signing up for this card and you would like to support the site you can apply through our travel rewards link on our Providing Value for Value page.
Do you currently have the Citi Premier card? Is it in your future application plans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.