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You may have your eyes set on getting the Citi Premier® Card as your next travel rewards card. After all, the card earns triple points on various purchases and comes with lucrative travel redemption options. Plus, there’s an annual hotel credit that can make this card even more valuable. It’s time to take a look and see if the Citi Premier is worth it.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Earn 3x ThankYou Points
The Citi Premier earns Citi ThankYou points along with several other Citi credit cards.
These purchases earn 3x ThankYou points per $1:
- Air travel
- Gas stations
All remaining Citi Premier® Card purchases earn 1 point per $1.
There is no foreign transaction fee for international purchases.
Earning triple ThankYou points makes this card an attractive option as many competing cards earn 2x points. It’s also easy to earn points on some of your most significant purchases, whether you’re at home (gas, dining, and groceries) or traveling.
Multiple Redemption Options
There are several ways to redeem your points for travel and non-travel rewards. Travel redemptions can be the most valuable as you can redeem points through the Citi ThankYou travel portal or transferring to airlines.
Points can be worth 1 cent each when booking award flights through the ThankYou travel center. The Citi Premier no longer offers a travel redemption bonus (similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 25% booking bonus) when booking award travel through the credit card travel portal.
You might be able to squeeze more value for your points by transferring ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio to airline partners. This option can be better when you can travel internationally but can book domestic flights with alliance partners.
The current ThankYou transfer partners include:
- Air France/KLM (FlyingBlue)
- Avianca Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- EVA Air
- JetBlue Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Gift cards can also have a redemption value of 1 cent each. While you must find a store or restaurant you can patronize, you can get the same redemption value if you won’t be traveling soon.
Other non-travel redemptions like cash statement credits or online shopping points have a redemption value of 0.8 cents or less. The Citi Premier can be worth it if you can redeem each point for at least 1 cent each, the average redemption of credit card points.
Related: How much are Citi ThankYou points worth?
$100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
One additional card perk that can offset the $95 annual fee is an annual $100 hotel savings benefit. Citi applies the $100 discount on a minimum $500 stay you book at thankyou.com or by calling 1-800-Thank-You.
You can prepay for the hotel with cash, ThankYou points, or a combination of both. The savings apply instantly to your first eligible booking.
This benefit can be worth it if you stay in hotels. But you may not be able to use this benefit if you prefer vacation rentals or booking directly from the hotel to get extra help.
Other Citi Premier Benefits
The remaining Citi Premier® Card add-on perks are standard among the other Citi credit cards. While they can add value, the real reasons to try for the Premier Card are for the 3x bonus categories, flexible point redemption options, and the $100 annual hotel credit.
For example, the card includes contactless payments, Citi Entertainment discounts, and exclusive ticket pre-sales access.
Mastercard World Elite Benefits
The Citi Premier® Card is a Mastercard World Elite product and has several built-in perks:
- $10 monthly ride credit after the first 5 Lyft rides per month
- Free ShopRunner 2-day shipping
- $5 off Fandango movie tickets (virtual or in-theater)
- Exclusive golf offers and benefits
These benefits are available with other Mastercard World Elite credit cards.
New Citi Premier® Card cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus is redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com.
People won’t qualify for this bonus if they received a new cardmembers bonus for the following cards in the last 24 months:
- Citi Rewards+® Card
- The Citi ThankYou Preferred
- Citi ThankYou Premier/Citi Premier® Card
- Citi Prestige® Card
Applicants won’t qualify if they have canceled one of the above cards within the past 24 months. You will want to make sure neither of the 24-month qualification rules prevents you from earning this bonus.
$95 Annual Fee
The Citi Premier has a $95 annual fee for the primary card (additional cards are free). There are no foreign transaction fees to worry about.
The purchase rewards, redemption options, and additional benefits are competitive with other travel credit cards with a similar annual fee.
The $100 annual hotel benefit can easily offset the annual fee (if you stay at hotels). You will need to decide if you can get enough mileage from the purchase rewards and redemption options to provide more value or if another hotel credit card does a better job of maximizing purchases.
You may also prefer a no annual fee travel credit card if you only travel occasionally or don’t make many monthly purchases.
Is the Citi Premier worth it? Determining if you qualify for the Citi Premier® Card can influence your decision.
Here are some basic guidelines to get the best approval odds:
- Minimum 670 FICO credit score
- Have less than 6 hard credit inquires in the last 6 months
- Have not applied for more than two Citi cards in the previous 65 days
It would be best if you also waited to try once you qualify for the signup bonus. It’s an easy way to get $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com (if you can meet the $4,000 minimum spending requirement).
Related: What Credit Score Do You Need for Citi Premier?
Should You Try for the Citi Premier?
The Citi Premier can be a great travel credit card because of its flexibility. It also has a reasonable $95 annual fee. The Citi Premier® Card is worth it if you can practice these suggestions:
- Can maximize the 3x purchase rewards categories
- Redeem points for award travel on Citi ThankYou or gift cards
- Can utilize the 1:1 point transfers
- Use the annual $100 hotel stay credit
- Qualify for the Citi Premier signup bonus
When to Avoid the Citi Premier
The Citi Premier may not be worth it for these reasons:
- Prefer other point redemption options
- Won’t use the 1:1 airline transfer partners
- The $100 annual hotel credit isn’t worth it
- Don’t want to pay a $95 annual fee
- Cannot earn the signup bonus
You may also consider an airline or hotel credit card if you’re loyal to a specific travel brand. These cards provide extra loyalty benefits that can improve the quality of each stay.
Three top alternatives to the Citi Premier® Card include the following.
American Express Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card earns 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earns 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). Plus, earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
Another perk is the ability to earn up to $10 in statement credits on a monthly basis when you use your Gold Card to pay at the following dining establishments (enrollment is required):
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Milk Bar
- Shake Shack (only at participating locations)
This perk can save you up to $120 annually.
Visit our American Express Gold vs. Citi Premier Card comparison to learn more.
New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Terms apply.
The annual fee is $250 (See Rates & Fees).
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit that comes with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It comes in the form of a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.
Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
There is a 25% travel redemption bonus when redeeming points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can also transfer points to airlines and hotels at a 1:1 ratio.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Citi Premier
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2x miles on all purchases. However, earn Earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Plus, Venture cardholders will earn 5x miles when booking through the Turo app or on Turo.com (through May 16, 2023).
You can redeem miles for travel statement credits, gift cards, or transfer them to airline and hotel partners. A fee credit of up to $100 for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry is also a perk.
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel, with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
The annual fee is $95.
Related: Citi Premier vs Capital One Venture Rewards
Is the Citi Premier worth it? The Citi Premier® Card makes it easy to earn bonus points on many everyday purchases that can also be significant monthly expenses. It can also be easy to redeem points for travel, and the annual $100 hotel credit pays the yearly fee by itself. This is a great travel credit card if your travel habits and spending habits align with the Citi Premier benefits.
How much are Citi Premier points worth?
The Citi Premier® Card earns Citi ThankYou points. These points can be worth up to 1 cent each for these redemption options:
- Award flights using Citi ThankYou
- Gift cards
- Citi loan payments
Point transfers at a 1:1 ratio to airlines can make each point worth at least 1 cent each. However, this option requires more effort to find award space.
Cash rewards, statement credits, and online shopping credits may only have a redemption value of 0.5 cents to 0.8 cents.
What is the Citi Premier annual fee?
The Citi Premier annual fee is $95 but $0 for additional cards.
Is the Citi Premier Card worth it?
The Citi Premier® Card can be worth it if you can maximize the 3x bonus categories, redeem your points for travel or gift cards, and utilize the annual $100 hotel certificate. Qualifying the Citi Premier signup bonus and meeting the minimum spending requirement adds additional value.
The Citi Premier® Card isn’t worth it if your spending habits are mostly for non-bonus categories or you prefer cash rewards to travel redemptions and gift cards.
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For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.