What’s the Best Card for Entertainment and Dining? Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou Premier

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

What’s the Best Card for Entertainment and Dining?  Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou Premier

DevonWhat’s the Best Card for Entertainment and Dining?  Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou PremierMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Despite what we may wish, our wallets and lifestyles can’t accommodate every credit card.  The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card are 2 cards that reward folks very well when they spend on dining and entertainment.

The Capital One® Savor earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, and you’ll earn $500 cash bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

And the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card earns 2X ThankYou points per $1 on dining and entertainment.  You’ll also earn 60,000 Citi ThankYou points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.  That’s worth at least $750 toward travel!

Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou Premier
Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou Premier – Which Is Best for Your Wallet?

Each card has its merits which makes it hard to choose a clear winner in a head-to-head competition.  Let’s dive into each card to see which is best for your spending and travel habits.

Which Card Is Better?  Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou Premier

Apply Here:   Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our Review of the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Here:   Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Our Review of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card 


Best Sign-Up Bonus

Okay.  Let’s do some calculations and we’ll assume all minimum spend is on entertainment and dining to be fair!  🙂

After spending $3,000 on entertainment and dining purchases, you’ll earn $620 cash bonus ($500 welcome bonus + $120 from spending) with the Capital One® Savor Card.  You earn 4% on the $3,000 spent, which is $120.  So, you essentially earn ~21% cash back for the first $3,000 if spending on entertainment and dining only.  Not bad!

After spending $4,000 on entertainment and dining purchases, you’ll earn 68,000 ThankYou points (60,000 point welcome bonus + 8,000 points from spending) with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.  You earn 2X points per $1 on the $4,000 spent, which is 8,000 Citi ThankYou points.  If you redeem your points using Citi’s ThankYou travel portal, you’ll get $850 worth of travel because your points are worth 1.25 cents each toward airfare, hotels, rental cars, and cruises.

Again, you essentially earn ~21% back for the first $4,000 in purchases if spending on entertainment and dining only.  Pretty decent!

With Either Card, You’ll Earn a Bonus on Dining

But you can also transfer your points to a number of Citi’s travel partners which can skyrocket the value of the sign-up bonus.

Winner:   Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Best Point Earning

Each card has solid earning on entertainment and dining.  The Capital One® Savor card earns 4% cash back here while the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card earns 2X points per $1 spent. 

Entertainment for both cards looks the same and includes things like concerts, movies, and music downloads.  See more about eligible entertainment and dining purchases here.

Heading to the Theater?  You’ll Earn a Bonus With Both Cards

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card excels over the Capital One® Savor card in earning points for travel and gas at 3X points points per $1 spent.  The Capital One® Savor only earns 1% cash back here.  🙁

For grocery store purchases, you’ll get 2% back with the Capital One® Savor card and 1X points with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.

Lastly, for all non-category spending, each card earns 1% cash back or 1X points.

Your spending habits should help you decide which card here is the winner.  For me, I’d prefer the straight 4% cash back on dining and entertainment from the Capital One® Savor card.

Winner:   Tie

Best Redemption Value

However, here’s where things get interesting.  If you transfer points to Citi’s travel partners, you can unlock much more value.

For example, you can transfer 20,000 Citi ThankYou points to Cathay Pacific to book a round-trip award seat from New York to Vancouver.  The cash value of this ticket varies, but in my search I found round-trip tickets early next year for ~$800 each.  Fees were ~$85 in either case.

Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou Premier
Redemptions With Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners Could Prove Valuable

Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific’s award program) operates on a distance-based award chart, so this route only costs 20,000 miles.  That’s an incredible value and much better than redeeming through Citi’s ThankYou travel portal.

Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou Premier
Asia Miles Award Chart, a Citi ThankYou Transfer Partner

Meanwhile, the Capital One® Savor has one very simple redemption option:  Cash back.

Winner:   Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Best Annual Fee

Both cards carry the same annual fee of $95 and have the first year waived.  But let’s look at how you can earn your annual fee back once it sets in.

To earn $95 in value from the Capital One® Savor card, you’d need to spend at least $2,375 in dining or entertainment.  We calculate this by dividing $95 by 4% for dining and entertainment and then you can take the cash back redemption of $95.

And to earn $95 in value from the Citi ThankYou Premier card, you’d need to spend at least $2,533 in travel or gas.  We calculate this by dividing $95 by 3% for travel and gas, then dividing by 1.25 because of the power of redeeming through the Citi ThankYou travel portal.

Winner:   Tie

Best Additional Benefits

Both cards offer the full suite of the World Elite Mastercard portfolio of benefits and perks.  Some of the top mentions include:  Extended Warranty, Price Protection, and Auto Rental Insurance.

Capital One Savor vs Citi ThankYou Premier
The Citi ThankYou Premier Could Save You Money With Citi Price Rewind

The only real mentionable difference is Citi Price Rewind.  This free service, offered by Citi, will use your purchase history to search for price differences within 60 days of your purchase.  If they find a lower price, they’ll refund you up to $200 per item and $1,000 per year!

Winner:   Citi ThankYou Premier

Best Worldwide Acceptance

Both cards have no foreign transaction fees.

Winner:   Tie

Bottom Line

The Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Capital One Savor Card both offer a bonus for spending on dining and entertainment.  But, there is much more to each card than just that.

Sometimes we don’t see a clear winner in these types of analyses.  That said, each card lends itself towards certain spending and travel habits.

The Citi ThankYou Premier Card is the clear choice for anyone looking to use their hard earned rewards on travel.  You’ll get $750 in travel from the welcome bonus by using Citi’s ThankYou travel portal and even more if you transfer points to Citi’s travel partners.

For folks who want simplicity, the Capital One Savor Card offers an easy way to earn 4% cash back on dining and entertainment.

In each case, you’ll have the annual fee of $95 waived for this first year and need to meet the minimum spend requirement within 3 months of account opening.

Which card you think fits your style best?  Let us know in the comments!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

1comment

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

According to Credit Karma, my odds are very low for approval for the Capital One Savor card. They don’t show the Cit Thankyou Premier…would it be similar, do you think?