Citi Premier benefits and perks

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Citi is an MMS advertising partner

With the Citi Premier® Card, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 60,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. This is an excellent offer and the points you earn are transferable, which gives you more flexibility by letting you access Citi’s airline partners.  But that’s just one reason this is one of the best Mastercard credit cards.

Even after you earn the alluring travel card bonus, does the card have solid enough benefits to stay in your wallet? Because the Citi Premier’s card’s annual fee $95 is so reasonable, it’s not hard to offset it with the card’s benefits and perks.

Being able to transfer your points to Turkish Airlines is a great Citi Premier card benefit. (Photo by Zach Honig.)

Citi Premier benefits and perks

In addition to the valuable sign-up bonus, there are other ongoing perks and benefits that can make the Citi Premier worth keeping long term.

The biggest reason to hold onto the card is to earn ThankYou points. The Citi Premier’s spending bonus categories are as follows::

  • 3x points on airfare, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations
  • One point per dollar everywhere else

But, if you had a Premier card or applied by April 10, 2020, you’ll also be able to take advantage of these old bonus categories until April 10, 2021:

  • 3x points on travel including gas stations, airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, parking, tolls and much more
  • 2x points at restaurants and on select entertainment like amusement parks, museums, sporting events, movies and more

Overall, the changes to the Citi Premier have been overwhelmingly positive and we’re excited to see Citi offering such a competitive card for a reasonable annual fee.

Transfer ThankYou points

Having the Citi Premier card allows you to transfer your ThankYou points to any of the 16 Citi airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. If you have other Citibank cards that earn ThankYou points you can combine your ThankYou accounts. Once you combine your accounts the points you earn with any card can be transferred to any airline.

You can also share ThankYou points with someone else. So if your spouse has the Citi Premier and you don’t, you could share your points with your spouse and then transfer them to airlines. If you go this route don’t forget that shared ThankYou points expire after 90 days.

Redeem ThankYou Points for travel 

If you prefer a more simple redemption option, you can use your ThankYou points for travel through the ThankYou portal. If you held the Premier before April 10, 2020, you can get 1.25 cents per point for flights and 1 cent per point on all other travel.

New applicants or those who got the card after April 11, 2020, can redeem points for 1 cent per point for all travel. This can be a great option for folks who want the simplicity of picking any flight on any airline (or any hotel, regardless of the chain!) and don’t want to deal with the complexities of transfer partners and award bookings.

Redeem ThankYou Points for gift cards 

You can also choose to redeem your Thank ou points for gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point. This can be a decent option to get practical value from your points, especially for folks who feel less comfortable traveling right now.

World Elite Mastercard benefits

In 2019 Citi removed most travel coverages and shopping protections from its cards. But as a World Elite Mastercard, the Citi Premier still maintains a handful of other perks.

When you link the card to your Lyft account you’ll earn a $10 credit after taking five rides in a calendar month. You can also book hotels with the Mastercard Luxury Hotel & Resorts Portfolio and be eligible for upgrades and early check-in or late check-out.

Read our guide to all of the Mastercard World Elite card benefits to learn more about these perks.

Overall value

The Citi Premier offers a compelling value for anyone who has ongoing spend that includes grocery, gas, and restaurants. Since these are very common expenses, this card is a better all-in-one bonus earner than some competitor cards (such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which lacks the gas and grocery bonus earnings).

The Citi Premier is also a great mid-tier option for folks who want access to Citi’s travel partners without paying the hefty $495 annual fee for the Citi Prestige. Personally, I value transfers to Avianca Lifemiles and Turkish Miles and Smiles, so I always want at least one Citi card with transfer options in my wallet.

Finally, this card offers great value for folks who have already “maximized” their portfolio of Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards cards. Citi’s ThankYou point program is probably the least popular of the three major transferable currencies, but still offers significant value if you know where to look!

FAQ

Is the Citi Premier worth it?

For a reasonable $95 per year, most folks can get tremendous value from keeping the Citi Premier year after year. Especially when you consider bonus earning rates and a hefty welcome bonus, the Citi Premier is a worthy card for any points enthusiast!

What credit score do you need for the Citi Premier?

Typically, you need excellent credit to be approved for the Citi Premier card. This means that you should shoot for at least a 700 credit score in order to improve your chances of approval. If you’re still working to improve your credit score, you may have a better shot at the Citi Rewards+ card which is one of Citi’s no annual fee cards and offers great benefits of its own.

What is a good card to pair up with the Citi Premier?

A Citi card combo that can make sense includes the Citi® Double Cash Card or the Citi Rewards+℠ Card credit cards. I personally carry the Citi Double cash card for 2% cash back or 2x ThankYou points on all purchases (1%/1x when you buy, plus 1%/1x as you pay). Combined with the Citi Premier, I can then transfer my Double Cash-earned points to Citi’s valuable travel partners.

Bottom line

If you love earning ThankYou points, the Citi Premier isn’t hard to justify keeping. Just make sure you have other rewards credit cards in your wallet that come with travel and purchase protections.

The Citi Premier is also worth holding onto because it allows you to transfer the points you earn with other ThankYou points cards to airlines. So it’s great to pair with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, for example.

  For more travel and credit card news, deals and analysis sign up for our newsletter here.

Jason Stauffer is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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! :)

Join the Discussion!

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments