From Cash Back to Travel Rewards & Perks, We’ve Ranked the 6 Best Citibank Credit Cards!

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From Cash Back to Travel Rewards & Perks, We’ve Ranked the 6 Best Citibank Credit Cards!

Million Mile Secrets TeamFrom Cash Back to Travel Rewards & Perks, We’ve Ranked the 6 Best Citibank Credit Cards!Million 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.

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If you’re looking for the best Citi credit card you’ve got plenty of options to fit almost any travel goal or spending style.

You can get a cash back card if you like earning simple, straightforward rewards.  Or you can earn flexible Citi ThankYou points, which you can use for Big Travel with Small Money by transferring them to 15 different airline partners!

The information for the Citi Prestige® CardCiti ThankYou® Premier Card, and Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Free Yourself for All Sorts of Travel With These Top Citi Credit Cards!

So to make it simpler for you, we’ve put together a list of the best Citibank credit cards in 6 different categories.  Including the best Citi card for airline miles and the best Citi card for travel perks.

How We Chose the Best Citibank Credit Cards

One of the most common questions we get from readers is some form of the question:

What’s the best travel rewards credit card?

And the best answer we can give is – it depends on your situation.

I know that sounds like a cop-out, but it’s true.  Every credit card has different benefits, bonuses, and spending requirements that may or may not fit your travel goals and purchasing habits.  So we’ve broken down the perks of the best Citi credit cards to make choosing your next Citi card a bit easier!

Here Are the Best Citibank Credit Cards

Here is a more in-depth look at the benefits and advantages of each card!

And don’t forget, because each of these cards is either a Mastercard or World Elite Mastercard, you’ll get a free ShopRunner membership, too!

Best Citibank Credit Card for Overall Travel:   Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Apply Here:   Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

The Citi ThankYou Premier card comes with a 60,000 ThankYou point bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

You’ll also get perks like:

  • 3 Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations (also including airfare, hotels, cruise lines, car rental agencies, travel agencies, railways, tolls, taxis, and more)
  • 2 Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent at restaurants and on select entertainment (amusement parks, museums, sporting events, movies, and more)
  • 1 Citi ThankYou point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee is waived the first year

Your Citi ThankYou points are worth 25% more (1.25 cents each) when you redeem them for airfare booked through the ThankYou travel portal!  So this bonus is worth at least $625 in flights!

Free Hotels With Points
Transferring Your Citi ThankYou Points to Airlines Is a Great Way to Get Big Travel With Small Money to World Class Cities, Like Vancouver!

For example, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles) at a 1:1 ratio.  Cathay Pacific is making changes to their award chart on June 22, 2018.  On that date, some coach awards are going down in price.  And you’ll be able to book good deals, like one-way coach seats from New York to Vancouver for only 10,000 Cathay Pacific miles!

Or, it’s possible to get even more value if you transfer your points to Singapore Airlines to book their expensive Business and First Class seats!

Apply Here:   Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Best Citibank Credit Card for Cash Back:   Citi Double Cash Card

Apply Here:   Citi® Double Cash Card

Link:   Our Review of the Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash card does NOT always come with a sign-up bonus.  So if you like the simplicity of earning cash back, you should consider applying for this card now.

With the Citi Double Cash card, you’ll earn a $100 cash back bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Plus, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all your purchases.  And as long as you pay at least the minimum payment each month, you’ll earn an additional 1% cash back on your payments.  That’s a great cashback rate for a card with NO annual fee!

Use the Citi Double Cash Card to Take the Sting out of Paying Bills

Here’s more about this card:

  • There is NO limit on how much cash back you can earn
  • You will NOT earn cash back on credit card feesinterestcash advancesreturned items, and balance transfers
  • Cash back expires if there is no activity on your card for 12 months

You will also pay a 3% foreign transaction fee with this card.  So it’s NOT a good idea to use it overseas.

But the Citi Double Cash card is perfect if you don’t want to deal with complicated award booking rules or blackout dates.  It’s a quick and easy way to earn up to 2% cash back for purchases you’re going to make anyway.

And because the card doesn’t have an annual fee, it makes sense to keep it year after year.  This will help improve the age of your accounts and increase your credit score!

Apply Here:   Citi® Double Cash Card

Best Citibank Credit Card for Airline Miles:   Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Card

Apply Here:   Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Card

Link:   Our Review of the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Card

With the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card, you can earn a 60,000 American Airlines mile bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

That’s enough for a round-trip saver award flight to Europe in coach!

American Airlines has a bunch of great airline partners.  And this sign-up bonus is also enough to book a comfortable Business Class award seat with their partner Japan Airlines!  Although for certain partners, including Japan Airlines, you’ll have to call (800-433-7300) to book the award flights.

The Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card’s $99 annual fee is waived the first year.  And every card year that you spend $20,000+ on your card and renew it, you’ll get a $100 American Airlines flight discount.  So if you’re a big spender, this benefit alone can offset the annual fee!

You Can Use Your American Airlines Miles to Book Flights on Japan Airlines, Just Like Emily Did!

The card also comes with following perks:

  • 2 American Airlines miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1 American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 companions on the same reservation (domestic American Airlines flights only)
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation
  • 25% off eligible in-flight purchases
  • Receive 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
  • Reduced Mileage Awards – get discounts up to 7,500 miles round-trip on award flights to certain airports
  • No foreign transaction fees

Apply Here:   Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Card

Best Citibank Credit Card for Travel Perks:   Citi Prestige Card

Apply Here:   Citi Prestige Card

Link:   How the Citi Prestige Card’s 4th Night Free Perk Works

Lots of folks love their Citi Prestige card because of its incredibly lucrative perks.  It has one of the best benefits of any travel rewards credit card – the 4th night free perk!

With this benefit, you’ll get the 4th night free (based on the average cost per night) on any hotel stay of 4+ nights when you book through Citi (online or over the phone).  The Million Mile Secrets team has saved $1,000s by taking advantage of this unique card perk.

But remember, you won’t earn hotel points or elite night credits when you book your stay online through the Citi ThankYou travel portal.  So if that is important to you, be sure to book through the Citi Prestige Concierge by phone at 561-922-0158 or email at concierge@yourconciergecenter.com.

For more on how this benefit works, please read our detailed post on the Citi Prestige 4th night free perk.

The Citi Prestige Card’s 4th Night Free Benefit Can Save You Big Time at Expensive Hotels, Like the Park Hyatt New York

The Citi Prestige card’s value doesn’t stop with the 4th night free perk.  It also earns transferable Citi ThankYou points and has lots of other valuable benefits like:

  • 3 Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels
  • 2 Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent at restaurants and select entertainment (includes movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions)
  • 1 Citi ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • $250 air travel statement credit per year (December through the following December) for airline fees such as airfare, baggage fees, and more
  • $100 statement credit for the Global Entry application fee (once every 5 years)
  • Priority Pass Select membership – free access for you and up to 2 guests or immediate family (spouse / domestic partner and children under 18)
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases

The $450 annual fee is NOT waived the first year.   But offsetting the annual fee is easy with all of the card’s lucrative perks.

Right now, the Citi Prestige card does NOT have a sign-up bonus.  But in the past, it’s been as high as 75,000 Citi ThankYou points after meeting minimum spending requirements.

So you’ll be better off waiting until the card has a sign-up bonus to apply.

Apply Here:   Citi Prestige Card

Best Citibank Credit Card for American Airlines Loyalists:   Citi American Airlines Executive Card

Apply Here:   Citi American Airlines Executive Card

The Citi American Airlines Executive card earns 75,000 American Airlines miles after spending $7,500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

This is a great card to get if you live near an American Airlines hub or are a frequent flyer because it comes with complimentary American Airlines Admirals Club membership.  This membership normally costs up to $550 a year and grants you access to 50 Admirals Club lounges and almost 60 partner lounges worldwide!

And the Citi American Airlines Executive card can get you on the fast track to American Airlines elite status.  Because you’ll earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles every calendar year you spend $40,000 or more on the card.

Best Travel Credit Cards 2016 September
Admirals Club Lounges Are Great for Relaxing Before Your Flight or Recharging During a Long Layover!

In addition the sign-up bonus, you’ll also get:

  • 2 American Airlines miles per $1 spent with American Airlines
  • 1 American Airlines mile per $1 spent on everything else
  • American Airlines Admirals Club membership (worth up to $550) – access Admirals Club lounges, and bring your immediate family (spouse / domestic partner and children under 18) or up to 2 guests traveling with you.  You do NOT have to be flying American Airlines to enter the lounge!
  • Authorized users (free to add!) can also access Admirals Club lounges (without the primary cardholder)
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (every 5 years)
  • First checked bag free (for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation) on American Airlines domestic itineraries
  • 25% discount on in-flight purchases (like food, drink, and headsets) on American Airlines flights
  • Priority check-in, security (where available), and boarding
  • No foreign transaction fees

Plus, with this card you’ll have access to American Airlines reduced mileage awards!

The card’s $450 annual fee is NOT waived the first year.  But the Admirals Club membership and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit can more than offset the annual fee.

Apply Here:   Citi American Airlines Executive Card

Best Citibank Credit Card for Businesses:   Citi American Airlines Business Platinum Card

Apply Here:   Citi American Airlines Business Platinum Card

Link:   Our Review of the Citi American Airlines Business Platinum Card

You can earn 70,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 on purchases with your Citi American Airlines Business Platinum Card within the first 4 months of account opening!  That’s the highest sign-up bonus offered right now of any of the Citi American Airlines cards!

And because it’s a business credit card, you can still qualify for the intro bonus even if you have a personal Citi American Airlines card.  Plus, it won’t count toward your Chase “5/24” limit because Citi business cards do NOT appear on your personal credit report!

Qualifying for a business credit card isn’t as difficult as you may think.  You don’t need a full-time business or 6-figure income.  And if you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll most likely be able to use your social security number as your business tax ID and your name as your legal business name on the application.

Having a Paid Freelance Side Gig, Like Photography or Graphic Design, Could Qualify You for a Small Business Credit Card!

In addition to the big sign-up bonus, the Citi American Airlines Business Platinum card also offers these perks:

  • 2 American Airlines miles per $1 spent with American Airlines and select business categories (car rental merchants, telecommunications, and at gas stations)
  • 1 American Airlines mile per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a $99 (plus taxes and fees) domestic coach fare American Airlines companion certificate after spending $30,000+ in the card membership year
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation (domestic American Airlines flights only)
  • Priority boarding on American Airlines flights
  • Reduced Mileage Awards – up to 7,500 miles off select award flights
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee is waived the first 12 months

Apply Here:   Citi American Airlines Business Platinum Card

Are You Eligible for the Bonus on the Citi Card You Want?

Link:   Citi Rules Restrict Sign-Up Bonuses to Once per “Brand” Every 24 Months

Remember, you can NOT earn the bonus on more than one personal Citi card of the same “brand” within 24 months.  So, for example, if you’ve opened or closed the Citi American Airlines Executive card in the past 24 months, you would NOT be eligible for the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card’s sign-up bonus.

The exception to this rule is if you have opened or closed the Citi American Airlines Business Platinum card.  You could still be eligible to earn the sign-up bonus on the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card because Citi says:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

The same rule applies to Citi ThankYou cards as well.  So you won’t be eligible for the Citi ThankYou Premier card’s bonus if you opened or closed the Citi Prestige, Citi ThankYou Preferred, or Citi ThankYou Premier card in the last 24 months.

Maintain a Healthy Credit Score While Applying for Credit Cards!

Earning lucrative sign-up bonuses can be a cheap way to travel.  But if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off your credit card IN FULL each and every month, then it’s not the right time for you to get into this hobby.  Because credit card interest and fees will quickly eat away at any potential savings you might earn.

I have found it easy to maintain a healthy credit score while still applying for multiple credit cards.  But if you don’t already have a good credit score (700+), then you’re much less likely to be approved for the best Citi credit cards.

If you don’t know what your credit score is, you can get it for free at myBankrate.com.

Bottom Line

We ranked 6 of the best Citibank credit cards by category.  Here’s our list:

Million Mile Secrets readers love these cards because they offer lucrative welcome bonuses and various ongoing perks.  And can be used to get lots of Big Travel with Small Money!

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!

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! :)

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Can I apply for both personal and business AA and get each bonus? Thanks!

Yes, these are considered different card products.