The best Citibank credit cards
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If you’re looking for the best Citi rewards credit card, you’ve got options to fit almost any travel goal or spending style.
You can get a cash-back credit card if you like straightforward rewards. Or you can earn flexible Citi ThankYou points from travel credit cards like the Citi Premier® Card, which you can transfer to airline partners for amazing travel experiences. We’ve put together a list of the best Citibank credit cards in eight different categories, including the best Citi airline credit cards and the best Citi card for travel perks.
Best Citibank credit cards
- Citi Premier® Card: Best overall travel card
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Best business card
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for airline miles
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®: Best for American Airlines loyalists
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card: Best for earning airline miles with no annual fee
- Citi Rewards+® Card: Best for small purchases
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for cash back
- Citi Prestige® Card: Best for travel perks
The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card, Citi Prestige, has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Best overall travel card
Best for American Airlines loyalists
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
|Card||Intro bonus offer||Best perk|
|Citi Premier® Card||Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening||3x ThankYou points per dollar spent on air travel, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else|
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®||Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases in the first four months of account opening.||Free first checked bag for you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation (domestic flights only).|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®||Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.||First checked bag free for you and up to four companions (domestic flights only). Earn 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases and at gas stations and restaurants.|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®||Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months.||Admirals Club airport lounge membership, worth up to $650.|
|American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card||Earn 10,000 bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.||Earn 2x miles at grocery stores and on eligible American Airlines purchases.|
|Citi Rewards+® Card||For a limited-time, earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com||10% points rebate on the first 100,000 points you redeem each year.|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||No intro bonus.||2% cash back: Earn 1% back on all purchases and 1% back when you pay off your purchases|
|Citi Prestige® Card||Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.||Annual $250 travel credit and earn 5x points on air travel and at restaurants.|
Comparing Citi credit cards
Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier card comes with a bonus of 80,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. As far as ongoing rewards, with this card you’ll earn 3x ThankYou points per dollar spent on air travel, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and 1x point on all other purchases.
With the Citi Premier card, your ThankYou points are worth 1 cent each toward travel booked through the Citi travel site. This card has no foreign transaction fees. It carries an annual fee of $95.
Why it’s the best overall travel card
You can transfer Citi ThankYou points to 15 airline partners, like Cathay Pacific, Avianca, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic or Turkish Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. This gives you the potential to unlock incredible deals. For example, you could transfer points to Singapore Airlines to book its expensive business and first-class seats. Or you can transfer points to Virgin Atlantic and book Delta business-class awards to Europe for only 50,000 miles one-way (plus taxes and fees). These are just some of the best ways to use Citi ThankYou points.
While in the past, this card provided a 25% bonus when you transferred ThankYou points to book travel through the Citi website, currently the points are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for airfare and hotels booked through the travel portal.
For this card’s welcome bonus, you can earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. We value American Airlines points at 1.4 cents per mile, this bonus is worth $910 in travel.
Because this is 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 add to your Chase 5/24 limit because Citi business cards do not appear on your personal credit report.
In addition to the big sign-up bonus, the American Airlines Business Platinum card also earns 2x American Airlines miles on eligible American Airlines purchases and select business categories (car rental merchants, telecommunications, cable, satellite and at gas stations). You’ll earn 1x mile on all other eligible purchases.
You can also earn an American Airlines companion certificate for a domestic coach fare of $99 (plus taxes and fees) after you spend $30,000+ in a card membership year and renew your account (account must remain open at least 45 days after account anniversary date). And like the personal Platinum card, you’ll get priority boarding and your first checked bag free for you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation (free-checked-bag perk applies to domestic American Airlines flights only).
This card gets you access to the AA Reduced Mileage Awards and has no foreign transaction fees. It carries an annual fee of $99, which is waived for the first 12 months.
Why it’s the best business card
As mentioned, with this business card you’ll earn 2x American Airlines miles on eligible American Airlines purchases as well as eligible purchases with car rental merchants, telecommunications, cable, satellite and at gas stations. You’ll earn 1x mile on all other eligible purchases.
American Airlines miles can be surprisingly valuable and since there are very few transferrable points programs that partner with American (Marriott is the only one), card bonuses are the best way to earn American Airlines miles. With this business card you can also collect airline miles without limiting the Chase credit cards you’ll be eligible for in the future.
Qualifying for a business credit card isn’t as difficult as you may think. You don’t need a full-time business or six-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.
With the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, you can earn a bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $2,500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. The value of an American Airlines mile isn’t set and will vary depending on the redemption, but in general we value them at ~1.4 cents per mile, which makes this bonus worth $700.
What’s more, every year that you spend $20,000+ on your card and renew it, you’ll get a $125 American Airlines flight discount. If you’re a big spender, this benefit alone can offset the annual fee. (The card carries a $99 annual fee, which is waived for the first 12 months.)
Why it’s the best for airline miles
With the card you’ll earn 2x American Airlines miles on eligible American Airlines purchases and at gas stations and restaurants. Every other purchase earns 1 mile per dollar. You’ll also get the first checked bag free for you and up to four companions on the same reservation (domestic American Airlines flights only). In addition, you’ll get preferred boarding for you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation.
American Airlines miles can be used to book much more than just American Airlines award flights. The airline is part of the Oneworld alliance, which means you can use AA miles to book flights with Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, British Airways and more.
You’ll also get 25% off any eligible inflight purchases made with the card. With this card you will also have access to the AA Reduced Mileage Awards with discounts up to 7,500 miles on round-trip award flights to select airports. This card has no foreign transaction fees.
If you don’t have American Airlines status, the card’s free-checked-bag perk can save you $60 per round-trip flight. American Airlines is moving toward dynamically priced awards, which can open up the door to some incredible deals. The Economy Web Specials that American Airlines offers can be absurdly cheap. I’ve booked one-way domestic flights for 5,000 miles through this promotion and there are international deals available. We even saw 10,000-mile, round-trip awards to New Zealand and Australia for a few hours, so almost anything is possible.
The Citi AAdvantage Executive card earns 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. At 1.4 cents per mile based on MMS valuations, this bonus is worth $700. The card carries an annual fee of $450.
With this card you’ll earn 2x American Airlines miles on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1x American Airlines mile on everything else. The real benefit to having the card is the American Airlines Admirals Club membership (worth up to $650) you’ll get. It will give you unlimited access to Admirals Club lounges and you can bring your immediate family (spouse/domestic partner and children under 18) or up to two guests traveling with you. You will need a same-day American Airlines boarding pass in order to enter American Airlines lounges.
Why it’s best for American Airlines loyalists
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. Authorized users will also get Admiral’s Club access, but they won’t have access to partner lounges.
And the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard 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 purchases with the card. Plus, with this card you’ll have access to American Airlines reduced mileage awards.
If you make eligible inflight purchases with your card, like food, drink and headsets, you’ll get a 25% discount.
This card also comes with a credit for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee up to $100 (every five years) and has no foreign transaction fees. You’ll also get priority boarding and your first checked bag free (for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation) on American Airlines domestic itineraries.
When you open the Citi American Airlines MileUp card, you’ll earn 10,000 American Airlines miles, plus a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. This bonus is worth roughly $190, including the $50 statement credit and valuing the miles at 1.4 cents each. That’s a decent bonus for such a low minimum spending requirement.
This card earns 2x American Airlines miles on eligible American Airlines purchases and at grocery stores, including eligible grocery delivery services. You’ll also earn 1x American Airlines mile on all other purchases. Plus, you’ll get 25% off inflight purchases of drinks or snacks when you use your card on American Airlines inflight purchases.
Why it’s best for earning airline miles for no annual fee
This is the best American Airlines card that doesn’t have an annual fee, so it’s a great card to help keep your American Airlines miles from expiring. Normally, American Airlines miles expire after 18 months of inactivity, but with this card you can reset that expiration date with just a single purchase.
Because the Citi MileUp card has no annual fee, it’s a great card to keep long term. Keeping cards open indefinitely will increase the age of your accounts on your credit report and can boost your credit score.
With the Citi Rewards+ card you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com.
Arguably the card’s best perk is 10% back on all your redemptions (on the first 100,000 points you redeem per year). This 10% rebate on points redemptions will apply to airline partner transfers if you have this card paired with either the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier card.
This card’s welcome bonus is worth at least $165 when you include the card’s 10% rebate on redemptions but can be worth much more if it’s partnered with the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier card.
Why it’s best for small purchases
The Citi Rewards+ card is the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap. So if you buy something for say, $2, you’d earn 10 Citi ThankYou points for the purchase. Plus, you’ll earn two Citi ThankYou Points per dollar spent at gas stations and supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then one point).
This card is an excellent option for earning and using Citi ThankYou points because of the rounding up to the nearest 10 and the 10% rebate. Because it doesn’t have an annual fee it’s a no-brainer to partner this card with cards like the Citi Premier.
This straightforward cash back card is great for anyone who doesn’t want to bother keeping track of how much is earned for spending in various categories. You’ll earn 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases, and then an additional 1% cash back when you make payments for the purchases.
You can now convert the cash back you earn with this card into Citi ThankYou points, and if you have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, you’ll be able to combine your accounts and then transfer those points to Citi’s airline partners.
Why it’s best for cash back
The Citi Double Cash keeps it simple: You’ll earn 2% cash back on all purchases (1% back on all purchases and 1% back when you pay off those same purchases). With no annual fee and the ability to potentially earn 2x ThankYou points on every purchase, this is the perfect card to pair with your Citi Prestige or Citi Premier.
Citi Prestige Card
With the Citi Prestige card you’ll earn 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. As for ongoing rewards, it earns a healthy 5x ThankYou points on air travel and dining purchases, 3x ThankYou points on hotels and cruise lines, and 1x ThankYou point on all other eligible purchases. It carries an annual fee of $495.
Transferrable Citi ThankYou points are worth an average of around 1.7 cents each based on MMS valuation, depending on the partner you redeem them with. That makes the bonus worth $850, and once you factor in the $250 travel credit (more on that below) and subtract the $495 annual fee the first-year value is $605.
Why it’s best for travel perks
Every calendar year, you’ll get up to $250 in travel statement credit for most travel-related purchases. That isn’t the only statement credit you can earn. You’ll also be eligible for up to $100 in statement credits for the Global Entry application fee (once every five years).
This card also comes with a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership. You’ll get unlimited free access for you and up to two guests or immediate family (spouse/domestic partner and children under 18) (enrollment required). You also won’t pay any foreign transaction fees with the Citi Prestige.
One of the best benefits of this card is the fourth-night-free perk, although it’s not what it used to be. With this benefit, you’ll get the fourth night free (based on the average cost per night) on any hotel stay of 4+ nights when you book through the Citi travel site. This used to be a perk you could use an unlimited number of times but now it is limited to twice per year. Also, you won’t earn hotel points or elite night credits when you make a fourth-night-free booking because the Citi ThankYou travel portal is considered a third-party booking site.
There are a lot of great ways to make the most of your Citi ThankYou points, and this can be a good card to partner with other Citi cards like the Citi Double Cash or Citi Rewards+ card.
While you’ll get a high earning rate on travel purchases, this card no longer has any significant travel protections like trip delay insurance, rental card insurance, or baggage delay protection. So you’re better off paying for travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which comes with all those protections and earns 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel. And even The Platinum Card® from American Express, which earns 5x Membership Rewards points on eligible travel booked with American Express Travel or directly with airlines (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year as of Jan. 1, 2021) and has trip delay coverage.
The Citi Prestige used to be a top-tier premium travel card, but with the retraction of so many benefits over the years, it’s hard to recommend it over cards like the Sapphire Reserve, Amex Platinum or even the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. It still, however, offers better travel perks than any of the other Citi cards. And it’s hard to beat the card’s 5x points on air travel and dining. The information for the Hilton Aspire 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.
How we chose the best Citibank credit cards
One of the most common questions we get from readers is, “What’s the best travel rewards credit card?” The best answer we can give is: It depends on your situation. 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 a Citi card a bit easier.
We looked at the intro bonuses, earning rates and the types of miles, points or cash back that each card earns. Many of these Citi cards can actually be more valuable when they are partnered with other cards. We’ve included the details of what benefits you can unlock with the right pairing.
We also factored in the card’s total value the first year and its ongoing benefits and perks. There are many card benefits that can be worth much more than the card’s annual fee, if they are perks you’ll take advantage of regularly.
Are you eligible for the bonus on the Citi card you want?
Each Citi card has specific bonus eligibility rules, so you’ll want to read the fine print before you apply. For example, with the CitiBusiness American Airlines card you aren’t eligible for the intro bonus if you’ve earned a bonus with that specific card in the past 48 months.
With some cards that earn ThankYou points you cannot earn the bonus on more than one card of the same “brand” within 24 months. So you won’t be eligible for the Citi Premier card’s bonus if you opened or closed the Citi Prestige, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Citi Rewards+® Card, or Citi Premier card in the last 24 months.
What’s the best Citi credit card combo?
The best Citi credit card combo is having one of their “premium” (i.e. annual fee) cards and one of their no annual fee cards. That way, you can pool the ThankYou points you earn from both cards and redeem them for travel.
For example, with the Citi Double Cash card, you’ll earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase. Then, you can convert that cash back to ThankYou points if you hold a card like the Citi Premier, at a rate of one ThankYou point per cent. That’s a fantastic deal for a card that effectively earns 2 points on everything (1 when you make a purchase and 1 when you pay for a purchase).
What credit score do you need to get approved for a Citi credit card?
It’s always up to the bank to decide whether or not you’ll be approved for a particular card. And different cards require different credit scores. Some are geared toward people building their credit, whereas other cards require good to excellent credit.
Reports online indicate Citi can be quite picky when it comes to approvals. A strong credit score over 720 helps, but even with a strong credit score, late payments can cause your application to be denied, even if they were several years ago.
Citi has also been known to be very sensitive to new credit inquiries and recently opened accounts, and it does look at your credit card balances and utilization.
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