With the Citi Premier Card, Citi Offers Another Option in Their Credit Card Line-up

Marcy Bialeschki
November 9, 2020

The all-new, redesigned Citi Premier card by MasterCard made its debut recently. And Citi has managed to fill a gap in its line-up of cards, making the Citi Premier one for avid travelers without costing an arm and a leg with a ridiculously high annual fee. With the Citi Premier card, you’ll get a generous sign-up bonus for hitting a spending threshold and enjoy useful categories with unlimited points that never expire. Let’s take a look at the Citi Premier card details and see if it’s right for you.

The remarkable 60,000 points for $4000 spent in the first three months is a phenomenal deal. However, beyond that, the Citi Premier stops short with no 0% APR period. But there is more good news -- while some cards devalue their points depending on how you use them, the Citi Premier card gives you what you’ve earned, in most cases.

For example, the 60,000 sign-up bonus points equal $600 towards gift cards. This redemption value is the standard 1:1 ratio, which is not bad. However, if you choose to use your 60,000 points for air travel booked through Citi, you’ll get more value with a redemption at $750. Points can also be redeemed at Amazon.com and Bestbuy.com, but it is undetermined the value of those points through these venues.

If you look to the industry standard, points are usually devalued through online shopping methods. However, it seems this travel card rewards travelers with more points but does not punish people who choose to redeem their points for gift cards. The Thank You Points program even lets you redeem points to pay your mortgage or student loan payments. The downside to the Citi Premier rewards is you cannot use your points to get cash or statement credit.

Categories

3X the points for dining out

3X the points at supermarkets

3X the points at gas stations

3X the points on travel

3X the points at hotels

1X the points on all other purchases

One of the ‘redesigned’ aspects of the Citi Premier card includes added category savings. The 3X the points for dining out and supermarkets are new category values that make the Citi Premier card more attractive and slides it into the ‘everyday use’ card category.

Citi defines ‘dining out’ as patronizing restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, and fast food. As for the ‘supermarkets’ category, Citi does not include superstores. For Citi, the ‘travel’ category includes airfare and travel agency costs in addition to gas stations and hotels.

Another new feature of the redesigned Cit Premier card is an annual hotel stay feature. This addition is a nice perk for folks who want to recoup their $95 yearly fee. However, this feature has some restrictions that might make it out of reach for some cardholders.

The hotel reward is $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees. Plus, this offer is only suitable for hotels booked through Thankyou.com. While this offer might seem paltry compared to another anniversary stay bonuses, it is right on the mark in comparison.

The $95 annual fee for the Citi Premier card is significantly lower than other premium travel credit cards with annual fees of $400 - $500. Receiving a $100 credit towards a $500 stay is actually similar in value to a free night offered by other premium cards. The Citi Premier card’s low annual fee is a comforting feature for its customers compared to hundreds of dollars. And the new $100 off a hotel stay gives them a way to recoup the fee. What’s the catch? Often when things sound too good to be true, there’s a catch. In this case, it’s only a minor one and pretty standard with credit card companies. You cannot receive the 60,000 bonus points if you have opened or closed any Citi Rewards card in the past 24 months.

Basics

$95 annual fee

No foreign transaction fee

15.99% - 23.99% APR

15.99% - 23.99% balance transfer APR

$5 or 3% balance transfer fee (whichever is greater)

Perks

Extended warranty protection on purchases made with the Citi Premier card

Damage and theft protection for repairs or replacement on a damaged or stolen item within 90 days of purchase. This coverage is up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 max per year.

$10 off on every 5 Lyft rides in one calendar month

Access to luxury resorts and hotels worldwide

Free FICO score updates

Citi Entertainment feature for VIP access to concerts, sporting events, and exceptional dining experiences

Citi Concierge for help with shopping, dining reservations, and entertainment arrangements while traveling

Digital wallet to speed through check out

Add an authorized user for free to accumulate even more points

Contactless pay for piece of mind

Target Audience

Everyone has different needs when it comes to a credit card, so the Citi Premier might not be right for you. The following is a customer profile that matches perfectly with the features the Citi Premier card offers.

Frequent Traveler: SInce the points value is geared toward airfare and travel, frequent travelers will get the most out of this card.

Exceptional Credit: You will need top-tier credit to be considered for this card.

Pay in Full Every Month: You will need to pay your bill in full every month since the APR is relatively high. This card is not designed to carry a balance.

Book Through Citi Site: You will need to be okay with booking all travel through the Citi ThankYou Rewards website to get the travel deals mentioned.

Specific Airlines: You will need to book flights with the Citi Premier rewards program’s airline partners.

Low Annual Fee: People who like the idea of paying a lower annual fee will enjoy a reasonable $95 yearly price.

Diversifying Points: Folks who dabble in the act of accumulating and transferring points on various credit cards now have another option.

While the Citi Premier card does not have top-level travel perks the way some other cards do, this card is perfect for the person who would rather pay a lower annual fee. The sign-up bonus is generous in points but falls short by not offering a 0% APR. Still, even after the initial bonus points are gone, the points earning power is robust, making the Citi Premier card an option as an everyday use credit card.

While no credit card is right for everyone, Citi has placed another card in their line-up that could be right for you.

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