Citi Premier Card Review

by | Mar 23, 2020

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The Citi Premier℠ Card, one of Citi’s five ThankYou® rewards cards, delivers a super-generous sign-up bonus and a 25% boost in point value when you redeem the points through Citi’s travel portal. Rewards points can add up fast, too, at 3 points (3X) for every $1 dollar spent on travel, 2X on dining and entertainment and 1X for other purchases.

However, the Citi Premier℠ Card has its minuses. For instance, while this card boasts a broad travel category that includes items like gas and public transportation in addition to hotels, airfare, and car rentals, its airline point-transfer program features only one U.S. airline, JetBlue, which may put off some travelers.

For the most part, whether this rewards card works well for you comes down to your travel preferences and your use of the card for everyday purchases to rack up rewards points.

Is the Citi Premier℠ Card right for you? Let’s take a look.

Name of card: Citi Premier℠ Card

Best for: Frequent travelers, everyday credit card users and people seeking to earn points rapidly.

Rewards: 3 points for every dollar spent on travel purchases; 2 points for each $1 spent on dining and entertainment; 1 point for each $1 spent on other purchases.

Frequent travelers can rack up rewards points quickly, with 3X points on every $1 spent on travel. Another upside: a 25% bonus for points redeemed on any airline, any time, with no blackout dates when you book it through Citi’s ThankYou® Travel Center. 

Even those who rarely travel still can benefit from this card. That’s because the Citi Premier℠ Card travel category is broad, including gas purchases, commuter transportation, bridge and toll roads, and parking lots and garages, on top of airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises.

You’ll also earn 2X points when you charge dining, with some exclusions, such as restaurants inside other establishments like a grocery store, wholesale club or hotel. Other 2X points earnings include live entertainment, live sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, and on-demand streaming.

Other perks: Points redeemed for airfare through the ThankYou® Travel Center are worth 25% more. Citi Private Pass® gives you a better shot at grabbing good seats, thanks to presale access to concert tickets and other events. 

The card also comes with Citi Price Rewind, which performs a 60-day search for a lower price on purchases with the card and might result in a refund of the price difference. You’ll also enjoy access to Citi® Concierge services for assistance with travel, shopping, and entertainment. 

Annual fee: $95 (waived for the first 12 months). Even if you’re not a fan of this card’s $95 annual fee, you don’t have to pay the annual fee for the first 12 months. So you can try Citi Premier℠ Card for a year to see how you like it. If the card falls short, you can cancel it before the annual fee comes due.

Other fees: 3% (or $5) balance transfer fee; 5% (or $10) cash advance fee; late payment or returned payment fee up to $39; no foreign transaction fee.

Bonus: Citi Premier℠ Card’s whopping 50,000-point bonus if you spend $4,000 on the card in three months can more than make up for the annual fee. You’ll maximize those points by booking airfare through the ThankYou® Travel Center, where every point is worth 25% more. That means 50,000 points can buy $625 in airfare, compared with $500 when you redeem those points for gift cards.

How This Card Might Bring Joy to Your Wallet

If you’re strategic about using this card for 3X and 2X purchases and redeeming points for airfare for the extra 25%, Citi Premier℠ is a solid rewards card, which makes the small annual fee more palatable. Remember that you don’t have to pay the annual fee until you’ve taken the card’s rewards program for a 12-month spin.

How This Card Might Not Bring Joy to Your Wallet

If you like transferring points to your favorite airline loyalty program, the only U.S.-based program on the transfer list is JetBlue’s TrueBlue. Also, the $95 annual fee might not be worth it unless you’re a frequent traveler or you use the card for everyday purchases.

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