Citi ThankYou Premier Changes: Lower Annual Fee And New Bonus Categories

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Note: The benefits and annual fee structure on this card are changing as of April 19th, 2015. Please note the specific application terms and bonus details.Learn more about the current offer here.

Traditionally when you think of the “big three” transferable points currencies, American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest come to mind.

Citi clearly wants a bit more of the action, because around the middle of last year, Citi ThankYou points became transferable to more than a handful of airlines, including Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, which is one of my favorite frequent flyer programs.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card current benefits

The mid-range card for accruing Citi ThankYou points is the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which has the following lucrative structure for earning points through April 18th:

  • 3x ThankYou points on dining & entertainment
  • 2x ThankYou points on airfare, hotels, and travel agencies
  • 1x ThankYou point on all other purchases

Especially lucrative, as you can see, is the 3x points on dining. Ordinarily I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for dining, which offers me double points, though triple is even better!

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card also has a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, and then an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of your second year of being a cardmember.

As of now the card has a $125 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card new benefits

However, Citi will be mixing up the benefits of the card as of April 19, 2015.

Citi-ThankYou-Premier-10

For one, they’ll be lowering the annual fee on the card from $125 to $95, which puts the card more in line with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and other mid-range cards.

Beyond that, the new bonus categories will be as follows:

  • 3x ThankYou points on travel & gas
  • 2x ThankYou points on dining and entertainment
  • 1x ThankYou point on all other purchases

Earning 3x points on travel & gas is awesome. For what it’s worth, Citi also has a pretty liberal interpretation of what constitutes travel, which includes airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies, gas stations, commuter transportation, taxi/limousines, passenger railways, cruise lines, bridge and road tolls, parking lots/garages, campgrounds and trailer parks, time shares, bus lines, motor home/RV Rental and boat rentals.

CSP-Parking
Time to use a new credit card for parking?

Are the changes positive?

Basically Citi is flipping around bonus categories here — dining goes from 3x to 2x, while travel goes from 2x to 3x, with the addition of 3x points on gas as well.

Like most things in life, whether or not these changes are positive depends on who you ask.

The annual fee decreasing $30 is awesome. As someone that spends a fair amount on dining I’m sad to see the decrease from 3x points to 2x points. At the same time, earning 3x points on virtually all travel purchases and gas is awesome.

Given that this card has no foreign transaction fees and a reasonable annual fee, it’s quickly turning into what could be a lucrative primary card.

How do you feel about the changes to the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card?

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Comments

  1. Horrible change for restaurants …..I’ll now buy restaurant gift cards on the first Friday every month and put the Citi card in the drawer……..everyone is already getting 5X on gas thru Safeway, Freedom or staples so that change is menaingless to me…..big yawn………Citi you were great for a while……..I’ll miss you…..

  2. Citi has a way better offer for this card if you go to their website and check your prequalified offers.

  3. The annual fee for this card used to be $95 and then they upped it to $125 but grandfathered those in who were paying $95. Now it seems it’s $95 for everyone.

    IMHO, still seems like little benefit in this card unless you spend a lot on gas and like their minimal transfer partners (Singapore seems like the only good one).

  4. Keep in mind that the second portion of the sign-on bonuses (20K+30K) is paid after the renewal. So $95 instead of $125 for 30K TYP is a better deal.

  5. i am very sad to see 3x on dining go away… BUT… with 3x on all travel i will rather keep Premier and close Sapphire.

  6. Agree that 3X on gas is useless. Three months a year Freedom is 5X for gas. The rest of the year I already get 3X on gas with the Everyday Preferred, and those purchases help me get to 30 uses a month, which means 4.5X on groceries. And those MR points have more transfer possibilities than TYP.

    I was excited at the thought of 3X on Dining vs 2X with the CSP, but they just killed that for me. 🙁

    The only use I can see for this is 3X for travel, and leaving it in the sock drawer in between trips, since the CSP and EDP work as well or better at home. Definitely worth it for the free first year with 20K SQ miles, but would I pay $95 to renew it just to use for an extra point per $ over the CSP on travel? Yeah, I suppose so for year 2, since it gives you an extra 30K. But certainly not for year three with no further bonus.

  7. @Robert even AMEX gas is worthless next to Chase Freedom grocery gas cards 5x this quarter…..then as you say Freedom 5X one quarter, and the “other” 2 quarters have plenty of 5X options at Office Supply stores.

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