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Beginning today, Citi has improved the sign-up bonus on their mid-tier card, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. You can now earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The annual fee is waived the first year, and $95 per year thereafter.
Previously the card had 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. In other words, you had to wait a whole year (and pay the second year’s annual fee) before earning the sign-up bonus (for those of us that like instant gratification, that’s not so fun).
This improved sign-up bonus coincides with the positive changes which Citi made to this card as of yesterday, April 19, 2015.
Citi ThankYou® Premier bonus categories
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has the following earnings structure:
- 3x points on travel
- 3x points on gas
- 2x points on dining out and entertainment
- 1x 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.
Earn 3x points on all travel purchases with the Citi ThankYou Premier Card
This card can be rewarding for everyday spend
With 3x points on travel and gas, this is in my opinion on balance the best card for spend in those categories.
Prior to this, most of my travel spend went onto the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, though this is enough to make me switch.
Meanwhile 2x points on dining matches the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, though this card also gets you 2x points on entertainment. My dining spend will likely continue to go on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Citi is really improving their program
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 has stepped up their game even further, and over the past few weeks we’ve seen an increased bonus on the Citi Prestige Card, which is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months.
Seeing a comparable bonus on their mid-range card is awesome, and I hope an indicator that Citi will become more competitive with Chase and Amex in the rewards card space.
Having this card increases the value of your other ThankYou points
Many people have ThankYou points from another Citi product, either the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card which had a nice bonus a few years back, or from downgrading other cards to a no-fee product that earns ThankYou points.
Points can be combined across all your ThankYou accounts, which means that if you have a “premium” card like the Citi ThankYou® Premier you can effectively pool and then transfer all your ThankYou points to airline partners.
Beyond Singapore KrisFlyer, the transfer partners of the “premium” ThankYou cards are as follows:
|Air France/KLM | Flying Blue||Garuda Indonesia | Frequent Flyer||Qatar Airways | Privilege Club||Hilton | HHonors|
|Cathay Pacific | Asia Miles||JetBlue | TrueBlue||Singapore Airlines | KrisFlyer|
|EVA Air | Infinity MileageLands||Malaysia Airlines | Enrich||Thai Airways | Royal Orchid Plus|
|Etihad | Etihad Guest||Qantas | Frequent Flyer||Virgin Atlantic | Flying Club|
Make the card even more valuable in conjunction with the Citi Prestige Card
I’ve also written extensively about the Citi Prestige Card, which is also offering an increased sign-up bonus. I’ve actually applied for both the Citi Prestige Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card in recent weeks.
What’s great about the Citi Prestige Card is that it actually makes your ThankYou points potentially even more valuable, given that you can redeem those points for 1.6 cents each towards the cost of an American or US Airways ticket.
In other words, if you have both the Prestige and Premier cards, you can “pool” those points on the Prestige and redeem them towards the cost of American/US Airways tickets at a rate of 1.6 cents of value per point.
Given that this card has among the most lucrative category bonuses out there, no foreign transaction fees and a reasonable annual fee, it’s quickly turning into what could be a lucrative primary card. The improved terms of the sign-up bonuses and recent positive changes to the card make it an absolute no brainer, in my opinion.
I was approved for the Citi ThankYou® Premier a few weeks ago — who is looking at applying for the card now given the awesome new sign up bonus?