Citi ThankYou Premier Card Benefits

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Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige is expired. You can find the current offer details here.

Update: This offer for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

Citi has really upped their game this year to compete with American Express and Chase, in particular with their cards which accrue ThankYou points, which is their transferrable points currency.

The following two cards have proven especially lucrative:

  • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
    • Earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening
    • $95 annual fee, waived the first year
  • Citi Prestige® Card
    • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening
    • $450 annual fee (though tons of perks which help offset it)

I’ve written mostly about the Citi Prestige Card lately, though figured I’d also talk a bit about the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, as it’s a great card for maximizing everyday spend and “pooling” ThankYou points.

Why I’ve talked so much about the Citi Prestige® Card

I’ve written so much about this card because I think it offers the all around best value proposition of any card. This card comes with so many usefeul perks which help offset the annual fee, including:

On top of that, the card is rewarding for everyday spend, unlike many other “premium” credit cards (which are more focused on perks than return on everyday spend). The Citi Prestige Card has the following bonus categories:

  • 3x points on air travel and hotels
  • 2x points on dining out and entertainment
  • 1x point for all other purchases

The way I see it, when you factor in the $250 airline credit (which can even be applied towards airfare) that essentially lowers the “out of pocket” to $200 per year. The number of benefits you get for that is incredible, between Admirals Club access, Priority Pass access, the fourth night free hotel benefit (which has saved me thousands of dollars this year alone), etc.

Why the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is also worth considering

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is more of the mid-range Citi card, intended to compete with the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

What makes this card awesome?

Great sign-up bonus

The card offers a sign-up bonus of 40,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening.

Keep in mind that you can be approved for both the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige Card and earn the sign-up bonus on both cards, for a total of 90,000+ points.

Just keep Citi’s policy in mind when it comes to applying for new cards:

  • You can only apply for one Citi card every eight days
  • You can apply for no more than two Citi cards every 65 days

So as long as you wait at least eight days between applications, you should be able to get approved for both cards. I have both cards, and consider them to both be worthwhile.

Great for everyday spend

On top of that, the Citi Premier Card offers better bonus categories than the Citi Prestige Card, as follows:

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

While the Citi Prestige Card “only” offers 3x points on air travel and hotels, the Citi Premier Card offers triple points on all travel purchases (car rentals, parking, etc.), including gas. That’s a much broader category.

In terms of the potential to accrue points, this card is significantly more lucrative than the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which offers 2x points on travel and doesn’t include gas, and doesn’t offer 2x points on entertainment).

Along with the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, this is one of the two cards I put most of my day-to-day spend on. Between the two cards I earn:

  • 4.5x points at supermarkets
  • 3x points on travel and at gas stations
  • 2x points on dining
  • 1.5x points on everything else

I’d say that’s a return on everyday spend which is pretty tough to beat.

Stacking the Citi Prestige and Citi Premier

As I said above, you can earn the sign-up bonus on both the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and Citi Prestige® Card. That’s potentially 90,000+ points upon completing minimum spend. Just make sure you space out the applications by at least eight days, and don’t apply for more than two Citi cards in a 65 day period.

But the sign-up bonuses aren’t the only potential benefit of having both cards. When it comes to redeeming ThankYou points, you can transfer them to one of Citi’s airline partners, like Air France FlyingBlue, Singapore KrisFlyer, etc., or you can redeem them towards revenue travel on American.

One of the best values is redeeming those points for revenue travel on American, though the rate at which you can redeem towards that varies based on which card you’re redeeming points through. Points earned on the Citi ThankYou Premier Card can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards travel on any airline, while points earned on the Citi Prestige Card can be redeemed for 1.33 cents each towards travel on any airline, or 1.6 cents each towards travel on American.

The good news is that Citi lets you combine points, so you can transfer the points from your Premier to your Prestige, which would allow you to redeem all those points for 1.6 cents each towards travel on American. The process of redeeming them is pretty straightforward, and can be done directly through Citi’s website.

LAXLHR-3

Bottom line

While I’ve spoken a lot about the Citi Prestige® Card lately, there’s also tons of value to be had with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, especially if you’re looking for a card which will help you maximize your return on everyday spend. Like I said, it’s one of the two main cards I use for everyday spend.

The best part is that the two cards complement one another nicely. Not only can you pool points between the two cards, but if you have both then the Citi Prestige Card increases the value of the points you earn on the Premier Card.

At a minimum, the two cards will get you ~$1,600 towards travel on American after completing minimum spend, which is pretty incredible.


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Comments

  1. Hi Lucky,

    I don’t see a $100 global entry fee credit on the provided link for the citi prestige. Are you sure it’s still there?

  2. I’m now a believer in the Citi Prestige. The 4th night free benefit alone makes this card worth its $450 annual fee–as I just used it to save $1500 for a 4th night at a very pricey luxury resort (that we already had planned to book!). I realize that most people will never spend that much per night, but most people will never spend $450 for a credit card annual fee, either. Citi is aiming for the big spenders here, and the Prestige’s 4th night benefit makes me very comfortable using it for all of my other purchases, too–since I save so much on 4 night stays. Even most people who might spend less might be able to offset the $450 annual fee if they had 2 4 night hotel stays with rooms costing $250 per night–since that would save them $500 for the 2 stays!

  3. Hi Lucky,

    I’m interested in the Citi Prestige, but this note has me concerned about applying for it at this point in the year? Is it too late/cutting it too close to get the $250 fee credit in 2015? In other words, if I were to apply now, will I have a December statement, or will my first statement be in January, meaning the fee credit will count toward 2016, as opposed to 2015?

    Thanks,
    Jim

    $250 AIR TRAVEL CREDIT
    Purchases made by the Primary cardmember and Authorized Users on the Card Account are eligible for this statement credit. Please allow 1-2 billing cycles after the qualifying incidental air travel fee is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the account. This statement credit is an annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December. Pending transactions that do not post in your December billing cycle will count towards the next year’s Air Travel Credit. Airline Fees are defined as purchases made with airlines including Air fares, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases. Please allow 1-2 billing cycles after the qualifying air travel expense is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the account.

  4. @ Jim — There’s a chance you can ask them to set a closing date for your statement in the coming weeks, in which case you can still get the credit for this year. But I can’t guarantee it. Otherwise if you apply now you can take advantage of the 2016 statement credit in a few weeks, and then the 2017 one once your December 2016 statement closes.

  5. These cards look great for AA fliers, but I’m pretty locked into Delta (ATL resident). Any card recommendations for those of us who travel Delta frequently (outside of the Skymiles Amex)?
    Thanks!

  6. I got an email from Citi that said my airline credit would reset December 4 (last closing date). Just another data point.

  7. If AA becomes the 14th (or 15th, 16th) carrier to become a transfer partner, I’ll definitely get the premier card and give the prestige card a try. Using the SPG card now, but I should get much more value out the Citi cards.

  8. Don’t you have to book AA through the Citi site to use points? Isn’t Citi only showing their selected AA rates? In other words can you see a cheaper price for the same flight on the AA site itself? If so, that would reduce the value of those Citi points.

  9. Hey Lucky, on Amex Everyday Preferred how did you get 2x on dinning? I thought restaurant is not a category for Amex everyday or everyday preferred card. Thanks

  10. @Taryn – The 4.5x on supermarkets is after factoring in the 50% bonus on points for using the card 30 times in a month.

    @Tony – 2x on dining is from the Premier card. If you see the segue to the bullets, Ben says most of his day-to-day spend goes on one these two cards (Premier and Everyday Preferred) which earns the category bonuses listed in the bullets.

  11. Hi, I just wanted to make sure I was reading all the relevant charts correctly, in the above example of the RT from LAX-LHR, the number of thank you points necessary to get that ticket would be more than the amount of AA RDM for a “Miles SAAver Off-Peak” award ticket (I think the pre-devaluation is 20,000 each way, 22,500 each way post-devaluation)?
    I understand there are benefits in using the Thank You Points versus AA Miles, but just wanted to make sure I was understanding the charts correctly.

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