8 Reasons I Love The Citi ThankYou Premier Card

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I recently got the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which was very exciting since it was my first card with such wide bonuses in many categories. Over the past months this card has taken the front seat and I’ve been constantly utilizing it near my credit limit. Meanwhile, my other cards have been taking a break. In this post I’ll list the top-eight reasons I love this card.

3x points on all travel 

While many American Express cards earn 3x points or higher on airfare purchased directly with airlines, only cards from Citi and Chase earn points across many types of travel. This has proven incredibly valuable for me, since I can earn 3x points on 90% of my spend. Flights booked anywhere online, hotels, Airbnb, taxis, busses, trains and more — and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be that way. It gets even better if you charge hotel meals to your room since they will earn 3x points when you pay your bill at the hotel reception.

Redeem ThankYou Points for Singapore Airlines Business Class.
Redeem ThankYou Points for Singapore Airlines Business Class.

2x points on restaurants and entertainment 

In addition to the generous travel earnings, this card gives me 2x points on all my spend at restaurants, even outside the US. I didn’t appreciate the value of this before I had the card, but now I’m amazed that Citi can even detect tiny back alley places in Bangkok as restaurants, and rewards me for it. In addition, I earn 2x points at movie theaters, amusement parks and more — all over the world! That’s unique to Citi.

$95 annual fee (waived the first year) 

Do these earning rates sound familiar? That’s because they are. The Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve have similar earning rates on spend. However, one thing they certainly don’t have is the sweet little $95 annual fee. Essentially, I’m earning most of the same rewards as I would on a $450/year credit card as I am paying 1/5 of the price for my Citi Premier.

No foreign transaction fees

Since I “technically” live in Sweden, this is a must! I’m saving hundreds of dollars a year on foreign transactions fees alone, and don’t think I could ever go back to paying a premium of 2-3% on my other cards when abroad. Wherever I am in the world, I can use this card for free.

I had no foreign transaction fees when traveling to Peru.
I had no foreign transaction fees when traveling to Peru. 

It’s a Mastercard 

While it’s not often acknowledged, Mastercards have their perks over some other card issuers. Almost all merchant around the world accept these card types, including online stores. In the months I’ve had this card, it has never failed me. Even in rural parts of India ATMs and stores would accept Mastercards if they had a foreign card option.

Trip delay/cancellation protection  

While not quite as good as the Citi Prestige® Card, the Citi Premier offers generous trip delay protection. If you have a delay of 12 hours or longer, Citi will reimburse you for all costs incurred due to the delay, including alternative flights, hotels and food. I used to assume all credit cards offered protection like this until I was dealing with a 23-hour delay last summer. The credit card I’d paid my ticket with had no protection whatsoever. It was incredibly frustrating and I’m glad I won’t have to deal with that again.

There’s no need to worry about incurring costs during delays.

In addition, the card protects you in the event of weather or airline strike delays, in which EU compensation does not apply. Many times, hold times can be hours long when airlines are dealing with systemwide delays, and forget trying to get support at the airport. Being able to make your own plans, charge them to your Citi Premier and retroactively claim reimbursement can be a weight off your shoulders.

However, be sure to check the terms of your cardmember agreement for exact details of the protection.

Baggage delay protection

If the airline will not compensate you for purchases after baggage delays, the Citi Premier offers up to $100 per passenger for delays that exceed six hours. Since my bags seem to be cursed, and get lost all the time, this will definitely come in handy.

The card itself

Many issuers offer metal premium cards nowadays. Though the Citi Premier isn’t metal, the front of the card has an optical allusion giving the logo a cool 3D look. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen people double-take when I’ve handed them my card.

Citi Premier

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with my Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. I don’t think there’s a more rewarding card in the $95 annual fee range. It’s also worth noting that I was approved for the card with a credit history of only 18 months at the time, and quite a high credit utilization.

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  1. The look of the card? Seriously? Lucky, enough of this, don’t be such a shill: please stop letting Daniel post these embarrassing articles slinging subpar cards and crummy airlines that have given him free trips.

  2. daniel,
    if you think the 30k sign up bonus is a good reason, then you should not be reviewing credit cards.
    stick to what you know. no bs please.

  3. I’m sorry, I love this blog, but I have to agree with all of the above comments. There is literally nothing worthwhile in this article… the sign-up bonus is at an all-time low, there is nothing that distinguishes it from similar Chase cards… It’s a mastercard… really? A better idea for an article would have been to compare/contrast the Citi Priemier vs. Citi Prestige to help people decide which one to sign up for or whether or not they should downgrade, etc… There is literally nothing of value in this article.

  4. Wow

    I urge readers not to apply for this. 30k is a terrible signup bonus – and signing up for this would preclude you from getting ANY thank you card bonus for 24 months (somehow this was omitted)

    This card has had historically a higher bonus. Other thank you cards have had higher bonuses

    Please put your readers first. Do not endorse this

  5. Agreed with above comments. Been following lucky for years and love your reviews and perspectives. But articles like this ruin your reputation and brand.

  6. While I disagree with the other comments and do find Daniel’s opinion worthwhile, I also agree that this posting could have been far superior with a few changes.

    First off Daniel, I really enjoy your posts but I also think they miss the mark in the information they convey because of the framework you use when developing your posts. Typically your posts focus on you and why you like or dislike something. Honestly, most readers aren’t looking for the reason you like something but rather want to know how it can be benefit them. As such, you really need to change your posts from being a story about you into a story about you that also tells people why they should value the product you are reviewing. This often requires a more detailed analysis, comparisons between other similar products, and a wifm (What’s in it for me) that tells your audience why this product is above average, average, or below average.

    Second, you need to showcase value propositions in your articles which are often missing. For instance, in this post you compare the Citi ThankYou Premier to the Chase Sapphire Reserve and talk about how you are getting amazing benefits for 1/5 the price. However, that is an overly simplistic statement because the two cards offer different redemption opportunities and rates, different earning rates (for instance the Citi ThankYou Premier offers 3X points on gas which you didn’t mention), and other goodies like Priority Pass Membership, Travel Credits, Global Entry Fee reimbursement, as well as differences in extended warranties, travel protection etc. To go on a tangent for a second, did you know that the Chase Sapphire Reserve actually offers up to $2500 in medical insurance outside your country of residence on trips of greater than 5 business days with only a $50 deductible. I have yet to find another card that offers this and this was one of the big reasons I still purchased travel insurance so this encourages me to skip the travel insurance now. Although some of the other benefits on the Chase Sapphire Reserve are weaker then the Citi Prestige or other cards so I may still decide to keep it.

    Third, while the Signup bonus may seem high to you for many of us who have been following credit card signup bonuses for years the bonus is average at best. However, since you are younger and reside outside the United States where signup bonuses tend to be weaker your viewpoint that the signup bonus is amazing may be valid from your perspective. However, you need to frame it that way since most credit cards for college students do not offer signup bonuses or are very limited and as previously mentioned some countries do not have the aggressive signup bonuses we do in the US.

    With all of that said, I know you are still young and learning the art of blog posting so always am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt with your weaker posts and do enjoy the unique content you typically bring to the table with a european point of view.

    Wishing you the best with your future blog posts.


  7. Cool, I didn’t know Swedes can get US credit cards, much less affiliate shill for them.

  8. I and most other people in the credit card world would actually consider this one of the worst credit cards to apply for. The sign up bonus is at a low for the card and TY points are a consensus least valuable transfer currency, no FX fees is becoming pretty ubiquitous on cards today, can earn 3x and 2x bonuses on cards with same annual fee in more valuable currencies, or 2x back on no annual fee. The card itself is nothing special its a generic plastic card this adds a grand total of 0 value.

    Please don’t sign up for this card if you want a $95 annual fee card get the chase sapphire preferred or get a true premium travel card or even the Amex PRG is much better for same annual fee. Their is nothing unique about this card and Daniel is just trying to get some referral money for a washed up card which I’m sure doesn’t get much attention nowadays.

    I don’t mind most of Daniel’s posts being paid for travel, but cmon this is ridiculous. Everyone here knows there’s not point in applying to this card. Also Daniel needs to start offering criticism I have no problem with reviewing a product you get for free but tell us the downsides to this is just scummy tactics.

  9. What all the negative comments fail to realize is that this is in fact the best $95 annual fee Mastercard on the market . Tell me another Mastercard for $95 a year, first year waved that has 3x the earning bonuses that this card has ?

  10. @jerry

    You cannot be serious. First of all the difference btw a Mastercard and visa is negliable at best

    But, yes, there are better Mastercards. The arrival, with a 50k bonus offers 2x on EVERYTHIG, and is churnable, and doesn’t preclude you from getting other, better, thank you cards

  11. Unless you have tons of travel expenses the Arrival Plus is a little better for a lot of people. 2x on everything and 5% points rebate. You have to redeem in 10k blocks but aren’t required to use a travel partner. I actually have the TY Premier and TY Preferred but each had 50k signing bonuses not 30k. I’d wait for a better offer if you want this card.

  12. jerry, why are you trying to limit the discussion to only include MC?
    who cares if it is mastercard or visa?
    MC has slightly better fx rate than visa but CSP has better auto rental coverage, better transfer partners and better sign up offer.
    even amex PRG is way better than 30k citi ty premier.

  13. @rrg
    The Barclays arrival card is a solid card, just wish it would have transfer partners

  14. I thought this card was downgraded for a while last year to ZERO sign up points. If so 30K is pretty good.
    I got the Prestige last year and could do with another 30K, but when I went to the link, it said no bonus if had any of these cards in past 24 months.

    So I guess i will check back in 2018. LOL

    As far as rest of his report, it is interesting to me that it includes restaurants and entertainment worldwide. I will go back and check if the Prestige is similar?? Anyone know for sure?

  15. This one was pretty bad. I know a lot of credit card “reviews” are basically sales pitches, but most have at least some useful info that make them worth reading. This article was a waste of time for anyone who follows this blog.

  16. Seriously, this blog post is just crap. There are much better cards to recommend.
    Ben needs to kick Daniel off this blog.

  17. ^ That’s a bit of an overreaction. Daniel has many very unique perspectives and special niches that aren’t covered by any other travel bloggers, and many of his articles are very educational and inspiring. This article, however, was not one of his finer pieces. I love reading Ben’s blog and I love that he brought Daniel on board, but nobody is perfect 100% of the time. Hopefully Daniel will listen to the very well thought out advice mentioned above by JC and incorporate the feedback into his future articles. I look forward to reading more of his posts in the future. Shame on him for this one article, but everyone gets a pass every now and then, hopefully he will view this as a learning experience and not a personal attack.

  18. I just received 55K offer in the mail for this card. “Great bonus” LOL

  19. Why does your twitter state you are 100% self-funded? I’m pretty sure your breaking fcc law.
    Normally live your content, so please take JC’s criticism into consideration.

  20. “The card is currently offering 30,000 points after spending $3000 in the first three months. That’s a great sign-up bonus.”

    Unreal. Either blatant lying or blatant incompetence. Neither should have any place on OMAAT.

  21. @Jay This card actually had a 0-point sign up bonus most of last year, hence why I consider 30k to be a deal good, especially given that the Prestige is only 10k higher!

  22. @Daniel “This card actually had a 0-point sign up bonus most of last year, hence why I consider 30k to be a deal good, especially given that the Prestige is only 10k higher!”

    A bit of research on Google will show that this card has had a signup bonus of 50k, even 60k at one point. A lot of people held off SPG 30k offer since it has had an offer of 35k, so this really is a downer of an advice.

    @doublejade I’d rather Daniel go, cry, and learn a lesson or two rather than coming back with some very lame excuse like the above.

  23. I made the mistake of signing up for this card when it was offering the 50,000 points as did my wife with the understanding that we could transfer any amount of points. Citi abruptly changed their policy allowing only 100,000 points to be exchanged between spouses per year, which isn’t enough for a round-trip business or first class ticket.

    Moreover, in the several years I have had this card they have yet to add a worthwhile domestic carrier which offers Europe or Asia travel using points.

    Thus, I strongly disagree with your assessment and would not recommend this card to anyone. For the same price get the Sapphire which actually has good transfer partners and works well with the other Chase ultimate rewards. Moreover you can transfer points between spouses freely and not be handcuffed by Citi’s nonsensical policies

  24. One other reason this card sucks deals with the transfer of points between spouses. Citi limits the time that you have to use the points once transferred to 90 days otherwise you lose them whereas with Chase and other competitors they remain available for use as long as you have their cards.

  25. A bit of bashing going on in the comments with this card, some of it unfairly so IMO given comparisons about ‘x card is better’. What works for one person is not necessarily the best for someone else. For me this is the card I put all of my spend on nowadays – reason being is my mainstay airline is Qatar which offers a 1:1 points-miles transfer with citi thankyou. This has boosted my ability to upgrade frequently quite significantly. The much touted Chase Sapphire would by contrast be useless for me, so its ultimately down to the individual to decide.

    I got this card when the intro offer was slightly better (50k points) but even so, as it went off offer completely, the 30k isn’t to be sniffed at.

    My 10 year old daughter actually also agrees about the logo with the 3D effect…she thinks its cool! 🙂

    Peace out

  26. I love OMAAT blog in general, but this post was a big disappointment. Agree with all the commentators above. It’s an unashamedly terrible pure-promotion piece, not true analysis in any degree, and decreases the credibility of the blog. Were it to be actually helpful, it should bench-mark these features against similar cards (i.e. CSP and CSR). As soon as I saw that 30K is a “great” sign-up bonus, I knew this piece was going to be a complete puff-piece, and it was. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred currently has a 50K sign up bonus!!! All these features you mentioned, the CSP has or exceeds! Reminds me of “alternative facts” view of the world.

    This card actually had a 0-point sign up bonus most of last year, hence why I consider 30k to be a deal good, especially given that the Prestige is only 10k higher!
    — The value proposition for Prestige comes not from the sign-up bonus but rather it’s features!
    — Going from absolutely abysmal (0-point sign up) to really bad (30k) doesn’t mean the bonus is good! This logic makes no sense. You should benchmark this against its most comparable cards. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred currently has a 50K sign up bonus!!!

    I don’t mean to sound harsh, but this is really elementary analysis, and Lucky should vet these posts before you guys submit them.

    Btw, minor point:
    “but now I’m amazed that Citi can even detect tiny back alley places in Bangkok as restaurants, and rewards me for it.”
    This is establishment categorization. It’s not Citi. If it works for Citi, it’s also going to work for Visa. Visa will detect the restaurant categorization too.

  27. Several major points left out in this post.

    No sign up bonus for the Premier if you have opened or closed any type of TYPs card in the last 24 months.

    You will be denied for either Sapphire card if you have gotten more than 5 (sometimes 4) personal cards from any bank in the past 24 months.

    Also crucial to understand that the points on any TYPs card will disappear in 90 days if you cancel the card.

    Then again, not mentioned that 3X on gas is a definite positive. 😉

  28. Clearly, Chase Ultimate Rewards have better points transfer options, but I think people are being too harsh on this card, as I love my Thank You Preferred card. It was the first card I ever got when I began the points hobby, and aside from the transfer partners and dumb rules for transferring points, I have had some great experiences with their customer service that ensure I keep this card for the long run. Plus, there is not a better option for gas stations, as 3x points is the best value to be had in the market that I am aware of (except maybe the Amex business gold if you select gas as the 3x category). Also, the 2x points for entertainment is very inclusive, as I received the bonus points when I bought tours and tickets when traveling in Italy. Where Citi really shines, though, is their customer service. Last year, I was offered a retention bonus of 500 bonus points for 16 months for $500 spend on my card each month, plus the annual fee was waived. Their product protection service has been excellent, as well. When I bought my wife a smart watch for Christmas, the crown fell off when the watch fell off a shelf while charging. We turned in a claim for the watch since it was within their warranty period, sent them pictures of the watch, and received a check for the full value of the watch within a week without even having to return it! (It turned out I was able to take the watch to a shop, and he was able to fix it for less than $10). I have also received refunds for their price protection feature, and been credited Thank You points when 2 7,000 points redemptions were instantaneously processed instead of one.

    While it is true the 30,000 point bonus is not great, I would argue this is a great long-term card to keep in your wallet for gas and entertainment, so jump at the next 50,000 or 60,000 sign up opportunity.

  29. Uhh, you’re using a credit card to pay at back alley food places in Bangkok…?

    I’m a points whore, but I draw the line somewhere.

  30. I agree with Daniel that the card itself looks really cool. I mean, every other bank is copying Chase with the heavy material, which has been around for years. Citi comes up with something original and optically pleasing. They deserve credit for that.

  31. This is borderline dishonest. Seriously calling 30k points a great signup? Really feels like they are trying to take advantage of people with this post. I just don’t see why this card should be recommended to anyone given all the alternatives. I actually have this card and the prestige and know the benefits full well and still say its subpar at best.

  32. I have to agree with all the comments above….. please prioritize readers instead of doing this type of marketing

  33. First reason: Great sign up bonus of 30K???? I just stopped reading after that. You’re either too stupid to realized this card had a 60/50K bonus in the past or you’re just straight up lying to readers for referrals. I mean I get it, you gotta pay bills and those referrals pay very well. BUT WOW, I never thought OMAAT would sink to this level… Heck, even TPG is better than this post…

  34. Worst post of the year so far. Isn’t that the same kid who wrote a previous post saying he thought he got a great deal from the Amex Everyday card 10k signup bonus? LOL

  35. Seriously. You own self serving interests are clearly visible in your recent posts. How much are you getting paid to mislead the facts about this card to OMAAT readers. Luckily, based on the comments, they are smarter then you are and see the shilling. Add this post to your comp trips and your claiming they are not reviews is complete disingenuous. Yeah, you are 100% self funded as you try to get comps from hotels and airlines that think you are an “influencer”. Sorry, sweetheart, that’s not being 100% self funded. You have no credibility and are a detriment to OMAAT.

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