A Minimum Of $625 Of Airfare With The Citi ThankYou Premier Card

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Since last week, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening. On top of that, the card’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first 12 months. Prior to that the sign-up bonus was 30,000 points upon completing minimum spend, so this is a big improvement.

This card doesn’t get all that much coverage nowadays, given that it’s a competitor to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is probably the most popular mid-range credit card out there. However, I’d say that the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers a better return on spend, as it offers 3x points on travel and gas, plus 2x points on dining and entertainment.

One complaint that many have about ThankYou points is that their transfer partners aren’t quite as useful as Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards, which is a valid criticism that I’d largely agree with. I actually still quite value their partnership with Air France FlyingBlue, Etihad Guest, Singapore KrisFlyer, etc., but I do think the points are worth marginally less than those issued by their competitors.

Anyway, if you’re someone who has avoided ThankYou points because you’re not sure what you’d do with them, I think it’s worth posting about how redeeming them as cash towards a ticket isn’t a bad option either.

At a minimum, ThankYou points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents towards the cost of airfare through Citi’s travel portal. When you book through Citi’s website your ticket is still typically eligible for mileage accrual, upgrades, etc.

You can redeem those points towards the cost of a discounted business class ticket

Put another way, the 50,000 point sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is worth a minimum of $625 of airfare, which I consider to be an excellent sign-up bonus.

So even if you’re not someone who otherwise wants to get too invested in yet another transferable points currency, a sign-up bonus of $625 worth of airfare is excellent, and then you earn the equivalent of 3.75 cents of airfare for every dollar spent on travel and gas, and 2.5 cents of airfare for every dollar spent on dining and entertainment.

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  1. Well, the 100K points on the Chase SP card ended up being worth $1,500 for me when I used the Chase Portal and its 50% bonus to book 2 weeks in a $100 a night hotel.

    Add that to the $300 travel credit and we’re getting close to $2,000.

    So there’s that.

  2. You can merge both Citi and chase to Singapore, so that can help. That is unless their award pricing is too high. I’m live in an American hub city, so I haven’t bothered collecting star alliance miles

  3. I just signed up for this card and can’t wait to get the sign up bonus. I was drawn to the 3x gas and travel and the 2x entertainment and dining.
    The one thing I don’t like is that they don’t transfer to AA. They really should. But They do have CX, MH, QF & QR to book for ONEWORLD; AF,KL, GA for Skyteam; BR, SQ, TG for Star Alliance so you have all alliances covered plus other non alliance members.

  4. My big concern is the points die 60 days after card cancellation even if you also have the Premier. I wasn’t comfortable transferring to SQ given the 3 year expiration on those, so I reluctantly paid the AF again.

  5. Utilizing the transfer partners can definitely take the points farther. I just transferred 30k points to Flying Blue for a round trip ticket to Hawaii that would have been over $1000 in economy alone. Thanks for sharing your tips Lucky! I just wish I could get the Premiere card with the bonus but I already have the Prestige.

  6. @Lucky:
    “Put another way, the 50,000 point sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is worth a minimum of $625 of airfare, which I consider to be an excellent sign-up bonus.”

    I think you meant “Put “IT” another way”

  7. Matt, they are both top-line cards so the comparison seems valid. Why focus on the inferior one?

  8. @Martin

    – You meant Chase Sapphire Reserve, not Chase Sapphire Preferred.
    – The CSR has a much higher annual fee and is more comparable to the Citi ThankYou Prestige or AMEX Platinum cards.
    – The CSR bonus you received of 100K Chase UR points is no longer available, and we might never see that bonus again
    – The author of the post did mention the CSP.
    – Getting the Citi ThankYou Premier would not preclude anyone from also getting the bonus on the CSP, unless 5/24 is an issue.

    So what was your point?

  9. “I think you meant “Put “IT” another way”” — Actually, “Put another way” was correct 🙂


    Resident Grammar Nerd

  10. Do Citi TY Premier points transfer to American Airlines FF program? They list a few in the fine print along with an “etc.” Anyone know the full list or have link to it?

  11. Charlie,

    Well I guess the point we are both making is that one card is better than the other card!

    And as we know, the net difference in fees after the various credits may be small, zero or even negative!

    Then again, I guess you can hold both.

  12. This entire time you could redeem points as cash?? Thank you for this amazing article. I often use Hotelr to get my hotel rooms booked for half off but this adds on to the save. Great idea!

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