6 Reasons To Get The Citi ThankYou Premier Card

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For the past few days the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has been offering an increased sign-up bonus. We’ve never seen a bigger bonus on this card, so in this post I wanted to look at six reasons you should consider applying for this card under the current offer:

Sign-up bonus of 50,000 points

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. We’ve never seen a bigger publicly available bonus on the card. Last year we saw a similar offer at one point, though more recently we’ve seen sign-up bonuses of 30,000 points, and even no sign-up bonus at all, so this is pretty compelling.

Annual fee waived for the first year

Like many mid-range cards, the card has a $95 annual fee, though the annual fee is waived for the first 12 months. This is a great opportunity to try the card before you buy it, so to speak. Given the card’s sign-up bonus and bonus categories, it’s especially great to have the first year’s annual fee waived.

Great bonus categories (up to 3x points)

Purely in terms of bonus categories, I consider this to be the most well rounded mid-range card out there, as it offers:

  • 3x points on travel, including gas stations
  • 2x points on dining & entertainment
  • 1x points on all other purchases

While I do think Citi ThankYou points are worth slightly less than Amex Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points, there’s not another mid-range card out there that offers such generous bonus categories, in my opinion.


Transfer your Citi ThankYou points to Etihad for business class redemptions

Redeem points for $625 towards travel

If you’re someone who doesn’t want to play the mileage game, at a minimum you can redeem Citi ThankYou points for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of airfare. So the 50,000 point sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou Premier Card will get you $625 worth of airfare, which is an awesome sign-up bonus.


Redeem ThankYou points for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of an airline ticket

Great airline transfer partners

If you do like getting outsized value of your points by converting them into partner points with an airline, Citi ThankYou has over a dozen partners, including the following:

Citi ThankYou Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
Air France KLM FlyingBlue1000 : 1000
Avianca LifeMiles1000 : 1000
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1000 : 1000
Etihad Guest1000 : 1000
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands1000 : 1000
Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles1000 : 1000
Jet Airways JetPrivilege1000 : 1000
JetBlue TrueBlue1000 : 500
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1000 : 1000
Qantas Frequent Flyer1000 : 1000
Qatar Privilege Club1000 : 1000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1000 : 1000
Thai Royal Orchid Plus1000 : 1000
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1000 : 1000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1000 : 1000

If you don’t otherwise have Citi ThankYou points, some of these points currencies overlap with partners of Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, making it easy to accumulate a lot of points in a given program.


Singapore KrisFlyer is partners with Amex, Chase, Citi, and Starwood

Solid travel protection

The Citi ThankYou Premier Card offers all kinds of fantastic travel and purchase protection, which is also among the best offered by any mid-range card. Here are the basic details, though you’ll want to check the cardmember agreement for all the terms associated with the benefits:

Citi Premier BenefitsDetails
Baggage Delay Benefit• You can be reimbursed up to $100 per Covered Traveler, per Trip if the Covered Traveler’s checked baggage doesn’t get to their destination within 6 hours of arrival

Lost Luggage Reimbursement• Receive reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged checked or carry-on bags and personal property

• You are covered for up to $3,000 per Covered Traveler, per Trip ($2,000 per bag for New York residents), or up to $10,000 in total for all Covered Travelers
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance• Receive the non-refundable amount of the passenger fare or $5,000 (whichever is less) in the event of a trip cancellation or interruption

• If you only paid for a portion of the trip with your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points, Citi will only reimburse the lesser of the actual amount paid for with your Citi card (including ThankYou® Points) or the maximum coverage per Trip

• Covered reasons for cancelation are more extensive than some other cards, but still require documentation by licensed professionals. These include not death of the traveler or family member, sicknesses and injuries (or threat of sickness due to government health advisories) to the traveler, family member, or traveler's pet, involuntary employment termination, jury duty or subpoenas that can't be postponed or waived, and other personal matters

• Severe weather or natural disasters that cause travel stops are also covered, as are terrorist incidents in your destination • This also covers you if your airline goes out of business or tickets are otherwise cancelled by the carrier
Trip Delay Reimbursement• Receive up to $500 (per traveler, per trip) if your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours

• The trip has to be delayed because of severe weather, a natural disaster, a previously unannounced strike, a quarantine or hijacking
Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance• If you die (or are missing for more than 52 weeks) in a Common Carrier accident while traveling — or lose a limb, sight, speech or hearing — we may provide up to $500,000 in compensation

• Unlike the other benefits, to be eligible for coverage under this bene t, your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points must be used to purchase the full amount of the Common Carrier fare for the Covered Traveler(s)

• You're also not covered in a taxi, car service, rental car, and rideshare service, or if your death/injury is as a result of a riot or act of war
Damage & Theft Purchase Protection• Receive up to $10,000 per item, up to $50,000 per year, per Citi card account, for personal property that has been stolen, damaged within 120 days (90 days for New York residents) of purchase or delivery of the item

• Long list of exceptions, so be sure to check coverage limits
Citi Price Rewind• If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found by Citi, up to $500, with a maximum benefit per year of $2,500

• Again, there's a long list of exceptions, so be sure to check coverage limits
Extended Warranty• Extends the manufacturer’s warranty for an additional 24 Months

• Motorized vehicles (boats, cars, aircraft, etc.) aren’t included, along with other unique items that don't come with a manufacturer’s warranty

• In the event of a covered failure Citi will repair or replace the item or reimburse up to the amount charged on your Citi card and/or ThankYou® Points (excluding shipping and handling) or $10,000, whichever is less
Return Protection• If you try to return an item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, Citi may refund you the purchase price up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year

• Long list of exceptions, and the item must be returned to Citi in like-new and good working condition with all the original parts


The Citi ThankYou Premier can help in case your flight is delayed or canceled

Getting approved for the Citi ThankYou Premier Card

In terms of getting approved for the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, you’re not eligible for the sign-up bonus if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier, or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

So you are eligible if you currently have the Citi Prestige® Card, you just can’t have opened or closed it in the past 24 months.

Bottom line

If you don’t have the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, the card is seriously worth considering, especially given the increased sign-up bonus. The card has a big sign-up bonus, offers a great rewards structure, and also has excellent travel protection.

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Comments

  1. Are any of these xfer partners good for flying to Scotland w/o a lot of fees? And if I cancel the card next year, would I lose my points?

  2. Shouldn’t you also point out that if you cancel the card, you get 60 days to use the points or they expire.

    I’m all for you pushing the credit cards, and I refer others to your site. But if it isn’t a balanced discussion, I’ll have to stop.

    I personally dislike the card because I wasn’t ready to transfer the points (because SQ, CX, AF, Avianca all have expiration dates if you don’t fly them (or have bought points in the case of Avianca) so I had to pay the annual fee for another year just to preserve them (even though I also have Citi Prestige)

  3. @beachfan I’m pretty sure it’s possible for you to still hold on to your thank you points as long as you had another card that can also transfer thank you points. I think the process would have been to just transfer all your thank you points into the Citi prestige thank you points account similar to how chase UR works.

    I may be wrong on this tho and maybe things have changed since I held it but I know that I was able to move my thank you points from my Citi forward to my Citi prestige when I still had the cards

  4. @Andy, I just cancelled my Citi Premier (I, too, was tired of paying the annual fee just to keep the points). I had 30 days to use or lose the points associated with my Premier card, even though both points had been merged under my Prestige account years ago. They are somehow able to track where the points come from when the accounts are combined. After much fretting, I decided the best place to park the miles was with Avianca for Star Alliance award availability, which I know I will use soon. My next challenge is to clear out the Prestige miles. . .

  5. I consistently have bad experience trying to use this card abroad: pretty much every other transaction is marked as fraud: your card is locked and you are getting a lovely call in the middle of the night local time: “did you really try to charge $4.95 in local pharmacy???” Especially so if you try to use Applepay

  6. @Beachfan @Andy @Greg, when the one year is up and you don’t want to pay another annual fee, do a product change to the Preferred Card. It’s a no annual fee card and your points stay intact. No rush to transfer or lose them. I did this last year and had no issues.

  7. By all accounts this should have been the perfect card for my wife and I, but we experienced what PolarBear described. It’s almost impossible to use then thing when actually traveling. I canceled it after our first international trip because of how embarrassing it was trying to use a card that flags almost everything as fraud even with a travel notice posted.

  8. @DW TYP points that go from a Premier to Preferred have their value crippled, ie can only transfer to Jet Blue, not other airlines. And I think the cash redemption value is less.

    If one also had a Prestige or another Premier, I think you can transfer them into that TYP account, which then sets a 60 day timer on those points to use or lose.

    Another option would be to see about a retention bonus to offset the fee.

    @Andy, definitely NOT like Chase UR

  9. I had a hard time using the points for more than 1 cent for hotels in the travel portal since the prices there are inflated vs looking on booking.com. Then it was often an adventure checking in at smaller hotels in Asia. No one had heard of thank you or their subcontractor (“connexions” I think) who then used an undisclosed 5th party to book rooms. It was embarrassing checking in and not knowing who I booked through. I also needed to make several long calls using unstable voip from places like Sri Lanka to straighten things out. Nonetheless, I still like free nights. Your mileage may vary.

  10. I downgraded to Preferred to preserve my 65k points about a year ago. Can I now ‘upgrade’ to Premier and get the 50k bonus and get more value transfer partners for the 65k points?

  11. AMEX PRG with the elevated bonus at 50K MR points with only a 2K minimum spend is a no brainer. Apply with the right link. Cancel after the first year if you don’t want to keep it.

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