Benefits Of Citi Premier Card And How To Make The Most Of It

If you’re after big earning potential in more everyday spending categories, with the freedom to either use your points for travel or transfer them to Citi’s 18 transfer partners, the Citi Premier Card is worth a look. Add in a $100 annual hotel savings benefit and the Citi World Elite Mastercard benefits, and you have a winner.

Earn 3X ThankYou Points on Airline & Hotel Purchases

The Citi Premier Card has a great ‘what you see is what you get’ ongoing rewards program, hotel savings every year, and the ability to transfer your points to travel partners – all for just a low fee.

Earning 3X ThankYou Points on airfare and hotel purchases as well as at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and EV charging stations, the card is relatively easy to earn high amounts of points. These categories are widespread, so a cardholder is likely to spend in them regularly, if not exclusively.

With a Citi card, you might have the option to redeem your ThankYou Points for gift cards, or cash back at a lower return, that being just one of many ways you could get a higher-value redemption by using your points towards travel.

Bonuses include a free Priority Pass membership and two complimentary airport lounge visits a year, travel and auto rental collision damage insurance, as well as a $100 yearly hotel credit. The Citi Premier Card has fraud liability coverage for unauthorised purchases and ID theft protection, with the option to generate a virtual account number for shopping online.

X Points on All Other Purchases

With good category rewards in the areas that matter (travel) and a strong welcome bonus, along with access to some valuable World Elite Mastercard perks, the Citi Premier Card is a strong package overall. Still, if travel protections or various purchase protections are important to you, this card probably won’t be your best travel companion.

The card makes 3X ThankYou Points for flights, hotels, and restaurants; supermarkets and gas stations; and 1X on everything else.

However, if you are planning to use them for travel, be sure to check Citi’s extensive list of transfer partners, which includes Air France/KLM Flying Blue to JetBlue TrueBlue and Choice Privileges and Wyndham Rewards for budget travellers to JAL Mileage Bank and Etihad Guest for those with more luxury preferences. The card also includes a $100 annual hotel savings benefit when booked through the Citi travel portal. If you get into the Citi portal, that could add up to big savings for some travellers, but it’s not available for all hotels.

Transfer ThankYou Points to Travel Partners

Citi allows its members to transfer points to a variety of airline and hotel transfer partners. According to NerdWallet’s valuations, ThankYou points are generally worth around 1 cent apiece when redeemed directly with Citi’s travel partners. The value of Citi points itself depends on the exchange rate and the loyalty program you transfer to, but you can get a great value by transferring to partner hotel programs, such as Wyndham Rewards or Choice Privileges.

Cardholders also get 3 points per dollar on products and services such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and air travel, and 10 points per dollar back on hotels, car rentals and activities (avoiding air) booked through the Citi Travel portal.

Outside of the travel portal and transfer partners, ThankYou Points redeemed for cash back or gift cards yield less value for Citi Premier cardholders. Other card benefits include Global Emergency Services, one $5 Lyft credit on three different ride purchases each month, and free two-day shipping from Shop Your Way.

Additional Rewards

If you do want to spend in multiple categories, including travel, though, Citi Premier Card earns good rewards in four common spending categories, and even has a $100 per year hotel savings benefit to offset the $95 annual fee. The card lacks some of the travel and shopping protection benefits offered on other cards, but still offers very good rewards potential to the right owner, provided that owner is well-educated on how to retrieve and redeem the points.

It’s offered in ThankYou points, which you can redeem for a large catalogue of stuff, but they can also be transferred to 18 airline and hotel loyalty programme partners or hotels. Citi’s transfer partners are a real strength of the program, providing outsize value if you use this card to purchase flights with little or no fuel surcharge.

New cardholders receive 60,000 ThankYou points when they make $4,000 or more in purchases within the first three months of account opening. This bonus offer is worth $1,200 in travel per the latest points valuations from NerdWallet. Through June 30, 2024, cardholders earn 10 ThankYou points per dollar on hotel and car rental reservations made through the Citi Travel portal. Citi Merchant Offers grants cardholders special access to purchase tickets for thousands of events and experiences before the general public, from concerts to dining to sporting events.

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