Citi Premier® Credit Card Review

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The Citi Premier® is a travel rewards credit card that allows consumers to earn 3x ThankYou® points per dollar in select categories (restaurants, gas stations, hotels, air travel, & supermarkets).
  • Annual Fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
  • Recommended Credit Score
    690 - 850

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The Citi Premier® credit card is a value-driven, easy to use, lucrative travel rewards credit card with a generous sign-up bonus.

If you enjoy international travel, flexible rewards redemption, and want to be rewarded for gas, groceries and dining, this card is worth checking out.

Continue reading our Citi Premier® credit card review to see if it is right for you. Let’s dive in!

Citi Premier® Credit Card Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Lucrative sign-up bonus.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn bonus points on most transactions.

Cons:

  • No travel protection perks.
  • ThankYou® points may not be as valuable as competitor points.
  • Noticeable lack of domestic airline choices.

What Type of Credit Card is Citi Premier®?

The Citi Premier® credit card is a robust, mid-tier travel rewards credit card that offers MasterCard World Elite benefits, substantial rewards earning potential, and easy to redeem rewards structure.

Cardholders who regularly travel internationally will enjoy the lucrative bonus earnings structure since they can earn 3 points per dollar on most purchases. Since the card does not charge foreign transaction fees, it is an excellent choice for spending abroad.

How Does the Citi Premier® Credit Card Work?

The Citi Premier® credit card is a middle-tier solution for racking up reward points on everyday expenses and redeeming them for travel, statement credits, or transferring them to airline partners.

Cardholders earn 3x points per dollar on purchases from supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, and travel, and they can quickly redeem them for travel, statement credits, and more.

Citi Premier® Rewards

The Citi Premier® Rewards Card generates rewards in Citi ThankYou® points – a valuable and flexible reward system.

Earning Rewards

Cardholders earn 3x ThankYou® points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels, air travel, and 1x points per dollar on all other purchases.

This is a unique earning opportunity because most rewards cards will have one or two of the three main expense categories as the top-earning category.

However, the Citi Premier® rewards card is one of the only rewards cards that offers 3x points on dining, groceries, and gas.

Since there is no limit to how many points you can earn with the card, even in the bonus categories, and there are no expiration dates, this is a compelling rewards credit card for consumers who want an all-in-one rewards card that will help pay for travel.

Redeeming Citi Premier® Rewards

Since Citi ThankYou® rewards points are a versatile and lucrative rewards currency, plenty of redemption methods are available to consumers.

Cash Rewards

Cash rewards are the most simple and straightforward choice for redeeming Citi ThankYou® points. However, it may be challenging to find the industry standard of 1 cent per point by redeeming for cash.

For most rewards credit cards, cash redemption is one of the least valuable redemption methods. Thus, a cash back credit card may is a better choice if you want to redeem cold-hard cash.

Gift Cards

Redeeming Citi ThankYou® points for gift cards is a great redemption option. Most gift card options are available for a redemption rate of $0.01 per point or better.

Citi advertises that the 60,000 ThankYou® point introductory bonus is worth $600 in gift cards on their website, so this is not only a lucrative but a reliable redemption option.

Since travel slowed dramatically during the quarantine, cardholders could still find a suitable use for their points by purchasing gift cards.

Use Your Points to Shop at Partners Sites and Locations

Citi Offers a shop with points option for the Citi Premier® rewards credit card. For example, Amazon.com and online shopping at Best Buy is available for consumers to shop directly with their points instead of charging their credit card.

The option will display at checkout, and cardholders can elect to shop entirely with points or use points to cover a partial balance.

While this option is convenient, it’s essential to ensure that you are getting a reasonable conversion rate for your points.

Point Transfers

Transferring rewards points to airlines and hotel partners is consistently one of the best ways to maximize the value of your points.

Transfer to Other ThankYou® Account

Citibank is one of the only financial institutions that allows you to transfer points from one rewards account to another. Cardholders can transfer the ThankYou® points they have to another account if they want to contribute to another trip or add ThankYou® points to a different account.

Citi Premier® Credit Card Benefits and Features

The Citi Premier® credit card offers an impressive list of powerful benefits and features, from its hotel credit to its generous sign-up bonus. Let’s explore more features and benefits of this card.

Generous Sign-Up Bonus

Sign-up bonuses are a powerful incentive offered by credit card issuers to attract new customers. The Citi Premier® rewards card offers a 60,000 ThankYou® points bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months.

60,000 ThankYou® points can be redeemed as $600 worth of gift cards or cash back. Customers who want to maximize the ThankYou® points value can transfer them to partner airlines, where they may earn more than $0.01 in value. Some estimates say that the 60,000-point bonus can be worth upwards of $1,000 if redeemed to its maximum potential.

Annual Hotel Credit

Citi credit cards typically have solid hotel redemption perks, and the Citi Premier® credit card offers a hotel credit that is easy to redeem and completely offsets the annual fee.

Customers who stay at hotels and book through the Citi ThankYou® portal get a $100 credit every year if the booking is $500 or more.

Since hotel stays can easily cost $500 or more, as long as the average customer stays at a hotel once per year, this credit will reimburse the annual fee for the card and provide a good discount on a vacation.

It’s important to remember that this credit only applies for an individual hotel booking $500 or more. Some other credit cards offer aggregate credits, but the Citi Premier® credit card requires it to be on the same booking.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Citi Premier® credit card is designed entirely for travelers. One perk of this credit card is the lack of foreign transaction fees.

Most credit cards charge up to 3% for foreign transaction fees which can dramatically increase the expense of traveling abroad.

Thankfully, the Citi Premier® card removes this expense so cardholders can charge as much as they want abroad without having to worry about foreign transaction fees.

3x Points on Airlines and Hotels

Cardholders of the Citi Premier® credit card 3x points per dollar on all Airline and hotel purchases. Since this covers most travel spending, the Citi Premier® card does a great job helping travelers rack up points in this category due to the unlimited earning potential.

3x Points in Dining, Gas, and Groceries

The average consumer spends most of their money on dining, groceries, or gas. Thankfully, the Citi Premier® card rewards spending across all these categories with 3x points per dollar.

How does the Citi Premier® Card compare to other credit cards?

#1. Citi Premier® Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is one of the most famous and easy-to-use rewards credit card. Cardholders will receive 2x points per dollar on all travel and dining purchases.

Points can be transferred to various travel partners, including domestic and international airlines, and earn a 25% bonus when redeemed through Chase travel.

For a $95 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® delivers a lot of rewards value, along with a host of travel benefits such as trip cancellation insurance, travel insurance, and even rental car insurance.

The Citi Premier® credit card also costs $95 in annual fees, but it earns 3x points per dollar in groceries, dining, and travel. While there are no Redemption bonuses with the Citi Premier® card, it is still easy to transfer points to travel partners.

When deciding between the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Citi Premier® credit card, it’s essential to look at your travel habits.

If most of your travel is domestic, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers substantially more domestic flight partners. However, Citi Premier®’s credit card generates more rewards and has more international travel partners.

#2. Citi Premier® Credit Card vs Citi Prestige® Credit Card

The Citi Prestige® Credit Card is at the top of the Citi credit card lineup. With an annual fee of $495, the Citi Prestige® Credit Card is designed for serious travelers who want maximum rewards and benefits.

The $495 fee includes a $250 yearly travel credit, a priority pass Lounge membership credit, and earns 5x points per dollar on restaurants and travel purchases.

The Citi Premier® card has a much more accessible $95 annual fee, generates three points per dollar on groceries, gas, and travel, and has the same redemption options as the Citi prestige.

#3. Citi Premier® Credit Card vs Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is another direct competitor of the Citi Premier® credit card.

Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is away with rewards categories and offers a flat 2% reward rate. Every dollar spent on the Capital One Venture rewards credit card earns 2 miles.

The Capital One Venture rewards credit card also offers a credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, which is unusual for a card with a $95 annual fee.

The Citi Premier® credit card offers 3x points per dollar on three shopping categories and 1x points per dollar on all other shopping.

If you do not shop a lot or dine out often, the Capital One Venture Rewards card may be a more straightforward option because of the flat 2% rewards structure.

However, if you plan on maximizing rewards categories and want a more flexible redemption structure, the Citi Premier® credit card may be a better option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Citi Premier® Credit Card Good?

The Citi Premier® card is excellent for consumers who regularly shop at grocery stores, dine out, or spend a lot on gas. Since the Citi Premier® card is one of the only credit cards that earn 3x points on all three of these categories, it can be a solid addition to any wallet, especially considering the 60,000-point intro bonus.

Is the Citi Premier® Credit Card Worth It?

The Citi Premier® credit card is best suited for consumers who regularly travel internationally, want flexible rewards, and can maximize the earning potential for the 3x points bonus categories.

For a $95 annual fee, this card offers 3x points per dollar on groceries, gas, and travel to help set it apart.

This card is not for consumers who primarily travel domestically. Other cards offer a much more diverse list of domestic airlines.

Still, for those who travel internationally and demand exceptional value for an affordable annual fee, there are not many choices besides the Citi Premier® credit card.

Since the Citi Prestige® Credit Card offers a travel credit, lounge access and focuses its rewards more on dining and travel, it is best for customers looking for a luxurious experience. That said, the holy grail for luxury travel rewards is the Platinum Card® from American Express.

However, the Citi Premier® rewards card has much broader rewards categories making it easier to earn points.

Both the Citi Prestige® Credit Card and Citi Premier® cars are in the same family, so when you evaluate the two, ask yourself how much you value luxurious travel versus rewards earning potential.

What Credit Score Do You Need for Citi Premier® Credit Card?

Since there are so many benefits, the Citi Premier® rewards credit card requires a good to excellent credit score to be approved.

What Is the Annual Fee for the Citi Premier® Credit Card?

The annual fee on the Citi Premier® rewards card is $95. While some credit cards will waive the fee in the first year, this is not the case with the Citi Premier® Card.

Is Citi Premier® A World Elite MasterCard?

Yes. The Citi Premier® card is a World Elite MasterCard. Cardholders have access to additional perks such as cell phone protection, Fandango credits, and MasterCard travel and lifestyle services.

Bottom Line: Citi Premier® Credit Card Review

The Citi Premier® rewards credit card is an excellent balance of value and price. It is best suited for travelers who regularly travel internationally because of the extensive list of international travel partners associated with Citi.

Additionally, most credit cards do not offer bonus points for the big three shopping categories: groceries, gas, and travel.

The card is a notable exception because it offers 3x points on all three categories. If you are in the market for a travel rewards card and plan on maximizing bonus categories, the Citi Premier® card is certainly worth considering.

Justin Estes
Justin Estes
Justin is an experienced personal finance writer, blogger, and author. His background in accounting and finance led to a passion for helping people make the most of their money and matching them with financial products that enhance their lifestyle. When he's not working, he enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and drinking coffee.