Citi ThankYou Premier Card

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Card Details and Application Link
Citi Premier Card
80K points
80K points after $4K spend in the first 3 months
Click here to learn how to apply

$95 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: None. This matches the best offer we've ever seen.

FM Mini Review: Very strong earnings for spend. Excellent bonus categories. Points transferable to select airlines. Recommend pairing this card with Citi Double Cash and Citi Rewards+. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Grocery

Earning rate: 3X grocery ⚬ 3X dining ⚬ 3X gas stations ⚬ 3X flights, hotels, travel agencies

Noteworthy perks: Transfer points to airline partners ⚬ $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

The Citi Premier card offers a slew of great 3x category bonuses (e.g. earn 3x at grocery stores, gas stations, and more) and it offers the ability to transfer to airline partners and hotel programs 1 to 1 (and in the case of Choice Privileges, 1 to 2!). This guide includes everything you need to know about the Premier card, its benefits, and how it fits into the Citi Thank You Rewards ecosystem.

Citi Premier Application Tips

Citi Application Tips

  • 24 Month Rule (ThankYou Cards): To get bonus on any ThankYou card, you must wait 24 months after receiving a new cardmember bonus or closing any ThankYou card account. Applies to Preferred, Premier, Prestige, and Rewards+.
  • 24 Month Rule (Expedia Cards): To get bonus on any Expedia card, you must wait 24 months after opening or closing any Expedia card account.
  • 48 Month Rule (AA Cards): With Citi AA cards, you have to wait 48 months after receiving a bonus for the same exact card.
  • Velocity Rules: Max 1 personal card per 8 days. Max 2 personal cards per 65 days. Max 1 business card per 95 days.
  • Get Same Card Again: Citi allows getting same card again (even if card is still open) as long as you follow the 24 or 48 month rules and velocity rules (above).
  • Hard inquiries DO NOT combine into 1 when approved same day

Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration here:800-695-5171 (personal); 800-763-9795 (business)
If reconsideration # doesn’t work, try the Citi Credit Card Executive Office: 423-477-6858

Should you apply?

The Citi Premier card usually has a good welcome bonus that can offer excellent value through transfer partners. It also has excellent bonus categories for ongoing spend in the most common categories. Ironically, Citi removed most travel protections from this card a couple of years ago, making it hard to consider this a primary card in a travel rewards card strategy, but as a means of diversifying your points it can be a very good choice.

If you are eligible (see next section), the welcome bonus on this card certainly makes it worthwhile for at least the first year.

Are you eligible?

To get the bonus when signing up for this card, you must not have received a new cardmember bonus for the Citi Rewards+®, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi Premier® or Citi Prestige®, or have closed any of these accounts, in the past 24 months. If you currently have one of those cards and would like to close it to get a new Premier card, be sure to open your new Premier card before closing any of those other cards.

Note that product changing from one of these cards to another Citi card will count as closing the card only if Citi assigns you a new card number.  When calling to product change, ask the rep if a new number will be assigned.  If not, you should be safe.

How to apply

Click here to jump to the top of this page then click the application link highlighted in yellow.

Application status

After you apply, call 1-866-252-0118 to check your application status.

Reconsideration

If your application is denied, I recommend calling for reconsideration (800-695-5171). It’s surprising how often denials can be changed to approvals just by asking.

Citi Premier Perks

Travel Benefits

  • Transfer Points to Partners: Points can be transferred 1 to 1 to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs (and 1 to 2 to Choice Privileges).
  • $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit: Once per year you can apply a coupon for $100 off on an after-tax hotel booking of $500 or more. Unfortunately, you have to book through Citi's ThankYou portal, which is notoriously overpriced and does not allow access to hotel member rates, AAA rates, or other discounted rates. In other words, this perk won't save you a full $100 in many situations.  That said, in fall 2022, Citi is expected to switch to a new travel portal provider (Booking.com) and hopefully their prices will be better then.
  • No foreign transaction fees: The Premier card is the only currently available card that earns ThankYou points and which doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

Travel Protections

None. Citi eliminated travel protections from almost all of their cards in September 2019.

Purchase Protections

  • Extended Warranty: Citi extends the manufacturer's warranty by 24 months on items with a manufacturer's warranty of 5 years or less. This is the best extended warranty coverage of any issuer.
  • Damage and Theft Protection: Covers your new purchases for 90 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year.

Citi Premier Earn Points

Intro Bonus

This card earns valuable Thank You points. Here’s the current welcome offer:

Card Offer
Citi Premier Card
80K points
80K points after $4K spend in the first 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: None. This matches the best offer we've ever seen.

Bonus Spend

The Citi Premier card offers a terrific selection of uncapped 3x bonus categories:

Card Name w Details No Review (no offer)
Citi Premier Card

Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Grocery

Earning rate: 3X grocery ⚬ 3X dining ⚬ 3X gas stations ⚬ 3X flights, hotels, travel agencies

Noteworthy perks: Transfer points to airline partners ⚬ $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Citi Premier Redeem Points

Cash Back

Cardholders can redeem points for 1 cent each either as statement credits or as cash back.

Travel

Redeem points to pay for travel (no, don't)

While it's possible to redeem points for travel through Citi's ThankYou Rewards travel portal, I do not recommend it.  You'll only get 1 cent per point that way, you'll be limited to the prices found in the travel portal, and you won't earn rewards from that spend. Unless you are taking advantage of the card's annual $100 hotel benefit, you're better off booking travel through other sites or direct from the travel provider.  That way you can earn points on that booking while at the same time booking with whatever source offers the best price.  If you want to then use your points to cover that travel purchase, simply redeem points for cash back.
If you're interested in taking advantage of the Premier card's $100 hotel benefit or the Prestige card's 4th Night Free benefit, you do have to book through Citi's travel portal, but you do not have to redeem points.  It is better to pay for this travel with your card (so as to earn points) and then you can optionally redeem points for cash back to cover those charges.

Transfer points


The best use of Thank You points is to strategically transfer points to airline and hotel partners in order to book high value awards. Your best bet is usually to wait until you find a great hotel or flight award before transferring points. If you have at least one premium card such as the Citi Premier or Prestige card, most points transfer at a ratio of 1:1, but Citi regularly runs promotions where they offer a transfer bonus to a specific program.  For example, we've frequently seen 25% bonuses for transfers to Avianca LifeMiles and to Air France / KLM Flying Blue.
For a full list of Citi's transfer partners, along with any current transfer bonuses, please see: Citi Transfer Partners.  One fantastic option is to transfer points 1 to 2 to Choice Privileges in order to get great value when booking Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Ascend Hotel Collection hotels, Cambria Hotels, and Nordic Choice Hotels.
For flight awards, our post "Citi ThankYou points sweet spots for high value redemptions" details the best value uses of Citi ThankYou points. Either click here or click below to jump to a section of the post:

Other ways to redeem points (not recommended)

Through the Thank You portal you can redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, or experiences. With this approach you'll usually get 1 cent per point value.  And just as with paid travel, I don't recommend using points in this way.  Instead, pay for what you want elsewhere and optionally redeem points for cash back in order to cover those charges.  One exception is that Citi occasionally offers gift cards at a discount so you may be able to get better than 1 cent per point value during a gift card sale.
You can also use points to pay some merchants directly (Amazon.com for example). Don't do this. These options offer very poor value. Further, they may compromise the security of your account (i.e. if someone hacks into your Amazon account, they might spend your Thank You points - causing you a headache in getting your points reinstated). The only time it is worth using points this way is when Amazon runs a promotion to save when using points: you can sometimes use 1 point to save $15 off of $50 (for example) and in those cases it makes sense to use only 1 point and to pay the rest with your credit card.

Citi Premier Manage Points

Combine Points Across Cards

If you are the primary account holder with multiple cards, you can combine ThankYou Rewards accounts.  When your points are combined, they can then automatically be redeemed at the same value as your best card.  For example, if one of your cards is the Premier card, you will be able to transfer points to airline partners even if the points were earned on a card other than the Premier card.  Similarly, if you combine other cards with the Rewards+ card, you’ll get a 10% rebate on all award redemptions (up to 10,000 rebated points per year) even if the points originated from a different card.  If you have both the Premier and the Rewards+ card combined together and you transfer 100K points to a partner program, you'll get 10,000 points back.
There are some disadvantages to combining points:
  • You lose the ability to pick and choose which points are used when you redeem awards.
  • You lose visibility into how many points remain with each card.
The above disadvantages become important when you want to cancel a card: when you cancel a card, all points earned from that account are lost after 60 days.  I recommend downgrading to a no-fee ThankYou card rather than cancelling outright.  That way your points are safe.

Share Points Across Cardholders

Citi generously allows people to transfer ThankYou points to anyone else, for free.  There are two “catches” to this:
  1. Shared points expire after 90 days. Make sure you have a specific near-term use in mind before transferring points.
  2. 100K limit: Each member may share up to 100,000 points per calendar year.  Each member may receive up to 100,000 points per calendar year.
Why this is valuable:
  • If you don't have the Premier or Prestige card (the two cards in Citi's lineup that allow full value transfers to partners), you can move your points to a friend who has one of those cards and then they can transfer the points to an airline or hotel program in order to book high value awards.
  • If a friend has airline elite status with one of Citi’s transfer partners with which you want to book an award, you may be better off transferring points to your friend who can then transfer the points to the airline partner and book the award for you (to get free award changes, for example).

How to Keep Points Alive

There are several situations in which you may have Citi ThankYou Rewards points that will expire:
  • Points earned by a credit card account expire 60 days after cancelling that account.
  • Points transferred to your account expire after 90 days.
  • Points earned from some older credit cards expire in a set amount of time after points were earned (e.g. 3 or 5 years after December 31 of the year in which the points were earned).
  • Points earned from some credit cards expire if your credit card account has no purchase activity in 18 months.
  • Points earned from Citibank banking products expire 3 years after December 31 of the year in which the points were earned.

Credit card points: how to keep points alive

With most credit card points (except with some older credit cards which are no longer available), points remain alive until you cancel the card from which they were earned.  Once you cancel the card, points expire after 60 days.
Combining accounts does not solve the problem.  When you combine multiple ThankYou accounts, it’s natural to assume that as long as you keep any ThankYou Rewards credit card open, your points will be safe.  That’s simply not the case.  Citi keeps track of where each ThankYou point came from.  If you cancel a card, the points earned on that card expire after 60 days.  Period. They are not known to reinstate points.
The best way to preserve your ThankYou points is to keep your credit card account alive.  If you don’t want an annual fee, then call to downgrade to a no-fee ThankYou card.  There is a side benefit to this approach too: Your no fee card may be eligible for occasional lucrative retention offers.  See: How one call led to a points bonanza and rethought plans.

Bank product points: how to keep points alive

Points earned from banking products (such as checking accounts) expire 3 years after December 31 of the year in which the points were earned.  Fortunately, when redeeming points combined across multiple accounts, Citi automatically uses first whichever points have the most recent expiration date.  So, in general, your banking product points (which eventually expire) will be used first if you have combined accounts.

Citi Premier Card Lifecycle

How to meet minimum spend requirements

Once you are approved for a Citi card, you generally have three months to meet the required spend in order to get the welcome bonus. If your usual spend isn’t enough, consider using the Plastiq bill pay service to use your card to pay bills that can’t usually be paid by credit card (rent, mortgage, contractors, etc.). Note that Mastercards like the Premier card can be used to pay a greater range of payees than Visa or Amex cards. Click here to find many more options for increasing credit card spend.

Keep, cancel, or product change?

Is this card worth keeping in the long run? The main reason to keep this card around long term is as a way to transfer points to airline and programs. If you want to transfer Thank You points to partners, you’ll need the Premier. If you don’t need that capability for a while, consider downgrading to a no-fee ThankYou card.

All cards that earn Citi ThankYou Rewards points

Card Offer and Details
Citi Premier Card
80K points
80K points after $4K spend in the first 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: None. This matches the best offer we've ever seen.

FM Mini Review: Very strong earnings for spend. Excellent bonus categories. Points transferable to select airlines. Recommend pairing this card with Citi Double Cash and Citi Rewards+. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Grocery

Earning rate: 3X grocery ⚬ 3X dining ⚬ 3X gas stations ⚬ 3X flights, hotels, travel agencies

Noteworthy perks: Transfer points to airline partners ⚬ $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Citi Double Cash Card
$200 Cash Back
$200 cash back after $1.5K spend in first 6 months.

No Annual Fee

Recent better offer: None. This is the best we've seen.

FM Mini Review: 2X rewards for all spend with no annual fee makes this card a winner. Earn 2X everywhere and redeem for the equivalent of 2% cash back or 2X ThankYou points. Pair with the Premier or Prestige card to make points transferrable to airlines.


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base

Earning rate: 2% cash back everywhere (1% cash back for each purchase + 1% when paying your credit card bill for that purchase)

Noteworthy perks: 1X when you make a purchase + 1X when you pay for those purchases

Citi Custom Cash Card
20K Points
20K points after $1500 spend in the first 6 months

No Annual Fee

Recent better offer: Expired 9/13/22 - 20,000 points after $750 spend in first 3 months

FM Mini Review: This is a great card to have and hold for a single category where you spend no more than $500 per month as it represents an excellent return without rotating categories to track.


Card Type: Mastercard

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Other

Earning rate: 5x on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1x thereafter. Eligible categories: Restaurants, Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Select Travel, Select Transit, Select Streaming Services, Drugstores, Home Improvement Stores, Fitness Clubs and Live Entertainment. ⚬ 1x on all other purchases

Citi Rewards+ Card
20K points
20K points after $1.5K spend in 3 months

No Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: 10% points rebate (up to 10K rebate per year) make this a great choice to pool with ThankYou Premier, Prestige, and/or Double Cash


Card Type: Mastercard World

Base
Gas
Grocery

Earning rate: 2X at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 per year ⚬ Round up to nearest 10 TY points on all purchases

Noteworthy perks: Round up to the nearest 10 points on all purchases with no cap. ⚬ get 10% of your points back on the first 100K redeemed each year

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

AT&T Access Card

FM Mini Review: This card may be worth it for a welcome bonus, but it would be worth considering a product change to the Double Cash down the road..Unforunately, it seems it is no longer possible to product change to the AT&T Access More card.


Card Type: Mastercard World

Base
Travel
Shop
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 2 points per $1 on products and services that are purchased directly from AT&T ⚬ 2 points per $1 on all purchases at online retail and travel sites ⚬ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Citi Rewards+ Student Card
None
This card is not currently available to new applicants.

No Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: 10% points rebate (up to 10K rebate per year) make this a great choice to pool with ThankYou Premier, Prestige, and/or Double Cash


Card Type: Mastercard World

Base
Gas
Grocery

Earning rate: 2X at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 per year ⚬ Round up to nearest 10 TY points on all purchases

Noteworthy perks: Round up to the nearest 10 points on all purchases with no cap. ⚬ get 10% of your points back on the first 100K redeemed each year

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

FM Mini Review: Downgrade from Prestige or Premier to this card in order to keep points alive


Card Type: Mastercard World

Base
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 2X dining and entertainment

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Citi Business ThankYou Card

Card Type: Mastercard World

Base
Other

Earning rate: 3X rotating quarterly categories

Noteworthy perks: Anniversary bonus on base earnings each membership year. (1% in year 1, 2% in year 2 and 3% in year 3 and beyond.)

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

AT&T Access More Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent choice for those who shop often online (thanks to 3X earnings)


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Shop
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 3 points per $1 on products and services that are purchased directly from AT&T ⚬ 3 points per $1 on all purchases at online retail and travel sites ⚬ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

Big spend bonus: 10,000 anniversary bonus points after $10,000 in annual spending

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Citi ThankYou Prestige Card

FM Mini Review: The Prestige card's best in class 5X rewards for dining, airfare, and travel agencies is hard to beat. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: 5X airfare, dining, and travel agencies ⚬ 3X hotels and cruise line ⚬ 1X everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: $250 travel rebate per calendar year ⚬ Free lounge access: Citi Properietary Lounges; and Priority Pass Select with free guests ⚬ $100 Global Entry application fee credit ⚬ 4th night free hotel benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

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Alex Z.

Just for the DP:
Applied online and got an instant denial.
After several days they sent me an encrypted email that said:
“Your credit report shows a high amount of unused credit compared to your available credit lines.
Your credit report shows too many bank or national revolving accounts.”
Too me it sounds like: “Your credit is too good”, wtf really ?
Didn’t open CCs for over a year, leased a new car in August they hit my report 2-3 times, that’s about it. CS is over 800. And yes, I have many CCs, about 15.
Also the interesting thing is that they mentioned my CS in 4-digits number, not 3 like we all got used to.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Z.
LTL

I saw a post on Award Wallet saying this was “ending soon.” Do you have any info on when this is ending? Or is that just a clickbaity type of headline trying to spur signups?

Andrea

Strange thing happened when I applied. I was denied because I had too many “inquiries” when they looked at my credit via Experian. I had just put in an application with Chase about 10 minutes prior. No other inquires for over 2 years. This was a hard stop for Citi, and they would not reconsider even given my 20 year relationship with them. Seems harsh.

T D

First – thanks for all the information you post here, what a great job you have. We have been able to take several European vacations with the kids that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to without the information, tips, and knowledge you post.

The annual fee on my Citi Premier card falls due this month and for me there are no card benefits worth the fee. As I see it there are two options. One, transfer my points to an airline partner. Not terrible as the miles will eventually be used, but locks me into that specific airline.

Two, downgrade to a Citi card with no annual fee and keep those points alive. The problem is I don’t see any Citi card option that has no annual fee, where the transferred points don’t expire, and where I can still transfer those points to a partner airline down the road. Am I missing something?

Nick Reyes

Yup – downgrade to a Rewards+. I think you can also still downgrade to a Thank You Preferred. Then, if you want to transfer to airlines in the future, simply upgrade to the Premier again (or open a Premier again if eligible for the welcome bonus again).

T D

Thanks Nick.

Jesus

Its been over 24 months that I have received a Welcome bonus on the Citi Prestige card but since then I have been able to product change an AA Platinum to a Prestige and was approved for an additional Prestige. Today I was approved for a Premier 24 months after receiving the bonus. Should I expect to receive the bonus?

Randy

How is the 24 month rule applied? Is it that you cannot have opened or closed within 24 months of being approved or within 24 months of completing the requirement or of the bonus posting. (Can I apply for a Premier and if approved cancel my Prestige or do I have to wait for the bonus to post to cancel?)

[…] 24 month restrictions against getting a bonus for the same or a similar card.  For example, the Citi Premier bonus has this […]

Captain Greg

To be clear, product changing (say, from a premier to a rewards+) does not count against the 24 month ThankYou card signup bonus rule, right?

Captain Greg

Interesting. I wonder if this is consistent – like if one person changes from a premier to a prestige without the number changing, then it is true for everyone – or if it’s random (two different people could switch from a premier to a prestige, but one keeps the same number while the other gets a different one). Do you know?

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[…] the Citi ThankYou program more relevant than ever before.  By combining the Prestige card with the Premier card, you can get fantastic earning power: 5X dining + airfare, 3X all other travel & gas, 2X […]

[…] of Credit notes that there is still a working 60K link. We have added it to our Citi ThankYou Premier page. If it does not open the offer, you might try another browser and/or a private/incognito […]

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David

Received a pre-selected 50K offer in the mail today 4/27/17.

[…] Citi ThankYou Premier ($95 annual fee): 3X travel & gas; 2X dining & entertainment. […]