Citi Premier Card Complete Guide

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In our 3 Cards 3 Continents Challenge, I picked the Citi Premier card with its 80K welcome bonus as one of my 3 cards.  My other picks were the Amex Gold with a 90K welcome bonus and a Marriott Bonvoy card with a 5 free night welcome bonus (both offers have since expired).  For the challenge, I used my Amex Gold card bonus entirely for flights, and I obviously used the Marriott card bonus entirely for hotel stays.  But the Premier card proved to be a super valuable Jack-of-all-trades.  I used its 80K bonus for over $3,000 worth of business class flights (thanks in part to a transfer bonus), ~$400 worth of hotel stays, and $320 cash back.  That’s an amazing haul for a single welcome bonus, and that’s why I decided to update and republish this guide.  If you’re into points & miles, I think it’s a mistake to overlook this card, especially while the 80K offer is still around…

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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.

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

You can find the current best welcome bonus information below. Click the card name to go to our Citi Premier card page to find more information and a link to apply.

Card Offer
Citi Premier Card
60K points
60K points after $4K spend in the first 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

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.

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.

Earn Points

Intro Bonus

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

Card Offer
Citi Premier Card
60K points
60K points after $4K spend in the first 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

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

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 to airline and hotel programs

The best use of ThankYou 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.  More about transferring points can be found in the Transfer Points section of this post.

Other ways to redeem points (not recommended)

Through the ThankYou 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 ThankYou 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.

Transfer Points


The best use of ThankYou 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.

Transfer tips

  • Wait to transfer points: Don’t transfer points until high value awards are available and you are ready to book them. Transfers are one-way only. Citi ThankYou points are valuable for their flexibility. Once you transfer, you are locked into a single program that may or may not have awards available.
  • Watch for transfer bonuses: Citi sometimes offers improved transfer ratios through limited time transfer bonuses.
  • Move points from one account to another (even to friends’ accounts): You can freely move up to 100,000 points per year to any other Citi ThankYou Rewards account.  The catch is that once points are moved, they expire within 90 days. Make sure you have immediate plans for those points before moving them.  Exception: The Custom Cash card does not allow moving points.
  • Always have at least one transferable account: With a few exceptions, ThankYou Rewards are transferable only from Citi Premier and Citi Prestige accounts.  If you or a friend has such an account, you can move points to that account from any other account before transferring to an airline or hotel program, but you are limited to moving 100,000 points per year this way.  Another option is to pool points among your own accounts.  For example, if you have the Citi Rewards+ card and the Citi Premier card, you can pool points between them in order to make all of the points transferable.

Current transfer bonuses

If there are any current transfer bonuses from Citi ThankYou Rewards, details will appear here:

Transfer Bonus DetailsEnd Date

Transfer points to airlines

For flight awards, our post “Citi ThankYou points sweet spots for high value redemptions” details the best value uses of Citi ThankYou points.

Best overall airline transfer partners

Rewards ProgramBest UsesCiti Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Air France KLM Flying BlueMonthly Air France Promo Awards often represent very good value. Air France miles can be used to book Sky Team awards, including Delta awards. Air France often offers very good business class award pricing between the US and Europe & Israel.1 to 1 (Instant)
Avianca LifeMilesAvianca LifeMiles can be great for Star Alliance awards. They offer reasonable award prices and no fuel surcharges on awards. They also offer shorthaul awards within the US (for flying United, for example) for as few as 7,500 miles one-way. Best of all, their mixed-cabin pricing can lead to fantastic first-class award prices. See this post for details.1 to 1 (Instant)
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesCathay Pacific has a decent distance based award chart, but they no longer allow stopovers longer than 24 hours. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles can be a good option for booking American Airlines flights with a distance based award chart, especially if other OneWorld Alliance miles aren't available. For long distance flights, it is possible to reduce the cost of first class by adding on a business class flight. See this post for details.1 to 1 (Instant)

Useful airline transfer partners

Rewards ProgramBest UsesCiti Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
British Airways AviosWhile flights on British Airways itself often incur outrageously high fuel surcharges, many BA partners charge low or no fuel surcharges. Excellent value can be had in redeeming BA points for short distance flights. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar. See also: Avios Sweet Spots for Award Tickets.1 to 1 via Qatar (1 to 2 days)
Emirates SkywardsThe best use of Emirates miles has been to fly Emirates itself. Unfortunately fuel surcharges can be steep. See: Emirates Sweet Spot Awards - First class from 30K miles round trip. 1 to 1 (Instant)
Etihad GuestEtihad has a very competitive award chart for American Airlines flights, among others.  For example, they charge only 50,000 miles one-way for business class flights from North America to Europe. Partner awards must be booked over the phone.1 to 1 (~1 hour)
EVA Air Infinity MileageLandsIf you want to fly one of the best business class products in the sky, the best way to snag EVA flights is with their own miles since they release more award space to their own members. One-way business class flights from the US to Taipei cost 75K to 80K miles. Fuel surcharges are very low on these routes.
1 to 1 (Instant)
Iberia AviosIberia offers very low award prices on their own flights. Round trip partner awards can offer good value under some circumstances as well. Fuel surcharges are often lower when booking with Iberia rather than British Airways. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar.  See also: Avios Sweet Spots for Award Tickets.1 to 1 via Qatar, BA (1 to 2 days)
JetBlueJetBlue points offer the most value when cheap ticket prices are available and when award taxes are high relative to the overall cost of the ticket (more details can be found here). The JetBlue Plus Card and the JetBlue Business Card offer a 10% rebate on awards, so you can get more value by holding one of these cards.1 to 1 (Instant)
Qantas Frequent FlyerBest use is probably for flights on El Al with no fuel surcharges. Also useful for short AA flights. Qantas offers distance based award charts similar to Cathay Pacific. Both are OneWorld Alliance members. I recommend comparing award prices across both programs before transferring to either. Qantas offers round the world business class awards for only 280,000 points (but with many restrictions)1 to 1 (~1 day)
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyerUse to book Singapore Airlines First Class awards (generally reserved for their own members), Alaska Airlines economy awards, or for Star Alliance awards (including United Airlines).1 to 1 (~1 day)
Turkish Airlines Miles & SmilesMiles & Smiles offers a number of awesome sweet-spot awards including 7.5K one-way anywhere within the US, even to Hawaii. Many awards cannot be booked online but can be booked via phone or email. See: Turkish Miles & Smiles Complete Guide and Turkish business class sweet spots from the US.1 to 1 (~1 day)
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubVirgin Atlantic offers a few great sweet spot awards including ANA first class between the US and Japan for as low as 55K points one-way; and US to Europe on Delta One business class for 50K points one-way. See: Best uses for Virgin Atlantic points (Sweet Spot Spotlight).1 to 1 (Instant)

Other airline transfer partners

Rewards ProgramBest UsesCiti Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Aer Lingus AviosIberia offers very low award prices on their own flights. Round trip partner awards can offer good value under some circumstances as well. Fuel surcharges are often lower when booking with Iberia rather than British Airways. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar.  See also: Avios Sweet Spots for Award Tickets.1 to 1 via Qatar, BA (1 to 2 days)
AeroMexico ClubPremierAeroMexico is a SkyTeam partner. Club Premier points can be used to book flights on AeroMexico, SkyTeam alliance members (such as Delta or Korean Air), or on select partner airlines. Unfortunately many have reported that awards are extremely difficult to book through AeroMexico so we do not recommend transferring points to this program. If you want to fly AeroMexico, look to transfer points to another SkyTeam partner (such as Air France) and then book AeroMexico with that program.1 to 1 (~6 days)
Jet Airways Inter MilesJetAirways JetPrivilege miles are useful only for a few very specific cases such as certain flights to Hawaii for as low as 15K (30K business) one-way, or to the Caribbean or Central America for as low as 10K (20K business) one-way. Details can be found here.1 to 1 (Instant)
Malaysia EnrichGiven Malaysia's award chart devaluation in June 2017, I'm not aware of any good uses for these miles.1 to 1 (1 to 2 days)
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid PlusI'm not aware of any good uses for these miles1 to 1 (3 to 7 days)

Transfer points to hotel programs

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.  Another great option is to transfer 1 to 1 to Wyndham to book Vacasa Vacation rentals for 15,000 points per bedroom per night.  See: Wyndham Vacasa – Great Value is Real!

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 a couple of “catches” to this and an exception:
  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.
  3. Exception: The Custom Cash card does not have the capability to share points (but you can combine points with other cards that you have).  Yes, it's extremely weird that all other Citi ThankYou Rewards cards allow sharing points, but not Custom Cash.  I have no idea why this is.
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 and no longer available 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.

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
60K points
60K points after $4K spend in the first 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

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

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

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

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

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

AT&T Points Plus Card

FM Mini Review: This has a good gas station bonus for a no annual fee card, but there's not much else to make it a compelling card


Card Type: Mastercard

Base
Gas
Grocery

Earning rate: ⚬ 3 points per $1 at gas stations ⚬ 2 points per $1 oat grocery stores ⚬ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

Noteworthy perks: $20 statement credit every billing cycle you spend $1,000+ (for AT&T Wireless customers omly)

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 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 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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Aria

Citi Rep said the points shared that are shared which will have to be used within 90 days cannot be transferred to a loyalty program – points transfered to a loyalty program have to be revenue based (i.e., cc spend) and shared points are not revenue based. Could you advise

onyx68

Thank you for this article! I currently have Premier opened in Dec 2019. Decided to take a chance on getting a 2nd with 80K bonus points and I was approved!

Joseph Story

So can I have two premiers if I currently have one from 2019?

billy56

Been very unlucky with citi premier. They like to lock my accounts for the smallest things and their customer support is awful. Everytime I call in to unlock, their system didn’t work and couldn’t text me a security code so they have to mail me a code which take days. Even when I inform them of a large transaction beforehand, they still lock my account.

Barry

Is Citi still declining new Premier applications for having too much unused credit? I’ve applied twice in the past year and was denied for this reason. Anybody have any luck getting approved by calling in if this was the reason for denial?

knick1959

I had the exact same reason in my denial letter. I called and they insisted “there is nothing we can do” … suggested I reduce my available credit and reapply. Yeah, I don’t think so.

knick1959

As an additional DP, my wife (who has a nearly identical credit history as me) was approved a couple of weeks ago. The only recent difference I can see is that she had NO Citi cards before this. I happened to have had a Citi Rewards+ card open at the time of application. No spend on a 4k CL and extremely minimal spend on the Dividend card it was PC’d from. Was my lack of use of the Citi card I had a trigger? If so, that was silly. I would have used both as a combo. Oh well.

Ben

I just wished they still had enhanced redemption value through the portal.

With less and less hotel award availability this is becoming more valuable.

I’ve suggested this to Cap1. Let’s see if they implement it.

Pam

I ignored TYP until last year with its esoteric airline transfer redemptions . Then last summer Citi finally offered a “normal” (albeit temporary) transfer to AA & then Choice (for Preferred Hotel Bookings).

I PCd 5 old Citi cards to TYP cards & applied for the first 80k Premier bonus. Family members also PCd but didn’t get the Premier, hoping to transfer to my account. Regarding “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,” nobody was able to transfer TYP to my account without applying for the Premier also.

BothofUs2

Spouse and I havent had any ‘Thank You’ points cards in past, and wanted to start now and diversify. Tried applying (using your link) yesterday, got denied. Spouse tried as well with your link, got denied. Called 2 different recon lines, was not given reason, was told to wait for letter. Each of us has credit score above 820, clean credit reports (no lates, etc). Neither of us carry a balance on our credit cards, we pay them off monthly after statement closes. We’ve each had only 2 credit card inquiries in the past 2 years. I’ve got 19 open personal cards, spouse has 8. Was reading in some other forums (DoC) that Citi is being very stingy currently with approvals, and denying people for having too low credit utilization. Between myself and spouse we each monthly probably only use 1 percent of less of our credit. Any suggestions at this point on getting these denied apps turned around, or are we SOL until Citi changes their strategy?

Last edited 5 months ago by BothofUs2
BothofUs2

UPDATE: Each of us received an email from Citi today (the day after applying) with the same reasons for denial, “credit report shows a high amount of unused credit compared to your available credit lines” and “credit report shows too many bank or national revolving accounts”

Last edited 5 months ago by BothofUs2
Margot

The same here. Looks like it does not make sense to apply for City credit cards if you have a high amount of unused credit and multiple credit cards.

Cavedweller

U sound like me 820 FICO Sorry. Cut ur cards at 11 months Meanwhile REDUCE ur credit limit ($5K) with ALL cards unless u need that..THEY know what ur doing awards so watch what u apply for..Don’t Boost ur cards just Get the ones u need for a year or so..2010 One card in 30 days and one airfare RT CDG $50 Total no CC fee then..Put all Spend on ONE card INK then Transfer to a zillion airlines..
They watch the blogs and GREG is the number one person on the CEO’s dart board !!!
Remember too IF u have a HELOC which I never used THAT counts too.

V Bernie

Last edited 5 months ago by Cavedweller
Pam

If you have a non-TYP Citi card, product change it to a TYP acct to at least start earning & accumulating in their system.

If you don’t have any existing Citi relationships, maybe open a Citi savings/checking account & hold onto for awhile before reapplying. My guess is you will begin to receive pre-approved cc offers in the mail within months! Great if they are TYP offers but if not maybe apply anyway just to get in, then PC.

Sco

For what it’s worth, I was approved for the Premier a month ago with 830 FICO, 26 open credit cards, and always 1-2% utilization. I do have a Citi checking account that I’ve had open for 20 years and the no fee AA MileUp.

Now if only I could get CapOne to approve me for anything…

Cavedweller

Me TOO !! Insane I pay my bills and they make $$$ by me buying ..

Andrew

I recently got approved for the Premier and was worried beforehand by the similar data points from DoC and reddit about low credit utilization denials. I timed my application to coincide with a high statement balance that posted from working on a new Marriott Boundless card 5 free night offer so my overall utilization was at 6%. That and putting a little spend on the other cards (9 personal total) so none had a 0% utilization worked. Similar stats to you otherwise, scores around 820, no late charges, pay off balance after statements post. I also used the FM affiliate link (thanks for running a great site and podcast everyone here!).

I had no prior relationship with Citi, never banked with them before. The only hard pull in the last year was from Chase 2 months prior on Experian, Citi pulled Equifax so they didn’t see it (but would have seen the newly opened account).

Most surprising thing to me was I was instantly approved by Citi despite an alert on my credit reports to call me first due to identity theft issues earlier this year. Barclays called me before approving an app around the same time but Citi didn’t which doesn’t give me high faith in their fraud department.

Brett W

Aside from the SUB – not sure this card does much for me. I have CSR, CFU, CFF, Plat (per), Gold and Venture X (as well as inks). What is the additional value of this card and the citi ecosystem?

Brett W.

I guess I also don’t get the card linked offers for the AA loyalty game. But for an extra 1% on gas – and the frustration of trying to use the travel credit – I think I’m going to pass for now until it makes more sense.

Now you are going to show me how awesome choice is on you TCTC trip aren’t you 🙂

Pam

I personally really am enjoying the 5x cats (all the time unlike CF) on Custom Cash. We converted as many of our family Citi cards to CC as we could & points are racking up quickly! Premier was necessary only for its transfer capabilities (& the SUB was nice, of course).

I had no use for what that could do for aspirational travel, however, until late last year with the addition of Choice 1:2 (PH bookings). Opened a whole new avenue!

Barth

If I received a sign-up bonus on the Citi Premier more than 24 months ago, but downgraded to the Citi Rewards Plus only 2 months ago (and kept the same card number), am I eligible for the bonus if I apply now for a new Citi Premier?

Nick Reyes

Yes!

Alex

Hello – I just called the TY rewards center, was considering combining my TY points from my Premier (currently only at < 1,000 points since I’ve transferred them over to AA airlines at a 1:1 rate), with my Rewards + (over 200,000 TY points)… If I were to combine both TY accounts, the system “remembers” the origin of the TY points from each card, so if I were to transfer 50,000 TY points to AA airlines, the transfer ratio would only be 2:1, ie., 50,000 TY points convert to only 25,000 AA miles… I was told that combining TY accounts only make sense if I want to get a check in the mail or get a statement credit (I’d rather use those points for travel purposes)… The above is in contradiction to what Greg says above: “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.’…  This statement doesn’t seem to be correct… Am I missing something, or was the TY rewards rep totally off in her assessment?
I appreciate any feedback in advance.. Thanks!
Alex

Alex

Greg, you are correct!… Shortly after I posted my question above, I called again (HUCA) and this second rep contradicted the first one, this is one of those cases where the rep doesn’t have the right training (you have warned us about this before)… long story short, I was able to combine the accounts and the ability to transfer 1:1 thank you points to american miles…Transfer was completed successfully at the above rate…
Thank you for your prompt reply and confirmation!
Alex

Nancy

I have a no fee premier card which I had for over 5 years maybe 10 or longer. Do I just apply for another premier card to get the bonus? Once I get approved, would I have a second thank you points accounts which I need to transfer to my no fee card account? After a year, I would then have to downgrade the new card with AF to a no fee card and keep it. How does citi allocate points spent? Will there always be some residual for the points from the new card?

Zzz

Yes, you can do this and should be able to combine your thank you accounts. Just be sure to consolidate under your older account. If you downgrade after a year, then your points won’t expire. Citi allocates based on expiration date such that points expiring soonest will be spent first.

Chris

When I closed my Premier last week, I was offered to have my annual fee refunded if I spent 3k in 3 months. Unfortunately I need every bit of spend for another offer right now.

TimM

What are the data points on Citi matching to the 80k offer? I recently applied under a 60k point offer and wonder if they match offers anymore.

Nick Reyes

Citi has always been good about matching. I’d definitely ask.

That said, my advice on this is always the same: nobody matches for anyone who doesn’t ask. It’s always worth asking even when you don’t think they’ll match.

Rob

So I currently have a Prestige an a Premier. My AF for the prestige is coming up at the end of the year and want to downgrade that card. In order to keep my points on that account, which is the best card to downgrade the prestige to and combine with my premier? Rewards+?

Nick Reyes

If you don’t have a Rewards+, you want that for the 10% points rebate up to 10K points back per year.

Rob

Thanks!

Carl Pietrantonio

Ho-kayyy.. So I have a Citi Premier and a Citi Rewards +. If I open a SECOND Citi Premier, then my best/only thing to do to preserve the points of the FIRST Citi Premier is to Product Change? (If I do not wish to pay AF on TWO cards, that is)

Or, and despite semi-decent reading abilities, (I am still on coffee # 1) I am not sure here that I can cancel the FIRST Citi Premier and keep the points as they would/would not be tied in with the Second Citi Premier?

I wish they would just pool points like AMEX! I are confusered!

Last edited 1 year ago by Carl Pietrantonio
Nick Reyes

If you cancel the first Premier, your points earned from that first Premier card will expire in 60 days – no way to change that if you cancel. Instead, you want to downgrade to another Rewards+ or a Thank You Preferred.

Carl Pietrantonio

Ok, then. Thanks for the fast reply!