Citi Premier Credit Card Review (2024)

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During our most recent series of “What’s in our Wallet” posts, I was the only person on the FM team who had the Citi Premier occupying a significant place in my household’s credit card wallets. That’s not terribly surprising. Although I’ve been a Premier cardholder for years, it was a forgotten part of my own credit card portfolio for quite some time, supplanted by newer cards with higher welcome offers. However, as part of a 2-player household, I’ve grown to appreciate this moderately-priced workhouse, and the access that it provides to Citi ThankYou Points‘ appealing array of transfer partners.

a credit card with arrows and numbers

Citi Premier Current Welcome Offer

Card Offer
60K Points ⓘ Affiliate
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
$95 Annual Fee

Citi Premier Rewards Review

The Citi Premier card has probably the best overall group of category bonuses in the biz. Where else can you find one card that gives 3x on dining, gas, grocery and travel (albeit with a narrower travel category than many other cards)? The ThankYou Points that the card earns aren’t the sexiest around, but have an appealing and underrated mix of both air and hotel partners. As such, this can be a great player 2 card, or a good option for folks who are looking for the simplicity of a one card wallet. That said, the Premier even better when combined with the no annual fee Double Cash, Rewards+ and Custom Cash cards. This combination creates a $95 wallet with flexible 5x categories, 2x everywhere, 10% back on points transfers and 3x in dining/gas/grocery/travel. Outside of best-in-the-industry purchase protection, the card doesn’t offer much in the way of perks. Despite that, the low annual fee, transfer partners and excellent earning potential will make the Citi Premier a winner for many.

  • Annual Fee: $95
    • Authorized User Annual Fee: Free
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • What points are worth: The Citi Premier card earns Citi ThankYou Points. Our current Reasonable Redemption Values pegs them at 1.45 cents each.
  • Best Use for Points: ThankYou points can be transferred to most travel partners at a 1:1 ratio and this will usually yield the most value. It has one of the better mix of hotel partners of any of the major transferable currencies: Accor, Wyndham, Leading Hotels of the World and Choice Privileges. Choice is particularly good value given that the transfer ratio is 1-2 (as opposed to 1-1 via Amex or Capital One). Airline partners aren’t industry-leading, but offer excellent options as well, and include Avianca LifeMiles, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, British Airways Avios, Eva Air and Turkish Miles and Smiles. Citi is the only program that transfers 1-1 to Eva Air, and it can be a very desirable option between the US and Asia. Cardholders can also use points for statement credit at a rate of 1 cent per point.
  • Earning Categories: 
    • 10X flights and hotels booked through Citi Travel (through June 30, 2024)
    • 3x Gas
    • 3x Grocery (uncapped)
    • 3x Dining
    • 3x Travel (airfare and hotels)
    • 1x everywhere else
  • Credits:
    • $100 Hotel Credit: Once yearly on a stay of $500 or more. Must book through Citi.
  • Travel Protections:
    • None
  • Purchase Protections:
    • Damage and Theft Protection: 90 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim/$50,000 per calendar year.
    • Extended Warranty: Citi extends coverage by 24 months on items with a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less. $10K/item.
  • Who’s this card for? Folks that want a one card option with great category bonuses on spending. Player 2s that don’t/won’t keep multiple cards on their person (I know this from experience).
  • Is the Citi Premier a keeper? It is for me. The Premier combines an intriguing set of transfer partners with an excellent group of category bonuses. Since Citi determines welcome offer eligibility by when you last received a bonus on the same card, regardless of if you already have that card, there’s no reason not to apply for one every four years and then product change or cancel the old card.

Citi Premier Pros and Cons

Pros

  • All-around it has probably the best bonus categories of any credit card
  • Unlike some cards that put an annual max on bonused grocery earnings, the Premier’s 3x multiplier is uncapped.
  • Industry-leading extended purchase protection
  • Impressive variety of hotel and air transfer partners
  • Transfers to Choice Privileges at double the rate of Amex or Capital One
  • Miles can be shared across cards and cardholders
  • Forms an incredible $95 quartet with the Citi Double Cash, Custom Cash and Rewards+
  • Points can be redeemed at 1 cents each for statement credits if you don’t want to hassle with transferring to partners (although, as a rule, we don’t recommend doing it)

Cons

  • Needs a partner card to get better than 1x everywhere
  • Bare bones when it comes to perks
  • Travel category is much more narrow than many other issuers
  • Welcome offers are rarely among the best available
  • Some folks won’t like that JetBlue is the only domestic airline transfer partner

Citi Transfer Partners

Rewards ProgramCiti Transfer RatioBest Uses
Accor Live Limitless1000 to 500Use to pay hotel bill with value of 2 Euro cents per point. In some cases (such as hotel to airline transfer bonuses) it may make sense to convert Accor points to the following airline miles at a 1 to 1 ratio: Finnair, Iberia, Qantas, or Virgin Australia
Aer Lingus Avios1 to 1 via Qatar, BAFuel surcharges are sometimes lower when booking with Aer Lingus (Avios.com) rather than British Airways, Qatar, or Iberia. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar.  See also: Avios Sweet Spots for Award Tickets.
AeroMexico ClubPremier1 to 1AeroMexico 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.
Air France KLM Flying Blue1 to 1Monthly 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.
Avianca LifeMiles1 to 1Avianca 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.
British Airways Avios1 to 1 via QatarWhile 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.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1 to 1Cathay 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 a premium cabin award by adding on a lower cabin segment. See this post for details.
Choice1 to 2Choice Privileges points seem to be randomly valuable within the US, but dependably valuable internationally in expensive locations such as Scandinavia and Japan. Points can sometimes offer great value when used towards participating Preferred Hotels of the World.
Emirates Skywards1 to 1The 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.
Etihad Guest1 to 1Etihad offers a distance based award chart for flying Etihad and another for its partners. Points may offer good value for expensive but short-distance flights.
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands1 to 1If 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.
Iberia Avios1 to 1 via Qatar, BAOn their own flights, Iberia offers low award prices and a very reasonable 25 Euro cancellation fee. Partner awards can offer good value under some circumstances as well, but these are usually nonrefundable. Fuel surcharges are sometimes lower when booking with Iberia rather than British Airways, Aer Lingus, or Qatar. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar. See also: Avios Sweet Spots for Award Tickets.
Jet Airways Inter Miles1 to 1JetAirways 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.
JetBlue1 to 1JetBlue 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.
Leading Hotels of the World1K to 200It is often possible to get 8 cents per point value, or more from LHW points.
Malaysia Enrich1 to 1Given Malaysia's award chart devaluation in June 2017, I'm not aware of any good uses for these miles.
Qantas Frequent Flyer1 to 1Best 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)
Qatar Privilege Club Avios1 to 1Qatar has reasonable award prices for flying Qatar itself. Points are now transferable 1 to 1 to British Airways (and from there to Aer Lingus or Iberia). It is now also possible to book JetBlue flights with Qatar Avios.
Shop Your Way Rewards1 to 10Don't do it. Shop Your Way points can be redeemed for a variety of gift cards. That said, unless Shop Your Way starts offering discounted gift cards, there's no point in converting transferrable points to Shop Your Way.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1 to 1Use 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).
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus1 to 1I'm not aware of any good uses for these miles
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1 to 1Miles & 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.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1 to 1Virgin Atlantic offers a few great sweet spot awards including US to Europe on Delta One business class for 50K points one-way. See: Best uses for Virgin Atlantic points (Sweet Spot Spotlight).
Wyndham1 to 1Wyndham often allows booking multi-room suites for the same price as a standard room. It's sometimes possible to get great value from points in that way. Bonus: award nights are not subject to resort fees. Additionally, you can book Vacasa vacation rentals for only 15K points per room per night. Wyndham Earner cards offer automatic 10% discount on award stays.

Related Cards

Card Offer and Details
60K Points ⓘ Affiliate
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
$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. Click here for our complete card review
Earning rate: 3X grocery ✦ 3X dining ✦ 3X gas stations ✦ 3X flights, hotels, travel agencies
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 3X (4.35%)
Dine: 3X (4.35%)
Gas: 3X (4.35%)
Grocery: 3X (4.35%)
Card Info: Mastercard World Elite issued by Citi. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Noteworthy perks: Transfer points to airline partners ✦ $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
20K points ⓘ Affiliate
$200 cash back after spending $1.5K in first six months. Note: $200 is awarded as 20,000 Citi ThankYou points.
No Annual Fee
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.
Earning rate: 2% cash back everywhere (1% cash back for each purchase + 1% when paying your credit card bill for that purchase). ✦ For a limited time: Earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals, and attractions booked on Citi Travel portal through 12/31/24.
Base: 2X (2.9%)
Travel: 5X (7.25%)
Card Info: Mastercard World Elite issued by Citi. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
Noteworthy perks: 1X when you make a purchase + 1X when you pay for those purchases
20K Points ⓘ Affiliate
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.
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
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 5X (7.25%)
Dine: 5X (7.25%)
Gas: 5X (7.25%)
Grocery: 5X (7.25%)
Other: 5X (7.25%)
Card Info: Mastercard issued by Citi. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
20K points ⓘ Affiliate
20K points after $1.5K spend in 3 months
No Annual Fee
FM Mini Review: The fact that you can get 10% Points Back when you redeem, up to the first 100,000 points redeemed per year, makes this a great choice to pool with ThankYou Premier, Prestige, and/or Double Cash
Earning rate: 5x on travel booked through Citi Travel℠ Portal through June 30 2024 (excludes air travel) ✦ 2X at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 per year ✦ Round up to nearest 10 TY points on all purchases
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 5X (7.25%)
Gas: 2X (2.9%)
Grocery: 2X (2.9%)
Card Info: Mastercard World issued by Citi. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
Noteworthy perks: Round up to the nearest 10 points on all purchases with no cap. ✦ Get 10% Points Back when you redeem, up to the first 100,000 points redeemed per year.
$100 statement credit ⓘ Non-Affiliate
$100 statement credit after $1K Spend in 3 Months
No Annual Fee
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
Earning rate: ✦ 3 points per $1 at gas stations ✦ 2 points per $1 oat grocery stores ✦ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Gas: 3X (4.35%)
Grocery: 2X (2.9%)
Card Info: Mastercard issued by Citi. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
Noteworthy perks: $20 statement credit every billing cycle you spend $1,000+ (for AT&T Wireless customers omly)
None
This card is no longer available
No Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
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
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
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Gas: 2X (2.9%)
Grocery: 2X (2.9%)
Card Info: Mastercard World issued by Citi. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
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
None
This card is no longer available
No Annual Fee
FM Mini Review: Downgrade from Prestige or Premier to this card in order to keep points alive
Earning rate: 2X dining and entertainment
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Dine: 2X (2.9%)
Other: 2X (2.9%)
Card Info: Mastercard World issued by Citi. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
None
This card is no longer available
No Annual Fee
This card is available in-branch only and is not available online. The bonus may vary by region and can be as high as 40K.
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Earning rate: 3x travel ✦ office supply ✦ professional services
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Other: 3X (4.35%)
Card Info: Mastercard World issued by Citi. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
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.)
None
This card is no longer available
No Annual Fee
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.
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
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 2X (2.9%)
Shop: 2X (2.9%)
Brand: 2X (2.9%)
Card Info: Mastercard World issued by Citi. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
None
This card is no longer available
$95 Annual Fee
This card is no longer available to new applicants.
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
FM Mini Review: Excellent choice for those who shop often online (thanks to 3X earnings)
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
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 3X (4.35%)
Shop: 3X (4.35%)
Brand: 3X (4.35%)
Card Info: Mastercard World Elite issued by Citi. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: 10,000 anniversary bonus points after $10,000 in annual spending
None
This card is no longer available
$495 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
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.
Earning rate: 5X airfare, dining, and travel agencies ✦ 3X hotels and cruise line ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 5X (7.25%)
Dine: 5X (7.25%)
Card Info: Mastercard World Elite issued by Citi. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
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

Citi Application Tips

  • 48 Month Rule: With most Citi cards, you can only receive a welcome offer every 48 months. This applies to the same exact card, not families of cards.
  • Velocity Limits: Citi allows a maximum of one personal card per 8 days and a maximum of two personal cards per 65 days. Business cards are limited to one per 90 days.
  • Card Limits: Citi doesn't have a strict limit on the amount of cards that you can have, but it does place limits on the total amount of credit that they will issue you across all cards. Because of this, reconsideration can sometimes be successful by moving credit from one existing card to the new card that you want.
  • Application Status: Call (866) 606-2787 or go here to check your application status. For Costco cards, call (877) 343-4118.
  • Reconsideration: If denied, call (800) 695-5171 for personal cards or (866) 541-7657 for business cards.
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