Reasons to Love Citi’s Premier Card – And The Second Best Bonus Offer In The Country

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Citi Premier® Card

This $95 annual fee card is underappreciated for its cost, its earning power, and for its bonus. And Citi points are transferable to a variety of different airline programs including some that don’t partner with Chase or Amex. Right now the card has its biggest-ever initial bonus offer, the second best up front offer of any card right now behind the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Great Initial Bonus

Citi Premier® Card is offering a 80,000 point signup bonus after $4000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of account opening.

What I’ve seen most of the time over the years has been either a 30,000 point bonus or no signup bonus at all. This is a great bonus for a card with transferable points, second only to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Earns Transferable Points Fast

Citi Premier® Card earns 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets, 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels; 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Unique Points Transfer Partners

Not all ThankYou points transfer to airline miles, for instance points from checking accounts and no annual fee Citi ThankYou points-earning cards do not.

However points from the Citi Premier® Card transfer one-to-one to a variety of frequent flyer programs or can be spent directly towards airfare on any airline or redeemed for gift cards.

This card’s Citibank ThankYou points transfer to:

  • Star Alliance: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, Avianca LifeMiles
  • SkyTeam: Air France-KLM
  • oneworld: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Qantas Frequent Flyer, and [through November 23, 2021] American AAdvantage
  • Non-alliance: Etihad Airways Guest, Emirates Skywards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, jetBlue, InterMiles (formerly JetPrivilege)

My favorite transfer partner choices do overlap Chase and American Express:

  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer for better premium cabin award space than is offered to partners, upgrades from premium economy to business, and United domestic premium awards)
  • Etihad Guest for Etihad premium cabin awards, American Airlines awards at cheap prices
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue for better availability on Air France than is offered to partners and Air France arguably has the best transatlantic business class now
  • Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles for distance-based premium cabin awards on Cathay
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for ANA first and business class to and from Japan and Delta business class trips to and from Europe.

But you can’t discount Turkish Airlines which has some of the least expensive awards, and partners with Star Alliance carriers like United. And Emirates has great value awards for JetBlue business class. EVA Air’s Star Alliance program is also underrated.


ANA First Class

Virgin, Singapore, and Air France are duplicated by both Chase and American Express, and Cathay Pacific and Etihad are duplicated by American Express. However there are niche reasons to transfer to other partners like Qantas and Garuda as well.

And this duplication is a huge benefit rather than a downside to the card. It means you can sign up for a Citi Premier® Card and a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and put the points from each into the same place so that you can redeem for better travel for yourself or have enough points to travel with someone.


EVA Air Business Class

Some Things to Consider With Citi Cards When Choosing to Apply

Citibank doesn’t have a hard limit on the number of their cards you can have though of course how much credit they’ll make available for each person will vary.

After you apply for one card they’ll consider another application from you 8 days later, but you can’t apply for more than 2 cards in 65 days.

Generally Citi will not give you the bonus on a new card account if you received a bonus from a product’s family in the past 24 months of if you’ve closed an account in that family. If you’ve gotten a Citi Prestige bonus (or Rewards+, ThankYou Preferred, or this card’s) in the past 24 months you won’t be eligible for this bonus. If you get this bonus now you won’t be eligible for a Citi Prestige bonus.

Citi Premier® Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Is it closed account within 24 months are closed ever. I had the card but closed itabout 4 years ago,

  2. But, in addition to its partners being not as good, Citi is far inferior to Amex and Chase in terms of the restrictions it puts on points use: 1. Points are linked to the one specific card you used to generate those points. 2. Thus, if you cancel that specific card, you must use its points or convert them to a partner program within 60 (or 90??) days; otherwise, you lose them.

  3. Citi got rid of travel protections so be careful what you charge on this card.

  4. Reasons not to love the card: It has become a very difficult card to get approved for. I was denied on recon based on having had 3 credit pulls in the past 12 months from Experian. Not even new cards, just PULLS. Woe be unto you if you’re applying for a mortgage, for example.

  5. The only reason for me to have EVER loved Premier is the temp transfer to AA. 80k is more AA miles than I have recall seeing the co-branded cards offer. Expecting to receive it this week to finish spend pronto & transfer those points to AA!

  6. Isn’t the current public offer on the Amex Plat 100,000 MR? High min spend $6k vs $4k but an extra 3 months to get it.

  7. @ GetF’d no they don’t. Only RT. I’ve booked a couple of trips and both times Virgin was clear in stating only RTs could be booked.

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