Reasons to Love Citi’s Premier Card

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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.

Great Initial Bonus

Citi Premier® Card is offering a 60,000 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, comparable to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Earns Transferable Points Fast

Citi Premier® Card earns three points on purchases at restaurants; supermarkets; gas stations; airlines and hotels.

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 at 1.25 cents apiece towards airfare on any airline or redeemed for 1 cent apiece 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
  • Non-alliance: Etihad Airways Guest, 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 roundtrips to and from Japan and Delta business class trips to and from Europe.


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. Three (3) points per dollar at restaurants, hotels, airlines, supermarkets and gas is really good for a $95/year card. Too bad the card has got no [hotel transfer partners] game.

  2. I handle all CC issues for our family and my wife and I have about a dozen cards between us that we use with any regularity.

    One issuer stands out for horrendous IT issues that can drag on for weeks or even months is Citi. I try to play fair with the banks and hold onto cards for years but I dumped the Citi Premier after one year after spending hours on the website or telephone with reps (to no avail) trying to use my TY points.

    Over the past five years, the Citi Premier card and the Aadvantage CC (that comes with Admirals Club membership) have caused more aggravation and unnecessary calls to customer service than all of our other cards combined.

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