Credit Card Review: Citi ThankYou Premier

The Citi ThankYou Premier is the mid-level card in the Citi ThankYou family, fitting between the ThankYou Prestige and the ThankYou Preferred cards. This was the first of the ThankYou cards either Sharon or I signed up for and I still have it. Here’s the details of the Premier card:

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Annual Fee – $95 per year (fee waived for the first year)

Sign Up Benefits – Citi has just reinstated a sign up bonus for this card, offering 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. Since November 2017 there has not been any sign up bonus available for this card but in the past Citi has offered 50K and even up to 60K sign up bonuses. Citi also has restrictions on getting the bonuses from their cards so if you’ve had a Citi card that earns ThankYou points before, I suggest checking out this article from Doctor of Credit that goes over all the restrictions on getting the bonus.

Spending Bonus Categories – The ThankYou Premier card has plenty of opportunities to earn multiple points per dollar spent. You earn 3 points per $1 on purchases for travel. Citi allows many charges under this category including gas stations, airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, ridesharing services, public transportation, tolls, parking and much more. You also earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment. This will include your morning Dunkin Donuts coffee or dinner at a restaurant, as well as music downloads, movie tickets, concert and theater tickets, amusement and theme park tickets, and more. The card earns one point per dollar for all other spending.

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Earn 2 ThankYou points per dollar for tickets to The Book of Mormon on Broadway

No Foreign Transaction Fees – As you would expect from a travel credit card,  the Citi ThankYou Premier card does not charge any foreign transaction fees.

ThankYou Points

The Citi Premier earns ThankYou points, which are a type of flexible (transferrable) point. Citi has tried to make these points more valuable by increasing the number of travel partners; for now you can only transfer points to the following programs:

  • JetBlue (fixed value program)
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Etihad Guest
  • Eva Air
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Guarda Indonesia
  • Jet Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Sears Shop Your Way (1 point = 12 SYW points)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

You probably noticed there are not many airlines you know on this list, like American, Delta or United. You’re right. Now, that’s not to say there isn’t value to be had with some of these partners; you just really need to know what you are doing to book the flights you want and get a good return. Here are some examples of how you can book flights in the U.S. with the available transfer partners:

  • United Airlines flights can be booked with Singapore miles
  • Delta Airlines flights can be booked with Flying Blue miles

If you don’t want to learn about all the ways to transfer points, you could always use your ThankYou points to book travel (flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and activities) through the ThankYou Rewards portal. You’ll get 1.25 cents of value for each ThankYou point when using this method and I just did this to book a hotel room. It’s better than the other options available like getting gift cards, redeeming for merchandise or concert tickets. If you are looking for an extensive list of how to use your ThankYou points, here is a list of the 35 best ways to use your points.

IMG_2404
Use your ThankYou Points to book flights on Southwest for 1.25 cents per point.

Other Benefits

The Citi ThankYou Premier also provides other benefits:

The Citi ThankYou Premier also provides travel benefits. The best description of all the benefits included isn’t on the Citi website but in a write up from Tiffany from One Mile at a Time. I couldn’t do this any better so if you’re interested, you can see the entirety of all the benefits here.

Final Thoughts

The Citi ThankYou Premier is a good entry level card into the ThankYou program. It offers many bonus point categories and it’s quite easy to rack up a decent point balance without having to try very hard. Now the card is offering a sign up bonus and the annual fee is waived for the first year, it may be a good idea to sign up if you are eligible under Citi’s guidelines. While I prefer the Citi Prestige because of the insurance coverage it provides for travel and ticket purchases, I understand the $450 a year annual fee is high and this card is a great alternative that’s free for the first year.

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