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Maximizing the Citi Premier® Card takes some conscious effort. It is designed to appeal to travel enthusiasts, offering generous ThankYou Rewards on everyday travel purchases. In August, changes to its rewards program were introduced that can help some cardholders earn ThankYou Points even faster.
Here's what you need to know to make the most of the Citi Premier® Card.
Ways to maximize your Citi Premier® Card
Qualify for the welcome offer
The Citi Premier® Card is currently offering the following welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Read the fine print on the offer too, because bonus ThankYou points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for certain other Citi credit cards or closed one of those card accounts in the past 24 months.
According to NerdWallet valuations, ThankYou Points are ordinarily worth 1 cent each. But right now, when you use points earned with the Citi Premier® Card to book airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, their redemption value increases to 1.25 cents each.
» Learn more: Read our full Citi Premier® Card review
Get familiar with rewards categories
The Citi Premier® Card pays you bonus points in some spending categories. In August 2020, it added restaurants and supermarkets to the categories where you earn extra ThankYou points using your card.
3x points on air travel and hotels.
3x points at restaurants.
3x points at supermarkets.
3x points at gas stations.
1x points on all other purchases.
The travel category includes airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, public transportation, ridesharing, cruises, tolls and parking. In other words, most of the everyday travel purchases you might charge if you're planning a getaway.
» Learn more: Citi ThankYou Points: How to earn and use them
Use the hotel booking bonus
Each year, the Citi Premier® Card can get you $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, when you book through thankyou.com and prepay for the booking.
That could come in handy if you're planning an extended vacation or booking a shorter stay at a luxury hotel property with a pricier per-night rate. You easily make up for the card’s $95 annual fee every year that you’re able to take advantage of this perk.
Don't forget about points transfers
The Citi Premier® Card allows for ThankYou Rewards to be transferred to participating airline loyalty programs. There's no fee to transfer points and the minimum you need to transfer is 1,000 points.
Transferring points could help you stretch their value if you belong to a partner travel loyalty program. Citi’s transfer partners are:
Malaysia Airlines Enrich.
Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Qatar Privilege Club.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
Thai Royal Orchid Plus.
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio for all but Choice Hotels, which transfers at 1:2. So, for most partners, 1,000 ThankYou Points are worth 1,000 points or miles in the program you're transferring them to. Even if you aren't planning a trip anytime soon, it's good to have the option to transfer once you're ready to start booking.
» Learn more: The Best Citi ThankYou partners — and ones to avoid
The bottom line
You can get a lot of value from this card if you take full advantage of its benefits. Use the card in the spending categories that pay you bonus points, make sure to qualify for the welcome bonus and get familiar with all the ways you can transfer your points to get the most out of your Citi Premier® Card.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card