How to Get the Most From the Citi Premier Card

A variety of bonus spending categories means lots of ways to earn points by traveling and for traveling.
Rebecca LakeOct 18, 2021

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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.

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.

You earn:

  • 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.

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:

  • Aeromexico.

  • Asia Miles.

  • Avianca LifeMiles.

  • Choice Hotels.

  • Emirates Skywards.

  • Etihad Guest.

  • EVA Air.

  • Flying Blue.

  • JetBlue TrueBlue.

  • 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.

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:

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