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If you have the Citi Premier℠ Card or were thinking of getting it, the Nerds are here with some important news: Beginning April 19, 2015, the card’s rewards earning structure and annual fee are changing.
If you’re in the market for a travel rewards credit card, Citi has certainly given you plenty to chew on this week.
A day after announcing a 35,000-point boost in the sign-up bonus for its premium Citi Prestige® Card, Citi also increased the sign-up bonus for its Citi Premier℠ Card: Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Citi says the bonus is redeemable for $625 toward flights on any airline through its travel center. The card’s previous sign-up bonus was 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.
But when it comes to the Citi Premier℠ Card and the Citi Prestige® Card, there’s more to consider than just a sign-up bonanza. For starters, bonus points aren’t available to you if you’ve already had one of these two products (or the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.
Here’s what else to know about these two cards before you apply.
How they stack up
The Citi Premier℠ Card lacks the raft of perks offered by its premium cousin the Citi Prestige® Card. But it also comes with a lower annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95. The Citi Prestige® Card, on the other hand, charges an annual fee of $450.
The Citi Premier℠ Card offers a tiered rewards system:
- 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on travel, including gas stations
- 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment
- 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent on all other purchases
The Citi Prestige® Card offers a similar rewards structure, but there’s an important difference: Its definition of “travel” includes air travel and hotels, but not gas.
Both cards also offer:
- No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn
- The ability to transfer points to participating airline and hotel loyalty programs
- No foreign transaction fees
|Card details||Citi Premier℠ Card||Citi Prestige® Card|
|Annual fee||$0 for the first year, then $95||$450|
|Sign-up bonus||Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.||Starting July 23: Earn 75,000 ThankYou Points after spending $7,500 within the first three months of card opening|
|APR||The ongoing APR is 16.49% - 25.49% Variable APR||The ongoing APR is 16.74% - 24.74% Variable APR|
|Reward structure||3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on travel, including gas stations; 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment; and 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent on all other purchases||3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels; 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment; and 1 point per dollar on all other spending|
|Air travel credit||None||Each year, a $250 Air Travel Credit will automatically be applied to flight-related expenses charged to your card, including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more|
|Lounge access||None||Priority Pass Select Lounges|
|Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement||None||$100 Global Entry application fee credit; renews once every 5 years|
Which is right for you?
The Citi Premier℠ Card offers robust rewards and could be especially useful if you’re a commuter or otherwise spend a lot of money on gas. But it will cost you less each year to carry than the Citi Prestige® Card.
However, if you’re a frequent flyer and like to travel in style, the perks you can get with the Citi Prestige® Card — including a $250 annual air travel credit, a larger sign-up bonus and complimentary lounge access — can offset its annual fee.