Citi Strata Premier: Big Rewards Across Top Spending Categories

Earn 3X back at gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets, and on airlines and hotels. You'll also get access to transfer partners, although only a few are domestic carriers.
Kenley Young
Erin Hurd
By Erin Hurd and  Kenley Young 
Edited by Kenley Young

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4.9

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

This card earns rich ongoing rewards and could be a good deal for those who frequently travel internationally. But other cards may offer more useful partners and have more expansive definitions of travel.

Pros

  • Bonus categories

  • Rewards don't expire

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Jump to: Detailed review
Citibank Strata Premier Card
Annual fee
$95
Regular APR
21.24%-29.24% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Rates & fees
  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Rewards rate

    1x-10x

  • Bonus offer

    Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com.

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 21.24%-29.24% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable

    Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    $0

More details from Citibank
    View Rates and Fees
  • Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent on Hotels, Car Rentals, and Attractions booked on CitiTravel.com.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on Air Travel and Other Hotel Purchases, at Restaurants, Supermarkets, Gas and EV Charging Stations.
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • $100 Annual Hotel Benefit: Once per calendar year, enjoy $100 of a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when booked through CitiTravel.com. Benefit applied instantly at time of booking.
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

21.24%-29.24% Variable APR

Rates & fees

Regular APR

21.49%-28.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Detailed review: Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

The $95-annual-fee Citi Strata Premier℠ Card offers generous bonus rewards across several popular spending categories, making it an excellent workhorse card for everyday use. That's particularly true if you're a jet-setter, since the card comes with travel protections and you'll be able to transfer your rewards to multiple airline and hotel partners

On top of that, there's a rich sign-up bonus, plus a yearly hotel credit that can cover the annual fee if you're able to make use of it.

Still, the card isn't for everyone. Citi's list of transfer partners is heavily tilted toward international carriers — in fact, there's only one domestic airline option. To be sure, you can use international airlines to fly U.S.-based carriers by leveraging airline alliances, but casual travelers may have to put in some research to find deals. The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is also missing a perk or two that you can find on other travel credit cards at its price point.

But the ability to snag a high rewards rate on some of the biggest line items in your household budget makes the card a valuable proposition.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Citi launched the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card in May 2024 as a refresh of the long-serving Citi Premier® Card, which is no longer accepting applications. The cards share many similarities, although the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card comes with a few additional perks including bonus rewards at EV charging stations, as well as travel protections like trip cancellation and rental car insurance. (The legacy Citi Premier® Card did once offer such protections, but ended them in 2019.)

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card: Basics

Card type: Travel.

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com.

Rewards:

  • 10 ThankYou® points per $1 spent on hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through the Citi Travel site.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on air travel and other hotel purchases.

  • 3 points per $1 spent at supermarkets.

  • 3 points per $1 spent at gas stations and EV charging stations.

  • 3 points per $1 spent at restaurants.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Redemption options:

  • Redeem for travel booked through Citi. You get 1 cent per point.

  • Redeem for cash back. The ThankYou® points you'll earn from the card are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for cash.

  • Redeem for gift card purchases, bill payments and more. For many redemptions, points are worth 1 cent each.

  • Transfer to one of Citi's partners: mostly international airlines, and mostly at a 1:1 ratio. Through strategic redemptions, you can potentially get more value out of your points this way. If you don't plan on traveling internationally — or don’t want to spend the effort to use alliances to book domestic travel on foreign airlines — this option is somewhat limited. JetBlue is the only domestic airline option, for instance.

Airlines

  • Aeromexico (1:1 ratio).

  • Air France/KLM (1:1 ratio).

  • Asia Miles (1:1 ratio).

  • Avianca (1:1 ratio).

  • Emirates (1:1 ratio).

  • Etihad (1:1 ratio).

  • Eva Air (1:1 ratio).

  • JetBlue (1:1 or 1:0.8 ratio, depending on which card you have).

  • Qantas (1:1 ratio).

  • Qatar Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Singapore Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • Thai Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Turkish Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • Virgin Atlantic (1:1 ratio).

Hotels

  • Accor Live Limitless (2:1 ratio).

  • Choice Hotels (1:2 or 1:1.5 ratio, depending on which card you have).

  • The Leading Hotels of the World (5:1 ratio).

  • Wyndham (1:1 ratio or 1:0.8 ratio, depending on which card you have).

Retail

  • Shop Your Way (1:10 ratio).

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 21.24%-29.24% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit. Terms apply.

  • Coverage in the event of trip cancellation, interruption or delay.

  • Coverage if your luggage is lost or damaged.

  • Rental car insurance. (Coverage is secondary within the renter’s country of residence, but primary outside the renter’s country of residence.)

Benefits and perks

Triple points in everyday categories

This may be the biggest selling point for the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card: Its bonus rewards cover three of the major line items in many household budgets — groceries, dining out and gas. Several cards offer bonus rewards in one or two of these categories, but it's rare to score 3X back across all three. Triple points at supermarkets, in particular, is more than you’ll earn in that category from many premium credit cards.

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card also offers 3 points per $1 in two of the biggest travel categories: flights and hotels, which gives it an edge on many competitors that offer only 2 points per $1 on those purchases.

And of course if you're willing to book qualifying travel through Citi, you'll snag an unbeatable 10X back per $1 spent.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The legacy Citi Premier® Card — the card the Strata Premier replaced — used to offer 3X points across a much broader definition of "travel": airfare and hotels, yes, but also things like car rentals, cruises, travel agencies and aggregators, various commuter transportation, tolls, boat rentals and more. But that went away in 2020, as did the ability to redeem points for higher value when booking eligible travel through Citi. The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is not resurrecting those features.

Multiple international travel partners = potential for outsized value

You can redeem points for travel through the Citi ThankYou® portal, where you can expect a value of 1 cent per point. But you can also unlock higher value for your points if you opt to transfer them to certain airline loyalty programs. For example, as of February 2024, you could transfer 287,000 ThankYou® points into Singapore’s KrisFlyer program to cover a round-trip flight from New York to Frankfurt, Germany, in first class. That same ultra-swanky experience would cost over $11,000 if you paid cash.

Big sign-up bonus

The bonus offer on the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is generous: Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com. That can go a long way toward covering your next vacation, especially if you find a good deal with a travel partner, per above.

Combine rewards to boost earning

Thanks to its strong rewards categories, the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card could be a great choice for people who want to use one card for every purchase. And if you're willing to carry a couple of cards in your wallet, you can maximize your earnings even more by pairing the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card with the issuers' other offerings that earn ThankYou® points.

For example: The Citi Double Cash® Card earns 2% back on purchases: 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off. Meanwhile, the Citi Custom Cash® Card earns 5% back on up to $500 per billing cycle in your highest spend category (from a list of eligible options) and 1% back on other purchases. Both of these cards have strong rewards, but if you want to take advantage of Citi's transfer partners, your options are somewhat limited. By pooling the rewards you earn on either of these cards (or both!) with the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card, you can maximize your rewards earning and take advantage of the superior redemption options the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card offers.

Drawbacks and considerations

Narrow travel categories

Compared with the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card, other cards in its class have a broader definition of what qualifies as "travel." Beyond just hotels, car rentals and air travel, you could also earn elevated rewards on things like cruises, rideshares, buses, trains and more — depending on the card. And in many cases, you'd be able to do so without having to book through a specific card issuer's travel portal.

The $95-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for one, offers elevated rewards on many other forms of travel. It, too, allows you to transfer rewards to a variety of travel partners. Or, if you are OK with booking your vacation through Chase's travel portal, your points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each, as compared to the 1-cent value you'll get from Citi ThankYou® points.

If you're seeking something more straightforward, the similarly priced Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2 miles back on purchases, travel-related or not, and also comes with travel partners. And unlike the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, it offers a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Limited choice of well-known or domestic transfer partners

Transferring credit card points to an airline's frequent-flyer program can be quite lucrative, depending on how you redeem. But almost all of Citi's transfer partners are international carriers, making them less useful for those who don't plan to travel overseas or don’t want to dig into complex award charts. There can be a lot of value to be found from these transfer partners, but it’s not usually low-hanging fruit. You’ll have to do some work to learn the ins and outs of new-to-you airline programs.

If you're searching for more familiar transfer partners, the aforementioned Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could again be a better fit. It features a mix of foreign and domestic carriers, including United Airlines and Singapore Airlines, as well as major U.S. hotel chains such as Marriott and Hyatt. The card earns bonus rewards in a variety of popular spending categories, including dining and travel. Plus, as noted, those points are worth more when you redeem for travel via Chase. The card also offers a large sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

🤓Nerdy Tip

You can also choose to trade your ThankYou® points for Shop Your Way points, good for retail purchases. (Shop Your Way is the rewards program and online bonus mall for the Shop Your Way Mastercard and the legacy Sears credit card.) Each ThankYou® point that you transfer is worth 10 Shop Your Way points.

Hotel discount may be of limited value

The card offers $100 off a single hotel stay of at least $500 (not including taxes and fees) once every calendar year, when you book through Thankyou.com. That could be useful for some travelers — but do you normally spend $500 or more on a single hotel stay? And are you willing to book it exclusively through Citi?

Alternate Pick: More valuable redemptions
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Greater flexibility

This card earns bonus rewards in a variety of popular spending categories, including dining and travel. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through Chase, or you can transfer them to more than a dozen airline and hotel programs, including United, Southwest, Marriott and Hyatt. The annual fee is $95.

Read our review

How to decide if it's right for you

If you spend a lot on gas, dining, groceries or certain kinds of travel, the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card absolutely merits a look, as points can add up fast. Just know that those points won’t be as valuable as they are with other cards, and if you want to transfer them, you’ll have to navigate a handful of less-familiar travel partners.

If you're looking to redeem some of your points for cash instead of travel, they are worth 1 cent each. This is comparable to the point value you'll get from other cards in its class.

For more travel credit card options, check out NerdWallet's list of best credit cards to have.

Information about the Citi Premier® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the card issuer.

Apply now

on Citibank's application

Methodology

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