On Thursday, Citi rolled out a brand new welcome offer bonus on the Citi Premier Card. You can now earn 80,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.
That’s the best offer we have ever seen on an underrated travel credit card. It’s up from the standard 60,000 point bonus of the same spending requirement.
Read on for everything you need to know about this new offer and the full benefits of the Citi Premier Card.
Click Here to learn more about the Citi Premier Card.
Full Benefits of the Citi Premier Card
Welcome Bonus Offer
For a limited time, you’ll earn 80,000 Citi ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. That’s up from the standard bonus of 60,000 points for the same spending requirement.
Category Spending Bonuses
Citi Premier cardholders will earn 3x points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and at hotels on an unlimited amount of spending.
You’ll earn 1x point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
The Citi Premier card offers an annual $100 hotel credit every calendar year. The credit is valid on a single hotel stay of $500 or more that is booked through the Citi ThankYou portal.
If you are able to use this benefit, it should be enough to justify the card’s $95 annual fee.
The card charges an annual fee of $95 and it is not waived in the first year of card membership. It also does not charge foreign transaction fees.
Using Citi ThankYou Points
Like other transferrable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou points can be redeemed for travel or on gift cards through the Citi Travel Portal. Each point will be worth one cent each. So the 80,000 point welcome bonus is worth $800 when used this way.
But you can do much better by transferring points to airlines. Citi has a stable of 17 different airline transfer partners. ThankYou points transfer to all of them on a 1:1 basis, so these 80,000 Citi points will net you 80,000 airline miles.
Here’s the full list of Citi transfer partners.
|Program||Type||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||Airline||1:1 (available through 11/23)||N/A|
|EVA Air||Airline||1:1||1-3 days|
|Garuda Indonesia||Airline||1:1||1-2 days|
|Malaysian Airlines||Airline||1:1||No data|
This is a mixed bag. We tend to think of ThankYou points as the clear loser behind both Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards. There’s plenty of overlap between these programs with transfer partners like Emirates, Cathay Pacific’s AsiaMiles, Virgin Atlantic, and Air France/KLM Flying Blue. But then there are gaps.
For starters, there aren’t any hotel transfer partners at your disposal. But more importantly, you can’t transfer these points to one of the big three U.S. airlines. Amex has Delta and Chase has United. But unfortunately, you cannot transfer Citi points to American Airlines – even though both companies have a co-branded credit card relationship.
On the other hand, there are some great niche uses for ThankYou Points. Qatar miles are a great way to book fantastic Qsuites business class if you can’t get your hands on enough American AAdvantage miles. Qatar charges a reasonable 70,000 miles and reasonable fees for a one-way flight from the U.S. to the Middle East.
But perhaps the best option here is Turkish, as Citi is one of the few ways to earn these miles. Using Turkish miles, you can book roundtrip flights from the mainland out to Hawaii for just 12,500 miles roundtrip – or 25,000 miles in business class. Booking these flights is a convoluted process, as you’ll need to find the award availability and likely either call or email Turkish to book. But at that price, it’s worth the work.
Turkish also charges just 45,000 miles for one-way business class flights from the U.S. to Europe on Star Alliance carriers like United, Swiss, and (of course) Turkish itself. That’s tough to beat.
This is definitely a strong offer for the Citi Premier Card. This 80,000-point bonus could go a long way. But first things first: We still think the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card should take precedent here if you’re in the market for a travel credit card.
The Sapphire Preferred is currently out with a welcome offer bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the same $4,000 spending requirement in the first three months. Chase points are simply worth more through the travel portal at 1.25 cents apiece – a bonus the Citi Premier Card shared until recently. And for many, Chase transfer partners will be stronger than what you’ve got through Citi.
Most importantly, we always suggest starting with Chase cards because of the dreaded Chase 5/24 rule. Once you’ve opened five or more credit cards in the last 24-month period (from any bank, not just Chase), you’re no longer eligible to open a Chase credit card. Citi has its own restrictions, but nothing like that.
All that said, there’s still plenty of value here. If you’re already over the Chase 5/24 rule or can’t earn the bonus on the Sapphire Preferred Card because you’ve already got it, adding the Citi Premier with this biggest-ever bonus to your wallet could make sense.
Citi is out with its biggest ever welcome bonus offer on the Citi Premier Card. You’ll earn 80,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months for a limited time.
Citi has not yet announced an end date for this offer, so act fast if you are thinking about applying.
Click Here to learn more about the Citi Premier Card.