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What’s New With the Citi Strata Premier Card? Let’s Review

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Have you heard the news? There's a new kid on the block: It's the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

Actually, the Strata Premier is more like an old friend who moved back to the neighborhood. Because even though the card officially launched earlier this week, it's really just a (slightly) revamped version of the no-longer-offered Citi Premier Card. If you're a longtime Citi Premier cardholder, your account has already been converted to the new Strata Premier.

While not a lot changed beyond the card name, one thing is new: A bigger welcome bonus offer. You can now earn 75,000 Citi ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Beyond the welcome bonus, it's one of the few travel rewards credit cards that offers a category spending bonus at gas stations (and EV charging): Earning 3x ThankYou Points on gas might even help take some of the sting out of higher prices at the pump. You'll also earn 3x ThankYou Points in other common categories such as dining, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels – all for a low $95 annual fee.

But remember: Credit cards are serious business. You should never apply for a credit card unless you can afford to pay off every dime you charge. However many points you can earn, they're simply not worth it. 

Read on for everything you need to know about the “new” Citi Strata Premier card and why it might be a worthy addition to your wallet.

Considering opening a new card? Check out our monthly list of the best travel rewards credit card offers


Citi Strata Premier℠ Card: Benefits Overview

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn 3x Citi ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on air travel and hotels.
  • Earn 3x Citi ThankYou Points for every dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations (including EV charging).
  • Earn 10x Citi ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on hotels and car rentals when you book through the Citi Travel portal 
  • Earn 1x Citi ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Save $100 annually on a single hotel stay of $500 or more when you book through the Citi Travel portal.
  • Trip delay and interruption, lost or damaged luggage, and MasterRental car insurance.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (not waived in the first year)

All information about the Citi Strata Premier Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not be verified by the issuer.


Citi Strata Premier Card


Learn more about the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card (for full disclosure, this is not an affiliate link).


Citi Strata Premier℠ Card: Benefits Breakdown

Welcome Bonus Offer

New applicants can now earn 75,000 Citi ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership when applying through sites like ours. 

Did you previously have the old Citi Premier Card? You may still be eligible to get the card and earn a bonus again. Citi's application rules state you must wait 48 months between earning a welcome bonus and applying for the card again. And even though the name is different, the Strata Premier and Citi Premier are being treated as the same card for bonus qualification. 

So if it's been four years since you earned a bonus on a Citi Premier Card, you may be eligible to get it again.


Annual Hotel Credit

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card offers an annual $100 hotel credit every calendar year. It's an ultra-lucrative benefit that instantly outweighs the card's $95 annual fee.

But there's a hitch. This $100 hotel credit is only valid when you book a single hotel reservation of at least $500 through the Citi Travel portal. You can't just book any hotel stay and automatically save $100.

The upside is that similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred's $50 annual hotel credit, it triggers automatically once you make an eligible hotel booking through the Citi Travel Portal.


$100 off hotel booking with citi travel


Put this benefit to use, and it should instantly be enough to justify the card's $95 annual fee. And when you pair it with the 10x ThankYou points you earn on hotel bookings made through Citi's travel portal, you can actually get a pretty good deal on your hotel stay.

Just be warned that hotel bookings through an online travel agency (OTA) like Citi's travel portal won't earn hotel points or elite night credits with the hotel itself. If you have any sort of elite status, I wouldn't expect the hotel to honor your benefits, either.


Citi Merchant Offers

Want to come out even further ahead on your annual fee? Citi Merchant Offers are money-saving deals for your online shopping, travel, and other purchases.

Just by holding the Citi Strata Premier Card, you'll get access to some of these discounts in categories like shopping, travel, dining, and entertainment. Enroll your card, make an eligible purchase with your Citi Strata Premier Card, and it should automatically trigger the cashback savings.


Citi Merchant Offers


If you're familiar with the money-saving offers available on American Express cards called Amex Offers, these are practically identical. The list of Citi Merchant Offers isn't quite as extensive as what you'll find from Amex or even Chase, but there are still some good deals to be had.


Annual Fee

The card charges an annual fee of $95 and it is not waived in the first year of card membership.

That fee is in line with Citi Strata Premier's biggest competitors: the *chase sapphire preferred* and the *capital one venture card*.


No Foreign Transaction Fees

You won't be charged foreign transaction fees when using your Citi Strata Premier Card abroad.

This makes it a solid option to use while traveling out of the country. You'll be rewarded with bonus points for the majority of your travel and dining expenses without paying additional fees.


Citi Strata Premier℠ Card: Earning ThankYou Points

Racking up points with the Citi Strata Premier is quite easy thanks to the card's useful bonus categories. The average person should have no problem making this one of their most frequently used credit cards.

Cardholders earn 3x points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations (and EV charging), air travel, and at hotels on an unlimited amount of spending. That bonus earning makes this card one of the most well-rounded cards when it comes to category bonus spending – especially when you consider the card only has a $95 annual fee.

If you're looking to earn even more points, there's another way. Citi has added an additional bonus category to the Citi Strata Premier Card: Cardholders can earn 10x ThankYou® Points on hotels and rental cars booked through the Citi Travel® portal. Considering points are worth at least 1 cent each when used for travel, you can look at this like getting a 10% discount on all your hotel and car rental bookings.

You'll also earn an unlimited 1x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all other purchases.


Citi Strata Premier℠ Card: Redeeming ThankYou Points

A stash of 75,000 ThankYou Points is no small sum – but what exactly can they get you? Or more importantly, how far can they take you?

Let's start simple. Like other major credit card points programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Capital One Venture Miles, you can redeem your Citi ThankYou points for gift cards at a bunch of popular merchants. You can also redeem them for travel through the Citi Travel portal – with each point worth 1 cent apiece. This means that at a bare minimum, the 75,000-point bonus on the Citi Strata Premier Card is worth $750 in travel.


Citi Travel Portal Redemption


But you can do much better by transferring points to travel partners. Citi has a stable of nearly 20 different airline and hotel transfer partners. And ThankYou points transfer to all of them on a 1:1 basis (with the exception of Choice Hotels which transfers on an even better 1:2 basis). That means 75,000 Citi points can net you 75,000 airline miles or 140,000 Choice points.

Here's the full list of Citi transfer partners.

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Air France/KLM Airline1:1Instant
Avianca LifeMilesAirline1:1Instant
Cathay PacificAirline1:112-24 hours
Etihad Airline1:1Instant
EVA AirAirline1:11-3 days
JetBlueAirline1:1* Instant
QantasAirline1:11-2 days
Qatar AirwaysAirline1:11-2 days
SingaporeAirline1:112-48 hours
Thai AirwaysAirline1:14-7 days
Turkish AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
Choice HotelsHotel1:2*Instant
Wyndham RewardsHotel1:1*Instant
The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) Hotel1:0.2TBD

Citi has quite the mixed bag of transfer partners. We've traditionally considered ThankYou points the clear loser behind both Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and even Capital One Venture Miles – but that might be a little harsh. There's plenty of value with transfer partners like Turkish Miles & Smiles, Cathay Pacific's Asia Miles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines, and Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

But there are some gaps where Citi falls short. Most importantly, you can't transfer these points to one of the big three U.S. airlines: Amex has Delta and Chase has United. Since Citi offers many co-branded American Airlines credit cards you'd think it would make sense for the two to be transfer partners but unfortunately, that's not the case. 

But that shouldn't mean you write off earning these points – far from it.

Transferring ThankYou Points to Virgin Atlantic to book short Delta flights can be a great way to use your 75,000-point bonus. In fact, you'll almost always score a better deal by booking Delta flights with Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club instead of using your Sky Miles. That's true whether you're looking to stay in the U.S. or fly Delta's swanky Delta One Suites business class across the pond to Europe for 50,000 points.

Above all else, there are some great niche uses for ThankYou Points that you won't find with other points programs. Qatar miles have become the best way to book fantastic Qsuites business class. And best of all, Qatar charges a reasonable 75,000 miles and $100 or so for a one-way flight from the U.S. to the Middle East.

Read more: The Master Guide to Booking Qatar Airways Flights Using Qatar Avios




But perhaps the best option here is Turkish Miles & Smiles, as Citi is one of the few ways to earn these miles. Using Turkish miles, you can book roundtrip flights from the mainland all the way to Hawaii for just 20,000 miles. Booking these flights is a convoluted process – and after a recent devaluation, it's not as cheap as it once was – but at that price, it's still a smoking-hot deal if you can make it work.

Turkish also charges just 65,000 miles for one-way business class flights from the U.S. to its hub in Istanbul (IST). That's pretty tough to beat.


turkish airlines business class seat


Read our full review of Turkish Airlines business class on the 787!

These are, of course, just a few of the great ways to use Citi ThankYou points. Just because they don't have a domestic transfer partner like Chase does with United and Amex does with Delta, doesn't mean that you should burn them all on gift cards. There are still tons of valuable ways to use Citi ThankYou Points.

Make sure to check out our post on the best ways to use Citi points.


Citi Strata Premier℠ Card: Travel Protections

The biggest change with the “new” Strata Premier Card is that it now comes with various travel protections – a logical benefit for a travel rewards credit card.

As a cardholder, you're now protected for things like trip delays and cancellations. You'll also be covered for lost or damaged luggage and you get secondary car rental insurance through MasterRental Coverage.

Here's a breakdown of all the card's insurance benefits: 


Trip Delay, Cancellation, and Interruption Coverage

With the card's trip cancellation and interruption coverage, you may be eligible for reimbursement for the nonrefundable amounts (up to $5,000 per covered trip) if you or an eligible traveler experiences a sudden illness (including COVID-19) or injury that causes you to cancel your trip.

To use this benefit, your “covered trip” needs to include roundtrip travel from your place of residence for a period of less than 365 days. Critically, “roundtrip travel” doesn't mean you need to purchase a “roundtrip ticket.” You can book two one-ways and still be covered, so long as you charge the full amount of your common carrier ticket (airfare, train ticket, etc.) to your card – or in combination with the ThankYou points associated with your account. 


traveler stranded in the airport


The card's trip delay coverage kicks in after delays of six hours for things like inclement weather, lost or stolen travel documents (passports), or a common carrier's equipment failure.

In these cases, you may be reimbursed up to $500 per trip for covered expenses including meals, lodging, toiletries, and other personal use items during your delay. This is a really solid benefit the six-hour delay window is in line with the coverage that comes with more premium cards like the *chase sapphire reserve* and *venture x*.

You are limited to two claims per rolling 12-month period. 


Lost or Damaged Luggage

The card's lost or damaged luggage benefit covers your bag and its contents up to $5,000 per trip ($2,000 per bag, per trip, for New York residents) when you use your card to pay for a common carrier ticket and it gets lost or damaged. This includes both carry-on and checked luggage. 

Critically, this benefit won't help you if your bag is delayed – whereas competing cards like the *chase sapphire preferred* will reimburse you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays.


Rental Car Coverage

MasterRental Coverage isn't much to get excited about as it's secondary coverage (though that levels up to primary coverage when traveling outside of your country of residence) and far inferior to the car rental insurance that comes with other top travel cards. In any case, it provides protection for damages (physical damage and theft) to a rental vehicle when you decline the car rental company’s full collision damage waiver insurance.


Citi Strata Premier℠ Card: Are You Eligible for the Bonus Offer?

Citi can be a bit finicky with their card approvals … like denying applicants for having too low of credit utilization (i.e. not carrying a balance). And while they don't have the same strict requirements as other banks like Chase – there are still some rules that you need to be aware of if you're considering applying for this card.

Critically, if you've received a welcome bonus on Citi Strata Premier (or the old Citi Premier) in the past 48 months, you will not be eligible to earn the new account bonus at this time. Also, Citi will only approve you for one card every eight days – and two cards in a 65-day window. If you have previously applied and been approved for multiple Citi cards within that time period, you will not be eligible.

Above all, keep in mind that credit cards are serious business. As tantalizing as a 75,000-point bonus may be, it's not worth digging yourself into debt over. If you can't responsibly spend $4,000 over the next three months and pay the card's balance in full each statement cycle, this offer simply isn't worth going after.

Related reading: The Master Guide to Credit Card Application Rules


Bottom Line

Citi just launched the “new” Citi Strata Premier Card … and upped the card's welcome bonus offer to boot.

When it comes to mid-tier travel cards, the Citi Strata Premier Card outshines its competitors in terms of point earning. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded card with bonus categories aligned to the average person's biggest monthly expenses – supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, air travel, and hotels.

Considering all the Citi Strata Premier has to offer, this new card might just be out of this world.


Citi Strata Premier Card



Learn more about the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card (for full disclosure, this is not an affiliate link).

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

12 Responses

  • I applied for this card to take advantage of the 80000 points and transfer them to American. . I have completed that although it was not easy since they give you such a low starting credit line. I was about to take advantage of the transfer until I read the reports of American soon to be devaluing it’sAdvantage offers. Am I better off waiting and keeping the miles in Citi?

    • Hi Barbara. I would never recommend transferring miles out of a flexible points program like Citi ThankYou until you are ready to redeem them. If you have a specific use for them with AA, it can make sense now. Otherwise, I would keep them with Citi for the time being.

  • “Citi has a stable of 18 different airline and hotel transfer partners. ThankYou points transfer to all of them on a 1:1 basis”-
    And then go on to list choice as a 1:2 ratio. You may want to edit this

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