The Chase Sapphire Preferred is getting a lot of attention right now with their 100,000 point offer. Citi is now trying their hand at the big, increased bonus on their own mid-tier travel card – the Citi Premier. The bonus now sits at an all-time high of 80,000 points. Here is what you should know.
The Citi Premier 80,000 Point Offer
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The Citi Premier is kind of like the card to get if you have every card – or had every card. Chase has their limits on who can get the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus (cannot have had a bonus on a Sapphire card in the last 48 months, can’t get the card if you have 5 or more new accounts opened in 24 months) but Citi, even with some limits, is a great option for a card with a big bonus.
What Do You Get with the New Citi Premier Offer?
The annual fee sits at $95, the current dollar amount for all mid-tier credit cards. With that annual fee and $4,000 in spending in the first 3 months, you will find a nice bonus of 80,000 ThankYou points sitting in your account. Citi’s rules on who can apply for the Citi Premier are actually a bit friendly when compared to Chase and Amex.
Can You Get the Citi Premier Offer?
The rules are straight-forward – you cannot have received (or closed one of these cards) a new cardmember bonus on a ThankYou Preferred, Citi Premier, Citi Prestige, or Citi Rewards+ in the last 24 months. You also cannot apply for this new Citi Premier bonus if you applied for another Citi personal credit card in the last 8 days.
What You Earn with the Citi Premier Card
So, if you are good with those limits, here we go with the fun stuff! The Citi Premier should not really be compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred in areas of travel protection. This is because there is none on the Citi Premier since they cut it a while back. This means that I would not personally use the Citi Premier for booking airline travel (even though it does give 3X ThankYou points for booking travel) since the card would not be helpful if things go awry during your trip – or before it.
But, there are plenty of good cards to book airline travel on – and you can still use these Citi points for travel with their transfer partners at huge returns. The Citi Premier also has some very nice earnings. Here is what you get:
- 3X earning on dining
- 3X earning on travel
- 3X earning on grocery
- 3X earning on gas
- 1X earning on all other purchase
This card makes a nice argument for being at the top of your everyday pile since you will earn 3X points (essentially a minimum of 3% in rewards on each dollar spent) for grocery stores and gas stations. The travel and dining is good as well, especially since the Chase Sapphire Preferred only offers 2X points on those categories.
Transfer Partners for the Citi Premier Card
When it comes to transfer partners, the Citi ThankYou program has some nice options, including Turkish Airlines. While you will pay fuel surcharges (which are not as bad as they are for Lufthansa/Austrian/SWISS), you can book a one-way business class ticket between Europe and the US for just 45,000 miles. That means this sign-up bonus – and the associated spending – is almost enough for a roundtrip business class award from the US to Europe when you transfer at the 1:1 rate (the normal ratio) to Turkish Airlines!
Here are the others:
- Air France Flying Blue
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air
- Jet Airways InterMiles
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qatar Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Orchid Plus
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic
On that list, you can see a few nice options available. I even consider JetBlue a decent option for when tickets are cheap with them (since it is a revenue based program) and it transfers at 1:1, unlike Amex. Singapore is a good option as well but hardly a rare sighting on a transfer partner page as you can transfer from other programs as well.
The Citi Premier also has a $100 annual hotel savings perk. This lets you apply the $100 off on a hotel booking that is $500 or more and booked through the Citi ThankYou portal. I would definitely not assign this a true value of $100 since the Citi portal ups a lot of the hotel prices and you cannot take advantage of any discount rates that you could with a hotel directly. Plus, you cannot earn elite night credit or even get your elite benefits with this. So, look at it as a nice little $50 discount if you happen to be booking a hotel stay of $500 or more (post-tax).
Cashing Out Your Citi ThankYou Points
If you are just looking for a quick cash deal, you can cash out your ThankYou points at a rate of 1 cent per point. That puts a cash value of $800 on the sign-up bonus. Minus the $95 annual feel, you are looking at a net $705 bonus for getting this new Citi Premier 80,000 point offer. Not bad at all!
It is nice to see Citi bumping up their bonus offer on their premier 🙂 travel card. Since the Prestige is no longer available for new customers, the Citi Premier is the card to get if you are interested in travel and want Citi points for that