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Citi Premier Review: Fantastic Value for a Reasonable Annual Fee

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.  Citi is an advertising partner of The Ascent.

The Citi Premier® Card has a modest annual fee, but it offers more bonus points than several cards that cost much more. Despite those bonus rewards and its additional travel perks, this card has flown under the radar, compared to more high-profile options from Chase and American Express. That's a shame, because based on its value and versatility, this is a top-tier travel card. Read our full Citi Premier® Card review to find out exactly what makes it so special.

  • A solid pick with a big bonus and nice list of airlines transfer partners, plus it includes a robust rewards program beyond just travel

    • Big sign-up bonus
    • Annual hotel savings offer
    • Travel and dining rewards
    • Grocery and gas rewards
    • Flexible travel rewards points
    • Annual fee
    • Limited consumer and travel protections
    • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
    • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
    • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
    • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
    • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
    • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Citi Premier® Card
Apply Now for Citi Premier® Card

On Citi's Secure Website.

Full Citi Premier review

This credit card is a good fit for: Cardholders who want to save money on flights and hotel stays. Travelers who like Citi's ThankYou Rewards program will earn lots of valuable points using this card.

Top perks

Sign up bonus

To get the 80,000 points sign-up bonus, you need to make $4,000 in purchases within the first three months. You can get a value of up to $0.0125 per point on travel bookings made through the Citi ThankYou travel portal, so the bonus is worth up to $1000 toward travel.

Versatile rewards program

Earn up to 3 points per $1: This card's rewards rates include:

  • 3 points per $1 at restaurants and supermarkets
  • 3 points per $1 at gas stations, air travel, and hotels
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

The Citi Premier® Card is one of the best travel rewards cards for earning a large number of points.

Annual hotel savings

Enjoy $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through thankyou.com, once per calendar year.

Read more: Best Hotel Credit Cards

Citi ThankYou Rewards program

Citi ThankYou points are among the most valuable types of travel rewards because of their redemption options. As mentioned above, you can get up to $0.0125 per point when you use those points on cash travel bookings through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. Citi also has well over a dozen different airline partners with which you can transfer points to book awards airfare. With the right booking, it's possible to get $0.03 per point or more.

No foreign transaction fee

It's important to get a travel card that you can use without paying extra, and the Citi Premier® Card qualifies. Another reason it's useful for international travel is that it's a Mastercard, one of the most widely accepted types of credit cards around the world.

Learn more: A guide to Citi Premier® Card benefits

Alternatives to consider

  • If you want more luxury perks: The Citi Prestige® Card comes with a higher annual fee and a big bonus, but stick with us. It offers 5 points per $1 on air travel and restaurants, VIP airport lounge access, and lucrative credits that add up quickly.
  • If you want a different rewards plan: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card looks very similar to the Citi Premier® Card at a glance, with the same annual fee and a big sign up bonus as well. One big difference is that you'll get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which has a stronger roster of airline and hotel partners where you can transfer points.

Learn more: Best Rewards Credit Cards

As of Aug. 04, 2022
Image for
Image for

Citi Prestige® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Credit Rating Requirement:

Excellent (740-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

50,000 ThankYou Points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

60,000 points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 5x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 5x points

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

16.99% - 23.99%, variable

Regular APR:

17.49% - 24.49% Variable

Annual Fee:

$495

Annual Fee:

$95

Highlights:

  • 5X ThankYou Points on air travel and restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou Points on hotels and cruise lines
  • 1X ThankYou points on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Complimentary 4th night on hotel stays booked through ThankYou.com., up to twice per year
  • Unlimited access to 400+ airport lounges
  • $100 global entry fee credit
  • Chip technology
  • 24/7 concierge
  • Lost baggage coverage

Highlights:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
Show More Arrow graphic to expand and collapse content Show Less Arrow graphic to expand and collapse content

This offer is no longer available for new applicants. The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by The Ascent. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

What could be improved

Consumer and travel protections

Citi drastically scaled back the protections its cards offer in 2019. It now lacks quite a few protections that you can get with other travel cards, such as rental car insurance, baggage protection, and trip cancellation or delay insurance.

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

You should have a FICO® Score of 670 or higher before applying for the Citi Premier® Card, because Citi is selective with the applicants it approves. Although the card issuer will base its decision on more than just your credit score, successful applicants usually report having very good credit.

Learn more: Best Citi Credit Cards

Is the annual fee worth it?

Considering the value that the Citi Premier® Card offers, its $95 annual fee is a bargain for many people. The Citi Premier® Card benefits can easily cover the cost of the annual fee and more.

The card pays for itself with the $100 annual hotel savings. Even if you don't use that benefit each year, you can easily earn enough rewards points to outweigh the cost of the annual fee thanks to this card's generous bonus categories.

Because you can redeem your rewards for at least $0.0125 per point, you need to earn only 7,600 points per year to cover the cost of this card's annual fee. That's $7,600 in annual spending, or approximately $2,533.33 spent annually in this card's bonus categories.

It's also worth mentioning that the sign-up bonus is worth at least $1,000, giving the Citi Premier® Card tremendous value for the first year that you have it.

This credit card is right for you if:

The Citi Premier® Card is a great choice if you want a travel card that offers transferable points, can earn lots of rewards with its bonus categories and sign-up bonus, all for a modest annual fee. Here are a few signs that you should strongly consider applying:

  • You have high spending in its bonus categories. The array of rewards categories are hard to beat, especially on a card in this price range. It gives you the opportunity to get quite a bit of value from your regular spending.
  • You fly with Citi's airline partners regularly. Citi ThankYou points can be valuable when you transfer them to its airline partners. If you take at least one flight per year with one of these airlines, you'll likely be able to maximize the value of your points.
  • You book at least one $500+ hotel stay per year. Whether you're booking a lengthy stay or a luxurious one, that $100 annual hotel savings will already be worth more than you spend on this card's annual fee.

Read more: Best Airline Credit Cards

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