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Citi Premier® Card Review: Fantastic Value for a Reasonable Annual Fee

Review Updated
Lyle Daly
By: Lyle Daly

Our Credit Cards Expert

Nathan Alderman
Check IconFact Checked Nathan Alderman
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. 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 $95 annual fee, but it offers better bonus opportunities than several cards that cost much more. It also has some additional travel perks and a solid rewards program with plenty of airline partners. Read our full Citi Premier® Card review to find out more about what it has to offer.

Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Credit Score: Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Recommended Credit Score required for this offer is: Good/Excellent (670-850)
Credit Score Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Good/Excellent (670-850)

Intro APR

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR

21.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

Rewards Circle with letter I in it. 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, at gas stations, for air travel, and on hotels, 1x points on other purchases

1x - 3x points

Annual Fee

$95

Welcome Offer Circle with letter I in it. Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

60,000 ThankYou® Points

  • Citi Premier offers 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, at gas stations, for air travel, and on hotels – a unique combination of bonus categories for a low annual fee card. It comes with a welcome bonus that's redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards, no foreign transaction fee, and access to Citi's ThankYou® Rewards program, a standout in the industry.

    • 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
    • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
    • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
    • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
    • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
    • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards 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

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

The Citi Premier® Card has a solid list of benefits that can help you save money, particularly on travel costs.

60,000 ThankYou® Points bonus

You earn a sign-up bonus of 60,000 ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. That's redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards, and it's also worth mentioning that you can transfer points to Citi partners and potentially get even more value for them.

MORE WELCOME OFFERS: Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

High rewards rate

One of the best things about the Citi Premier® Card is that it earns lots of points in several bonus categories. Here's how much it earns:

  • Limited time offer: 10 points per $1 on hotels and car rentals booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024
  • 3 points per $1 on other hotel purchases
  • 3 points per $1 on air travel
  • 3 points per $1 at restaurants
  • 3 points per $1 at supermarkets and gas stations
  • 1 point per $1 on other purchases

In addition to the high earning rates, this Citi card has a lot of variety to its bonus categories. Many travel credit cards offer bonuses on travel and dining purchases. There aren't nearly as many offering bonuses in more everyday categories, like supermarkets and gas stations.

SEE MORE: Best Travel Credit Cards

Annual hotel savings

This card gets you $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, that you book through thankyou.com or 1-800-THANKYOU. You can use this benefit once per calendar year.

It is disappointing that the benefit only applies to a stay of $500 or more. The fact that you need to book through the Citi ThankYou travel portal is also a downside, as prices can sometimes be higher than they would booking directly with hotels. Still, you shouldn't have too much trouble saving on a hotel stay with this perk.

RELATED: Best Hotel Credit Cards

Citi ThankYou Rewards program

Citi ThankYou points are a valuable type of travel reward because of their redemption options. You can transfer points to well over a dozen partners, including quite a few international airlines. With transfers like these, it's possible to book award airfare and potentially get $0.02 per point or more in value.

There are also other ways to redeem Citi ThankYou points, including by using them to make cash travel bookings through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. You get $0.01 per point on these bookings. Transfers are normally the way to go for maximum value, but cash travel bookings are a convenient option.

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

What could be improved

There is a notable drawback to the Citi Premier® Card compared to the competition.

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. If these are important to you, keep reading more credit card reviews, as there are lots of cards that offer them.

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

A FICO® Score of 670 or higher is recommended to apply for the Citi Premier® Card. Citi is selective with the applicants it approves, and it usually takes good credit or excellent credit to qualify. A credit score of 700 or higher will make an approval even more likely.

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.

The Citi Premier is right for you if:

You want a travel card that offers transferable points and earns 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 for the Citi Premier® Card:

  • 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-plus 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.

SEE MORE: Best Credit Cards

Alternatives to consider

  • If you want travel and purchase protections: American Express is known for these, and the American Express® Gold Card is one of its top travel cards. It offers purchase protection, extended warranty, and baggage insurance on eligible purchases, plus it has a great rewards program. Terms apply.
  • If you want more versatile travel points: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card looks 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.
As of Apr. 16, 2024
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Citi Premier® Card American Express® Gold Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Apply Now for American Express® Gold Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Rates & Fees External Link Icon

Credit Rating Requirement: Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Recommended Credit Score required for this offer is: Good/Excellent (670-850)

Good/Excellent (670-850)

Credit Rating Requirement: Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Recommended Credit Score required for this offer is: Good/Excellent (670-850)

Good/Excellent (670-850)

Credit Rating Requirement: Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Recommended Credit Score required for this offer is: Good/Excellent (670-850)

Good/Excellent (670-850)

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

60,000 ThankYou® Points

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

60,000

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. 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 Travel℠.

60,000 bonus points

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, at gas stations, for air travel, and on hotels, 1x points on other purchases

1x - 3x points

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

1X-4X Membership Rewards® Points

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: n/a

Balance Transfers: n/a

Intro APR: Circle with letter I in it. N/A

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

21.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

Regular APR:

See Pay Over Time APR

Regular APR:

21.49%-28.49% Variable

Annual Fee:

$95

Annual Fee:

$250

Annual Fee: Circle with letter I in it. N/A

$95

Highlights:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards 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

Highlights:

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

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 Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • 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.
  • Member FDIC
Apply Now for American Express® Gold Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Rates & Fees External Link Icon

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Our credit card methodology

At The Motley Fool Ascent, we rate credit cards on a five-star scale (1 = poor, 5 = best). Our rating criteria includes rewards rates, welcome bonuses, fees, and perks like travel credits and 0% intro APR offers to evaluate our ratings.

We combine these factors with an evaluation of brand reputation and customer satisfaction to ensure you're getting the best card recommendations. Learn more about how The Ascent rates credit cards.

FAQs

  • The Citi Premier® Card has a minimum credit limit of $2,000. Citi based your credit limit on a number of factors, including your income and credit history. Credit limits of over $25,000 have been reported by some cardholders.

  • The Citi Premier® Card is a Mastercard. Specifically, it is a World Elite Mastercard®, which is the top of the three Mastercard tiers (Standard, World Mastercard®, and World Elite Mastercard®).

  • The Citi Premier® Card is relatively easy to get if you have good to excellent credit and can qualify for the minimum credit limit. Aim for a credit score above 670 before you apply.

Our Credit Cards Experts