If you want to use just one credit card for most of your day-to-day purchases, but still earn a decent amount of travel points, the Citi Premier® Card might deserve your attention. It awards three points per dollar spent on ordinary expenses such as purchases made at gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, etc.
Citi Premier® Card Basics
Here is a quick overview of the Citi Premier® Card:
What kind of awards does he win?
- Citi® Thank You Points. These can be transferred to a participating partner for award travel or applied to the cost of travel booked through Citi (or redeemed for gift cards, applied toward purchases made on Amazcon.com or BestBuy.com, and more. We’ll discuss that more in a minute.)
Earn points on qualifying purchases (There are no point caps or limits!)
- 3X: Air travel
- 3X: Hotels
- 3X: Petrol stations
- 3X: Restaurants
- 3X: Supermarkets
- 1X: Everything else
Foreign transaction fees
Ongoing welcome promotion
The Citi Premier® Card is currently running a limited time promotional offer. New cardholders earn 80,000 Bonus Thank You Points after spending $4,000 on qualifying purchases within three (3) months of card approval. (This is an increase from the 60,000 bonus points.)
Even if you value ThankYou points at just a penny each, those 80,000 points are worth $800. But you can probably get a lot better value by transferring them to a travel partner and swapping them for something fun like a first-class or business-class plane ticket.
Learn how to apply for the special limited-time promotion here.
Why the card’s simple payout structure may appeal to many people
Many of us points and miles enthusiasts use an arsenal of credit cards to cover our various purchases. For example, I like the American Express® Gold Card when I dine out because it earns me 4X American Express® Membership Rewards® at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the United States. I usually use my Chase Sapphire Reserve®® when purchasing airline tickets, as it provides excellent trip interruption and cancellation coverage.
But I know a lot of people who just want to use one or maybe two credit cards. The thought of sifting through their wallets at the grocery store to find the best supermarket card isn’t worth it. They want some kind of catch-all credit card that offers good rewards.
And I think the Citi Premier® Card Fits the bill pretty well. It earns 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent at places you and I usually visit, such as supermarkets, service stationsand Restaurants. And the 3X on flight and hotels is on par with several premium credit cards.
Yes, it has an annual fee of $95. But that’s quickly taken care of with the card’s $100 annual hotel benefit (more on that in the next section). But if you use your card often – especially at merchants in the 3X bonus category – you’ll be fine. (If you’re willing to pay the annual fee, here’s a bunch of cards that might be right for you.)
Here are some of the key travel features of the map.
$100 annual hotel benefit
The Citi® Premier Card entitles cardholders to $100 off a hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when booked through Citi’s ThankYou program. (You must prepay the entire stay with your Citi Premier card.)
Hotels generally do not offer elite status benefits or point earnings for bookings made through online travel agencies such as Citi ThankYou. But recouping the card’s annual fee (plus five bucks!) on a $500 hotel stay can be worth it.
Use your points to travel
There are several ways to use your ThankYou points to pay for travel.
Book through ThankYou’s travel service
You can book air travel, hotel stays and more through Citi’s ThankYou travel service. Apply your points (at the rate of one cent each) towards the cost of your trip. This method would result in 100,000 points reducing travel by $1,000.
Transfer points to a travel partner
When you see people posting videos and photos of themselves sitting in amazing first-class seats, it’s possible they’ve used frequent flyer program points to book reward travel. That’s how ThankYou points can help you make your dream trip come true. (Don’t forget that our friends at Point.Me have a fantastic search engine to help you find reward travel prices. They also offer a personalized booking service if you need help planning your trip from Use promo code EYEOFTHEFLYER for a 24-hour free trial on their self-serve plan.
You can transfer your ThankYou points to the following loyalty programs:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Jet Airways InterMiles (formerly JetPrivilege)
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Aeroclub
You can transfer your ThankYou points to the following hotel loyalty programs:
- Privileges of choice
- Wyndham Rewards
ThankYou points can also be redeemed for:
- Gift cards
- Statement credit
- Direct deposit
- Check by mail
- Shop with points at Amazon.com and BestBuy.com
- Use points to pay for recent purchases
- Donate to charity
- Use them with Sears Shop your way.
Which credit card should you use for other purchases?
What should you do with purchases that do not receive Premier’s 3X categories? (Expenses such as paying bills, buying things from Amazon, etc.) Here are three ideas:
(Our credit card partner, CardRatings, has a pretty extensive selection of available cards that you can search and browse.)
The Citi Premier® Card (learn how to apply here) is a great option for people who want as few cards as possible to help them earn a respectable cache of travel points. It earns three points per dollar at everyday sellers such as supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants. (He also earns 3X on airfare and hotels.)
It has a $95 annual fee – which can easily be recouped by using your $100 annual resort credit and redeeming your points.
To see prices and fees for American Express® Gold Cardplease visit this link. Conditions apply.
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