Citi Premier Card Review – Should You Consider It?

Rating:
4.3/5
4.3 stars out of 5

The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.

Citi Premier Card is a mid-tier travel rewards card issued by Citibank that offers great benefits for travelers as well as general consumers.

With the Citi premier card, you’ll earn unlimited 3X points for every dollar spent on travel & gas, 2X on eating out and entertainment and 1X on all other purchases (As of 22 August 2020, the card will earn 3X points on restaurants, hotels and supermarkets (as well as travel & Gas Stations) instead of 1X points on all purchases). 

The points can be redeemed through the Citibank Thankyou Network that allows for the combining of points. They also can be used for things other than traveling, such as merchandise and gift cards.

As a sign up bonus, you’ll get 60,000 Thank You points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of opening the card. It also has travel insurance that covers cancelled or delayed flights and baggage delay insurance and  it doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee. These features help give you peace of mind while traveling at home and abroad. 

However, like many other cards in the category (in spite of not all of them) – the card has an annual fee of $95. 

 

Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier Card review

On Citi’s Secure Website

Our Bottom Line

  • Maximize Travel Rewards on Everyday Purchases

Credit Rating Requirements

  • Good - Excellent Credit

PROS

  • Great Sign-Up Bonus
  • Points on Travel , Gas, Restaurants, Entertainment & All Other Purchases

CONS

  • $95 Annual Fee
  • No Introductory 0% APR Balance Transfer Fee

Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):

Pros

Cons

Citi Premier Card – Benefits

Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Citi Premier and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.

  • 60,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus

You can get 60,000 Thank You points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of opening the card. 

This equals about $600 in travel rewards when booking is done through Citi. This is one of the larger sign-up bonuses in the market.

  • Points on Travel , Gas, Restaurants, Entertainment & All Other Purchases

With the Citi premier card, you’ll earn 3X points for every dollar spent on travel & gas, 2X on eating out and entertainment and 1X on all other purchases.

  • No Limits

Citi Premier Card has no limits on points earned. The points also do not expire.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Citi Premier Card has no transaction fees while traveling in another country. 

Many other rewards cards and regular credit cards have fees when you make purchases outside of the United States.

  • No Annual Fee for the First Year

Citi Premier Card will waive the annual fee for the first year of having the card. Then the fee is $95 a year.

  • Thank You Points

With the Citi Premier Card, you earn Thankyou Points and those points can be used for more than just travel. You can use them for things such as merchandise and gift cards. 

These point can be earned with other Citi products as well, such as checking accounts, etc. The points are very flexible in their use.

  • Points Transfer,Citi Private Pass , Concierge Service

You can transfer points with participating airline customer loyalty programs to earn even more points and reduce the cost of air travel. Citibank allow cardholders to get exclusive access to concert tickets and sporting events before they are released to the general public. 

You may even be able to get VIP passes. Also, Concierge Service is offered to Citi Premier cardholders. It can help book hotels and airline services. They are available 24/7 to help cardholders.

  • Citi Price Rewind, Protection & Free Credit Score

Register a purchase that you made with the Citi Premier Card and if they find a price lower than what you paid within 60 days, they will refund you the difference. 

You can get refunded up to $1,200 in a year. In terms of protection, Citi Premier Card has zero liability, purchase protection, chip-enabled security and an extension on manufacturers’ warranty. 

It also has travel insurance that covers cancelled or delayed flights and baggage delay insurance. These features help give you peace of mind while traveling at home and abroad. 

Lastly, the Citi Premier Card will also update you monthly with what your credit score is. You can check this by signing into your online account. This is offered through Credit Journey and is based on your Transunion credit report.

Citi Premier Card – Drawbacks

Here are the most important cons you should consider before apply to Citi Premier:

  • $95 Annual Fee

Citi Premier Card does not require new cardholders to pay their annual fee for the first year, but beginning the second year there is a $95 annual fee. Many other credit cards do not have annual fees.

  • No Introductory 0.00% APR Balance Transfer Fee

This card does not offer any introductory rate like many other credit cards do. 

This means if you are looking to transfer balances to a lower rate you will have to consider other cards.

  • Exclusion of Sign-Up Bonus

There is a possibility of not qualifying for the sign-up bonus if you opened up another Citibank card in the past 24 months that had a large sign-up bonus.

  • High APR

The APR for the Citi Premier Card is a 15.99%-23.99% variable rate, which is high for a card that requires borrowers with excellent credit histories.

  • Points Transfer Misses Some of the Bigger Airlines

Citi Premier Card point transfer partners where you can earn more points, is limited. They miss some of the bigger and popular airlines in the US market, including Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines.

  • Complicated Rewards Structure and Redemption

Many travel rewards cards have more complicated reward structures, but the Citi Premier Card is even more than the average. 

There are so many spending categories and so many different ways to use your points, it is hard to determine what the best value is when using the points.

Alternatives to Citi Premier Credit Card

There are other credit cards that do offer comparable cash back rewards – we’ve summarized the most popular cards which can use as an alternative to the Citi Premier card:

The Chase Sapphire Credit card is in their top spot in regards to the best traveling and dining cards as they offer you 2X more points compared to other cards. In addition, Chase Bank offers a 25% point’s bonus, whenever you redeem the points for travel.

The card offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points when you spend more than $4,000 on any purchases in the first 90 days. This is equivalent to $750 in travel costs when you redeem your travel rewards.

You shall also earn 2x points while traveling and dining at a variety of restaurants around the world and one point on the dollar on any other purchases. If you use any Lyft rides from now up to March 2022, you shall earn 5X points.

However, with all of these rewards, you should note that the card has an annual fee of $95. The APR range between 15.99%–22.99%, depends on your credit worthiness. 

  • CitiBank Double Cash Card

CitiBank Double Cash card is a comparable cashback card.

The CitiBank Double Cash card offers 1% cash on all purchases and 1% cash back after paying for those purchases. You could make 2% back on all purchases as long as you pay your credit card bill. 

The card boasts a lengthy 18-month period of 0% fees on all balance transfers. After this period each transfer requires paying a variable APR between 13.99% to 23.99%.

CitiBank Double Cash rewards does not have an annual fee.

This card’s cash back is on all purchases just like Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card. But to earn the ½ of the cash back, you need to pay your bill. If you plan on carrying a balance you will not unlock the full 2% initially.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is a straightforward rewards card that doesn’t shift spending categories for higher bonuses, offers flexibility with its travel rewards and simplicity for those who don’t want to jump through hoops in order to earn or spend their rewards.

It offers unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases and 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. The card has no annual fee. Then 14.99% to 22.99% Standard Variable Purchase APR and 3% balance transfer fee.

In addition, you get 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening the card.

Is the Citi Premier card Right for You?

Citi Premier Card is one of the best travel rewards cards. If you spend much of your time traveling and eating out, this is an excellent card offering some of the best travel rewards in the market. 

The Citi card also offers great points on gas purchases. Many travel rewards cards do not include gas. Citi Premier Card offers a very large sign-up bonus. 

If you are looking for introductory APR, cash back, no annual fee, or points for merchandise, you should consider a different card. 

One of the biggest benefits to any Citibank card is the Citi Price Rewind that should be used to the maximum benefit. It is almost like a cashback card too, with the Citi Price Rewind. Citi Premier Card is primarily for consumers who want to maximize their travel rewards on everyday purchases.