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Citi Premier® Card review

A mid-tier travel card with 3x points on gas, dining, groceries and travel purchases.

finder.com’s rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you want a travel card with variety of redemption options.
  • Pick something else if you want an intro APR period.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Please note: Citi is an advertising partner of finder.com

80,000

Points as welcome offer

Up to 3x

Points

$95

Annual fee

15.99% to 23.99%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Annual fee$95
Welcome Offer80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, flights and hotels and 1x points on everything else
Purchase APR15.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR15.99% to 23.99% variable
Recommended minimum credit score670
IssuerMastercard

Review by


Megan Horner is the credit cards publisher at Finder. She's passionate about helping you find the best credit cards to meet your financial needs — whether that's earning great rewards or improving your credit score. Megan's expertise has been spotlighted on Lifehacker, CreditCards.com, American Banker and featured on news broadcasts across the country.

Expert review

The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent mid-tier travel card that beats its competitors on several fronts. First, you get to earn 3x points on more categories than competitor cards, then you get more redemption options — including paying your mortgage and student loans with points. And finally, you get $100 off on eligible hotel stays once each year.

On top of that, you get to earn one of the most generous signup bonuses worth up to $800 in value. With so many perks and robust rewards, you can easily cover the $95 annual fee.

The only downside is the signup bonus eligibility. If you ever earned a signup bonus with one of the Citi ThankYou rewards cards in the past 24 months, or if you closed such a card during the same time frame, you won’t get a chance to earn the signup bonus.

Overall, this is a strong mid-tier travel card for anyone who doesn’t want to play the credit card game and use many cards to squeeze maximum value out of every category of purchases. But if you don’t mind keeping track of reward categories, competitor cards of the same rank may offer a stronger value. Though you’ll have to pair them with additional cards in the so-called Trifecta combos.

How to apply for the Citi Premier® Card

To apply for this card if you’re at least 18 years old. Here’s what to do next:

  1. Click Apply now.
  2. Enter your full name, contact information and address, and then your Social Security number and date of birth. You also need to provide your annual income and monthly mortgage or rent payment.
  3. Review your application and submit.

What credit score do I need?

Your chances of approval increase if you have a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

How long will it take to get my Citi Premier® Card?

In most cases, Citi will make an immediate decision on your application. If additional information is needed, it could take longer. Once approved, your card should arrive within 10 days.

Citi Premier® Card benefits

  • ThankYou points. Earn 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, flights and hotels and 1x points on everything else you buy. Similar cards offer 3x points only on travel and dining, which makes the Citi Premier® Card superior in this aspect.
  • Signup bonus. Spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening and earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou points. Citi ThankYou points are generally worth 1 cent each, which makes the card’s signup bonus worth $800. Competitor cards offer a similar signup bonus, but its redemption value can be worth at least $100 more.
  • Annual hotel savings Get $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more through thankyou.com once every calendar year. The $500 excludes taxes and fees. This perk alone can offset the card’s annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Whenever you travel abroad or buy things off of foreign merchants online, use your card without fear of incurring fees on foreign transactions.
  • Additional cards. Add authorized users without additional annual fee costs and earn points on their purchases.
  • Citi Entertainment. Get access to presale tickets and exclusive experiences for concerts, sports events and dining with the Citi Entertainment perk.

How to earn ThankYou points with the Citi Premier® Card

Aside from clearing the signup bonus, you can earn accelerated ThankYou points on select categories. At first glance, these categories may seem restrictive. But in reality, more merchants fall into each category.

For example, you earn 3x points on restaurants. But you also earn 3x points at cafes, bars, lounges and even fast food restaurants. Same with the 3x points with airlines and hotels. You also earn 3x points on purchases made at travel agencies.

How to redeem ThankYou points with the Citi Premier® Card

The Citi ThankYou rewards program has robust redemption options that exceed those of its direct competitors — Chase Ultimate Rewards and the Amex Membership Rewards. That said, log in to your ThankYou account and redeem your points for:

  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Shop with points on Amazon.com and BestBuy.com
  • Cover purchases with a statement credit
  • Cash
  • Pay your mortgage
  • Pay your student loan
  • Book travel
  • Transfer to travel partners
  • Charity donations

What to watch out for

  • Signup bonus eligibility. You aren’t eligible to earn this card’s signup bonus if you already own either the Citi Rewards+® Card, Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier or the Citi Prestige® Credit Card and you have earned the card’s signup bonus in the past 24 months. Also, if you have closed any of these cards in the past 24 months, you still aren’t eligible for the Citi Premier® Card signup bonus. The latter is a rare limitation not found with other card providers.
  • Annual fee. Expect to pay $95 annually. This is standard for a mid-tier rewards card.
  • Penalty APR. Pay your balance on time, otherwise you could end up with a penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable. Once incurred, the penalty APR may last indefinitely.
  • No intro APR period. Some travel credit cards offer an intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases. This card isn’t one of them. Compare 0% intro APR credit cards if you’re looking to save on interest.

Compare Citi Premier to similar credit cards

There’s a lot of competition in the everyday rewards space, so here’s a breakdown of the Citi Premier vs. two similar cards to give you a sense of how the Citi Premier stacks up.

Citi Premier® Card

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$95

Purchase APR

15.99% to 23.99% variable

Balance transfer APR

15.99% to 23.99% variable

Rewards

3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, flights and hotels and 1x points on everything else

Welcome offer

80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

Terms apply, see rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)

Purchase APR

0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)

Balance transfer APR

N/A

Rewards

6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases (redeem as statement credit)

Welcome offer

Up to $350: 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months for up to $200 back, plus $150 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months

Is the annual fee worth it?

The card comes with a $95 annual fee. To make the card worth it, you can clear the signup bonus. Doing so comes with a value of $800, which is enough to outweigh the annual fee for the next six years.

Alternatively, you can spend $3,166 annually on purchases in the 3x points category.

Is Citi Premier® Card Visa or Mastercard

The Citi Premier® Card is a Mastercard. However, whether a card is Visa or Mastercard shouldn’t be your major decision point because both offer similar benefits and both are widely accepted worldwide.

Citi Premier® Card reviews and complaints

Even though Citi has been in business for more than 200 years, it was never accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of October 2020, more than 200 reviewers on the BBB site, which give the bank a score of 1 out of 5. Because Citi failed to resolve customer complaints on the site, BBB has rated the bank with the lowest F rating.

Citi is rated slightly higher at 1.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot where customers mostly complain about poor customer service.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download the Citi Mobile app. Use the app to activate your card, make payments, transfer balances and more.
  • Avoid paying interest. Make sure you pay your balance before it’s due. Otherwise, you’ll pay interest, late payment fees and you may incur a penalty APR.
  • Customer support. For any questions you may have, call 800-347-4934 and a customer support representative will help you.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a general travel credit card with accelerated points on a broad range of categories, the Citi Premier® Card could be a strong choice.

But if you think there could be a better card for you, check out other travel credit cards and compare your options.

Frequently asked questions

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Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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