Increased Citi Premier Offer: Worth It?

The Citi Premier credit card currently has a 50,000 point offer (annual fee waived) and a 60,000 point offer ($95 annual fee NOT waived). Which one should you apply for?

[ Update ] 50k + no annual fee offer has been pulled ]

  • Annual fee: $95

  • Welcome offer: 60,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first 90 days of account opening

  • Spending Multipliers:

    • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel

    • 3 points per $1 spent at gas stations

    • 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and entertainment

    • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

    • No foreign transaction fee


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Citi Premier℠ Card [ EXPIRED OFFER ]

  •  Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

  • Welcome offer: 50,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first 90 days of account opening

  • Spending Multipliers:

    • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel

    • 3 points per $1 spent at gas stations

    • 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and entertainment

    • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

    • No foreign transaction fee

Welcome Offer and Eligibility

Citi has a 2-year rule for each family of cards. You can only earn a welcome offer for a Citi card (same family of cards) once every 24 months, including product changes and card cancellations.

For example, if you apply for the Cit Premier card in June 2019, you’ll be able to receive another Citi ThankYou Points earning card in June 2021. If you product change the Citi Premier to the Citi Prestige in 2020, it resets the bonus clock, and you won’t be eligible to receive another Citi ThankYou bonus until 2022.

Learn more about other Citi credit card rules in this post.

Best Use of Citi ThankYou Points

The optimal strategy to redeem Citi ThankYou points for maximum value is to transfer them out to Citi Transfer Partners.

Citi ThankYou points are worth 1.25 cents per point (CPP) when you redeem them for airfare.

  • 60,000 TY * 1.25 CPP = $750 in airfare*
    * There are better and worst ways; this is the “easy + good value” method.

Citi occasionally has increased transfer partner promotions where you can get a bonus for select partners, similar to American Express.

Virgin Atlantic Example
When there’s not a promotion, 60k ThankYou points transfers to 60k Virgin Atlantic miles. When there’s a 30% transfer promotion, then 60k ThankYou points become 78k Virgin Atlantic miles.

a) Normal (1,000 to 1,000) = 60k TY => 60,000 VS
b) 30% Bonus (1,000 to 1,300) = 60k TY => 78,000 VS

A round trip ANA business class from SFO/LAX to Tokyo is 90,000 VS so you would need to transfer an additional 10k TY or 10k Amex MR.

Current Citi Transfer Partners:

  • Avianca

  • Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)

  • EVA Air

  • Etihad Guest

  • Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)

  • Garuda Indonesia

  • Jet Airways

  • JetBlue

  • Malaysia Airlines

  • Qantas

  • Qatar Airways

  • Singapore Airlines

  • Thai Airways

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Virgin Atlantic

Match Strategy [ EXPIRED ]

If you don’t want to pay an annual fee the first year, some people have had luck asking Citi to match the 60k offer. Your mileage may vary. This strategy might expire soon.

1) Normal offer
50,000 TY points + $95 annual fee (waived Year 1)
min spend: $4,000 (first 3 months)

2) Increased offer
60,000 TY points + $95 annual fee (NOT waived)
min spend: $4,000 (first 3 months)

3) Normal offer => match
60,000 TY points + $95 annual fee (waived Year 1)
min spend: $4,000 (first 3 months)

 



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