Credit Card for Travelers Willing to Pay a Premium: The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

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Credit Card Applications » Research » Reviews » Citibank® » A Travel Credit Card with Big Rewards – and a Big Annual Fee: Is the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card Worth the Price?

A Travel Credit Card with Big Rewards – and a Big Annual Fee: Is the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card Worth the Price?


Updated: July 12, 2018

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi.
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
Citi ThankYou<sup>®</sup> Premier Card Expert Rating:

Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations

Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment

No one likes to pay an annual fee for a credit card, but the fact of the matter is, the best travel rewards credit cards often have annual fees – and many of them are worth it.

Case in point? The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which gives points for the miles you fly as well as the purchases you make, has no foreign transaction fees, no limit to the points you can earn, and rewards that never expire. Let’s dig a little deeper into this travel rewards card from the Citi ThankYou network – one of the most popular credit card rewards programs out there.

Fees First – Getting the Bad News Out of the Way

Most reviews focus on rewards, then hit you with the bad news about fees at the end, so let’s just get this out of the way first thing, so we can talk about the rewards – which are pretty amazing.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has an annual fee of $95, waived for first 12 months*. Is that a lot for a rewards credit card? With rewards cards annual fees running from $50 to $450, it’s not the lowest, but it’s not the highest either. The travel rewards can easily make the fee worthwhile – so read on. And remember – the fee is waived for the first year!

The ongoing APR on this card will be 16.24% - 25.24%* (Variable). The easy way to make this fee beside the point is to never carry a balance – not always the easiest thing to do, but if you’re careful and responsible, you won’t pay a penny of interest. Just remember that credit cards aren’t free money, and don’t spend more than you can afford, and you’ll be fine.

Get 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 on all your purchases for 24 months

Earning Points

Let’s talk rewards! For many of the Citi’s credit cards, ThankYou points are usually earned at the rate of one point per dollar spent and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is not an exception.

You will earn 50000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $4000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. These points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime through ThankYou® Travel Center.

You will also earn different number of points on purchases in different spending categories on a regular basis. Thus, travel and gas purchases will bring 3x points, dining out and entertainment will get you 2x points and you will earn 1x points on all other purchases.

You’ll also get bonus points by shopping through the ThankYou Bonus Center, Citi’s online shopping mall of over 600 retailers.

Points never expire, and the sky’s the limit to how many points you can earn, so you can save them up as long as you like.

Redeem ThankYou Points for a statement credit or a gift card or Earn Extra Points

Redeeming Points

Citi ThankYou Points are redeemable for gift cards, merchandise, and more – all you have to do is go to the ThankYou Rewards Mall online to find the perfect redemption option for you.

The special thing about this card is that you can squeeze extra value from your Points by redeeming them for airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center. This lets you book travel on any airline, with no restrictions like blackout dates, and gives you 20 percent more value for your points than other redemption options.

An airline ticket that costs $300 would normally require 30,000 ThankYou Points, but with this card, it only takes 25,000 points. That’s the best ThankYou Points value available, since points are usually worth about one cent each.

If you’re using your rewards for something other than travel, the best redemption value is gift cards, not merchandise. Redeem ThankYou Points for a gift card, available from hundreds of retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GAP, iTunes, Sephora and Zappos. This can be a great option at the holidays, letting you do all your holiday gift shopping with your Citi ThankYou Points.

At the Citi ThankYou mall, most gift cards are available in $25, $50, and $100 increments, and the exchange rate is one cent per point, so 2,500 points will get you a $25 gift card, and 10,000 will get you a $100 gift card. Again, gift cards offer the highest redemption value, besides travel – and with such a wide variety of merchants to choose from, it’s very likely you’ll find a redemption option you like.

FREE Ticket Each Year, No Foreign Fee, Travel Insurance, Car Rental Protection

Travel Rewards

Since this is primarily a travel card, it makes sense that it comes with several great benefits for travelers, like:

  • Points transfer gets you flights faster or you can enjoy longer stays at hotels. You can transfer ThankYou points to the partners’ loyalty programs including TrueBlue®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Hilton HHonors.
  • No foreign transaction fees, saving you an average of three percent on all overseas purchases.
  • Travel insurance for you and your family when you pay for airline, bus, or train tickets with your Citi ThankYou® Premier Card – including coverage for emergency medical assistance when needed.
  • Car rental insurance – you’ll be covered for damage to your rental car when you pay with your Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, so you may be able to avoid paying extra for insurance at the car rental counter.
Price Protection, Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection

Extra Perks

Price protection, extended warranty, and purchase protection give you peace of mind when you’re paying for purchases.

With price protection, you’ll get a refund if you make a purchase with your Citi card and then see the same item for less within 60 days. Register your purchase on Citi Price Rewind portal and it will search for a lower price at online merchants. You may receive reimbursement of the price difference for up to $500 per item ($2,500 per year). (This doesn’t include internet purchases, unfortunately.)

Extended warranty coverage can save you from buying an extended warranty on big ticket items – if you buy them with your Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, the manufacturer’s warranty may be extended for an additional 24 months.

Meanwhile, if you accidentally break something you just bought with your Citi card, or it gets stolen, purchase protection of up to $10,000 for 90 days from the date of purchase might save you shelling out for a replacement item, if the store won’t help you out with a refund or exchange.

Wrapping Up the Rewards

Citi ThankYou<sup>®</sup> Premier Card

Expert Rating:

With the travel rewards and benefits, and purchase perks, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has a lot to offer the right customer. Just remember that to get the most from this card, you should plan to do plenty of traveling, pay off your balance in full each month, and remember that the rewards outweigh the annual fee, if you make sure to use the card to its fullest potential.



Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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