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Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card: Citi’s Top Tier Travel Rewards Card

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

Image of Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
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"One of Citi's best travel rewards credit cards. Limited only by an average points program"

Contents

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card is a decent travel rewards credit card for consumers who do not mind redeeming through the ThankYou® Points rewards program. It has the potential for one of the highest rewards rates out of the top-tier travel credit cards, but users must redeem their ThankYou® Points through the ThankYou® Travel Center and give up some flexibility to get the best value. With the Citi ThankYou® Premier card, individuals also have the ability to transfer their points to airline frequent flyer miles. However, there aren't any major U.S. carriers on the list, making this feature next to useless for frequent domestic flyers.

Pros

  • Decent travel rewards, up to 3.75%
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • ThankYou® Points aren’t as valuable as other travel rewards programs

Review: Is the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card Worth It?

We believe the value of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card is in redeeming reward points for travel through the ThankYou® Travel Center. We generally value ThankYou® Points to be worth roughly $0.01, which is an average value. However, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card gives users 25% more value when used to book travel through the ThankYou® Travel Center - boosting point value to $0.0125. 

If you want a highly rewarding travel credit card with better point flexibility, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard. The former allows you to transfer points to a number of popular airline loyalty programs, and the latter allows you to use miles as statement credits.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card offers 30,000 ThankYou® Points to those who spend at least $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months of account opening. This is rather low, as most credit cards in the similar class come with welcome offers worth $600 or more.

The card is equipped with several features that make it seamless for international travel. There are no foreign transaction fees, so you don't get charged what's usually a 3% fee whenever you use the card abroad. The card is also equipped with EMV smartchip technology, which is essential in many places outside of the United States. Citi ThankYou® Premier cardholders will have less trouble getting their card accepted by foreign merchants.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card Benefits & Features

Image of Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $95
Purchase APR 14.24%, 17.99% - 23.24% Variable
Card Details
  • Earn 3 ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on travel purchases, including gas
  • Earn 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent dining out or on entertainment
  • Earn 1 ThankYou Point for each dollar spent elsewhere
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 liability if your card is stolen
  • Citi Private Pass
  • Chip technology makes global travel easy
  • Rental insurance
  • Lost luggage coverage
  • Travel insurance

The Citi ThankYou® Premier credit card is part of the ThankYou® family of credit cards. This is Citibank’s flagship credit card rewards program. As such, you will find that the best parts of this credit card are based around earning ThankYou® Points. These points have a variety of uses, however just a select few of these have good value – namely airfare and hotel stays booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center.

Using the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card to Earn Rewards

When you use your Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card to make purchases, you will earn ThankYou® Points for every $1 spent. The card is most rewarding when you use it to make purchases in travel categories – 3 ThankYou® per $1. Citi defines ‘travel’ rather broadly. Services and products which fall under this category include: airfare, hotel stays, gas stations, taxi/limousine service, car rentals, and parking garages. A complete list of what is included in the ‘travel’ category can be found on Citi’s website, under the ‘Additional Information’ tab.

Using your Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card on dining and restaurant purchases will earn you 2 points per $1. As with travel, Citi has a very broad definition for ‘entertainment’. Paying for things like movie and concert tickets, amusement parks, video rental stores will all earn you 2 ThankYou® Points for every $1 spent on these things. All other purchases, which do not fall under any of the two above mentioned categories, will earn just 1 ThankYou® point per $1.

What Can You Redeem Your Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card Rewards on?

The ThankYou® Points earned with your Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card can be used in a variety of ways. However, just because you have many options doesn’t mean all are created equal. Using your ThankYou® for straight cash back will give you a value of $0.005 per point. This is worse dollar value when compared to other options. Ultimately, the best use of your ThankYou® Points is redeeming them through the ThankYou® Travel Center – there you can book flights, hotel stays, cruises, and car rentals. A full list of redemption options, along with their estimated point value can be found in the table below.

Usage Value Per Point
Cash Back 0.5 cents
Gift Cards 1 cent
Redeem For Flights 1 cent (can vary)
Shopping 0.83 cents
Statement Credit 0.5 cents
Select And Credit 0.75 cents
Amazon  0.8 cents

Depending on how you choose to redeem your points, your rewards rate can vary from 0.5% to 3.75%. The optimal use case for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card is to book travel, and then use those points earned to book more travel through Citi’s portal. There is potential to squeeze additional value out of the points you earned with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card, if you transfer them to a partnered loyalty program. We discuss this in greater detail in the following section.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier card has one of the highest rewards rates of any available travel rewards credit card. Users who don’t mind sacrificing flexibility for higher rates of returns will find this card to be highly worthwhile. Below we graphed the rewards rate for the Citi ThankYou® Premier, and some of its leading competitors, for both travel and general spending.

Note that for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express the 4.8% rewards rate is only attainable from purchases made at Starwood properties.

Transferring Your ThankYou® Points

Citi ThankYou® Premier cardholders have the ability to transfer the ThankYou® Points they earned to any of the 11 partnered airlines, at a 1:1 ratio. On top of this, you can also transfer your points to Hilton Honors at a ratio of 1.5:1. Below you can view the full list of ThankYou® point transfer partners.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card Transfer Partners
Hilton Honors Worldwide Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
Asia Miles Malaysia Airlines Enrich
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Qantas Frequent Flyer
Etihad Guest Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Flying Blue Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

All airlines which can you transfer your points to are international. The only domestic loyalty program ThankYou® Points can be transferred to is Hilton Honors. However, this trade is less than favorable. We value Hilton Honors bonus points at $0.005 each, while ThankYou® Points can be worth $0.0125. This means trading your ThankYou® Points for Hilton Honors bonus points, at a rate of 1.5:1, will lose you 50% of your value. As for the airline miles, transferring points will be a good or bad value, depending on how you choose to redeem your flights. The value of airline miles will vary from itinerary to itinerary. Therefore, we recommend always looking to only transfer when you know you will be getting a value greater than or equal to $0.0125 per mile.

How does the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card compare to other credit cards?

If you want to fully understand the value of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card, you should consider how it preforms when matched up against other leading travel rewards credit cards.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best travel rewards credit cards. Its rewards are based around earning users Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. This is one of our favorite rewards programs. These Chase Ultimate Rewards® points can be transferred to a number of different airlines, including United MileagePlus® and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®. The rewards rate on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is not as good as that on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card, however we prefer the points you earn using the former over ThankYou® Points. Choosing between the two ultimately comes down to whether you prefer ThankYou® or Chase Ultimate Rewards® programs.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card vs Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is another top tier travel rewards card. The card is hands down the best card for general, everyday purchases. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus earns users 2 miles for every $1 they spend, regardless of category. Those points can later be redeemed on travel statement credit, for a rewards rate of 2.1%. If you put significantly more spending into categories which do not fit into travel and dining, we recommend the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard over the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is another decent travel rewards card, made for users who don’t want to pay high annual fees. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card only costs $95 annually ($0 the first year), which is similar to the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card. However, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with lower potential returns. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card offers, at best, a 2% rewards rate, and an early spend bonus worth approximately $500 on travel. To qualify for the early spend bonus on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card you must spend at least $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card vs Citi Prestige® Card

The Citi Prestige® Card has a rewards structure identical to that of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card. Both cards distribute ThankYou® Points in the same way. The Citi Prestige® Card has a $450 annual fee (vs the $95 annual fee on the Citi ThankYou® Premier). This significantly higher annual fee comes with a few luxury benefits. Citi Prestige® cardholders get access to airport lounges, $250 airline credit, and TSA Pre ✔® or Global Entry credit. If you care about these benefits, and believe they are worth the significantly higher annual fee, then we recommend going with the Citi Prestige® Card over Citi ThankYou® Premier Credit Card.

Comparison Tool

If you wish to know which travel rewards credit card, you can use our tool below to get a more customized summary. Simply enter your estimated spending, and we will do the math for you – showing you exactly what kind of rewards rates and bonuses you can expect from the following cards.

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Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 2.86%
$625
50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$1,028
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $498
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.013 = $625
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,028
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that 3.03%
$500
Receive 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months
$1,091
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
APR 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.01 = $686
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.01 = $500
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,091
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
$89 - Waived first year 2.92%
$420
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
$1,052
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
APR 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.011 = $721
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.011 = $420
Less Annual Fees -$89
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,052
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $95 2.38%
$360
Earn 30,000 bonus points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
$858
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $95
APR 14.24%, 17.99% - 23.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 3 ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on travel purchases, including gas
  • Earn 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent dining out or on entertainment
  • Earn 1 ThankYou Point for each dollar spent elsewhere
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 liability if your card is stolen
  • Citi Private Pass
  • Chip technology makes global travel easy
  • Rental insurance
  • Lost luggage coverage
  • Travel insurance

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 49,440 x $0.012 = $593
Bonuses
30,000 x $0.012 = $360
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 858
Discover it® Miles
$0 2.15%
$257
Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. Bonus Miles - For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
$772
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 11.99% - 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
257 x $0.01 = $257
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 772
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
No Annual Fee 1.99%
$200
20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases
$715
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 14.99% - 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • Redeem points to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees with no restrictions or blackouts
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Smart chip technology provides greater acceptance and added security
  • No limits or expiration dates on points earned

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
20,000 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 715
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
$0 1.75%
$200
Receive 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
$629
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99%-22.99% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 42,900 x $0.01 = $429
Bonuses
20,000 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 629
Citi Prestige® Card
$450 0.45%
$532
Earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou points after you spend $3000
$162
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $450
APR 15.24%

Card Details

  • Earn 3 points on Air Travel and Hotels, 2 points for every $1 you spend on dining and entertainment
  • 1 point per $1 elsewhere
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Complimentary 4th night at luxury hotels when booked through Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  • Unlimited access to 400+ airport lounges
  • $100 global entry fee credit
  • Chip technology
  • 24/7 concierge
  • Lost baggage coverage

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $530
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.013 = $532
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 162

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.