Citi Premier Card is changing benefits starting in summer 2020

The Citi Premier℠ Card is altering its benefits in August, becoming a more rewarding card for everyday purchases.
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As credit card issuers continue to revamp and adjust their products in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Citi is following suit with changes to the Citi Premier℠ Card. Updates will include new benefits — such as increased earnings on regular purchases — as well as removal of a few notable benefits.

The card is known for great travel benefits and a modest annual fee, but is shifting to become a great credit card for everyday purchases.

Citi Premier℠ Card changes

The updated Citi Premier℠ Card will offer great points earning potential on everyday purchases such as gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants, complemented with a low annual fee. The updated earning categories should more closely match consumers' needs in the coming months. Lora Monfared, general manager of proprietary rewards products at Citi, said, “As our cardmembers’ needs evolve, we want to ensure we’re evolving with them and offering products that best meet their spending habits and deliver exceptional value.”

Here's a comparison of the current and upcoming earning categories for the Citi Premier℠ Card:

Current earningsEarnings after Aug. 23, 2020
Restaurants2 points per dollar3 points per dollar
Supermarkets1 point per dollar3 points per dollar
Airfare, hotels and gas stations3 points per dollar3 points per dollar
Entertainment2 points per dollar1 points per dollar
All other purchases1 points per dollar1 points per dollar

This new earning structure will apply to any Citi Premier℠ Card holder approved before April 10, 2020.

New hotel credit

The card will be adding a $100 annual hotel credit. This credit can be applied to a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees. This benefit can be used once per calendar year through The hotel credit, if used, nullifies the $95 annual fee.

Benefits removal

Unfortunately, there are a few negative changes as well. A few earning categories and card benefits will end on April 10, 2021 for existing cardholders, and on Aug. 23, 2020 for new cardmembers:

  • 3 points per dollar on other travel such as cruises, tolls and parking (the rate will decrease to 1 point per dollar)
  • 2 points per dollar on entertainment (the rate will decrease to 1 point per dollar)
  • 25% more value on points redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals (points will now be worth 1 cent per point rather than 1.25 cents per point)

Is the Citi Premier℠ Card still worth it?

The changes unfortunately affect the value of Citi ThankYou points. With the 25% redemption bonus eliminated, cardholders will save less on travel. However, the ability to earn more points on regular purchases made at supermarkets and restaurants offsets some of the loss in value. And the bonus offer will remain the same: 60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening.

These changes should encourage cardholders to maximize their points by transferring them to Citi’s various travel partners including JetBlue, Qantas, Qatar, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

If the Citi Premier℠ Card doesn’t meet your needs, consider another Citi credit card such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer to earn valuable rewards on your purchases.

The information related to the Citi Premier℠ Card have been collected by ValuePenguin and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Brett Holzhauer

Brett Holzhauer is ValuePenguin’s travel rewards expert, focusing on credit card rewards maximization, consumer travel trends, and personal finance news. He has earned and burned over 5 million points and miles throughout his travels, saving him roughly $75,000 in travel expenses.

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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.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).