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Citi ThankYou Premier Credit Card Review

Citi ThankYou Premier Card

Is the card advantageous for those who are fond of premium travelling?

As a rule, when there occur some changes in the rewards program implied by a credit card, it means that the card becomes less beneficial. Well, even if it’s not so, most of the cardholders that have this card will feel disappointed. With the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card it’s vice versa. The card’s rewards program was changed in April 2015. However, it was a change for the better since the card now allows its cardholders to earn triple points for the purchases they make in travel categories. There are lots of these categories, by the way. This wasn’t the only thing that changed. The annual fee you’re expected to pay for the card was reduced.

Do you still have doubts as to whether the card will be beneficial for you? Let’s learn more about it so that you are aware of both its advantages and disadvantages.

General information on the card


  • You’re not expected to pay any extra money for making purchases with the card when you’re abroad.


  • There is a fee you’re expected to pay each year.
  • Your credit score should be excellent if you want to be approved for the card.

Citi ThankYou Premier Card

Citi ThankYou Premier Card

  • There is no annual fee during the first year of you using the card. Starting from the 2nd year, the fee of $95 applies.
  • Standard APR amounts to 15.49 – 24.49%. The APR may vary depending on your creditworthiness. Cash Advance APR amounts to 26,24%, but it may also vary. Keep in mind that there is also an APR that occurs in case you fail to pay in full on time. It may amount up to 29.99%, but it is also a subject to changes.
  • Special Offer: No offer for this card.
  • Special Offer in terms of APR: No offer for this card.

More information concerning the card:

  • The card allows you to earn more rewards now and provides you with a number of redemption options to choose from.
  • The card rewards you 3x points for making purchases that have to do with your trips (including the purchases you make at gas stations while travelling).
  • The card rewards you 2x points for every purchase you make with it when dinning out. You’ll be rewarded the same number of points when using the card to pay for your entertainment activities.
  • All the rest purchases made with the card will bring you 1x points.
  • You have an opportunity to redeem the points you earn in order to pay for airfare on any airline. In case you decide to book your flights via the ThankYou® Travel Center, you’re free to book anytime. Besides, you can also redeem your points as gift cards. In order to do it, you need to redeem them via the official website of the ThankYou program.
  • There are no limits or any kind of restrictions in terms of how many points you can earn. The points you have accumulated on your account will never expire for as long as your account is active.
  • You have an opportunity to transfer your points to a number of partnership loyalty programs.
  • You can forget about the need to pay fees when making purchases with the card abroad.

Overview of the card:

  • Annual fee of $95 applies starting from the 2nd year of you using the card.
  • The card is good for travelers since there is no fee to pay for using it abroad.
  • Rewards program you take part in once you get the card: You have an opportunity to earn ThankYou points.
  • Sign-up bonus: No sign-up bonus for this card.

Our opinion: The card is great for those who make many purchases in the travel category as well as for those who want to be able to redeem their points to cover their travel expenses.

The card will be beneficial for:

  • People who want to get rewards for making travelling purchases (including purchases at gas stations).
  • People who are looking for an opportunity to redeem the rewards they have for their future trips.
  • People who like travelling in a kind of non-traditional way. For example, those who book places to stay during the trip on Airbnb.

The card isn’t great for:

  • People who want to redeem their points as cash back.
  • People who are looking for simplicity in terms of the earning rewards structure as well as redemption structure.

Basic features of the card

The card is one of the best since it rewards you for making purchases in several categories. As we already said, you get rewarded for paying with the card when dining at restaurants, travelling or when you’re just having fun. Below you’ll find the rewards rates you’re to expect with the card:

  • 3 points for each dollar you pay for the purchases that have to do with your trips.
  • 2 points for each dollar you pay when dining out or going somewhere to have fun.
  • 1 point for each dollar you pay for any kind of other purchases.

For some potential cardholders the fact that there is no annual fee really matters. However, the fee is waived only for your first year of using the card. After that, you’re expected to pay $95 each year.

In order to make sure that the card is really what you’re looking for, you need to have a look at its benefits that make it so outstanding.

The reasons for you to consider applying for the card

Taking into consideration the number of travel rewards cards that are available nowadays at the market, we may come to the conclusion that it’s quite hard for a card to offer a combination of benefits that will make a card truly outstanding. As amazing as it is, but the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card manages to do it. It comes with the set of benefits that will suit you in the following cases:

  • You’re the one who wants to be able to earn as much points as possible for your trips. The card offers you a reward of 3x points for your travelling purchases. In other words, you’ll be rewarded 3 points for every dollar spent on your trips. The majority of the most popular cards in terms of travelling rewards can’t boast such a rate. It also should be pointed out that the definition of the “travelling purchases” category is rather broad. Apart from including the cases when you book hotels and cruises or wish to pay for airfare, the category also involves bookings you made via Airbnb, bike share rentals and even purchases of gasoline that you make while travelling.

Actually, it’s really not common for travel rewards cards to give you points for the purchases of gasoline. This definitely makes the card worth paying attention to. Overall, the card will be advantageous for both types of travelers – those who prefer travelling the usual way staying at hotels and those who like to make their adventures more “out of the ordinary”.

  • You’re the one looking for a variety of options in terms of how to use the points you have. The ThankYou Rewards program is well-known for the freedom it gives as far as the redemption options go. You’re free to decide which option is the best for you. The list of the options involves gift cards, merchandise, travel purposes etc.

There is one more option for you to pay close attention to because it goes exclusively with this card. You can transfer the points you have to partnership loyalty programs. Well, some people may say that there is nothing exceptionally great about the option since it’s implied by a number of other cards. That’s true, but the thing is that the card gives you a possibility to transfer your points to the most popular travel loyalty programs, not just some travel programs.

  • You’re the one who hates the need to pay extra money for using the card abroad. Nowadays, lots of other travel cards offer this feature, so the fact that this card also has it may seem like just something to be expected from a travel card.

Well, maybe it is so. The thing is that you need to look at the combination of benefits and not just at each benefit separately. Only this way it becomes clear how wonderful it is to have the card. Keep in mind that the card is chip-enabled. This guarantees you that you won’t have to deal with any problems when using your card abroad.

Extra perks provided by the card to its cardholders

Apart from the general benefits described above, the card offers a set of perks to enjoy aiming to make the experience of using it be the best. There are the following perks you get:

  • You’ll be provided Citi Private Pass. The pass allows you to buy presale tickets to special events, concerts and other events that are available on presale only for those who have it. It’s even possible for you to get a VIP package to the event you choose yourself. If you want to spend your evening so that it’ll be hard to forget, the card will help you with that.
  • You’ll be provided concierge service. Do you require help when planning your trip? Do you have to arrange a party and you don’t know ant you should start with? Your friend has a birthday soon and you don’t know what to give him/her as a present? All you need to do is to call a concierge service that’s available 24/7.
  • You’ll get Citi Price Rewind feature. This is how it works: you register your purchases and Citi will be tracking the price of your purchases for the next 60 days. In case there is found a lower price on any of the items, you’ll get the sum that’s equal to the difference in prices. The maximal refund to get for one item amounts to $300. The maximal sum of the refund you can get within 1 year amounts to $1,200.

The reasons for you to consider applying for a different card

The benefits and perks are spectacular. However, we know that it’s impossible for a certain card to be perfect for the needs of every potential cardholder. Below you’ll find the drawbacks of the card that may make you want to consider a different option.

  • If you want to redeem your points so that to get the best value for them, you have to follow a certain strategy. There are lots of redemption options. The fact is that all of them imply a different value for your points. Consequently, you’ll have to develop your own strategy if you don’t want to just waste your points for nothing.

We’ve found out that you get the best value possible for your points if you decide to redeem them via the Citi’s ThankYou Travel Center in order to pay for cruises, car rentals, airfare and hotels. In this case, each point’s value amounts to 1.25 cents.

If you want to use your points to make a donation, in order to pay for loans or you just want to get gift cards for them, the value decreases to 1 cent per point. All the rest redemption options you’ll have imply the value of each point that’s less than 1 cent.

All this means that you should take the process of redeeming your points very seriously. Probably, you’d better make some calculations before deciding which redemption option is the best for you. Some potential cardholders will find such an approach quite troublesome especially considering the fact that there are cards out there offering an easy redemption structure.

  • The card comes with a limited list of domestic travel transfer partners. Citi offers you two airline loyalty programs and one hotel loyalty program. Its only domestic partners are JetBlue and Virgin America. So if you’re a traveler who needs a card with more options here, you’d better continue your search for an ideal card.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card in comparison with its competitors

We want you to make the right decision when choosing a credit card. That’s why we’ve decided to see the way the card compares to a couple of other highly popular in terms of travelling rewards credit cards.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card in comparison with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a very popular card for passionate travelers. You won’t have to spend lots of time trying to understand the reasons for it. Actually, they’re quite obvious. The card rewards you 2 points for each dollar you spend when dining at restaurants or buying something you need for your trips. All the rest purchases come at a standard rate of 1 point for each dollar spent. As a rule, each point you have is 1 cent worth. However, by redeeming them via the official Chase platform you increase the value of each point up to 1.25 cents.

The card provides lots of options for those looking for every possibility to increase the value of the points they earned. If you are one of those people, you can either transfer your points at the ratio of 1:1 to partnership traveler programs or book a trip via the Chase’s Ultimate Rewards. If you choose the last option, you’ll manage to increase the value of each of your points up to 1.25 cents. However, the most important thing we want you to be aware of is that the Chase card has more partnership transfer programs and more options to choose from in terms of hotels’ loyalty programs.

The card is also chop enabled which means that no problems will occur when you’ll use it abroad. As far as the general description of the card goes, here is what you’re to expect: an appealing sign-up bonus of $625 statement credit and no annual fee to pay during the first year of using the card (be ready to pay $95 starting from the 2nd year).

All in all, we believe that The Chase Preferred card will be better for you if you want to be able to take part in various loyalty programs (and using your points in them). Besides, we came to the conclusion that the value of the Chase points is higher than that of the ThankYou points. At the same time, if you spend big sums of money on gasoline while travelling and you need a card that implies a broad definition of “travel purchases” category, the Citi card is certainly better.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card in comparison with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offer a more straightforward redeeming structure than the Citi card does. The thing that makes it so great for potential cardholders is that there is an opportunity to get 2 miles per dollar for any kind of purchase made. The value you get for your points when redeeming them is 1 cent per point.

This card also provides you with a wide array of options concerning travel purchases. Its miles can be used to pay for many things that an average traveler may need. For example, airfare, hotels etc. This is the way it works: You use your card to pay for something you’ll need while travelling and you get a statement credit in return for your purchase. This feature is said to be one of the best out of those that the card has to offer.

The card also comes with a nice sign-up bonus that you’re promised to be rewarded if you manage to spend $3,000 during the first 3 months. The bonus amounts to 50,000 miles ($500 statement credit that you can later use to pay for your trips ahead). The offer in terms of the annual fee is the same as the Citi and the Chase cards have. There is no fee during the first year, but there applies the fee of $95 starting from the 2nd year.

What it all comes down to? Well, if you’re fine with the need to come up with a certain strategy before redeeming your points and you really like the variety of options included in the “travel purchases category”, you can apply for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. However, if you’re looking for a more straightforward redemption structure and you want to have high effective rates, your ideal option will be the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.

Summary: Is the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card worth paying attention to?

Those passionate travelers who spend considerable sums of money on dining out as well as buying gasoline while travelling and going to certain events to have fun will find no better card than the Citi ThankYou Premier Card described in the article. If this isn’t about you, you’d better pay your attention to one of the other options we’ve pointed out.

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Comments: 1
  1. Nancy Green

    The card is just great for those who are passionate about travelling. To be more exact, the card will allow those travelling at least 2-4 times a year get the best out of using it. The card is also great for those who like to entertain themselves by visiting various concerts, theatres and events. Besides, the card is also useful in big cities where there are different kinds of transportation because it rewards you 3 points for each dollar you spend when paying for public transportation tickets and taxi. Those who fly to Asia, France of the UK will find lots of airline transfer partners to book tickets with.

    For me personally the card isn’t that great due to the fact that it has only one hotel transfer partner (Hilton). Well, I’m not the one who prefers staying at the hotels of the chain.

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