Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
Citi just increased the signup bonus on its premium travel rewards card, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, from 30,000 bonus ThankYou points to 50,000 points. 50,000 ThankYou points can be redeemed for $500 in gift cards or up to $625 towards travel.
The bonus does come with a bit of a twist. You’ll earn 20,000 points when you spend at least $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. Then, you’ll earn an additional 30,000 points upon reaching $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of your second cardmember year. This means that you will need to pay the annual fee of $125 (which is waived for the first year) at least once, in order to get the full bonus.
The card earns 3 points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment, 2 points per $1 spent on airfare and hotels and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
In addition to the bonus spending categories, the card also comes with a few other features that make it appealing to the frequent traveler: 1) it charges no foreign transaction fees on purchases and 2) it comes with Citi Card with Chip technology, which means additional security and ease of acceptance overseas.
One option you have, as a Citi ThankYou Rewards Premium card member, is to exchange your ThankYou points for Hilton HHonors points. You’ll receive 1,500 HHonors points for every 1,000 Citi ThankYou points you transfer. Transfers must be done in increments of 1,000 ThankYou points.
Alternatively, you can use your points to book travel through Citi’s ThankYou Travel Center. When you redeem your points this way, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point, meaning that your 50,000 points are worth $625 towards travel.
ThankYou points can also be redeemed for gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point, making 50,000 points worth $500 in gift cards.
How does it stack up to the competition?
It would be natural to compare the ThankYou Premier card to the Barclaycard Arrival card, which offers a 40,000 miles bonus after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Since the Arrival card offers a 10% bonus when you redeem your miles for travel, the 40,000 miles bonus could be worth $440 if you choose to redeem it towards travel.
That’s still not as large of a bonus as the ThankYou Premier card is offering, although it also doesn’t require as much spending. It also isn’t contingent upon a second year of cardmembership.
The Arrival card also has a smaller annual fee of $89, which is also waived for the first year. Since it earns 2 miles per dollar spent in any category, the Arrival card is a much better general purpose card than the ThankYou Premier. Like the ThankYou Premier, the Arrival card also does not charge foreign exchange fees.
In summary, the Barclaycard Arrival card will be more generally useful to most people, but the Premier’s nice sign up bonus may still be attractive for many.
To learn more about the Citi ThankYou® Premier card or to apply, see this link:
Citi ThankYou® Premier application