citi premier
Citi Premier
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The Citi Premier card is often considered underrated. That’s probably more-so because the Citi ThankYou program is a bit more convoluted than, for example, the very simple Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

But, as I’ve written many times, I love Citi ThankYou points. For one thing, there’s the ability to transfer them to Turkish and fly in Business Class anywhere in North America (including Hawaii) for just 12,500 points each way. And here are my other top ways to redeem Citi ThankYou.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

The Citi Premier offers some pretty powerful earning rates:

  • 3X Points at Dining
  • 3X Points at Grocery Stores / Supermarkets
  • 3X Points on Gas
  • 3X Points on Flights and Hotels
  • 1X Points on All Other Purchases

But after a load of Citi Premier changes were made last April, you may forget that some things have changed and some are still changing.

citi premier
Citi Premier

Legacy Citi Premier Cardholder Bonus Category Changes

If you had a Citi Premier card before the changes went into effect, you are still grandfathered into two bonus categories: 2X on Entertainment (like show tickets) and 3X on travel booked via travel agencies. I presume they extended this out a year for existing cardholders to avoid running afoul of any regulations surrounding people that had just gotten the card and paid the annual fee, so they did it this way so they would get the full promised benefits for one full year.

The Entertainment bonus category will vanish for you from April 10th, 2021 (and earn just 1X) and the 3X on travel will become 3X on just airfare and hotels – no online or online travel agencies.

(Note the high end Citi Prestige will continue, for now, to earn 5X on travel agency bookings.)

Citi Premier 1.25cpp Redemptions End

The other benefit that ends April 10th, 2021 affects all cardholders, new and old. You could, until now, redeem Citi ThankYou points in the travel portal with a value of 1.25 cents per point (i.e. 50,000 points buys $625 in travel). Even better, if you have a Citi Prestige, you get the best of both worlds with the1.25 cent per point rate and the ability to stack the 4th night free benefit.

But as of April 10th, you will get a lousy 1 cent per point in value if you redeem this way, which is a shame, especially given that the Chase Sapphire Preferred – a direct competitor of the Citi Premier – still gives 1.25 cents per point when redeemed this way.

Update: I just tried to test a booking using 4th night free (Prestige) + pay with points (Premier) and it’s only giving me 1cpp. I assume this is a glitch and a call is required.

Bottom Line

These changes were announced a year ago and it would be easy to have forgotten about them. If you have a boatload of ThankYou points and want to book some travel in the  Citi ThankYou travel portal before the 10th, you’ve got a week. Other than that, the overall card value remains strong.

Citi PremierCiti Premier Bonus Offer Get 60,000 Citi ThankYou points when you spend $4,000 in 3 months. Great for transferring to Turkish to book United flights within North America | How to apply for this offer.

Thoughts?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

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I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

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