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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.
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.
In this article
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.
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.
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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.