Who Is the Citi ThankYou Premier Card Good For?
Anyone who enjoys traveling will appreciate the multiple options the Citi ThankYou Premier card offers for redeeming points, as well as its generous earning potential.
You’ll get an impressive three points per dollar spent on travel, and the ThankYou Rewards program is probably the most generous when it comes to defining travel expenses. It includes not only typical purchases such as airlines, hotels and car rentals, but also what other credit cards might consider commuting: gas, tolls, public transportation, taxis, parking, etc. The program also lumps vacation rentals into travel.Another unique benefit of the Citi ThankYou program is that you can earn points by banking with Citibank.
There are also many ways to redeem ThankYou points: by transferring points to the Citi ThankYou airline partners; by booking your travel through the ThankYou Travel Center; and, if you are not interested in travel, by using your points for a wide variety of gift cards and other rewards.
|AIRLINE TRANSFER PARTNERS ||Air France KLM, Asia Miles, Eva Air, Etihad Guest, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, Thai, Virgin Atlantic|
|ANNUAL FEE||$95, waived the first year|
14.24% to 23.24% based on creditworthiness
|RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE||720+
|TYPE OF CARD||Visa Signature
This card previously came with a 50,000-point sign-up bonus, but Citi has since removed that offer. It’s unclear if they will reintroduce a sign-up bonus at a later date.
- Three points per dollar spent on travel
- Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment
- One point per dollar spent on other purchases
What Do Your Points Get You?
In terms of travel, it is hard to find a more flexible and versatile product than the Citi ThankYou program.
Although the program’s airline transfer partners are foreign carriers and probably less familiar to U.S. travelers, most are first-rate airlines like Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Etihad.
In addition, most of these airlines are members of one of the three major alliances, which means that after transferring your miles to these programs, you will be able to book travel on almost any airline you want, including all major domestic carriers.
You can transfer your points to oneworld members Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines or Qatar Airways to fly on American. Eva Air and Singapore Airlines are Star Alliance members, so transfer points to them if you want to fly on United. You can transfer to SkyTeam members Air France KLM or Garuda Indonesia to fly on Delta.
Etihad and Virgin Atlantic, which are also Citi ThankYou partners, are in a league of their own. Each has multiple partners you can redeem miles on. For example, Virgin Atlantic is a partner with Delta, while Etihad is a partner with American.
While transferring points to partner airlines is the best way to get a free airline ticket, especially in a premium class, the ThankYou Travel Center also offers an uncomplicated booking option where each point gives you $.0125 in value. You can also transfer points to the Hilton HHonors program.
- No annual fee for the first year
- Points can be transferred to anyone with a ThankYou account
- Triple points on purchases in the generously defined travel category
- Points can be earned through banking
- Multiple airline transfer partners
- An additional 25 percent bonus when redeemed for travel through the ThankYou Travel Center
- No major U.S. airline partners
- Most airline partners levy a fuel surcharge
How Far Do Your Points Go?
Some of the Citi ThankYou airline partners offer excellent service, particularly in first and business class. If you’re not interested in premium-class travel, there are other ways to stretch your points.
If you transfer points to Singapore Airlines and book your economy award seat on United, it costs 35,000 miles roundtrip to Hawaii, or 55,000 miles to Europe. That’s less than you would spend using United MileagePlus miles. Or you could transfer your points to Flying Blue and fly to Aruba for 25,000 miles on its partner Delta, which is cheaper than using Delta’s own SkyMiles.
If these options seem too complicated, nothing beats the extra 25 percent value you can get by booking your travel through the ThankYou Travel Center, and the prices for hotels and airlines are on par with the prices you can get through online travel agencies.
Additional Cardholder Benefits:
- Zero liability
- Retail purchase protection (Citi Price Rewind)
- No foreign transaction fees
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Secondary car rental insurance
- Travel accident insurance
- Secondary travel cancellation and interruption insurance that covers the costs not covered by the primary insurance
- Lost luggage coverage up to $3,000
- Visa Signature card benefits