The market for travel rewards cards is intensely competitive, and credit card issuers are constantly offering even greater sign-up bonuses to entice customers to apply for their cards. The Citi Premier℠ Card has long been one of the leading travel rewards cards, but it now offers new applicants 60,000 bonus miles. Let’s take a closer look at this card, and see why it might be right for your needs.
New applicants can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. You also earn 3x points on all travel purchases, including gas. You can earn 2x points per dollar spent at restaurants and on entertainment purchases, such as concerts, sporting events and theme parks. You earn one point per dollar spent elsewhere.
You earn points in Citi’s ThankYou Rewards program, which can be redeemed in many ways, such as for gift cards, merchandise and travel reservations. Points are worth about one cent each towards these options, but potentially more for others. For example, you can redeem points for 1.25 cents each towards airfare booked through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center. You can also transfer your points to miles with the following frequent flyer programs:
- Asia Miles
- Eva Air
- Flying Blue- Air France/KLM
- Jet Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
While most of these carriers are foreign, many of them are partnered with US carriers. For example, Qantas partners with American, Singapore partners with United and Virgin America partners with Delta. This means that you can often redeem your miles with these foreign carriers for award flights on US based airlines. When you’re able to transfer you points to miles, and redeem these miles for expensive last minute tickets or seats in business or first class, then it’s possible to receive substantially more value from your points than just one cent each.
Rates and Fees for the Citi Premier℠ Card
There’s a $95 annual fee for this card, which is competitive with other premium reward cards in this market. This card also has no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the United States.
Having a card like the Citi Premier℠ Card allows you to avoid the repercussions of the most severe devaluations, which is when an airline decides to charge more miles for its award flights. By having the choice of redeeming your miles for 1.25 cents each towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or transferring them to frequent flyer miles, you can ensure that you are never holding on to credit card rewards that are suddenly worth less than you thought. And with this new offer of 60,000 bonus miles, you’ll start off with a minimum value of $750 worth of free airfare. That’s enough to get most award travel enthusiasts pretty happy.