[This post may contain expired credit card offers]
After about a seven-month hiatus, the sign-up bonus for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is back! The bonus is not quite as valuable as it was before it was removed, but it’s still probably worth considering for many people. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about applying for the new Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offer.
I always recommend for people to pursue credit cards from Chase first due to 5/24, so always consider how a card like this will fit into your overall application strategy. If you think it’s time to go for a Citi card, however, you also need to be aware of Citi’s application rules.
The new rule states that you cannot earn a sign-up bonus for a card if you’ve opened or closed a card of that same brand in the past 24 months. So, for example, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is a ThankYou Points earning card. So if you’ve opened or closed other ThankYou Points earning cards in the last 24 months, such as the Citi Prestige® Card or the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, then you will likely be excluded from being able to earn this sign up bonus.
Thus, if you’re thinking about getting the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card you need to know if you’ve opened or closed a card in the last 24 months that earned a Citi ThankYou sign-up bonus.
Citi ThankYou transfer partners
Citi has the following transfer partners:
- Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)
- EVA Air
- Eithad Guest
- Flying Blue (Air France, KLM)
- Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Virgin America Elevate (Get 500 Elevate points for 1,000 pts)
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hilton HHonors (Get 1,500 HHonors Bonus Points for 1,000 pts)
I think that Flying Blue and Singapore Airlines are great partners, especially since they are also partners of Chase and American Express. If you were trying to rack up points to fly in a top first class cabin like Singapore Airlines’ Suites, utilizing a transfer bonus from a Citi card can help you earn the miles you need pretty quickly.
Also, although there is no domestic airline besides Virgin America (with a 500 to 1,000 transfer ratio), don’t forget that you can always utilize alliance partners to book on domestic airlines. So for example you could use Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles to book United flights because they are both on the Star Alliance or you could use Flying Blue miles to book Delta flights because they are both on the SkyTeam.
The sign-up bonus offer
- 40,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card previously offered 50,000 points as a sign-up bonus so this isn’t quite as good but it’s great to at least the see bonus offer back.
- $95 (not waived)
This is one of the bummers about this offer. Unlike all the previous offers, the annual fee is not waived. With the annual fee not waived, I think it’s easier to make an argument to consider the Citi Prestige® Card (which is discussed below)
Bonus earning potential
- 3X on travel including gas
- 2X on dining and entertainment
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers some of the best bonus earning potential with 3X on a broad travel category that also includes gas (unlike other cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve). With the additional 2X on dining and entertainment, I think the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card ranks among some of the top earning credit cards.
Should you apply?
If you’ve read up on the different application rules and are interested in earning Citi ThankYou Points I think you should consider this offer but be aware of certain factors.
Better offers may come
The first thing is that a better offer for 50K points may roll around in the future and Citi might even bring back the waived annual fee. Citi took a lot of steps back starting in April of 2016 when Citi pulled the sign-up bonus offer for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and then implemented more restrictions to its rules for obtaining multiple bonuses. However, with the reemergence of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offer, maybe we can take this as a sign of better things to come from Citi? If you’re in no rush to pick up ThankYou Points, it might be worth it to sit on this offer a while and see if something better comes along for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card or Citi Prestige® Card.
Consider the Citi Prestige® Card
Although this offer for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is decent, you should consider the Citi Prestige® Card before applying for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. The Citi Prestige® Card is a premium benefits-based credit card that offers a number of different perks that could potentially bring you more value than the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, depending on your circumstances.
- 50,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first three months
- $250 airline credit (essentially reducing the annual fee to $200)
- Priority Pass Select airport lounge access for you and up to two guests for free
- Complimentary night at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive-night booking
- $100 Global Entry credit
- 3 free rounds of golf (set to expire July 23, 2017)
- Rental car benefits with National Car Rental, Avis, Budget, and Sixt.
- Add authorized users for $50 each.
- Concierge service
- Mastercard luxury hotel and resorts
The Priority Pass lounge access comes with access for two guests and is worth $400 a year. Also, the 4th night free hotel benefit of the Citi Prestige® Card can be an extremely valuable perk to take advantage of and can sometimes more than make up for the annual fee of the Citi Prestige® Card by itself.
Bonus earning potential:
- 3X on air travel and hotels
- 2X on dining and entertainment
- 1X on all other purchases
While the 3X bonus categories aren’t quite as broad as those for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card they are still respectable and can at least compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Why should you get the Prestige?
The Prestige comes with a $450 annual fee so it might not seem like a practical option if you were thinking about going for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card with its $95 annual fee. But this is when it pays to have an understanding of the value you can get from benefits-based cards.
For example, you have to factor in the $250 airline credits that you receive each calendar year with the Citi Prestige® Card. That means that if you got the Prestige now you could receive $500 worth of airline credits before your second annual fee is due. So you could effectively profit $50 and receive all of the amazing benefits of the Prestige like lounge access, the 4th night free, and the $100 Global Entry credit.
Now if you had no use for the travel credits, meaning that you weren’t planning on spending $250 (two times) on airfare or airline related expenses then the travel credits shouldn’t factor into your equation. In that case, you’d probably be better off just going with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, especially if you don’t think you’d be using the 4th night free benefit of the Citi Prestige® Card.
The new Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offer is great to see because it’s a sign that Citi might be coming back with some offers. Overall, it’s a an okay offer that is worth considering but only worth jumping on if you know that it’s the best way to maximize your value given the possibility of future offers and the option to go with the Prestige.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC.