Big changes coming to Citi Premier

The Citi Premier is a fantastic travel credit card, largely for three reasons.

First, it comes with a great welcome bonus sometimes as high as 60,000 points. These points can be transferred to some quality transfer partners for great value.

Second, it earns 3X on travel which includes a broad array of purchases that extend beyond airfare and hotels. For a card with a $95 annual fee, 3X on travel is very competitive.

Third, it offers a 25% rebate when redeeming your points towards travel which allows you to redeem your points at a pretty solid rate of 1.25 cents per point. It’s not the best travel portal rate but it is pretty decent nonetheless. 

But in August 2020, there are going to be some new changes to the Citi Premier that will make this card less attractive to some people but also more attractive to others.

The Citi Premier will no longer earn 3X on travel and instead will only earn 1X. It is also going to lose its 2X on entertainment.

While it is going to lose those categories, the Premier is going to earn 3X at supermarkets and restaurants. 

I always consider this a strong travel card for bonus earning potential so the loss of 3X on travel is weird and now makes this more of a dining and supermarket card for bonus points. 3X on dining and supermarkets is a pretty solid combination.

Although I would still take the 4X earned on groceries with the Amex Gold Card, the Gold Card comes with a cap and a much higher annual fee of $250. 

(If you are an existing card member, you will retain the old bonus categories until April 10, 2021.)

An additional perk will be getting a $100 credit on a $500 plus hotel stay once per calendar year when booked through In many cases, you will get more value from your elite benefits by booking directly with a hotel so this new $100 credit is not very enticing to me, since you have to book through the Citibank travel portal.

So if you are trying to rack up grocery and dining spend with a low annual fee, this card will be a pretty competitive option. But if you relied on this card to earn points on travel purchases and liked using your points at the 1.25 cents per point right, these changes will likely be pretty disappointing.