New Citi ThankYou Premier Card Review

Citi ThankYou Premier Card ArtThe Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has re-launched from our partner Citi, with a new sign-up bonus and purchase rewards structure. Get 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points as follows:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • First year annual fee waived, $95 after that.
  • No foreign transaction fee on purchases.
  • Chip Technology included for improved acceptance while traveling.
  • No limits on earning points or expiration dates.

What can you do with 50,000 ThankYou Points? Citi has been trying to improve the value and flexibility of ThankYou points, so here is a rundown of what you can do with 50,000 of them. Bonus ThankYou Points not available if you have had a Citi ThankYou Premier card opened or closed in the past 18 months.

$625 in Airfare (ThankYou Travel Center)

With the new Citi Premier card, you get a 20% discount on the standard travel redemption that a “regular” Citi card offers. The reverse math means 1 TY point = 1.25 cents towards travel. Note that this 25% bonus applies all of your points from all Citi cards linked to the same ThankYou account, thus boosting the value of all your other points. (Compare with the Citi Prestige card, which has 33% bonus amongst and other additional features, but also a higher annual fee.)

For example, with my non-Premier card, I found that a flight that cost $360 including taxes and fees on Expedia would cost 36,000 TY points from Citi Travel. But with the Citi Premier, it would only cost 28,800 TY points. ThankYou Travel Center screenshot:

ThankYou Travel Center screenshot:

ty1 screenshot:


So 50,000 TY points will indeed get you $625 in airfare, with the Citi Travel Center having the same price as compared to Expedia, Orbitz, etc. Since you can book any flight that can be found on Expedia, there are “no blackout dates”.

Don’t have enough points to cover an entire airfare? That’s okay. Let’s say you found a ticket that want for $200 = 16,000 points, but only have 10,000 points available. Citi now lets you pay the difference, so in this case you can get your $200 ticket for 10,000 points and $75. This makes it much easier to use up all of your points at a 25% premium.

$500 in Gift Cards, $500 Check Towards Student Loan / Mortgage

You can view your redemption options at I took a quick look and it takes 10,000 ThankYou (TY) points to redeem for a $100 gift card to retailers like Gap, Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, Bath and Body Works, Bed Bath & Beyond, Cabelas, CVS Pharmacy, Kohl’s, Land’s End, LL Bean, Sears, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Staples, and Walmart. So with 50,000 TY points, you could get five $100 gift cards from different stores.

Want something closer to cash? For a check mailed to you, it is 8,000 points for $50 (1 points = 0.625 cent). The best deal is a check mailed towards your mortgage payment or student loan (made out to your lender), which is 7,500 points for $75 (1 points = 1 cent).

New Airline Transfer Options

Citi ThankYou points are also now available to transfer to certain airline mileage programs on a 1:1 basis including Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Etihad, Flying Blue by Air France and KLM, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways. For example, 50,000 TY points can get you 50,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles.

New Rewards Structure

The Citi ThankYou Premier now earns:

  • 3 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent travel including gas, airfare, and hotels.
  • 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent dining out and entertainment.
  • 1 ThankYou Point per $1 spent on other purchases.

Triple (3X) points on airfare and hotels, when combined with the 25% travel premium, makes that equivalent to a 3.75% reward towards travel booked through Citi Travel Center. Double (2X) on restaurants (includes bars and fast food) and entertainment makes that 2.5% towards travel booked through Citi Travel Center.

With the improvements in ThankYou point redemption, increased sign-up bonus, and new rewards structure, everything looks to be a little bit better than before. The current sign-up 50k sign-up bonus with no annual fee the first year is attractive. However, a cardholder would need a fair amount of spending in the bonus categories (gas, airfare, hotels, dining out) in order to offset the $95 annual after the first year where they waive it.

“Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program.”


  1. Regarding the 18-months between Citi Thankyou premier cards, does this mean you aren’t eligible if you haven’t received a bonus in 18 months? I received a Citi Premier sign up bonus two years ago, but instead of closing the account I downgraded it to a Citi Thankyou preferred card. Does this mean I am ineligible for this current promotion?

  2. Can you cancel before incurring the 2nd year annual fee? Also how do you receive the point bonus?

  3. Correction: How long does it take to receive the point bonus .

    • Brian, of course you can cancel when you see the annual fee post to your account. You just call them and say you want to cancel because you don’t feel like paying $95. It can go two ways from there. They can credit it back to you to keep you as a customer for another year or they can credit it back to you and close the account. You will receive the bonus points on your monthly statement if you meet the $3000 spend requirement. For example, if you spend $3000 in the first month, you will get 50000 on your first statement.

      • Thanks Nick, I’m still kind of new to “churning.” I think I’ll just cancel well before the annual fee get’s charged but after I collect the bonus points.

  4. Daniel H. says:

    Interesting. I’ve noticed the reduced annual fee and was going to call Citi about it. When I checked my account, there was already a credit of $30 applied on 4/18 to my account with the transaction name “REFUND MEMBERSHIP FEE”

  5. Daniel H. says:

    Related to booking travel, you may be able to save a bit more money if you are able to find cheaper airfare on the airline site. I don’t remember the exact numbers but I was booking flight on United and Travel Center showed airfare that about $10-$20 higher than on United website. When I called them about it they checked it out and price matched it for me.

    Actually, I didn’t call them about this specifically. There system was going through some update and Travel Center didn’t show the 20% discount. You had to call them and book by phone to get the discount. I just mentioned it in passing during that call. I was a pleasant surprise.

  6. I checked and I previously had a Citi Preferred Thank You card, which I canceled in September of 2013. So I guess I am eligible for this. Can anyone confirm?

    Also, a related question. I got an app in the mail for an Amex Gold card with a 50k point sign up bonus. I have had this card before, probably more than two years ago. The back of the app says you aren’t eligible for the bonus if you have or have had the card in the past, so I’m thinking I will just shred it. Has anyone double-dipped after a couple of years on the AMEX promotion?


    • I usually use 2 year period to be safe. Never had a problem receiving a bonus.

      • Citi premier says no points if you have had a CitiPremier card opened or closed in the past 18 months. Amex says no bonus if you have or had their premier gold. This disclosure terms are new. So, YMMV; but sounds like 1 in a lifetime.

  7. Ah, the memories. Thanks you, ThankYou points. Did our first churn back in 2008 and spent three weeks in Thailand with a pile of Thank You points. Was very impressed at the range of accommodations that were available through the program in cool beach towns such as Kata.

    Signed up again today and was approved along with my wife. To maximize these, be sure to sign up for a card under your name and complete another application under your spouses name so you can double the reward points. We now churn a number of cards a year and are just amazed at the free travel credits and great travel perks that continue to be handed out.

  8. David Rosenberg says:

    Well I opened that card pretty easily.

  9. is this a visa or mastercard? I could not find the logo anywhere;

  10. Well I signed up & was approved, received the approval notice in the mail but never received the card. I called on day 10 as instructed and they told me to wait a few more days, so I did. After 15 days I called again, and they actually sat there counting the number of ‘business’ days instead of mail days. In either case, this seems like poor customer service. At the very first sign of an issue, they should have immediately re-issued and sent with a faster shipping method (e.g. AmeEx usually overnights their new customers cards..). Anyway, on the second call, after threatening to cancel, they agreed to overnight the card. I can honestly say I have never had such a hard time getting a card, usually no more than 5-6 days. To top it off the customer service reps on the phone were unapologetic and defensive rather than helpful. All this for a card WITH A FEE! My goodness…can’t wait to cancel this one.

    • Funny you mentioned this. They send the card in a huge silver box with all of their marketing brochures in it. I had no idea what it was and i was trying to remember if I bought something off amazon. Anyways the card was located in the top portion of the box and it slid right out when I grabbed the package from the mailbox! It could have easily fallen out in the mail while in transit. Anyways, I finally got it and have started churning. Customer service said it would take 1-2 statements after the spending minimum was reached to get the bonus points. I was thinking some of you mentioned getting it quicker. Also, I got some mixed feedback but can I cancel this card right after I use my bonus points? I do not want to pay the annual fee.

  11. Can you get all five $100 gift cards for the same store like WalMart? I didn’t see a phone number to call Citi to ask questions about this card or to apply via phone.

  12. Love your blog. I’ve been reading it for years. Question about redeeming ThankYou points. Have you tried recently to have a check made out to your bank for your mortgage payment and then deposited the money into a personal account?

    • No, I haven’t done a check redemption in the last year or so. With my new Citi Prestige card (not this Premier card), I can redeem my TY points at 1.6 cents per point towards American Airlines airfare.

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