I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
The best points-earning Citibank card came back with its biggest signup bonus, which we haven’t seen much of in a long while. It has a $0 annual fee the first year, $95 thereafter. And it’s a stronger points-earning card than the $450 annual fee Citi Prestige Card since it doesn’t just earn triple points on air and hotel (Prestige) but on all travel (such as gas).
Citi points are transferable to a variety of different airline programs including some that don’t partner with Chase or Amex.
Great Signup Bonus With No Annual Fee the First Year
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is offering a 50,000 point signup bonus after $4000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of account opening.
What we’ve seen most of the time has been either a 30,000 point bonus or no signup bonus at all. Last time this offer was available I believe it was only out there for about a month.
This is a great bonus for a card with transferable points and with a $0 annual fee the first year, comparable to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card though I do value Chase points ahead of Citi points.
Fastest Earning Citi Card
You’d think their premium Prestige card would earn points at least as quickly as the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card but it doesn’t.
Earning with this card is:
- 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations
- 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
- 1X points on All Other Purchases
The double points category isn’t just restaurants, it’s entertainment too, and that’s not just things like movies and converts several readers have told me some wineries even code this way.
Unique Points Transfer Partners
Not all ThankYou points transfer to airline miles, for instance points from checking accounts and no annual fee Citi ThankYou points-earning cards do not.
However points from the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card transfer one-to-one to a variety of frequent flyer programs or can be spent directly at 1.25 cents apiece towards airfare on any airline or redeemed for 1 cent apiece for gift cards.
This card’s Citibank ThankYou points transfer to:
- Star Alliance: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, Avianca LifeMiles
- SkyTeam: Air France-KLM, Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- oneworld: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Non-alliance: Etihad Airways Guest, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, jetBlue, Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Etihad A380 First Apartment
My favorite transfer partner choices do overlap Chase and American Express:
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer for better premium cabin award space than is offered to partners, upgrades from premium economy to business, and United domestic premium awards)
- Etihad Guest for Etihad premium cabin awards, American Airlines awards at cheap prices
- Air France KLM Flying Blue for better availability on Air France than is offered to partners and Air France arguably has the best transatlantic business class now
- Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles for distance-based premium cabin awards on Cathay
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for ANA first and business class roundtrips to and from Japan
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites
Virgin, Singapore, and Air France are duplicated by both Chase and American Express, and Cathay Pacific and Etihad are duplicated by American Express. However there are niche reasons to transfer to other partners like Qantas and Garuda as well.
And this duplication is a huge benefit rather than a downside to the card. It means you can sign up for a Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and put the points from each into the same place so that you can redeem for better travel for yourself or have enough points to travel with someone.
Some Things to Consider With Citi Cards When Choosing to Apply
Citibank doesn’t have a hard limit on the number of their cards you can have though of course how much credit they’ll make available for each person will vary.
After you apply for one card they’ll consider another application from you 8 days later, but you can’t apply for more than 2 cards in 65 days.
Generally Citi will give you the bonus on a new card account if you haven’t opened or closed a card in that product’s family in the past 24 months. If you’ve opened a Citi Prestige card in the past 24 months you won’t be eligible for this bonus. If you get this bonus now you won’t be eligible for a Citi Prestige bonus. Of course this is the card with a $0 annual fee, an increased bonus, and a far lower spend requirement and better ongoing earn.