HomeCredit CardsCiti Credit CardsA bit of good news for Citi Premier® Card holders

A bit of good news for Citi Premier® Card holders

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Last week, Citi revealed that it will be overhauling the card_name and making significant changes to the card’s bonus categories and to the bonus points on offer. One key piece of news was that, from later this year, the Citi Premier Card will no longer earn bonus points across all travel categories…but a lot of us missed one key element to that part of the announcement.

The kudos for spotting what I’m about to discuss has to go to Greg from Frequent Miler and I have to admit that I have no idea how he noticed what he did because it’s far from obvious.

If you’re a Citi Premier cardholder (as I am) you will have received an email from Citi outlining the changes coming to the card from August 2020 and the promotional material in the email appears to be very clear:

a screenshot of a website a blue and white sign with white text

The card_name will offer 3 points/dollar on all travel through 9 April 2021 and, after that, all travel purchases (excluding air travel, hotels, and gas stations) will earn just 1 point/dollar. There’s no footnote to contradict any of that.

Even if you go to the dedicated page for the Citi Premier® Credit Card you won’t find anything to disagree with the idea that only airfare, hotels, and gas stations will earn 3 points per dollar, so most of us have been working under the assumption that only bookings made directly with airlines and directly with hotels/hotel chains will earn bonus ThankYou points…but that’s not the case.

If you delve into the full terms and conditions of the card_name (on this page) and scroll down to where the new earning rates from 10 April 2021 are explained, you’ll find this mini-paragraph:

Air Travel and Hotels: Additional ThankYou Points for each $1 spent on purchases at airlines, hotels, and travel agencies.

Note the last two words: Spending made through travel agencies will also earn 3 points/dollar.

What isn’t clear here is if Citi has any way of knowing whether a purchase made through a travel agency is for air travel/hotels or if it’s for anything else.

At the very least this news means that the card_name will continue to earn 3 points per dollar for airfares and hotels booked through online travel agencies (useful if you’re a Hotels.com fan) and, if it turns out that Citi cannot split airfare and hotel spending made with travel agencies from all other travel agency spending, this may mean that the card_name will continue to earn 3 points/dollar for all other travel agency bookings too (e.g. cruises, tours, rental cars, etc…).

I don’t think we’re going to know for sure what type of travel agency spending will and will not earn 3 points/dollar until new cardholders start using their cards this coming August, but we can be sure that you won’t have to book travel directly with airlines or hotels to earn 3 points/dollar with the card_name.

Bottom line

A lot of people (like me) will continue to use card_name for most airfare bookings and the card_name for all other travel spending because those cards offer a lot more traveler protections than the card_name, because they offer earning rates that are as good or better than the Premier Card’s, and because we prefer to earn Membership Rewards Points and Chase Ultimate Rewards Points over Citi’s ThankYou points.

But this will be good news for those who are heavily immersed in Citi’s ThankYou program and for whom ThankYou points are the preferred currency to earn.

Our Favourite All-Round Travel Card


The card_name is Chase's incredibly popular entry-level Ultimate Rewards card which offers strong earnings on travel and dining and some great benefits too. Right now and in exchange for an annual fee of annual_fees, this card is offering all successful new applicants the following welcome bonus:


Our Favorite Benefits:

  • 5 points/dollar on most travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3 points/dollar for spending on dining worldwide
  • 3 points/dollar for spending on select streaming services
  • 2 points/dollar for spending on travel worldwide
  • Redeem points at 1.25 cents each when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual $50 credit for hotels booked through Chase
  • Primary auto rental cover

Click here for more details

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    • I’m not 100% sure that it doesn’t but as Airbnb doesn’t code as travel with any other major credit card I doubt it will do so with this one.

  1. When I booked with AirBnb with my Prestige it coded as a hotel purchase and I received 3x. I don’t know why the Premier would be different. It all depends on how the purchase is coded.

    • That’s very interesting because my Airbnb booking (back when I had the Prestige Card) only earned 1 point/dollar.

  2. In my experience OTAs do not distinguish the underlying purchases. It just codes as a travel agency purchase. I received 5x on my Prestige purchasing museum tickets on Expedia.

    • That’s what I would have expected but I was suspicious when Citi didn’t remove OTAs from the Travel category.

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