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You can signup for the Citi Premier Card and earn 60K Citi ThankYou points for opening this card and spending $4,000 in 3 months. Those points are worth a minimum of $720 of gift cards, but they can be worth much more as shown below. You could use 60K points to fly nonstop round-trip to Israel or get 4 round-trip tickets to Hawaii!
There is a $95 annual fee, though the points and benefits are worth far more than that.
You can receive the bonus on this card if you haven’t received a bonus or closed the Citi ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier, or Citi Prestige card in the past 24 months.
You can get the bonus if you currently have those cards.
Your Citi ThankYou points will not expire for as long as you remain a cardholder.
- Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare. This includes all airfare as well as charges from travel agencies.
- Earn 3 points per dollar on hotels. This includes all hotels as well as charges from travel agencies.
- Earn 3 points per dollar on gas stations.
- Earn 3 points per dollar on supermarkets.
- Earn 3 points per dollar on dining. Dining includes coffee shops, cafes, bar, lounges, and restaurants.
- Earn 1 point per dollar elsewhere.
- There are no foreign transaction fees.
Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
- Once per calendar year, you can get $100 off of a $500+ hotel stay booked via Citi.
- Reservations can be made in the primary cardmember’s or authorized users’ names.
- If you cancel a booking made with $100 you can take advantage of it again in the same calendar year.
Virtual card numbers
While Citi co-branded cards like their AA cards no longer offer virtual card numbers, their ThankYou cards like Rewards+ still do.
With a virtual card number you can set a dollar limit and/or expiration date to generate a one-time use credit card number so that you don’t keep getting charged for subscriptions or have your real card number stolen, among myriad other potential uses.
Citi has 2 excellent no annual fee cards that pair perfectly with a Premier card. Either paired with the Premier card will make for a great Bifecta, and having both with a Premier card will make for a terrific trifecta:
With the Citi Double Cash Card you earn 2% cash back everywhere, which can be converted into 2 ThankYou points. Combine a Double Cash card with a Premier card and you’ll earn 2 points per dollar everywhere with no cap, plus 3 points on dollar on gas, dining, groceries, airfare, hotels, and travel agents! You will also get 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months.
The Citi Rewards+ Card automatically rounds up rewards earned on every purchase to the nearest 10 points, meaning you will earn 10 points on a $0.50 Amazon balance reload, which is equal to earning 20 points per dollar spent! You will also get 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
Having a Citi Rewards+ Card also gets you a 10% points rebate when you redeem points, up to a 10K points rebate per year. While the Rewards+ card doesn’t transfer points into most airline miles, if you have a Citi Premier card and a Rewards+ card you’ll even get a 10% rebate on mileage transfers!
Citi allows applications for 1 card every 8 days and 2 cards every 2 months.
You can freely convert between all 3 of these card products, as well as to most other Citi cards!
You can redeem points for gift cards to dozens of stores at 1 cent each. 60,000 points would be enough for $600 in gift cards for stores like Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, LLBean, Staples, Target, TJMaxx, and more.
Alternatively, 1 Citi ThankYou point converts into 12 Shop Your Way points. 5,000 Shop Your Way points can be redeemed for a $5 gift card, 30,000 Shop Your Way points can be redeemed for a $30 gift card, etc.
The 60,000 ThankYou point bonus would transfer into 720,000 Shop Your Way points, enough for $720 in gift cards. If you also have a Citi Rewards+ Card you would get a rebate of 6,000 ThankYou points, which could then be transferred into 72,000 Shop Your Way points, enough for $72 in gift cards. And then you would get a rebate of 600 ThankYou points…
If you spend $1,250 on a Citi Double Cash Card, you’ll earn $25 cash back. You can transfer that cash back into 2,500 ThankYou points and you can transfer that into 30,000 Shop Your Way points. You can then use those points for a $30 gift card to hundreds of stores. That’s an effective 2.4% back on your $1,250 in spending!
Triple point categories on the Citi Premier card earn an effective 3.6% back on gift cards.
If you also have a Citi Rewards+ Card you’ll earn a 10% rebate on up to 100K redeemed and transferred ThankYou points. That means you would get back 250 ThankYou points in the scenario above, so that 2,250 ThankYou points would earn a $30 gift card. That’s an effective 2.67% back on your $1,250 in spending on Citi Double Cash. Triple point categories on the Citi Premier card earn an effective 4.005% back on gift cards.
Of course if you also have a Citi Rewards+ Card then all of your purchases are rounded up to the nearest 10 points. That means you can earn 10 ThankYou points on a $0.50 Amazon balance reload! Those 10 ThankYou points would convert into 120 Shop Your Way points, and you would get back 1 ThankYou point with the 10% rebate.
Gift cards are available via Shop Your Way points with 2.4%-2.67% back at stores such as AutoZone, Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro Shops, Bed Bath & Beyond, Burlington, BuyBuy Baby, Chuck E Cheese, Cinemark, Clarks, Columbia, Crate & Barrel, Dave & Busters, DoorDash, DSW, Dunkin, eBay, Express, Forever 21, GameStop, Google Play, Groupon, Grubhub, H&M, Holland America, Hotels.com, iTunes (also valid on anything sold from Apple), Lowes, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Overstock, Petco, RayBan, Regal Cinemas, REI, Saks, Southwest, Stubhub, The Home Depot, The North Face, TopGolf, Uber, and Walmart.
- Aeromexico (Skyteam): 1K:1K
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Skyteam): 1K:1K
- Avianca Lifemiles (Star Alliance): 1K:1K
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (OneWorld): 1K:1K
- Emirates: 1K:1K
- Etihad: 1K:1K
- EVA (Star Alliance): 1K:1K
- Garuda Indonesia (Skyteam): 1K:1K
- JetPrivilege: 1K:1K
- JetBlue: 1K:1K
- Malaysia (OneWorld): 1K:1K
- Qantas (OneWorld): 1K:1K
- Qatar (OneWorld): 1K:1K
- Singapore (Star Alliance): 1K:1K
- Thai (Star Alliance): 1K:1K
- Turkish (Star Alliance): 1K:1K
- Virgin Atlantic: 1K:1K
Don’t want to transfer miles? You can also redeem for any paid travel at a value of 1 cent per point.
You can also transfer points between any Citi cardholders to transfer points into miles.
Sample mileage uses:
As I’ve written about before, Turkish Airlines has a ridiculously generous Star Alliance award chart.
And they don’t charge any fuel surcharges for United flights.
Here is the North America version of the chart with one-way award pricing:
|Between the US and:||Economy||Business||First|
|US, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and USVI||7.5K||12.5K||N/A|
|Central and North Africa||30K||49K||73K|
|Southern Africa and Far East||45K||67.5K||100K|
|South America and Oceania||52.5K||75K||115K|
As part of the Star Alliance, Turkish can book award travel on airlines like United and Air Canada.
You can open a Turkish Airlines mileage account online (Hint: Your password must be exactly 6 numbers or else it will give an error).
And you can book Star Alliance awards with Turkish miles here (Login and then click this link again). You can’t search for partner awards from their home page. Search for one-way at a time for best results.
For example you can transfer miles to Turkish Airlines to fly from the US to Tel Aviv on United for just 32K points, or 28.8K points in coach after the 10% rebate with a Rewards+ card:
Or 47K points in Polaris business class (42.3K after the 10% rebate with a Rewards+ card):
United award availability is unprecedented, even for next year.
There are lots of other bargains, all of which will be 10% less with a Rewards+ card:
- Fly one-way anywhere in the US, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and USVI, for just 7.5K miles in coach or 12.5K in business class on United with no fuel surcharges.
- Fly one-way anywhere to Canada or Mexico for just 10K miles in coach or 15K in business class on United with no fuel surcharges.
- Fly one-way to Europe for 45K in business class on United with no fuel surcharges.
Avianca Lifemiles: Awards on United start at just 6.5K miles and as low as 5.2K miles with frequent 25% transfer bonuses.
With Qantas miles you can redeem for El Al award tickets without any fuel surcharges! You read more about this option here. Plus there have been transfer bonuses in the past.
- A one-way coach ticket from NYC to Tel Aviv is 37.8K Qantas miles and there are no fuel surcharges.
- A one-way premium economy ticket from NYC to Tel Aviv is 70.8K Qantas miles and there are no fuel surcharges.
- A one-way business class ticket from NYC to Tel Aviv is 90K Qantas miles and there are no fuel surcharges.
Singapore: Book highly rated premium cabin or suites on Singapore flights that are blocked with partner miles.
Virgin Atlantic: Bargains on ANA First Class suites and on Delta flights.
Will you signup for a Citi Premier Card?