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The Citi ThankYou Premier card just underwent a benefits makeover that you should know about as it may change what you are doing to maximize your points earning strategy. The card switched from an old points earning structure of earning 3 ThankYou points at restaurants and entertainment, 2x on airfare and hotels, 1x on most other purchases to….
- 3 points for every $1 spent on travel from gas, taxi and car service, parking, tolls and bike shares – to airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, travel agencies, railways, and more;
- 2 points for every $1 spent on dining out and entertainment, from sporting events, concerts and amusement parks to movie tickets, music downloads and more; and
- 1 point for every $1 on other purchases.
While they are at it, they also lowered the annual fee for the card from $125 to $95. I actually really like this new earning structure because I have personally been missing earning 3x on my airfare charges (I stopped putting airfare on my Amex that paid out 3x as the protections just weren’t good enough to justify the 3x). Having a card that pays out 3x not just on airfare, but actually extending that 3x to all travel charges including everyday things like gas, parking, subway tickets, and tolls is pretty great in my world. For example, my commuter husband is now racking up toll charges like crazy, so I’ve been wondering how to maximize those expenses.
Disclosure: I don’t yet have this card and this is also not an affiliate link for the card…I just happen to like the changes they introduced and I may well get the card in the near future.
The Citi ThankYou Premier card has a new offer that waives the $95 annual fee for the first 12 months and awards 50,000 ThankYou points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. I like this better than the previous offer where the required spending was spread out over two years to trigger the full sign-up bonus. In fact, if you applied under that older offer it may be worth asking Citi if you can be matched to this new offer.
For those not familiar, 50,000 Citi ThankYou Points can get you:
- $625 for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals when redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center. 25% more value as compared to gift cards.
- $500 in gift cards from a wide range of merchants (but I wouldn’t do that)
- Transfer to partners such as: Hilton HHonors, Singapore Krisflyer, Air France Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and more.
If you also have the Citi ThankYou Prestige card you can use your ThankYou points at a rate of 1.6 cents in value per point on American Airlines and US Airways airfare. I hope to post much more about these cards and this family of rewards in the near future as I think they are quickly becoming a real force in the miles and points world.
The ThankYou Premier card also gives you:
- No foreign transaction fees on international purchases.
- Global acceptance with chip technology.
- Worldwide car rental insurance for any rental car in any country including coverage against theft or damage up to $100,000.
- Roadside assistance almost anywhere in the U.S. at no cost.
- Lost baggage coverage if items are lost, stolen or damaged while on a plane, train, bus, or cruise, up to $3,000 per bag per trip or $2,000 per bag per trip for New York residents.
- Trip cancellation and interruption protection if unforeseen events get in the way, reimbursement for non-refundable expenses, up to $5,000 per trip.
- Baggage delay protection for delays of 6 hours or more, including reimbursement for necessary items, up to $100 per trip.
- Trip delay protection covers unplanned expenses for delays of 12 hours or more, up to $500 per trip.
Much of that is very, very relevant if you are planning to use this card to purchase airfare and therefore potentially utilize those protections at some point. I highly advise against buying airfare and other travel on a card solely based on the points you will earn, but also consider the built-in protections you are given for using that card.
What do you think of the new sign-up offer and changes to the Citi ThankYou Premier card? Are ThankYou points now on your miles and points radar (if they weren’t already)?