• Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

Citi Launches 80,000-Point Welcome Bonus for New Premier Cardholders

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Citi is one of the latest credit card issuers competing for consumers’ attention amid a post-pandemic spending surge by offering a tantalizingly large welcome bonus on one of its flagship cards.

As of July 8, new cardholders of the Citi Premier® Card can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points when they spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.

When redeemed through thankyou.com, these 80,000 points are worth $800 in gift cards to many different stores, from Lowe’s, to Target and Bloomingdale’s, as well as to restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and online services like Hotels.com®. Otherwise, Citi ThankYou Points can be redeemed as a statement credit, transferred to any one of Citi’s 16 airline partners or even used toward your mortgage or student loan payment. Some Citi Premier cardholders are allowed to cash out their points at 1 cent apiece, according to Doctor of Credit, meaning 80,000 points could potentially be worth $800. However, this rate is not guaranteed.

ThankYou points can be quite valuable when transferring to one of Citi’s travel partners, like Virgin Atlantic or Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue. For instance, you can transfer 90,000 ThankYou points to Virgin Atlantic and book a round-trip flight from the West Coast of the U.S. to Japan in ANA’s business class. Or transfer to Turkish Airlines and book domestic United Airlines flights, with one-way trips from just 7,500 miles.

This elevated bonus is 20,000 points higher than the previous welcome offer — meaning it’s worth $200 more when redeemed in gift cards. In addition to updating the sign-up bonus, Citi also updated the Premier’s card art.

Citi Premier® Card

  • Rewards

    3X points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and on hotels and air travel, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 23.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Who is the Citi Premier Card for?

The Citi Premier Card’s rewards program makes it a good option for frequent travelers. Cardholders earn 3X ThankYou Points per $1 spent on hotels, air travel and at gas stations, as well as at restaurants and supermarkets. The bonus categories and earning rates are quite competitive for a card with just a $95 annual fee.

Those traveling overseas can also count on no foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad.

Plus, Citi recently added new benefits to the Premier Card that allow cardholders to save $100 off a hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) once per calendar year on bookings through thankyou.com. If you can use this benefit, it completely offsets the card’s $95 annual fee.

All other purchases on your card earn 1X point per $1 spent. There is no limit to the amount of points cardholders can earn and no expiration as long as you don’t downgrade or cancel your card.

If you don’t often travel, consider an alternative Citi pick like the new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. This no-annual-fee credit card offers 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1%). New cardholders can also earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. The bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

  • Rewards

    5% cash back on purchases in top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1%); unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for first 15 months

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

How does the Citi Premier’s bonus compare?

While the Citi Premier Card’s new 80,000-point welcome bonus is competitive with other $95 travel credit cards on the market, some welcome bonuses are still greater.

The $95 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is currently offering new cardholders 100,000 bonus points when they spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening (equal to $1,250 when redeemed for eligible purchases with the Pay Yourself Back tool or for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal).

Meanwhile, the $95 Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers up to 100,000 miles: 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening; plus an additional 50,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within 12 months of account opening.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Rewards

    5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Information about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠, 2X miles per dollar on every other purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn up to 100,000 miles: 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening; plus an additional 50,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within 12 months of account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    17.24% to 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.