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May 19, 2020

Citi to overhaul its Premier credit card rewards

By Mohamed Dabo

Citi has announced plans to revamp the rewards and benefits offered by its City Premier card, beginning in August.

The changes to the Premier card, currently Citi’s most lucrative offerings for travel, will take effect on 23 August and will limit travel rewards, to focus more on everyday spending categories such as grocery stores and restaurants.

“As our cardmembers’ needs evolve, we want to ensure we’re evolving with them and offering products that best meet their spending habits and deliver exceptional value,” Lora Monfared, general manager of proprietary rewards products at Citi, said in a statement.

Rewards changes

The current rewards will remain in effect until the new ones kick in.

Rewards earned through August 22, 2020:

  • 3X Points on Travel including Gas Stations
  • 2X Points at Restaurants and on Entertainment
  • 1X Points on All Other Purchases

Rewards earned starting August 23, 2020:

  • 3X on Air Travel and Hotels
  • New! 3X Points at Restaurants
  • New! 3X Points at Supermarkets
  • 3X at Gas Stations
  • New! Annual Hotel Savings Opportunity

Travel perks

In addition to the new rewards offered, Citi will issue a $100 annual credit towards a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through thankyou.com. This benefit, which will be renewable every calendar year, will also be introduced on 23 August.

The updated card will also offer points transfer. The Transfer ThankYou Points will apply at participating airline loyalty programs. These include TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, to get flights faster.

There will be no fee, and the minimum transfer will be only 1,000 points.

Redeeming ThankYou points

ThankYou points will be redeemable for gift cards. 60,000 ThankYou can be exchanged for $600 in gift cards. Cardholders will be able to choose from a large selection of gift cards including department and home stores as well as restaurants.

Additional cards

Cardholders can add an authorised user to their account at no additional cost.

Targeting everyday users

“In general, I think Citi is trying to tilt this card more towards everyday value, which has been a hot trend in the industry,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate. “They still have some travel perks, but by enhancing the rewards for food spending both in and out of the home, they’re appealing to more frequent spenders.”

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