ThankYou Premier Calculator to See How Many Points You’ll Earn and Best Way to Redeem Them

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Recently Citi sent emails to people like me who have a Citi ThankYou® Premier Card that has a calculator to estimate how many points you’ll earn in a year on the card. Read on to learn about points earning on the card.

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The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card also offers generous category bonuses:

  • 3x ThankYou Points per dollar on travel and gas
  • 2x ThankYou Points per dollar on dining out and entertainment
  • 1x ThankYou Points per dollar on everything else

I rack up points faster than I expect with the card because I have a lot of travel (broadly defined) spending and dine out a lot.

The email has preset spending levels and shows a person spending $2,000 per month on the card and earning 48,000 points in a year, which doesn’t include the 40,000 point sign up bonus, so a new cardholder spending like that would actually earn 88,000 ThankYou Points in the first year.Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 7.50.17 PM

You can go to the online calculator and put in your own spending habits to see how many points you’d earn in the first year.Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 7.50.38 PM

Keep in mind that the first year the card has no annual fee ($95 thereafter.) But frankly I’d ignore the part where it says what your points are redeemable for.

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You certainly should never redeem for gift cards worth less than 1 cent each. I wouldn’t even redeem for plane tickets, cruises, hotels, or car rentals at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. You have two better, unlisted options.

  1. Open a Citi Prestige® Card with another 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first three months. (Wait at least a week between Premier and Prestige applications.) Combine the ThankYou Points into one account, and redeem them for 1.6 cents toward flights on 20 airlines.
  2. Transfer the points 1:1 to 12 types of airline miles. My favorite partner is Singapore Airlines because it has cheap awards to Europe, Hawaii, and South America and doesn’t collect fuel surcharges on United, Avianca, or Copa flights.

Do you find these calculators useful to see how many miles you’ll earn with a card? Or do you just put all your spending toward sign up bonuses, so category bonuses don’t interest you?


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve previously used the Chase Sapphire Preferred card as my “keeper” fee card for travel and dining. This one looks like it duplicates much of what the CSP does and adds some more category bonus possibilities. In general, which people should hang on to the CSP and which should drop that one and stick with this one instead? I don’t have to make a decision until April.

    • I started to write out an answer, but it was getting pretty complicated, so I think I’ll write up a full post. Look for it this week.

    • Premier 3x on travel and gas, Prestige 3x on airfare and hotels. So Premier gets 3x on a lot more things like taxis, airbnb, gas, cruises, car rentals, etc. Other than that, identical earning.

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