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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?

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 80,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months and 2x points earned on dining and travel spend, this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!


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