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Citi announces new rewards and benefit changes for the Citi Premier Card starting this summer

Citi plans to roll out a new rewards structure and benefit changes for the Citi Premier℠ Card as soon as August 2020. CNBC Select reports on what we know so far.

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Citi announced today, April 8, that consumers can expect new rewards and major benefit changes for the Citi Premier℠ Card starting in summer 2020.

This card was primarily a travel card, but beginning Aug. 23, 2020 it will offer competitive restaurant and supermarket rewards, plus a money-saving hotel benefit.

"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.

"As such, we're excited to be launching a new rewards structure on our Citi Premier Card ... to provide additional earning potential within the categories that matter most to our cardmembers."

The Citi Premier Card will be undergoing several changes over the next year, with the first part launching August 23, 2020 and the last part April 10, 2021. The exact changes will differ between existing cardmembers and new cardmembers, which we break down for you below.

Citi Premier℠ Card

Citi Premier℠ Card
Information about the Citi Premier℠ Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    3X points on travel including gas stations, 2X points at restaurants and on entertainment, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening (worth $750 in airfare)

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

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

  • Balance transfer fee

    3%, $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

Terms apply.

 

Citi Premier Card rewards and benefit changes

Starting this summer, the Citi Premier Card is due to roll out some big changes for both existing cardmembers and new cardmembers, and they will be completed by next spring.

Starting Aug. 23, 2020, both new and existing Citi Premier Card members will earn a higher rewards rate at restaurants (3X, currently 2X) and supermarkets (3X, currently 1X). But some benefits will be extended for existing Citi Premier Card members through April 9, 2021 (which we outline below).

There will also be a new hotel benefit come Aug. 23, 2020. Both new and existing cardmembers will receive $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) once per calendar year through Thankyou.com. This is a great way to offset the cost of staying at a hotel for several nights.

Often with new benefits, some old perks are removed, which will be the case for the Citi Premier Card. For existing cardholders (those approved before April 10, 2020), bonus rewards on other travel (such as cruises, tolls and parking) and on entertainment will be lowered to 1X (from 3X and 2X, respectively).

And all cardholders (both new and existing) will only have through April 9, 2021 to receive 25% more value on points redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals through the ThankYou Travel Center.

Here's a rundown of the changes taking effect over the next year, broken down by existing and new cardmembers.

Existing Citi Premier Card member changes on Aug. 23, 2020

If you're a Citi Premier Card member (approved before April 10, 2020), these changes will apply to you. The following changes will take effect on Aug. 23, 2020:

  • 3X ThankYou points on air, hotel and gas stations (the same as before)
  • 3X ThankYou points on other travel, such as cruises, tolls and parking (through April 9, 2021)
  • 3X ThankYou points at restaurants (previously 2X)
  • 3X ThankYou points at supermarkets (previously 1X)
  • 3X ThankYou points on entertainment (through April 9, 2021)
  • 1X ThankYou points on all other purchases (remains the same)
  • $100 annual hotel benefit (new)
  • 25% more value on points redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals through the ThankYou Travel Center (through April 9, 2021)

New Citi Premier Card member changes on Aug. 23, 2020

If you become a Citi Premier Card member on or after April 10, 2020, these will be your benefits starting on Aug. 23, 2020:

  • 3X ThankYou points on air, hotel and gas stations (no longer includes other travel, such as cruises, tolls and parking)
  • 3X ThankYou points at restaurants (previously 2X)
  • 3X ThankYou points at supermarkets (previously 1X)
  • 1X ThankYou points on all other purchases (entertainment now earns 1X, previously 2X)
  • $100 annual hotel benefit (new)
  • 25% more value on points redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals through the ThankYou Travel Center (through April 9, 2021)

Citi Premier Card benefits ending on April 10, 2021

  • 3X ThankYou points on other travel, such as cruises, tolls and parking (for existing cardmembers)
  • 2X ThankYou points on entertainment (for existing cardmembers)
  • 25% more value on points redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals through the ThankYou Travel Center (for all cardmembers)

Though Citi is ending or lowering some benefits for the Citi Premier Card, cardmembers stand to gain more rewards for spending on groceries and restaurants.

The Citi Premier Card does have a $95 annual fee, but using the new $100 annual hotel benefit offsets it each year. If you don't plan on using that perk, you can consider alternative rewards cards that have no annual fee, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 2% cash back: 1% on all purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill.

Learn more:

Information about the Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi Premier℠ Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

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