Credit, Personal Finance, Reviews 

Citi PremierPass Card Review

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At the request of a reader, I’ve taken a look at the new Citi PremierPass Elite Card, a multi-airline rewards card similar to many other travel rewards programs out there, and it doesn’t look like all that impressive a program. There are four tiers to the PremierPass Card: basic, Elite Level, CitiBusiness, and a Citigroup Chairman (though only Basic and Elite are technically titled PremierPass). The PremierPass Card was actually SmartMoney Magazine’s pick as the best travel reward program, and in my review of their picks versus mine, I selected no alternative since I’m not a fan of travel reward cards.

Let us compare the Basic & Elite cards against the the Gold AMEX Delta SkyMiles Credit Card.

PremierPass Basic PremierPass Elite Delta Skymiles
Delta Skymiles Credit Card
Annual Fee: $0 $75 $85
Point Accrual: 1 point per 3 miles flown, 1 point per dollar spent, points don’t expire if 1 purchase made in 3 years. 1 point per mile flown, 2 points per dollar spent at supermarket /gas stations/ drugstores, 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere, points don’t expire if 1 purchase made in 3 years. 1 point per mile flown on Delta, 2 point per dollar spent (always double points promotion),
miles never expire.
Sign On Miles: 10,000 points after $300 in purchases within 3 months 20,000 points after $600 in purchases within 3 months 17,500 points
Domestic Restricted* Coach (48 States) 25,000 25,000 25,000
Domestic Restricted* Coach (Hawai’i, Alaska) 35,000 35,000 35,000
Europe Restricted* Coach 50,000 50,000 50,000
Point Value Schedule: Schedule Schedule Calculator

* Restricted means the flight must be booked 14 days in advance and requires a Saturday night stay.

The verdict is if you want a travel rewards card, go with the Premier Pass cards over any of the individual airlines cards. The mileage you need per ticket is identical and you get the flexibility of using multiple airlines, a benefit which is crucial given the recent financial struggles of major carriers. Also, with the basic having no annual fee, carrying this card won’t cost you any money, unlike the Elite or either of the two major airline credit cards.

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Citi PremierPass Card Review”

  1. I went to the Citi site through the link provided and it said that the Basic only has 1 point per $1 spent (with no mention of bonus points) and the Elite had 2 points per $1 spent at grocery stores, etc. This doesn’t jive with your list. …

  2. jim says:

    Thanks Karen, either they changed it or I messed it up the first time, but it’s been fixed.

  3. Xi says:

    What about the unlimited companion passes (including Hawaii) through Citi? Everytime you buy an US ticket ($299+ and it doesn’t even have to be for yourself) , you can get a companion one for free. Do the other cards offer that?

  4. Jim says:

    you have mentioned that Restricted ticket requires saturday night stay. What does that mean? If i want to travel from monday to thursday….is this restricted travel or unrestricted travel?

    Thanks for your help.

  5. JJ says:

    Your mileage figures are way off.
    Citi Card uses Thank You Redemption service, which wants over 100,000 points for Hawaii.
    Delta/Skymiles shows 35,000, but now have a sliding scale requiring up to 75,000 points, I believe. I could not find a roundtrip to Hawaii for less than 53,000 points.

  6. I think this is a decent offer from CitiBank (if you’re strictly after the points), however, I’d check out some of their other cards before signing up. During the holiday season they almost always have cash/point incentives for new card holders on a fairly large variety of credit cards.

    I wouldn’t apply for this card unless you’re soley after the rewards. Their customer service is sub par and I’ve heard that they have been known to raise rates with little explanation.

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