Doctor of Credit (H/T) has reported yesterday that the Citi Premier has an increased sign-up bonus. Citi is offering an extra 5,000 Thank You (TY) points for prospective Citi Premier cardholders who apply in branch. That means that you can earn 65,000 TY points after spending $4,000 within the first three months if you apply in branch. This bonus is not available online.
Citi is trying to compete with Chase in the sign-up bonus game. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Premier’s closest competitor, has a bonus worth 60,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. It also has a minimum spend requirement of $4,000. That is the same as the Citi Premier’s normal bonus, which can be found online.
Furthermore, making this bonus available in-branch only shows that Citi is giving prospective cardholders incentive to walk into a branch. This is good for Citi because it increases branch traffic and make prospective cardholders more likely to get another banking product. Such practices are called loss leading. Citi is taking a loss on the sign-up bonus, but they are making money on other banking products.
Citi Premier Overview
The Citi Premier is the most well-rounded Citi card. It earns 3x TY points on General Travel and Gas. Citi’s General Travel category is broad. It includes hotels, airfare, cruises, tolls, subways, ridesharing, and train fares. Furthermore, the Premier earns 2x points on Dining and Entertainment; and one point for non-bonus spend.
The card comes with a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year). However, it does not have any substantial benefits since Citi dropped several benefits from their cards last year. That does not make the Citi Premier an objectively terrible card. It’s better suited for earning in the long-term and travel that does not require any use of benefits.
The Citi Premier’s increased sign-up bonus is an interesting offer, especially for those who have never had a Citi card before. Just note that this rule is subject to Citi’s 24-month rule regarding sign-up bonuses. Getting this bonus sooner than later can be great if you are outside Citi’s 24-month window or have never had a Citi card before.
All you have to do is find a local Citi branch near you and speak to a banker about this offer. The trip could be worth an extra 5,000 Thank You points in your pocket!