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September 13, 2017

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Citi ThankYou Premier

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Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi ThankYou Premier seem like two similar travel cards. But there are surprising differences. Read the full comparison.

At first glance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi ThankYou Premier seem alike.

Points with both can be transferred to travel partners or be used for more value on their travel portal. Both have a similar annual fee.

But there are big differences. One card gives you more points on everyday spending, while the other has more attractive travel partners.

The question is: which one will give you the most relevant perks based on your personal spending and lifestyle? Let's take a close look.

Overview

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Citi ThankYou Premier

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® - Learn more

Earns 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.74% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.24% to 25.24%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR17.74% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.24% to 25.24%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, then $95$95 annual fee; annual fee waived for the first 12 months*
 

Benefits and Features

Points DealIntroductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earns 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
TravelTravel Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Travel Rewards: Earn 3x points on travel (including gas)
AirlineAirline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs 
HotelHotel Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs 
PointsPoint Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwidePoint Rewards: Earn 1x points on other purchases
RestaurantDining Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwideDining Rewards: Earn 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include Asia Miles, EVA Air (Star Alliance), Etihad Guest, Flying Blue, Garuda Indonesia (SkyTeam), Malaysia Airlines (Oneworld), Qantas, Qatar Airways (Oneworld), Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance), Thai Airways (Star Alliance), and Virgin Atlantic.
 Apply NowApply Now

Citi ThankYou Premier: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on August 7, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Before we get into the meat of the comparisons, let's do a quick rundown of how the cards work:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: You earn 2x points on travel and dining and 1x on all other purchases. The points can be redeemed to book travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a 25% more value, or be transferred 1:1 to Chase Sapphire Preferred transfer partners such as United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, and more.

  • Citi ThankYou Premier: You earn 3x points on travel (including gas), 2x on dining and entertainment, and 1x on all other purchases. The points can be redeemed to book travel on the ThankYou Travel Center at 25% more value, or be transferred to travel partners such as JetBlue, Cathay Pacific, Hilton, and more.

Why Either Card Is a Good Choice

If credit cards were families, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi ThankYou Premier would look like siblings. They each come from a strong pedigree, have many of the same features, and there's much to love. But don't let that fool you - they're still competitive with each other.

With either card, you'll get:

  • 25% more value when redeeming through the online travel portal. For both cards, the points you earn are worth 25% more when you redeem them on the travel portal.

  • Double the dining points: Like to eat out? Both of these cards will reward you for your hunger pangs with 2 points for every dollar spent while dining at restaurants.

  • No foreign transaction fee: Neither card charges the normal 3% fee that many other cards will charge for purchases outside the United States.

Why Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Superior

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Here is why you may prefer Chase Sapphire Preferred to Citi ThankYou Premier:

  • More popular airline partners: In our opinion, Chase has one of the best lineups of travel partners. You'll be able to use your points with major airlines such as United and Southwest (Citi's only U.S. carrier is JetBlue). And all points transfer 1:1. If you often use Chase's airline partners, this is the main reason to choose Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • Shopping portal to earn bonus points. Chase has a great online shopping portal that awards bonus points for every $1 spent at partner merchants. Many popular online stores offer 3-5x bonus points, with some going up to as much as 20x points. This gives you the opportunity to earn more than just 1% on shopping purchases. Citi no longer has a shopping portal.

Why Citi ThankYou Premier Is Superior

Citi ThankYou Premier gives you more points for everyday spending. It has a more attractive reward structure, which will benefit you better as an everyday card.

Here is why you may prefer Citi ThankYou Premier to Chase Sapphire Preferred:

  • 3x points on travel, including gas: Need to fill up often? Even if you don't vacation much, you'd do well in rewards using your Citi ThankYou Premier card, as you'll get triple the points at a fuel station. Other triple travel points include public transportation, taxis, cruises, and parking garage fees, as well as airfare and hotels.

  • Double the points on entertainment: If you're a movie buff or concert aficionado, buy your tickets with the Citi ThankYou Premier card and you'll get 2x the points. This applies to all kinds of entertainment, including sporting events. This, plus the double points you get on dining, make it easy to rack up points faster.

Both Cards Do Have Downsides

Just as these cards have similar benefits, they also have the same disadvantages that may make you consider opening a different card.

Beware of the downsides of both cards:

  • Annual fee: Both cards have an annual fee. Think about whether or not you will earn enough in rewards each year to justify the annual fee.

  • No introductory APR: Neither card has an introductory APR for purchases or balance transfers. If you don't pay off your card each month, you're going to pay a hefty interest rate, though. These high interest rates can easily offset any monetary benefits you might have received in the previous months if you carry a high balance.

In our opinion, Citi ThankYou Premier also has the disadvantage of having less popular airline partners. The only domestic airline partner is JetBlue (whereas Chase has United and Southwest). So if you're primarily a domestic air traveler, this might not be the card for you. Citi's international airline partners include Air France and Singapore Airlines. It's worth noting that several of Citi's international airline partners are part of airline alliances such as Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and Oneworld.

Bottom Line

So, should you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Citi ThankYou Premier card?

Both cards offer similar features and benefits. So it really depends on your spending habits and travel plans. You'll most likely rack up the points faster with Citi ThankYou Premier, since it rewards you more for everyday expenses. But if you usually fly Southwest Airlines or United, you'd be better off with Chase Sapphire Preferred.

However, since both cards lean towards the travel-minded individual, you won't go wrong with the bonuses each one affords you. And it might just be that you like one bank (Chase) over another (Citi) - and that that will be the basis for your decision.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

Cynthia Cohen is a retail analyst at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Cynthia Cohen at cynthia@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy decisions. (read more)

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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