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Citi Strata Premier® Card Review 2024: Earn on Everyday Spending and Travel

Citi Strata Premier Card Review
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updated: June 10, 2024

Rewards credit cards reward you for purchases you had planned to make anyway. No obscure bonus categories that cause you to stray from your regular spending—and no enrollment required to activate the card’s bonuses.

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is just such a card. It’s designed for those with travel aspirations, but it’s a very friendly card for your everyday domestic spending as well. Just go about your business and watch how quickly you accrue enough rewards for a free vacation.

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

Credit score needed
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Annual fees
Bonus rewards
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TIME’s Take

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is a transferable rewards-earning machine. It’s one of the single best travel credit cards on the market for everyday spending, with an abnormally practical collection of bonus categories that fit just about any lifestyle.

However, the card’s $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees) will eat into your yearly earnings a bit. And the card’s egregious lack of travel insurance means it’s far from your best option when booking travel.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Large welcome bonus
  • Fantastic earning rate for common purchases
  • Transferable rewards

Cons:

Who is the card for?

First things first: The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is a travel credit card. It collects points that are best used for free travel. If travel doesn’t grace the top of your list of reasons to open a credit card, you’re likely better off opening a cash back credit card instead.

Beyond that, the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is a fit for those who spend a lot at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. In other words, it’s a good fit for just about everyone. The card earns 3 points per dollar in common categories like these—which is significantly higher than normal.

Just note the card’s $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees). Some of the best travel rewards credit cards incur that same fee, including the card_name and the card_name. If you’re going to pay that fee, take a look at those cards to make sure they aren’t a better fit.

Features

Large welcome bonus

When signing here for the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card, you will bonus_miles_full.

Powerful return rate

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card earns points at the following rates:

  • 3 points per dollar at restaurants.
  • 3 points per dollar at supermarkets.
  • 3 points per dollar at gas stations.
  • 3 points per dollar for air travel.
  • 3 points per dollar for hotel bookings.

You’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Expenses such as dining, supermarkets, and gas stations capture a vast chunk of most budgets. A small family could quite easily spend over $1,000 per month on these obligations. In other words, you could easily accrue around 40,000 points per year for purchases you planned to make anyway.

Flexible rewards

The true magic of the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card lies in its points redemption options. You can redeem your points as a statement credit, direct deposit, or a mailed check at a rate of 1 cent per point. This effectively turns the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card into a cash back credit card.

Cash back is no doubt the simplest way to redeem your rewards—but it’s not the best. If you think you’ll redeem your points for cash back with regularity, you should check out our guide to the best cash back credit cards, instead.

Citi ThankYou points transfer to 18 airline and hotel loyalty programs with varying transfer ratios:

  • AeroMexico Club Premier (1:1).
  • ALL-Accor Live Limitless (2:1).
  • Avianca LifeMiles (1:1).
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1:1).
  • Choice Privileges Rewards: (2:3).
  • Emirates Skywards (1:1).
  • Etihad Guest (1:1).
  • EVA Air (1:1).
  • Flying Blue (Air France and KLM) (1:1).
  • JetBlue TrueBlue: (1:1).
  • Leading Hotels of the World (5:1).
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer (1:1).
  • Qatar Privilege Club (1:1).
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer (1:1).
  • Thai Air Royal Orchid Plus (1:1).
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles (1:1).
  • Wyndham Rewards (1:1).
  • Virgin Atlantic (1:1).

Let’s look at a couple of examples of ways to leverage these programs to get a value greater than 1 cent each:

  • Transfer 40,000 points to Avianca for a round-trip coach flight from the U.S. to Europe on United Airlines.
  • Transfer 40,000 points to Turkish Airlines for two round-trip domestic coach flights on United Airlines.
  • Transfer 85,000 points to Qatar and pay just $250 for a one-way business class flight to the Maldives on Qatar Airways.
  • Transfer 39,000 points to Singapore Airlines for a round-trip flight between the East Coast and Hawaii in coach on United Airlines.

Depending on your origin airport, you could easily find a value over 2 cents per point for these trips.

Yearly $100 hotel discount

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card offers a $100 discount on hotel stays of $500+ (excluding taxes and fees) reserved through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. You can use this perk once per calendar year. If you’ll use it organically, this perk will completely offset the card’s $95 annual fee.

The fine print

APR

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card imposes an APR of reg_apr,reg_apr_type for both purchases and balance transfers. Put simply, you don’t want to carry a balance month to month with this card (or any credit card, for that matter). If you’re in the habit of paying off your balance in full each month, these rates shouldn’t concern you.

Also, if your payment is late or returned, you’ll be subject to a 29.99% (variable) APR—slightly higher than the card’s regular interest rate.

You’ll pay a cash advance APR of cash_advance_apr. And because cash advances begin accruing interest immediately, you’re guaranteed to pay it.

Other fees

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card charges other common fees, such as:

  • A $95 annual fee. (Rates & Fees)
  • balance_transfer_fees.
  • cash_advance_fee.
  • late_payment_fee.

Being a travel-focused credit card, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees for making purchases outside the U.S. with the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card.

Additional hidden perks

Purchase protection

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is a decent choice when deciding which card to use for an expensive purchase. You’ll get insurance towards eligible items that are lost or damaged for up to 90 days from the purchase date. You can receive up to $10,000 in coverage per incident, with a maximum of $50,000 per year. You must use your card to make the purchase.

Extended warranty

For eligible items, the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card adds 24 months to manufacturer warranties of five years or less. Again, you must use the card to make your purchase.

Citi Entertainment

Citi Entertainment gives you access to presale for hard-to-get concert tickets, sporting events, and more. If you routinely purchase live entertainment, this could come in very handy.

What could be improved

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card has a glaring deficiency in one department: travel insurance.

The card has no travel insurance to speak of. Competing cards, such as the card_name, come with excellent travel insurance that activate simply by using them to pay for your travel. You’ll get trip delay insurance, baggage delay insurance, primary rental car insurance, and several other coverages that can save you literally thousands of dollars on a single trip (should things go wrong).

The fact that a self-proclaimed travel credit card like the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card doesn’t offer any protections is glaring.

Card alternatives

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card
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Bonus rewards
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Bottom line

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is quite possibly the most balanced home/travel credit card out there. Few cards offer award categories so perfect for everyday spending while giving you the ability to transfer those rewards to airlines and hotels for nearly free travel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is it hard to get the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

It is not hard to get the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card. Those with good credit (a score of 670 or above) should qualify, though Citi looks at other factors, such as debt-to-income ratio, when making their decision.

What is the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card good for?

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is good for earning travel rewards. The points you accrue can be converted into 18 different airline and hotel rewards currencies.

Does the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card have airport lounge access?

No, the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card does not have airport lounge access.

How much is 60,000 Citi Strata Premier℠ Card points worth?

If you have 60,000 Citi ThankYou points, they are worth $600 in cash. But you can squeeze exponentially more value in travel from them by transferring those points to airline and hotel loyalty programs.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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