Miles Junkie is supported by you, our readers, and this article may have references to products from one or more of our advertising partners. When you click on links to products we may receive compensation. For a more in-depth explanation visit our Advertising Policy.
American Express, commonly known as Amex, offers a variety of credit cards, but one of the most popular Amex-only branded options is the American Express Gold Card. Card holders have the ability to earn Membership Rewards points on purchases, which can be redeemed for a variety of rewards or transferred to partner rewards programs. On the other hand, Citi Premier is a travel rewards card offered by Citigroup that allows its members the ability to earn ThankYou points on purchases and redeem them for similar rewards. Both cards provide mid-range benefits to their users at a reasonable annual fee range. When it comes to travel they provide attractive earnings rates for those looking to optimize their spending and enhance their experiences. In this post, we will compare the American Express Gold and Citi Premier Credit Cards, providing an overview of key information to help you make an informed decision about which one could be right for you.
Comparing Benefits and Points Earned on Purchases
|4X membership rewards points at restaurants (worldwide), which includes delivery, takeout and Uber Eats purchases.
|3X points on air travel, restaurants , gas stations , hotels and supermarkets.
|Earn 3X membership rewards points for all flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
|Earn 10X points per dollar spent when booking your car rentals and/or hotel stays through the Citi travel portal. This perk ends 6/30/2024.
|4X points at US supermarkets up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases.
|No limit on points members can accumulate.
|Bonus is currently 90,000 membership reward points after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of card activation.
|Bonus is currently 60,000 bonus ThankYou points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of activating your card.
|Annual fee is $250 and points will never expire as long as your card remains active.
|$95 annual fee and points will not expire as long as your card remains active.
|You’ll receive $120 in Uber Cash, which means you will be entitled to up to $120 in Uber cash annually ($10/month) with your Gold card. You will need add your card to your Uber account and you will automatically get $10 in Uber cash each month for Uber eats orders or Uber rides within the US.
|Receive an “Annual Hotel Savings Benefit”. This includes $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more per calendar year.
|$120 dining credit option: you will earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with your Gold card through GrubHub and other participating partners.
|No foreign transaction fees.
|Amex Hotel Collection benefits at select properties offer a $100 hotel credit for things like dining, spa and resort activities and a room upgrade, if available. Must be a stay of at least two nights and purchased through the Amex Travel portal.
|Use your ThankYou points to pay for purchases from Amazon or BestBuy.
|Luggage insurance covers lost, stolen or damaged baggage – some terms apply.
|1X ThankYou points on all other purchases.
|1X membership rewards points on all other purchases.
All of the airline partners for both cards transfer at a 1:1 transfer ratio, excluding limited time offers and AeroMexico, and it’s worthwhile to note that Amex offers a larger pool of potential transfer partner airline programs.
|Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) 1:1
|Air France 1:1
|British Airways 1:1
|Singapore Airlines 1:1
|Cathay Pacific 1:1
|Cathay Pacific 1:1
|Air France 1:1
|Etihad Guest 1:1
|Eva Air 1:1
|Virgin Atlantic 1:1
|Singapore Airlines 1:1
|Thai Airways 1:1
|Iberia Plus 1:1
|Turkish Airlines 1:1
|JetBlue 1:1 (limited time until 11/30/23)
|Virgin Atlantic 1:1
|Aer Lingus 1:1
|Air Canada 1:1
|Quatar Airways 1:1
By using the American Express Gold card, members can earn points that can be redeemed for future hotel stays. The Amex list of hotel partners is small, but so is Citi’s. Below is a list of the three hotel partners associated with American Express as well as transfer rates:
- Hilton 1:2-Minimum transfer amount 200 points.
- Marriott 2:3-Minimum transfer amount 400 points.
- Radisson 1:3-Minimum transfer amount 3 points.
- The Hotel Collection: Allows you to enjoy signature perks at many upscale hotels when you book directly through American Express travel.
Citi Premier card holder also have the option to earn points the can be redeemed for hotel stays. Just like Amex, Citi Premier has three hotel partners to chose from:
- Wyndham 1:1
- Accor Live Limitless 1:0.5
- Choice Privileges 1:1.5
Using Points at Checkout
While generally a less effective way of using points, since you don’t usually get .7 to .8 cents per point, using them at checkout can be a convenient way to redeem points for items that don’t fall within travel or gift card redemption options. This is especially true for ThankYou points which can be redeemed for cash back at a rate of 1:1 – meaning 10,000 points can be turned into $100 cash, but only redeemed for $80 at Amazon or PayPal. Amex provides a convenient calculator to check how much points are worth at their partner retailers.
|Amazon — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|Amazon — 1 point to 0.8 cents
|Paypal — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|PayPal — 1 point to 0.8 cents
|GrubHub — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|CVS — 1 point to 0.8 cents
|BestBuy — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|Dollar General — 1 point to 0.8 cents
|Walmart — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|Shell, BP/Amoco — 1 point to 0.8 cents
|Dell — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|Walgreens — 1 point to 0.8 cents
|RiteAid — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|Walmart — 1 point to 0.8 cents
|NYC Taxi — 1 point to 1 cent
|Saks Fifth Avenue — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|Staples — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|NewEgg.com — 1 point to 0.7 cents
|Seamless.com — 1 point to 0.7 cents
Earning Additional Points on Purchases
American Express offers a 25% airline bonus. This means that when you book your flights through American Express Travel using your Membership Rewards points, you will receive 25% of those points back. This is a unique benefit for frequent travelers and can significantly reduce the cost of airfare.
One of the most attractive features of the Citi Premier credit card is the ability to earn 10X ‘Thank You’ points when booking hotel or car rental reservations through its travel portal. This perk will end on 6/30/24. Unfortunately flights are excluded from this offer, however it does give card holders the ability to earn additional points on these purchases while traveling.
After carefully comparing the American Express Gold and Citi Premier credit cards, it is clear that both cards have their own travel benefits. But while the Amex Gold card has a significantly higher annual fee, it also offers a few more perks. One of the main reasons why American Express Gold card stands out is its robust rewards program and valuable Membership Rewards points. The Citi Premier credit card also offers a strong rewards program, but its points are not quite as flexible.
The American Express Gold Card comes with several exclusive benefits that are not offered by the Citi Premier credit card. These include up to $120 in annual dining credits, $10/month in Uber credit, and a higher earning points structure on everyday purchases. Don’t get me wrong, both Citi Premier and American Express are well-rounded options for those looking to earn rewards on their everyday spending and enjoy travel perks along the way, but at this point Amex provides a superior rewards ecosystem.
While these mid-tier travel cards offer some great rewards and perks, if you’re a frequent traveler be sure to check out cards like the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire which offer things the ones above do not — like lounge access, and elite status with hotel & car rental chains.
Editorial Note: Information and opinions articulated in this article are solely those of the author’s, not those of a credit card company, bank, airline or hotel chain. This article has not been reviewed or approved by or otherwise endorsed by any of these companies or organizations.