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Compare the Features and Benefits of Citi Strata Premier® Credit Card and
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Earns Transferable Points
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Concierge Services
Grants Hotel Status
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Fees for Authorized Users
Free Access to Credit Score
Annual Fee
$95
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.24%-29.24% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Best Multiplier
3x Airfare
3x Gas Stations
3x Dining Out / Food Delivery
3x Hotels
3x Groceries
3x EV Charging
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.01 - $0.016
Bonus Offer
Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.45) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

Thanks to its long list of bonus categories and a generous sign-up bonus, the Citi Strata Premier® is one of the most lucrative points-earning cards at the $95 price point.

You can earn ThankYou® points through a variety of means, but one of the best aspects of the Premier is the broad array of bonus categories. You’ll get 3X points on five categories including air travel and hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations + EV charging stations.

On the redemption side, the airline and hotel travel partners can unlock some incredible opportunities. One such sweet spot is redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points for partners such as Delta or ANA (although that latter redemption isn’t as good as it once was).

virgin atlantic flying club, citi thankyou points, transferable points, partners, citi premier

Two of the Citi Strata Premier card’s main competitors include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Those cards also offer transferable points — Chase Ultimate Rewards and Capital One Miles — as well as the same $95 annual fee.

Double up by Transferring Points from the Citi Double Cash Card to the Citi Strata Premier Card

The single biggest “weak spot” with the Citi Strata Premier Credit Card is that certain non-bonus categories only earn one point per dollar spent. The best credit cards give you two points per dollar spent in any category. Citi recently responded to the complaints by allowing customers to transfer points from the Citi® Double Cash Card to their ThankYou® Point balances.

What is the Citi Double Cash Card?

The Citi Double Cash Card is possibly the most user-friendly credit card out there. The Double Cash earns two ThankYou® points per dollar spent on every purchase, one cent when you make a purchase and another when you pay for the purchase.

There is no annual fee and no sign-up bonus for the Double Cash. It was created to be simple.

These points can be easily setup to be in the same ThankYou® account as your Premier card.

How To Double Up With Citi Double Cash and Citi Strata Premier

The “double up” is easy. All you need is a Citi Double Cash Card and a Citi Strata Premier card. Since the Double Cash has no annual fee, there’s no downside to having it.

Remember, the Citi Strara Premier Card pays 3X in certain categories (Air/Hotel, Gas, Restaurants and Supermarkets) and 1X in everything else. The Citi Double Cash card pays 2X on everything.

If your purchase is in a Citi Strata Premier card bonus category, go ahead and make the purchase with your Citi Strata Premier card.

If it’s in any other category, make the purchase with your Double Cash card. That way, you’ll get one percent when you make the purchase and another percent when you pay it.

The Citi Trifecta: Add a Citi Rewards+ Card for a 10% Points Rebate

If you want to take full advantage of the Citicards family, add in a no-annual fee Citi Rewards+ card. While the 15,000 ThankYou® Points that you’ll receive when you sign up (and spend $1,000 in the first three months) are nice, the real bonus comes from the redemption discount.

Every calendar year, Citi will rebate 10% of the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points that you spend. It’s a 10,000 annual TYP bonus! Best of all, you don’t ever need to spend on the card. Just having it in your profile and linked to the same ThankYou® account will ensure that you get the rebate.

Alternate Citi Trifecta

Add a Citi Custom Cash card, which earns 5% on your top bonus category each month, up to $500 in spend, and features some unique bonus categories like Home Improvement Stores, Drugstores, and Live Entertainment (Concerts and Shows). It also comes with a 20,000 point signup bonus worth at least $200.

Citi Application Limits (a.k.a. Citi Velocity Rules)

Citi will not approve more than two cards in a 60-day period, although we recommend 65 days, just to be safe. So if you want a Citi Strata Premier, Double Cash and Rewards+ card, you’ll have to pick one to wait and apply for on Day 66. We’d recommend waiting on the Rewards+, since the benefits are back-ended.

Each of these cards are limited to one signup bonus per 48 months.

Note: This card was recently rebranded from the Citi Premier® to the Citi Strata Premier®. You will be eligible for a signup bonus only if you have not received a signup bonus on either the Citi Premier® or the Citi Strata Premier® in the last 48 months.

Best Ways to Use Citi ThankYou® Points

There are several ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou® Points and, not surprisingly, some are better than others. Here are the most popular options.

Best: Transfer Points to an Airline Partner

The best use of ThankYou® Points is to transfer them to one of Citi’s airline or hotel partners.

Citi ThankYou Transfer PartnersTransfer RatioApproximate Transfer Time *
AeroMexico1:1Generally instant
Air France Flying Blue1:1Instant
Avianca LifeMiles1:1Instant.
Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles1:1Instant
Etihad Guest1:1Instant
Emirates1:!Instant
Eva Air1:1~1-3 days
Jet Airways InterMiles1:1Instant
JetBlue TrueBlue1:1Instant
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1:1~1-7 days
Qantas1:1Instant to 1 day
Qatar Privilege Club1:1~2 days
Singapore Airlines1:1~1-2 days
Thai Orchid Plus1:1~3-7 days
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles1:11-2 days
Virgin Atlantic1:1Instant to 2 days
Hotels
Choice Hotels1:2 (Citi Prestige / Premier / Chairman cards)

1:1.5 (No fee Citi ThankYou cards)
Instant
Wyndham Rewards1:1 (Citi Prestige / Premier / Chairman cards)

1:0.8 (No fee Citi ThankYou cards)
TBD
Accor Live Limitless1:0.5TBD

All points transfer at a rate of 1:1 from ThankYou® Points into the partner miles. ThankYou® Points are particularly useful for international travel, since many of the partners are non-US airlines. You can, of course, use international airline miles to fly on domestic partners.

Some examples include: transfering to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program to fly their famous Singapore Suites, transferring to Turkish Miles&Smiles to get the absolute best award pricing for Star Alliance flights (hello, 7,500 mile one way flights from the mainland to Hawaii!), transferring to Virgin Atlantic for deals on flights from the US to Europe on Delta-metal and flights within North America on Delta as well as great rates on ANA flights to Japan and beyond.

Prefer spending points for hotels?

Citi transfers to Choice Hotels where some amazing bargains lie, especially at premium hotels.

If you have a Citi Strata Premier or Citi Prestige, you will get 2 Choice Privileges points per 1 Citi ThankYou® point transferred.

You can use this to book Choice Hotels properties, which include Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, Ascend, and Cambria, among others. And there is solid value on the discount side of its hotel offerings.

But if you like a bit more upscale…. that is where the Choice Hotels partnership with Preferred Hotels and Resorts comes into play.

You can search the above link to see all of the options, but here’s one example.

The Excelsior Palace Hotel on the Portofino Coast in Italy can easily exceed 400 Euros per night. Or it can be booked for 55,000 Choice Privileges points equal to is just 27,500 Citi ThankYou points. That’s ~ 2 cents per point in value.

Use for Travel or Gift Cards

It’s not our preferred way to use ThankYou® points, but if you don’t want to transfer your points to miles, you have the option to use them for gift cards. Citi offers gift card rewards from more than 100 partners, so you’re not going to be at a loss for options.

You can also book travel through Citi’s dedicated Travel℠ portal. There’s no real advantage in doing it this way other than that you can use your points to do so.

The downside to these options is that the per point value is not particularly good. You’ll receive a penny per point, which is generally less than the value of a mile in the “best use” scenario above.

Summary

We are big fans of the Citi Strata Premier. For a while, it lacked travel protections, but those are once again a feature of this card so on top of 3X bonus categories covering most categories a frequent traveler needs, it also has a range of trip protections.

3X ThankYou points on air travel and hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations + EV charging stations is quite a generous range of bonus categories. for such a.minimal annual fee And as we mention above, it pairs well with other ThankYou-earning cards like the Citi Couble Cash, Citi Custom Cash, and the Citi Rewards+.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Grants Hotel Status
no
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
Free Access to Credit Score
no
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
20.24%-27.24% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
-
Best Multiplier
3x Hotels

Earn 3X at Marriott Bonvoy properties booked direct. Earn 2X on all other hotel bookings.

2x Groceries
2x Streaming Services

Select Streaming services

2x Cable / Internet / VOIP Phone
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.006
Bonus Offer
Earn 60,000 Points + 1 Free Night after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. 1 Free Night valued up to 50,000 points. Certain hotels have resort fees.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.4) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

There’s a Marriott credit card for everyone, and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is the most affordable one of the bunch. The main standouts of the card are that there’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Whether you’re a travel newbie or want to downgrade your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card with a $95 annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is best for those wanting to avoid extra fees that come with other Marriott credit cards.

But when it comes to benefits, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold underperforms compared to its more expensive family members. It offers just 5 elite night credits (as compared to 15 with the Boundless, which qualifies you for entry-level Silver elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program. At this level, you’ll be earning 10% bonus points on Marriott purchases and priority late checkout, which won’t move the needle for most travelers looking for real added-value benefits at hotels.

marriot-bonvoy-bold

On the flip side, the earning rate at Marriott presents quite a sizable return. Thanks to the complimentary Silver elite status, you’ll be earning 14x total points on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy in the following fashion: 10x points for holding a Marriott Bonvoy member account, 3x points with the Bonvoy Bold credit card, and 1x points for Silver elite members. Although still, with the Boundless card you’d earn 6X at Marriott and therefore 17X total points.

On everyday expenses, the rewards rate is less impressive as Marriott Bonvoy points aren’t as valuable as other loyalty currencies. We estimate that Marriott Bonvoy points are worth 0.6 cents each. In that sense, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold offers 2x points (1.2% return) on each dollar spent for select streaming, and internet, cable, and phone service purchases, and 1x (0.6% return) points on all other eligible purchases. You can certainly do much better with another travel rewards card or another Marriott Bonvoy credit card.

Although Marriott Bonvoy points have been devalued over the years, the good news is that they can be redeemed for Marriott’s enormous portfolio worldwide. As the largest hotel chain in the world, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a Marriott hotel no matter where you’re traveling. Another solid option of Marriott Bonvoy points is to transfer them at a 3:1 ratio to more than three dozen airline loyalty programs.

As a co-branded card with Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold does excel in offering a number of travel and purchase protections, which can be quite valuable if you’re stuck in a travel emergency. Finally, card members can activate a DoorDash DashPass membership for one year, if enrolled by December 31, 2024. This can be a great way to save money on food delivery fees and find extra value from this no-annual-fee card.

In all, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold is not the most compelling option out there, but it provides two main purposes. First, if you need an introduction to the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program but don’t want to pay an annual fee, this card can help you earn Marriott points on eligible purchases. Finally, this Chase card is a good downgrade option if you were thinking about canceling the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.

If you’re thinking about other options, be sure to compare the options in Marriott’s portfolio — there are 4 other cobranded cards to consider! If you’re searching for a general rewards card that will help you save on travel no matter the airline or hotel brand, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a fantastic option. With no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, the Capital One miles earned on the card are worth 1 cent each toward travel and more, or they can even be transferred to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners for more value.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Concierge Services
no
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes

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