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Citi Upgrades Premier Card As Travel Spending Takes Off

credit card, travel spending

Citi is enhancing its Premier credit card to offer new benefits and protections for travelers.

The banking giant’s Strata Premier card, announced Monday (May 13), offers increased benefits and more opportunities to earn rewards, and comes amid a surge in spending on travel across age and income brackets.

“We heard from our cardmembers that they want to be rewarded for their travels as well as their everyday spending,” Anthony Merola, head of proprietary products for U.S. branded cards at Citi, said in a news release. “The Citi Strata Premier Card now offers extra ways for cardmembers to earn on travel and turn their purchases into future experiences.”

The card offers protections in cases of things like canceled or interrupted trips and lost luggage, along with once-a-year $100 discounts on hotel stays of $500 or more.

“Over three quarters of American consumers are likely to leverage credit card travel benefits, so we partnered with Citi to refresh a card product that enhances their traveler experiences,” said Jason Lane, executive vice president, global account management at Mastercard. “We’ve focused on essential benefits that travelers value, by adding protections that help make sure every journey is plain-sailing.”

As covered here last month, spending among high-income consumers has contributed to a first-quarter surge in travel spending.

PYMNTS Intelligence’s most recent Last Transactions analysis of consumer spending patterns during the quarter shows an increase among all age groups in the travel category, with credit card usage seeing a 24% bump compared to the prior quarter.

However, it was consumers 44 years or older and making more than $100,000 per year who consistently outspent their younger counterparts and those in lower income brackets.

The research suggests that the older demographic’s willingness to use credit cards for travel purchases underlines their trust in credit providers, many of whom offer protections against canceled trips and fraudulent charges.

“The difference in spending could also be attributed to varying priorities, financial strategies or available leisure time, with many older consumers being retired and having more flexibility to travel,” the PYMNTS Intelligence report said.

As covered here last week, there are other factors driving the increase in travel spending, such as the rise in business travel, especially among global multinational companies. Companies like American Express Global Business Travel as well as major airlines have all recently reported a rebound in corporate travel.