• MT Staff Writer
  • January 24, 2019

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.”

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card: Quick Facts

  • INTRO OFFER: Citi offers a 15-month 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfers; after that, is a variable APR of 15.24%–25.24%. 
  • The card provides a 2% rewards rate on dining and entertainment purchases.
  • Redeem 1% rewards on all other purchases.
  • Limited value and flexibility of ThankYou® points versus comparable rewards programs.
  • Also, you can earn unlimited ThankYou® points and they never expire.
  • Foreign transactions will cost you 3%.
  • No annual fee and no sign-up bonus offer.
  • You can call Citi Concierge for non-emergency help.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Redeem your rewards for any amount at any time, they never expire
  • You won’t have to pay off purchases for 15 months while at 0% APR
  • No annual fee
  • Citi Concierge and other benefits

Cons

  • Not many rewards
  • No sign-up bonus
  • Limited point transfer options
  • Needs excellent credit

Citi ThankYou Preferred: Full Review

Citi Thankyou Preferred

Overall, the Citi ThankYou card isn’t all that rewarding. Some other cards offer 2X rewards, but this one only gives double cash back on dining and entertainment. Whenever you spend outside of these categories, you only receive a 1% rewards rate. The biggest issue is its reliance on the ThankYou® points rewards program, which has limited redemption options.

As a large part of why you would use the card, the rewards program is a bit of a letdown. In addition, there are limited point transfer options and you still need excellent credit, a FICO score between 720 and 850, to qualify.

The Citi ThankYou® card is an alright option, especially if you don’t qualify for the other top-tier cards with stronger rewards packages. At no annual fee and 15 months to pay off your previous debt, it can be a good card for getting your financials in order. Especially with rewards that are unlimited and don’t expire, if you’re a big spender in dining and entertainment then the points may be worth it. The benefits like the concierge are decent but aren’t truly anything special. While the card isn’t bad by any means, there are still better rewards card options out there. 

Basics and Benefits

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up Bonus: None.

Introductory APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% – 25.49% Variable APR.

Rewards:

  • 2X rewards per $1 spent on purchases in dining and entertainment. Entertainment may include sporting events, movie theaters, concerts, live entertainment, theatrical productions, tourist attractions, and amusement parks.
  • 1X rewards per $1 spent on any other purchase.

Redeeming:

Points never expire and can be redeemed at any time. Redemption options include:

  • ThankYou® rewards
  • Point transfers
  • Statement credits
  • Cash rewards
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Points at select merchants like Amazon

There are two point transfer options:

  • JetBlue TrueBlue Points: You receive points in a 2:1 ratio, where 1,000 ThankYou points for 500 TrueBlue points
  • Shop Your Way Points: You receive points in a 1:12 ratio, where 1 ThankYou point for 12 Shop Your Way points

You may want to avoid the TrueBlue points because of the unfavorable transfer rate. Shop Your Way points give an overall better value, but they can only be redeemed at Sears, Kmart, Lands’ End, and Mygofer. While the selection may be limited, you can get up to 1.2X rewards by using these types of point transfers.

Benefits:

While there are tons of perks, there are several benefits to this Citi card:

  • Citi Concierge: Access to experts who can assist with reservations, bookings, and other inquiries in travel, entertainment, dining, and shopping.
  • Citi Price Rewind: One of the best price protections in our opinion. This tool will search the internet for you and if you buy an eligible item and then find it being sold for less, price protection will reimburse you for the difference in price.
  • Shopping Protections: An extra 24 months added to manufacturer warranties, reimbursement if a merchant refuses to take back your eligible purchase in 90 days, and elegible purchases are covered against damages and theft for 90 days.
  • Choose Your Payment Due Date: Choose the beginning, middle, or end of the month to make payments.
  • $0 Liability for Unauthorized Charges: You won’t be held liable for any fraudulent charges on your account.
  • Travel Protections: You can receive up to $250,000 in coverage for death or serious injury when traveling by a common carrier and non-refundable expenses can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per trip.

Pitfalls and Other Possibilities

There are a few reasons that you may want to consider other options:

No sign-up bonus

One is that there’s no sign-up bonus for joining their rewards program. Many other cards, which may also not have an annual fee, offer a sign-up bonus to their customers.

Foreign transaction fees

Citi charges 3% on foreign transactions. This makes it a poor choice for travel abroad.

Poor rewards on common expenses

While rewards on dining and entertainment may be high, it doesn’t offer very high rewards on all other purchases. While dining and rewards points are great, it doesn’t help if these are not common or high expenses for you.

There are other options which may be a better fit for you and your financial goals. Cards like the Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card are superior to Citi in almost every way. It gives higher cash back in dining and entertainment at 3% and also has higher rewards in more common categories of purchases, like groceries. It also has a great signing bonus: Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express also earns a higher cash back reward from purchases outside of entertainment and dining, like 3% at the supermarket for the 1st year and 1% after. It offers 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores as well as 1% on everything else. Plus the American Express option comes with an interesting offer: Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. This is a $300 cash redemption value that you can redeem for many things, including travel or cash back.

Both cards from American Express and Capital One match the 0% financing for 15 months, one of the most desirable features of the Citi card. With all of these potential pitfalls, and areas where other cards not only stack up but tower over the Citi ThankYou Preferred, why would you want to choose it over the other options?

Is The Citi ThankYou Preferred Right For You?

This card is a great fit for people who are heading out on the town and spending more on dining and entertainment. This is for the person who’s purchasing movie tickets, hitting up the fast food lane for a combo, and grabbing drinks at the bar. Especially if you want a good introductory offer, with 0% APR for 15 months, it may be the card to turn to. While it still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of rewards, and what the points can be redeemed for, it still can help you pay for an upcoming trip or purchase various gift cards.

Learn More

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Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

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