Citi ThankYou Preferred Card
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If you’re a social butterfly looking for a no-fee card that will reward you where you spend the most, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card isn’t a bad choice, it’s just not the best one.
If you like to dine out or frequently attend events, the no-fee Citi ThankYou Preferred Card offers decent rewards of 2 ThankYou points for every $1 spent on dining and entertainment. Citi’s definition of entertainment is pretty generous and includes everything from museums to movies to tourist attractions and amusement parks.
So if you’re a foodie who loves concerts and culture, or a suburban family that frequents fast-casual spots and mini-golf on the weekends, this card could be a good choice.
But there are plenty of other cards that offer 1.5% or even 2% rewards for all spending, so unless you’re using this card exclusively for dining and entertainment purchases, you’re probably going to get more value elsewhere.
Citi recently swapped out a $150 sign-up offer on ThankYou Preferred for an extended 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers. That introductory offer is now 15 months, up from 12 months.
We think this makes the card less appealing for a couple of reasons. The best rewards cards offer a bonus award if you meet a certain spending threshold within the first few months. And this card comes with a balance transfer fee of 3%, which can eat into the savings of shifting your debt to this card.
Who should get this card
Frequent diners and entertainment lovers could benefit from the double rewards this card offers in those categories.
Fees and APR
• Enjoy an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After that, you’ll pay a variable APR of 14.49% to 24.49% based on creditworthiness.
• The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card charges no annual fee.
• The balance transfer fee is 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
• You’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside the U.S.
Extras, perks and using points
This card has Citi Price Rewind price protection and pre-sale access to purchase event tickets. The card also comes with trip and luggage insurance as well as emergency and auto protections and concierge services.
You can transfer your points to participating airline partners, and there’s no fee to redeem them. Points never expire.
To redeem your points, log into your account at ThankYou.com. Points can be used to book travel, buy gift cards and other merchandise through the ThankYou portal. You can also receive a statement credit or redeem your rewards via a check mailed to your home.
How this card compares
The Citi ThankYou Premier Card comes with a $95 annual fee, waived the first year, and pays 3x points for all travel including gas, 2x points on dining and entertainment and 1x on all other spending.
If you spend at least $3,200 annually in the gas and travel category, you’d earn back the cost of card ownership. Plus, with the Premier card, your points will take on 25% more value when booking airfare through the Citi portal. Depending on how you spend, this may work out to be more rewarding for you.
When it comes to rewards value, the Citi Double Cash Card ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards that charge no annual fee.
So why, you might ask, does this card not receive a higher score from Bankrate? There are a couple reasons, but the main thing dragging this card down is this: Because Citi Double Cash offers no sign-up bonus, it struggles to compete with many cards in this category.
Longer-term, the Citi Double Cash Card may earn you more rewards. The card earns an unlimited 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay for those purchases. Big spenders may find this nets more cash-back overall as there’s no ceiling on what you can earn back.
Depending on your spending habits, the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card could result in better rewards. The card pays 4% back at gas stations, 3% back on dining, and 2% back on grocery store purchases for the first combined $8,000 in spending. It pays 1% back on all other purchases. If you spend significantly more than a combined $8,000 in those categories, then the Thank You Preferred may provide greater value.
If your disposable income is spent less on events and more on all things edible, the Capital One Premier Dining Rewards Credit Card pays an unlimited 3% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries and 1% on all other spending.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.