Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

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OK rewards for dining and entertainment, but you can probably do better.

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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.

Review

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; 15.49% – 25.49% variable after that. 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.

Advantages
  • Decent rewards for dining and entertainment spending.
  • Citi is fairly liberal about what constitutes entertainment spending.
  • There is no cost to own this card.
Disadvantages
  • No bonus rewards on everyday spending, like gas and groceries.
  • Redeeming points for cash back has to be done in increments of $50 or $100.
  • There’s no sign-up bonus, something many other rewards cards offer.

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 15.49% – 25.49% 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 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.

Citi® Double Cash Card
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0*

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% for 18 months*

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.

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.

PNC Cash Rewards℠ Visa® Credit Card
  • 4% cash back on gas station purchases (in-store and at the pump).
  • 3% cash back on dining purchases at restaurants, including fast food.
  • 2% cash back on grocery store purchases.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our excellent credit category page.

Credit Needed

Good

Regular APR

13.99% to 23.99% when you open your account, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the prime rate.

Annual Fee

No Annual Fee.

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles following account opening when the balance is transferred within the first 90 days following account opening. After that, 13.99% to 23.994% based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the prime rate.

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.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Credit Needed

Excellent, Good

Regular APR

16.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

If your disposable income is spent less on events and more on all things edible, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card pays an unlimited 3% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries and 1% on all other spending.

EDITORIAL NOTE

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.