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If you are searching for a simple, easy-to-understand credit card, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card might be on your radar. With this card, there isn’t a need to keep track of rotating rewards. Instead, it offers two points per dollar spent at restaurants and on entertainment and one point per dollar everywhere else — for no annual fee.
Of course, finding the right credit card for you comes down to the details. Here’s a rundown of the ThankYou Preferred’s major costs and benefits. If you do decide to apply, be sure to read all the fine print in the card agreement. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
What Is the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card?
Rewards: When you use your Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, you’ll receive two points per dollar at restaurants and on entertainment. Entertainment, in case you were wondering, includes movie theaters, concerts, sporting events, amusement parks, and more. You will also receive one point per dollar on all other purchases.
Extras: As a Citi ThankYou Preferred cardholder, you’ll receive access to Citi Price Rewind. With this program, you can log different purchases you make and Citi will search for a lower price within the first 60 days. If a lower price is found, you will receive the difference as a statement credit. (The program covers you for the price difference up to $500 per item and up to $2,500 per calendar year.) You will also have access to Citi Private Pass, which will give you special access to concert or sporting event tickets.
Annual Fee: 0*
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): When you first sign up, you’ll get an introductory 0%* for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers*. After the introductory period is over, the APR will change to a 15.24%-25.24%* variable, depending on your creditworthiness. (If you’re worried your credit score might not qualify you for the best rates, our free credit report snapshot can pinpoint places you could improve.)
Balance Transfer Fee: If you are planning on doing a balance transfer, it’ll cost a fee of $5 or 3% of the balance you’re looking to transfer, whichever is greater.
How Do I Redeem Citi ThankYou Points?
When it comes time to cash in your rewards, there are several different options to choose from. All have a varying level of value, but you should look to get at least one cent per point. If you are a frequent traveler, one possibility is to transfer your points to one of several loyalty programs. The drawback here is that there are very few U.S. based airlines included in Citi’s network.
Other redemption options include using points for mortgage or student loan payments, charitable contributions, gift cards, car rentals, and for travel through Citi Travel Center. All of these options have a value of one cent per point.
You can also redeem ThankYou points for merchandise, cash or statement credit. If possible, you should avoid these redemption options because you will receive much less than the standard one-cent value for your points.
Should I Get the Citi ThankYou Preferred?
The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card is a good credit card for anyone looking to earn bonus points at restaurants and entertainment since you get double points in those two categories and there’s no annual fee. There are two real downsides to this card, however: The signup bonus is fairly low compared to other reward cards and Citi ThankYou points are valued less than other transferable points programs. Having said that, let’s take a look at an alternative that you might want to consider. (Again, check out the card agreement for the finest of the fine print.)
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Card Details +
Why We’re Mentioning It: For two reasons. To start, it’s part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which offers a lot of value. It includes transfer partners like Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, United, and more. The card also offers a very generous signup bonus and bonus rewards at restaurants and on travel. (Want more details? Check out our Sapphire Preferred review.)
Signup Bonus: You’ll receive 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Rewards: You’ll receive two points per dollar when you use your card at restaurants and on travel expenses. Every other purchase will earn one point per dollar.
Extras: When you redeem your points for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, you’ll receive a 25% bonus. That means your signup bonus could be worth $625. The card also includes several travel and shopping benefits, including trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance, car rental insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty and price protection.
Annual Fee: $0 Intro for the first year, then $95
APR: The standard APR on purchases and balance transfers is 17.99% - 24.99% Variable, depending on credit.
At publishing time, the Citi ThankYou Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.