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Citi’s reward currency is called “Thank You Points.” There are multiple ways to earn Thank You points, including this credit card.
If you are looking for a no fee card – or a card with a 0% interest rate on purchases for 12 months, consider the Thank You Preferred.
With this card (Premier), you will:
There is no cap to the number of points you can earn, and no expiry.
You also have the opportunity to earn a 40,000 point bonus. Here is how it works:
ThankYou points have been around for a long time. However, Citi definitely under-invested in the program. Historically, Citi focused much more on balance transfers and the lending market. The new CEO of the Cards business joined Citi from American Express – and he has a big focus on rewards. You can see the big investment program – from the improvements to the rewards portal to the increased marketing spend. American Express also loves to put fees on its cards – so we are not surprised to see $95 fee popping up here.
So – the rewards look better on the eye, but do they deliver in value?
There is a wide range of ways to redeem the points, including buying products online, booking travel, getting gift cards – even paying at Amazon.com with your points. Expect more of these types of redemptions to increase, as Citi continues to use the Amex playbook.
But the actual values of the points vary. In fact, the website says:
Point values and reward selections vary based on your ThankYou participating product or source of ThankYou membership and may be different from those shown on this page.
It is never a good sign when redemption values vary. Less transparency makes it more difficult to understand if you get a good deal.
But, taking the values on the website - gift cards typically require 2,500 point for $25, 5,000 points for $50 – and so on.
To get more bank for your buck: redeem your points for travel. You require 20% fewer points. So, $625 of travel requires 40,000 points (whereas you would only get $500 of gift cards). The only catch – you have to book travel through Citi’s online travel portal.
So, your everyday spends gives you 1 point per $1 spent – and basically gives you:
But, remember – you have to deduct that $95 from your return to determine your actual return.
If all of your spending is in dining and restaurants, then you would need to spend $533 a month in dining to get a 1% return – after the fee! (3% * 533 * 12 = $192 of cash back. The fee reduces that to $67 – roughly 1%)
We like the higher earn rates – but the very high fee will make it a challenge for this card to stand out from the crowd.
The best way to see how it stacks up – input your spending into our cash back calculator.