Chase Sapphire Preferred

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card Review

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"More points for those on the go."

Earn 2x points for dining out and entertainment, plus pay off balances with a intro APR. Use your points with Citi ThankYou transfer partners for travel rewards!

Card Summary Table

  • Card Bonus & Info
    • Earn 15,000 bonus points after $1,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.*
    • 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.24%-24.24% based upon your creditworthiness*
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.*
    • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and entertainment
    • 1 ThankYou® Point on other purchases
    • Points earned with this card do not expire and there is no limit to the amount of points you can earn.
    • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards and gift cards.
    • No annual fee*
  • Card Provider
    Citibank
  • Card Type(s):
  • Card Focus:
    • Dining
    • Entertainment
  • Annual Fee
    • $0
  • Rewards Center
    Citi ThankYou Rewards
  • Goes Well With
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    3%
  • Typical Users
    Food Lovers, Parents / Families, The Average Spender
  • Customer Service Number

    888-248-4226

  • Login Link
  • Partners
    Hilton Honors Worldwide, JetBlue TrueBlue, Etihad Guest, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America Elevate, EVA Air Infinity MileageLandsFlying BlueGaruda Indonesia Frequent Flyer, Qantas, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Asia Miles.
  • Interest Rates ?
    • 0% intro APR for first 12 months
    • After that, your APR will be 14.24% to 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Late fees ?
    • Up to $35
    • Penalty APR of 29.99%
  • Balance Transfers
    • 0% intro APR for first 12 months
    • $5 or 3% of each transfer (whichever is greater)
    • After that, your APR will be 14.24% to 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Cash Forwarding
    • $10 or 5% of each transfer (whichever is greater)
    • 25.99% APR

The Ideal Cardholder

You prefer dining out to eating at home, hands-down. You thrive on entertainment, whether it’s sporting events, concerts, or the movies.

In fact, you’d much rather spend your money on a baseball game than your credit card’s annual fees.

Luckily, you have the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card in your wallet. Not only does it not have an annual fee, but it also comes with Citi Private Pass. That means special access to tickets for the best in live music, sports, and more!

Sports Lovers Will Enjoy the Citi ThankYou Preferred
Sports lovers will enjoy the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card since it earns points in entertainment and also has access to Citi Private Pass.

Sign-Up Bonus and Earning Categories

Unlike several other Citi credit cards, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card does not typically offer points as a sign-up bonus. However, you do get a an intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Using an intro APR is a great way to pay off a big purchase or a high-interest credit card without accumulating finance charges! After the initial period, the APR returns to the normal rates (see above card summary table).

With this card, you get 2x points on dining and entertainment and 1x points on other purchases. If you eat out a lot and enjoy going to movies, plays, sporting events, etc. then the points can really add up.

There is no limit to the number of points you can earn, and best of all they don’t expire.

Bottom Line: The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card offers an intro APR on purchases and balance transfers and earns 2x points for dining and entertainment and 1x everywhere else!

Other Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of the card is that it comes with no annual fee. In addition, you can add authorized users for free to rack up points for their purchases too.

The card also gives you some flexibility when it comes to paying your bill. You can choose to pay your bill on any available due date at the beginning, middle, or end of the month.

Traveling Internationally With the Card

If you want help making trip arrangements, purchasing tickets, and booking exclusive events, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has your back. It comes with a 24/7 global concierge team to assist you.

An EMV chip is built into the card, which makes it easier to use (and more secure) overseas. Unfortunately, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee if you choose to so.

Card Drawbacks and Alternatives

Other Citi cards have more spending categories to earn bonus points, but the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card limits them to dining and entertainment.

Fortunately, dining and entertainment are broadly defined.

Dining includes fast-food and full-service restaurants, bars, and lounges. Entertainment covers live entertainment, amusement parks, zoos, and even streaming media like Spotify or Netflix.

However, if you want a card that earns mega-rewards for everyday spending, you may want to consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

It has a $95 annual fee, but earns 6% cashback at U.S. supermarkets, 3% cashback at U.S. gas stations and department stores, and 1% everywhere else.

In addition, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express typically has an intro APR offer as well as a cash-back sign up bonus.

Bottom Line: The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has no annual fee, but it doesn’t earn as high of rewards as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Card Conclusion

The card has decent benefits for a card with no annual fee. If you dine out and take advantage of the bonus from entertainment spending, it can be a good option.

You will have access to transfer your points to travel partners, which is the most valuable way to use your points for travel rewards! This is a recent addition from Citi.

Unfortunately, an important point to note is that you will transfer to partners at a reduced rate as compared to the Citi Prestige® Card or Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.

Without a sign-up bonus, though, you may want to look into other cards. If none of those alternatives appeal to you at this time, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card can be a great option.

Great Card If

  • You spend more time in restaurants than your kitchen
  • Your budget includes plenty of money for entertainment spending
  • You have a large purchase to pay off
  • You want to earn points without having to pay an annual fee

Don't Get If

  • You rarely eat out
  • You want a card that earns big points for everyday spending
  • You travel internationally

U.P. Pro Tips

If you have a checking account with Citibank (or want to open one), you can get bonus points by following a few simple steps.

First, enroll your eligible checking account in ThankYou Rewards. Then, set up a direct deposit and qualifying bill payment for each statement.

It’s that simple. As a result, you earn points based on the type of account. Find out the monthly points per account package here.

Bank with Citibank and Earn ThankYou Points Citi ThankYou Preferred
When you have the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, you can earn extra ThankYou points by doing your banking with Citibank as well! Check out their banking site for more details.

How To Use the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card: The Upgraded Way™

Best Way To Maximize Points

Getting the most out of your card is important. If you want to earn the most Citi ThankYou points, check out the following tips:

Tip #1: The top strategy for accumulating points with the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card is simply to use it for all your dining and entertainment spending since it earns 2x points.

Using the card for all of your monthly expenses will help you bank points faster.

Tip #2: Remember, entertainment is a huge category. You get 2x points for using your card at movie theaters, sporting events, tourist attractions, theatrical productions, record stores, and video stores.

Tip #3: Get extra points by putting the entire restaurant bill on your card when dining with friends or colleagues. Then they can pay you back with cash later!

Tip #4: There’s no fee for adding authorized users, which not all cards offer. Add users to the card so you can earn their points too.

Tip #5: You are allowed to combine ThankYou points from multiple Citi credit cards. If you have points on other cards, move them all to one account so you can redeem them for bigger awards.

Tip #6: If you have cancelled the card and a sign-up bonus reappears, make a note that you can sign up for the card again to take advantage of the bonus. However, you must follow the “18 Months Rule” when doing so.

Under this rule, you can only receive the sign-up bonus points if you have not opened or closed an account for the same card within the last 18 months.

In other words, if you closed your card account on January 1, 2016, you cannot open it again until July 2, 2017.

Increase Your Citi ThankYou Preferred Points Balance With Earnings Tips
If you follow the above tips, you’ll find your Citi ThankYou points increasing steadily and will soon be on your way to your first (or next) travel reward!

Best Way To Redeem Points

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card provides several opportunities for redeeming your ThankYou points.

Tip #1: Unlike the Citi Prestige® Card, you won’t get more value out of your points by booking flights through the ThankYou Travel Center. However, redeeming through the Travel Center allows you to combine cash and ThankYou Points to pay for your flight.

Plus, all flights paid for with ThankYou Points earn additional points based on the cost of the fare. So not only can you redeem points for a flight, but you also get more points!

Tip #2: Transfer ThankYou Points to an airline partner’s loyalty program. The following chart includes airlines participating in the ThankYou transfer program:

Airline Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
Asia Miles1:1
Etihad Airways1:1
EVA Air1:1
Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue1:1
Garuda Indonesia1:1
Malaysia Airlines1:1
Qantas Airways1:1
Qatar Airways1:1
Singapore Airlines1:1
Thai Airways1:1
Virgin America1:0.5
Virgin Atlantic Airways1:1
JetBlue TrueBlue1:0.5

As you can see, points transfer on a 1:1 ratio except for Virgin America Elevate and JetBlue. For every 1,000 points you transfer to these partners, you receive 500 Elevate or TrueBlue points.

Note that card members transfer points to JetBlue at a reduced rate from the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which transfer at a 1:0.8 ratio.

Tip #3: Transfer ThankYou Points to the Hilton Honors loyalty program. You can earn free hotel stays in no time with the awards ratio: transfer 1,000 points and get 1,500 Hilton Honors Bonus Points.

Tip #4: Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise and gift cards from top retailers. For example, pay for purchases at Amazon.com, Expedia.com, and Live Nation using your points.

You can even make purchases through the Best Buy app and Wonder app, and then receive statement credit to cover the cost within 24-48 hours.

Tip #5: With Citi ThankYou Online Billpay and a Citibank checking account, you can use your points to pay your monthly bills. If you don’t have enough points to cover the cost, you can combine points and cash instead.

Tip #6: Get credit for eligible purchases you already made using your card with Select and Credit. It includes categories like utilities, gas, groceries, clothing, dining, department stores, and more!

Tip #7: Donate money to worthy causes with PointWorthy. You can browse non-profits approved by the IRS before making a donation with your ThankYou points. Even better, earn points for every dollar you donate using your card!

Partners

Card Math

So far in this Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card review, we’ve examined the benefits and redemption strategies for the card.

Next, let’s explore the value of the card based on some facts and figures.

A Quick Recap: Card at a Glance

We’ll start with a quick summary of the fees and earning potential of the card in the following table:

Annual Fee:$0
2x Categories:Dining and Entertainment
1x Categories:Everything Else

Comparing Value With Our Model Families

Using our model spending families, let’s see how spending on the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card can pay off throughout the year.

We don’t have a dedicated entertainment category, so for the purposes of this example, we will take 20% from the “Other” category to determine this figure.

FamilyRestaurantsEntertainmentAll other monthly expenses
Kennedys$8,000$4,540$32,760
Jetsons$12,800$5,220$44,480
Hartnells$5,000$14,520$98,180

Next, we will calculate the total points earned based on the spending amounts above.

FamilyTotal 2xTotal 1xTotal Points
Kennedys$12,540 / (25,080)$32,760 / (32,760)57,840
Jetsons$18,020  / (36,040)$44,480  / (44,480)80,520
Hartnells$19,520 / (39,040)$98,180 / (98,180)137,220

So, our model families earn 57,840 to 137,220 points,which is pretty impressive for a credit card with no annual fee!

Alternatives to the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

If you want to earn more points than the card will allow, there are some alternatives.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card earns 3x points on travel, in addition to 2x points on dining out and entertainment. Travel includes airfare, hotels, gas, car rentals, railways, public transportation, and a lot more.

The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first 12 months. You also save with international purchases because there are no foreign transaction fees.

Another option that doesn’t have an annual fee is the Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Card. It’s a hotel card, so you won’t have access to the ThankYou loyalty program, but Hilton offers great redemption options.

You earn 6x points for stays in the Hilton Portfolio. Plus, you earn 3x points on purchases at gas stations, drugstores, and supermarkets, and 2x points for all other purchases–a significant difference!

Bottom Line: While you can earn value with the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, you may want to consider other options if you don’t spend a lot in dining and entertainment.

Big Travelers Might Consider Alternatives to the Citi ThankYou Preferred
If you travel more frequently than just when you earn rewards, you probably would do better with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card or the Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Card.

Card Math Conclusion

Overall, the card is positioned to earn a lot of points for many people. At 2x points in entertainment and dining, you will have plenty of options.

With the great range of travel partners and the ability to use the Citi ThankYou Travel Center all at no annual fee, and you’ve got a great card on your hands!

Bottom Line: The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card will add value to your points portfolio at no annual fee and 2x points in entertainment and dining.

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

Citi ThankYou points post to your account at the end of each monthly billing cycle. Points never expire as long as you have an open account. If you close your account, you have 30 days to use your points.

Citi ThankYou accounts come with the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, and Citi Prestige® Card.

There is no fee to transfer points. Once you request a points transfer, it cannot be reversed or canceled.

The points are deducted immediately from the ThankYou account. However, it can take up to 14 days for the points to post to the loyalty account they are being transferred into.

Other Unique Features

Card members receive several additional benefits, including the following:

ThankYou Events and Citi Private Pass Beyond Get access to exclusive events like private concerts, sporting events, and red carpet experiences attended by popular celebrities.

Citi Price Rewind Automatically searches for the lowest price on items you register after purchasing them with the Citi card. If the same item has a lower price within 60 days of the initial purchase date, you receive the difference.

Trip cancellation & interruption protection Get reimbursed for non-refundable trip expenses such as change fees when unforeseen events get in the way of a trip paid for with a Citi card.

Worldwide travel accident insurance Receive financial help after an accident.

Medical evacuation If you are traveling and the right emergency care is unavailable locally, you can be evacuated.

Lost baggage You may receive the purchase price of missing items or the cost to replace or repair damaged items if your carry-on luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged by a common carrier.

Travel & emergency assistance Get 24/7 assistance with emergency travel arrangements, medical referrals, legal referrals, and more before or during a trip.

Worldwide car rental insurance Get coverage against theft or damage to a rental car when you pay with the card and decline the rental company’s collision loss/damage insurance.

Damage & theft purchase protection If a purchase is made with the Citi card and then damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for NY residents), you can receive the cost of repairs or a refund.

Extended warranty Adds time to a regular warranty.

Unauthorized charge protection $0 liability on unauthorized charges.

Citi.com/Apple Pay Pay in-app or at over 200,000 stores with the iPhone6, or in-app with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

Photo Credits/Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Sports Fan Celebrating: Daniel Padavona/Shutterstock
Bank: VladFree/Shutterstock
Man Walking Up Trending Graph: leolintang/Shutterstock
Travel Bags: Keattikorn/Shutterstock

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

FAQ

What are the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card benefits?
The card does not typically have a sign-up bonus. However, it does include an intro APR for new cardholders. You can earn points and utilize them in the Citi Travel Center or transfer them to airline or hotel partners.

You also get access to Citi Private Pass, Citi Cards with Apple Pay.

Does the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card have an annual fee?
No. There is no annual fee with the card.

How do I earn points with Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card?
Cardmembers earn 2x points for dining and entertainment purchases and 1x for all other spending.

How do I redeem Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card points?
All points can be redeemed through the Citi ThankYou Rewards program. You can choose from travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

Do Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card points have an expiration date?
Citi ThankYou Points never expire as long as you have your card open and in good standing.

Can I use the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card to get airline credit?
There are two ways you can use your ThankYou Points for airline travel. You can book flights directly through the Citi ThankYou Travel Reward Center, or transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs.

Who are the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card airline transfer partners?
The airline partners are Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Asia Miles (includes 20 airline programs), Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Etihad Guest (includes 40 airline programs), Qantas, EVE Air Infinity MileageLands, Flying Blue, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America Elevate, Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer, JetBlue TrueBlue.

Which is better, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card or the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and department stores, and 1% everywhere else.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express does have a $95 annual fee, but you typically get sign up bonus cash-back.

In contrast, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card earns 2x points in dining and entertainment and 1x points everywhere else, and has no annual fee (but also no sign-up bonus typically).

It can also transfer points to travel partners, which often boosts the power of points to $0.02 or more.