Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card – Earn up to 20,000 Bonus Points Review

Citi-ThankYou-Preferred-reviewThe Citi ThankYou Preferred 20,000 bonus points credit card is currently offering a pretty enticing sign up bonus along with their typical rewards structure. Below is the quick pros and cons review followed by a detailed analysis of the Citi ThankYou Preferred card.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Pros

  • Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou Points (20,000 points after $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening)
  • 2x points on restaurant, dining and entertainment purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Points do not expire
  • You can earn unlimited points
  • No annual fee
  • Exclusive experiences for card members

Citi ThankYou Preferred Cons

  • Reward points structure isn’t among the best available
  • 7 month introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases is shorter than other offers available today

Overall Rating

The Citi ThankYou Preferred card offers a decent sign up bonus and doesn’t charge an annual fee. The 2x bonus categories are commonly used categories as well. This would be a great card for the initial sign up bonus and for someone that wants a simple rewards card or is just learning how rewards credit cards work.

The In-Depth Citi ThankYou Preferred Review

The Citi ThankYou Preferred credit card has a great sign up bonus available right now. In order to receive the 20,000 bonus points you’ll need to spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months of opening the account.

You’ll have to just spend $1,500 to get 20,000 bonus points, but the nice part about the way it is structured is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money in a short time frame. I think most people regularly spend at least $500 a month, so it wouldn’t be a stretch on whether or not you’ll earn the bonus.

Reward Points Categories

The Citi ThankYou Preferred card offer 2x ThankYou points (or 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent) on dining and entertainment purchases. To be more specific Citi considers the following to qualify for 2x points:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Cocktail Lounges
  • Night Clubs
  • Fast Food Restaurants
  • Sports Promoters (live sporting events)
  • Theatrical promoters (concerts and ticketing agencies)
  • Movie Theaters
  • Amusement Parks
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Museums
  • Record Stores
  • Video Rental Stores

All other purchases qualify for 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent.

ThankYou Point Redemption Options

You can redeem your ThankYou points for gift cards, a check, merchandise or exclusive experiences. The exclusive experiences can be pretty cool, but they normally cost quite a few points. Gift cards and checks are probably the most realistic redemption options and will normally be redeemable at a 1 ThankYou point to $0.01 ratio.

Be careful with check redemption. Citi will only allow you to get checks in $50 increments so you may need to save up some ThankYou points to hit the next $50 threshold.

Introductory 0% Rate on Purchases and Balance Transfers

The Citi ThankYou Preferred card only has a 7 month introductory 0% rate on purchases and balance transfers. This definitely is not the main reason to get this card, but it is a nice small addition. If you really need a 0% intro rate card, there are some that give you up to 21 months of 0% introductory rates.

There are fees for balance transfers of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. This is pretty standard in the credit card industry.

Other ThankYou Preferred Perks

I really like that the Citi ThankYou Preferred credit card has no annual fee. Most cards with larger sign up bonuses do have annual fees, so this is a big plus.

Another great benefit is that you can earn unlimited ThankYou points and they never expire. Some credit card companies will limit the amount of rewards points you can earn in a year or a quarter, but Citi does not do that for this card.

This credit card also has chip technology, which is required in some foreign countries in order to use your credit card. The unfortunate part is if you do make a transaction in a foreign country there is a 3% foreign transaction fee that is pretty standard among no annual fee credit cards.

The Final Verdict

The Citi ThankYou Preferred card offers a decent sign up bonus worth $200 and offers bonus rewards points in categories that many people frequently spend money in. It doesn’t have an annual fee and is overall a decent rewards credit card option to add to your wallet.

Have Credit Card Debt? Rewards Cards Aren’t For You

Credit card debt is a very serious problem no matter how much of a balance you carry. It can start from even the smallest amount. You should never carry a balance on your credit cards. If you do have credit card debt, you definitely shouldn’t sign up for a rewards credit card.

Rewards credit cards typically carry some of the highest interest rates of any credit cards. Any reward you earn will quickly be eaten up by interest and penalties much like Cookie Monster used to eat up cookies when I was a kid.

The information in the article is accurate to the best of my knowledge as of December 18th, 2013. It will be periodically updated as offers change. As with any offer, make sure to read all of the details on the application site as those are the terms and conditions that will govern any credit card you sign up for. What you have read here is simply a summary and does not contain all terms and conditions.

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

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