Citi ThankYou Preferred Card review | finder.com

Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card review – December 2018

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Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card

A simple credit card that earns you double points on dining and entertainment.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you spend a lot on dining and entertainment and don’t want an annual fee.
  • Pick something else if you want cashback rewards.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Product NameCiti® ThankYou® Preferred Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases15.49% to 25.49% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 15 months (then 15.49% to 25.49% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 15 months (then 15.49% to 25.49% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate27.24% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $35
Returned Payment FeeUp to $35
Minimum Age18 years of age
Reward Value per Dollar1x points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

The Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card may not look like much on first glance. It offers double the points on dining and entertainment purchases for no annual fee, but it lacks a signup bonus you’ll find with other cards.

However, pair it with the AT&T Access Card from Citi — which earns you 2x points on purchases made through eligible travel and retail websites and directly with AT&T — and you get a decent points-earning combo.

Our pick for an intro APR: American Express Cash Magnet™ Card

  • Earn up to $250 back. Here’s how: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases.
  • Cash back is received in the form of reward dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • With Plan ItSM, you can set up a monthly payment plan for large purchases with a fixed monthly fee and no interest charges, all with the same rewards and protections you expect from American Express.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the US started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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How much are ThankYou points worth?

The value of your ThankYou points varies by redemption:

  • Gift cards. Redeem 2,500 points for a $25 gift card for retailers like Best Buy, Gap, Home Depot, Sears and Xbox. For gift cards, each ThankYou point is worth a flat 1 cent.
  • Merchandise. Redeem points for computer hardware, video games, office products, health and beauty products and more. For merchandise, each ThankYou point is worth approximately 0.8 cents, making 2,500 points worth $16.
  • Travel. Redeem points toward hotels, flights, car rental, cruises and more. Each point is worth 1 cent, which makes your 45,000 points equal to $450 in airline tickets.

You can also use your points to pay your bills, transfer or donate to charity.

The perks

  • Earn points.

    Earn 2x points for dining and entertainment purchases — including coffee shops, restaurants, music downloads, movie theaters and concerts — and 1x points on all other purchases. Redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, travel rewards, concert tickets or shopping through Amazon.com.

  • Intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases.

    It’s easy to transfer high-APR balances to your new card — and save on unnecessary interest. Get a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months following your account opening. After that, a variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49% applies.

You’ll also like …

  • No annual fee.

    You won’t pay a fee annually to use the Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card.

  • Points transfer.

    Transfer a minimum 1,000 ThankYou points to TrueBlue® points for rewards with JetBlue — without a fee.

  • EMV chip technology.

    Get increased security and global acceptance with EMV chip technology, which makes the card hard to counterfeit.

  • Citi® Private Pass® access.

    Buy presale tickets and VIP packages for thousands of concerts and sports events annually, or enjoy dining experiences and other benefits with Citi® Private Pass® access.

What to watch out for

  • No signup bonus.

    This is the rare card that doesn’t offer a signup bonus to new cardmembers. If you’re looking for a signup offer, consider the Citi Premier℠ Card.

  • Foreign transaction fees.

    If you use your card abroad, expect to pay a transaction fee equal to 3% of every transaction. While it may not sound like much, the extra cost can add up quickly over a trip of several days.

  • High penalty APR.

    For a single late or returned payment, you’ll pay up to $35 in fees. And Citi can impose a 29.99% variable penalty APR, which your account could be stuck with indefinitely.

  • Balance transfer limitations.

    You must complete all balance transfers within four months of card membership to take advantage of the intro APR period. For every balance transfer you make, you’ll pay $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater.

    Note that your transfer, including any fees, can’t be higher than your credit limit, and you can’t make a balance transfer from another account with Citi or its affiliates.

Consider other cards if …

  • You want cashback rewards.

    Whether you’re looking for flat cash back or rewards in specific categories, there’s a cashback card for you.

  • You want travel rewards.

    A travel rewards card could be a better choice if you’re often on the road and prefer a specific brand of hotels or fly often with a single airline.

  • You want to rebuild your credit score.

    If you’re looking to improve your credit, a secured card might be a good option for you. With secured cards, your initial deposit becomes your credit line, then you’re all set to start building your score.

  • You want a different ThankYou rewards card.

    If you prefer a single ThankYou rewards card and don’t mind paying an annual fee, the Citi Premier℠ Card could be a better choice. In addition to points for dining and entertainment purchases, you can also earn rewards on travel and gas.

Compare 0% intro APR credit cards

Name Product Introductory Purchase APR Intro APR for Balance Transfer APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
16.99% to 25.74% variable
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
16.99% to 25.74% variable
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
14.99% to 25.99% variable
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
14.99% to 25.99% variable
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
14.99% to 25.99% variable
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

On receipt of your card, call the number on the back to request your balance transfers. To take advantage of the 0% intro APR period for 15 months following card membership, you must complete your transfers within four months from the date you opened your account. After that, a variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49% applies.

If Citi gives you the option to transfer balances with your application, you’ll wait 14 days for the transfers to complete. You can’t transfer balances from accounts at Citi or its affiliates. If you change your mind, call support as soon as you can to cancel the process.

Your total transfer, including fees, should not exceed your credit limit. Each balance transfer you make will cost $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. That’s a $30 fee for a $1,000 balance transfer.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card, you need to be at least 18 years old and a resident of the US.

Expect to provide your:

  • Name, date of birth and Social Security number.
  • Address and contact information.
  • Annual income and monthly mortgage or rent payments.

What credit score do I need?

Apply with a good credit score of 670 or higher to increase your chances of approval with a low APR and high credit limit. Citi will likely also consider other factors tied to your credit score, such as your credit utilization.

What do customers say about the Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card?

The Better Business Bureau hasn’t accredited Citi, though the company was founded more than 200 years ago. Not only that, but the BBB rates Citi an F. Based on 93 customer reviews at the time of writing, Citi earns a composite score of 1.02 out of 5.

Many reviewers complain about poor customer service with the bank in general. As for the Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card, customers complain often about problems with points redemption, and one person claimed Citi closed their account after 12 years of card membership without a single late payment. Your mileage with this bank may vary.

How to apply for the Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card

  1. Go to the Citi website.
  2. Navigate to the rewards cards and select the Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card, then click Apply now.
  3. Complete the application form with your name, address and financial data.
  4. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to get my Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card?

Expect approval to take up to 10 business days, if further review is needed. On approval, your card should arrive by mail within 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download the Citi Mobile® app. Use the Android or iOS app to activate your card, check your FICO® Score for free, set up automatic payments, find an ATM and more.
  • Set up alerts. Stay current on balance levels, due dates and transactions by email or to your phone.
  • Avoid paying interest. Your due date is 23 days after the close of each billing cycle. Pay on time and in full to avoid unnecessary interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid paying fees. Balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions come with a fee.
  • Customer support. Call 866-422-0306 for help or questions.

Bottom line

If you spend a lot on dining and entertainment for dining, movies, concerts, music downloads and more, the no-annual-fee Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card is worth a look. You’ll earn flexible ThankYou points redeemable toward gift cards, merchandise and travel — and with no annual fee.

For more robust earnings for ThankYou points, the Citi Premier℠ Card Citi Premier℠ Card could be a stronger alternative.

Before you dive into an application for this card, compare the benefits of other rewards credit cards for the best fit with your spending.

Compare Citibank credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

Images: Citi

Kliment Dukovski

Kliment Dukovski is a writer who specializes in global financial markets and personal finance, with a focus on credit cards. His main goal is to deliver honest and accurate information to help you make the right financial decision. When he's not writing about finance-related subjects, he writes sci-fi stories.

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