This no annual fee card with 0% intro APR and rewards for spending is a solid choice for your first credit card.
Many will see it as a starter card, but the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students packs quite a punch. The card offers rewards in the form of ThankYou points, which can be redeemed at the market rate (1 point equals 1 cent) for gift cards and just slightly under the market rate for various merchandise. It comes with no annual fee and an introductory 0% APR for 7 months. And it’s stocked with Citi’s suite of features like Price Rewind, travel protection, and concierge services. It’s not for every college student — particularly those with little or no credit — but it’s a solid choice for those who qualify.
|Product Name||Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students|
|APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases||16.49% to 26.49% variable|
|Introductory Purchase APR||0% for the first 7 months (then 16.49% to 26.49% variable)|
|Balance Transfer APR||16.49% to 26.49% variable|
|Balance Transfer Fee||$5 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash Advance Rate||27.24% variable|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Cash Advance Fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Interest Free Period||Up to 23 days|
|Late Payment Fee||Up to $35|
|Returned Payment Fee||Up to $35|
|Additional Cardholder Fee||$0|
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
|Reward Value per Dollar||1 points|
|Rewards Points Expiry||Never|
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students review
For college students looking to apply for their first credit card, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is a solid choice with a lot of helpful features. The card doesn’t come with an annual fee, which is especially helpful for students who might have limited income. Also, the 0% introductory APR for 7 months might come in handy for students who need to make substantial purchases (say, laptops for class) throughout the school year.
To whet students’ appetite for credit card rewards, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students offers ThankYou points for spending. Cardholders will receive 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants and on entertainment, and they’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Eventually, students will be able to redeem their points for gift cards from top retailers, as well as merchandise like electronics and sporting goods.
The point value for merchandise redemptions is a little below average (around an eighth of a cent), but points redeemed for gift cards clock in at the market rate of 1 cent apiece. A video game worth $14.99 might cost 1,870 points, for example, while a Best Buy gift card worth $25 might cost 2,500 points. Also worth noting is the card’s relatively low introductory point bonus (2,500 points) — but on the plus side, earning it only requires $500 of spending within the first 3 months.
The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students comes with Citi’s usual suite of add-ons, such as Price Rewind (Citi’s version of price protection), travel protection (accident insurance, car rental insurance, etc.), purchase protection (extended warranties, no liability for unauthorized purchases, etc.), and concierge services. It’s a solid package of extras for a potential starter credit card. If you’re thinking about applying for the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students, keep in mind that it’s recommended you apply with good credit. If you have zero or mediocre credit, consider applying for a card like the Citi® Secured Mastercard® instead.
- Introductory 2,500 bonus points.
- Redeem ThankYou Points for gift cards and merchandise. You can redeem ThankYou points for gift cards from American Eagle, Nike, Best Buy, iTunes, Regal Entertainment, Barnes and Noble, and more. You can also exchange your points for electronics, health and beauty products, outdoor products, and more.
- 0% introductory APR for 7 months. For the first 7 months after you open your account, you’ll have a purchase APR of 0%. Afterward, the purchase APR will be 16.49% to 26.49% variable based on your creditworthiness.
- No annual fee. As a student, you may find it very helpful to not have to pay annual fees while using the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students.
- 2x points for spending on dining and entertainment. You’ll earn 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants and on entertainment.
- 1x points on everything else. You’ll earn 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Attractive point terms. ThankYou points earned with your card never expire, and you can earn as many ThankYou points as you’d like.
- Citi Price Rewind. If you purchase an item with your Citi card, Price Rewind will look for a lower price elsewhere. If it finds a lower price on the item within 60 days after your purchase, you may receive a rebate for the extra amount you paid.
- Access to Citi Private Pass. Through Citi Private Pass, you can purchase VIP packages and pre-sale tickets for events around the world. You’ll also receive extras like free movie screenings.
- Travel protection. With the Citi card, you’ll receive travel protection like accident insurance, car rental insurance, and trip cancellation protection.
- Purchase protection. With Citi’s purchase protection, you’ll receive extended warranties on your purchases, damage and theft protection on purchases, and no liability for unauthorized charges to your card.
- Concierge services. Citi’s concierge services can help you with planning travel, dining, entertainment, and more.
- Choose your payment due date. You can pay your bill on any eligible date (beginning, middle or end of the month).
Features of the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
- Sliding APR scale. After the introductory APR period, your purchase APR will be 16.49% to 26.49% variable based on your creditworthiness.
- Higher APR for cash advances. Keep in mind the APR for cash advances is 27.24% variable, higher than the card’s purchase rate. You will also incur a fee of $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater , when taking out a cash advance.
- Penalty APR for late or returned payments. If you pay late or one of your payments is returned, you may be subject to a penalty APR of 29.99% variable. This penalty APR may last indefinitely.
- Introductory APR may be canceled due to late payment. If you pay late during the first 29.99%, your introductory 0% APR may be canceled.
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How to apply
- You are at least 18 years of age
- You are a currently enrolled college student
Required documents & information
- Your name, residential status and residential address
- Your Social Security number
- Your email address, phone number and date of birth
- Financial information like your annual salary and wages
Having a student credit card can be a convenient financial tool for college students when they get into a financial pinch and need money for books, rent or help with tuition. The key factor with this type of starter credit card is to know how to manage it responsibly and always keep in mind that you’re on the line for each swipe.