The current promotion for the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card is 20,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $1,500 in card purchases within 3 months of account opening. This card also comes with no annual fee.
Because the ThankYou Preferred card has a fixed value, the 20,000 points will get you $200 towards travel (1 point = 1 cents) or $200 in gift cards (1 point = 1 cent). There are other options such as cash back, statement credits, etc., but they do not give you nearly the same redemption value. Note: Only the Premier and Prestige version of this credit card will give you the 33% bonus when redeeming towards travel (not the Preferred). However, there is a decent annual fee with those two cards and not as great of a bonus offer. I personally would opt for the no annual fee card (which this card is) and the higher point bonus.
Earning: You will earn 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent at dining at restaurants and entertainment, and 1 ThankYou point per $1 on all other purchases. Points never expire and there is no limit on the amount you can earn.
- Travel: Through their ThankYou Travel Center, you can redeem points at a 1:1 ratio. This applies for car rentals, hotels, airfare, cruises, etc. The major perk of this is that you are still able to receive points/miles with your travel.
- Gift Cards: You can redeem your points at a 1:1 ratio for many travel and non-travel related gift cards to use on future purchases. Travel gift cards include: Avis, Carnival, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Royal Carribean.
- Other: There are a slew of other redemption opportunities, however, you will find that you will not receive as high of a value as you do with travel and gift cards.
While getting $200 in free travel is never a bad thing, I personally prefer some of the other flexible program credit cards out there, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards. The huge disadvantage that the ThankYou points program has to the other two is that you cannot transfer your points to partner loyalty programs. If you like to redeem for international travel, this card is not for you. However, if you typically fly domestically on low-medium fares and do not want to worry about black out dates and other restrictions, then this is the card for you. Additionally, having no annual fee is a plus. There is no need to ever cancel the card, and keeping the card in your credit history will help your credit score over the long term.
Note that this card does have a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each purchase. With many other cards having no transaction fees, this is not the card to use while traveling internationally. If you are looking for a no foreign transaction fee card, I would recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.