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With so many Chase offers lately, I am very happy to see Citi up their game and put together a great offer for their Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card! New applicants can receive up 50,000 ThankYou Points – Earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening and an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of your second year of being a cardmember. 50,000 ThankYou points can be redeemed for $625 in travel! Additionally, this offer comes with the first year annual fee waived, after that it will be $125 annually.
Earning: You will earn 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on Dining and Entertainment, 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent on Airfare and Hotels, and 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Points never expire and there is no limit on the amount you can earn.
- Travel: Through their ThankYou Travel Center, this card gives you a 20% bonus with travel redemption (unlike the Preferred version of this card). 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. You can book on any airline of your choice with no blackout dates.
- 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 Caribbean.
- 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.
- Annual Fee: Annual fee waived the first year, then $125 annually
- Foreign Transaction Fees: No foreign transaction fees! Some credit cards charge up to 3% when using their credit card internationally.
- Travel Booking Discount: You will receive a 15% discount when booking air travel through their travel benefits provider, Spirit Incentives. I have no experience with booking through this provider, so am not sure if their prices are on par with prices you will find elsewhere.
While this credit card will not get you a free international ticket, it is now on par with the other major credit card offers out there for domestic travel. A credit card offer valued at a flat $625, with no foreign transaction fees, and first year annual fee waived is a great offer! The best component of using your ThankYou points for free travel is that you do not have to worry about blackout dates, capacity controls, or other reward point redemption restrictions. Also, you will earn points when using points (I hate flying and not earning points towards status)!
Additionally, Citi is a great card to keep in your credit history to help your credit score over the long term. You can always downgrade to the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card which has no annual fee. This change in credit cards will allow you to keep the card in your possession and not have a ding on credit report. If you decide to do this, just make sure to earn the full bonus offer and use your points prior to this downgrade or else you will not receive the 20% bonus redeeming on travel like the Premier card.