UPDATE: This offer has ended.
I have been informed that the 40,000 point offer with the Citi ThankYou Preferred credit card is ending today. As we’ve seen before, sometimes these offers do go away, but are still available via other links/sites, so there is that chance that it will stay around. Nowhere on the site do I see today as the last day, but you never know. If you’ve been contemplating this card, this is one of the better offers we’ve seen – while last year there was a 50,000 point offer, the norm is about 20,000 points (on average).
For this offer, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou points after you spend $3,000 within the first 6 months, and then an additional 20,000 bonus points after you spend another $3,000 within the next 6 months. Eventually you’ll get the 40,000 points once hitting the full minimum spend requirement ($6,000 in one year, which is on average $500/month). For this particular card, this is a decently high minimum spend for an offer which results in $400. Many other cards require much less, but have higher $$ results. Although, if you are out of cards to get/churn, this could be a good one to consider.
So what exactly is the Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards credit card?
It is a card tied to points with a fixed value. There is no strategy on how to redeem your points, but a straight forward 1 point = 1 cent. So the 40,000 points will get you $400 towards travel (or you can put it towards gift cards, either way it is the same value). Now, there are a few versions of the Citi ThankYou cards and make note that the Preferred version (which this card is) does not offer a 33% bonus when redeeming towards travel (only the Premier and Prestige version of the card give you this additional bonus). The Preferred card, however, is a no annual fee card ever, while the other two do have annual fees.
- Earning: You will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 on all 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 – this redemption is not recommended!
- Annual Fee: No annual fee EVER!
- Anniversary Bonus: After every anniversary year of your membership, you will receive a percentage bonus based on your purchase amount from that year. Also, the longer you are a member, the higher your percentage bonus.
- 0-1 years: 1%
- 1-2 years: 2%
- 2+ years: 3%
- Online statements: You will receive a one-time bonus of 200 points for enrolling in this program (small amount of points, but everything counts!)
While 40,000 points is a great offer, I personally prefer some of the other flexible program credit cards out there, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards or Starwood American Express. The huge disadvantage for the ThankYou point program, in my opinion, 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 sign up offer for $400 in free travel could be worthwhile. However, I personally would NOT put my everyday spend on this card. This card essentially offers 1% back on all purchases, while there are other fixed point programs that offer 2% back and would be my preference (although they do cary a low annual fee). Or, for a no fee card, the Chase Freedom card is better as it offers that 1% back on all purchases, but has some great quarterly bonuses offering 5% back, and then you can use those points to transfer to another Chase Ultimate Rewards account down the line. One perk of this sign up offer is that there is no need to ever cancel the card (due to no annual fee), 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.