Reviews Citi ThankYou Preferred card review

Citi ThankYou Preferred card review

Published: June 20, 2017
See Full Card Details
Advertiser Disclosure
Ratings Policy
No Annual Fee Rating:
3.3 rating
3.3 rating
3.3 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.5
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a good option for cardholders who want to earn a fair sign-up bonus and a good rewards rate on their dining and entertainment purchases without having to plunk down an annual fee.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 dining and entertainment
  • 1:1 other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
15,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$266

APR
14.49-24.49%* (variable)

Pros:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No travel blackout dates
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Can use points for gift cards, merchandise, travel or cash
  • Can redeem points on Amazon.com and Live Nation

Cons:

  • Travel must be booked through Citi’s website
  • Few airline partners; can only transfer points to JetBlue airlines
  • Points are less valuable when you redeem them for rewards other than travel or gift cards

Other Notable Features: Personal concierge service, ticket presales, worldwide car rental insurance, worldwide travel accident insurance, purchase protection, Citi Price Rewind, extended warranty, price rewind, trip cancellation and interruption protection, customizable due dates, Private Pass

Rewards Rating:
2.9 rating
2.9 rating
2.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.9
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

A good card for night owls and weekend adventurers, the Citi ThankYou Preferred card sets itself apart by offering bonus points on a wide variety of dining and entertainment purchases; however, it doesn’t offer much value for everyday purchases, such as gas or groceries.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 dining and entertainment
  • 1:1 other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
15,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$266

APR
14.49-24.49%* (variable)

Pros:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No travel blackout dates
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Can use points for gift cards, merchandise, travel or cash
  • Can redeem points on Amazon.com and Live Nation

Cons:

  • Travel must be booked through Citi’s website
  • Few airline partners; can only transfer points to JetBlue airlines
  • Points are less valuable when you redeem them for rewards other than travel or gift cards

Other Notable Features: Personal concierge service, ticket presales, worldwide car rental insurance, worldwide travel accident insurance, purchase protection, Citi Price Rewind, extended warranty, price rewind, trip cancellation and interruption protection, customizable due dates, Private Pass

Travel Rating:
2.8 rating
2.8 rating
2.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.1
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a fair travel rewards card, offering a good return on dining out and entertainment, an average though not stellar  value on travel redemptions, and decent travel benefits, such as worldwide car rental insurance. However, it is missing out on key travel features  such as no foreign transaction fee that can be found on premium rewards cards as well as some no-annual-fee cards.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 dining and entertainment
  • 1:1 other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
15,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$266

APR
14.49-24.49%* (variable)

Pros:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No travel blackout dates
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Can use points for gift cards, merchandise, travel or cash
  • Can redeem points on Amazon.com and Live Nation

Cons:

  • Travel must be booked through Citi’s website
  • Few airline partners; can only transfer points to JetBlue airlines
  • Points are less valuable when you redeem them for rewards other than travel or gift cards

Other Notable Features: Personal concierge service, ticket presales, worldwide car rental insurance, worldwide travel accident insurance, purchase protection, Citi Price Rewind, extended warranty, price rewind, trip cancellation and interruption protection, customizable due dates, Private Pass

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

If you like to spend your evenings out on the town and regularly spend money on concerts, movies, sporting events, restaurant meals or other forms of entertainment, the Citi ThankYou Preferred card could be a rewarding addition to your wallet. It’s one of the only rewards cards of its kind that offers bonus points on a wide variety of entertainment purchases.

The Citi card’s dining and entertainment bonus clocks in at just two points per dollar spent, which is relatively low for a rewards card, but cardholders with an active lifestyle should still be able to squeeze a substantial amount of value out of this entertainment-themed credit card. The Citi ThankYou Preferred card doesn’t offer much additional value, though, so you may not want to use this as your primary credit card.

Ideal for entertainment-seekers
It’s tough to find a credit card that offers this much value for entertainment purchases – especially if you’re a regular concertgoer or adventure seeker. The Citi ThankYou Preferred card offers an unlimited two points for every dollar spent on entertainment and another two points for every dollar spent on dining.

The card’s flexible definition of what qualifies as an “entertainment” or “dining” purchase gives cardholders more opportunities to collect bonuses, helping make up for the fact that the bonus only amounts to two points per dollar spent. For example, cardholders are awarded bonus points on everything from movie tickets to museums, zoos, aquariums, theme parks, concerts, theater events, art shows, sporting events and more. Citi is also generous with the types of dining purchases that qualify. For example, coffee shops, fast food restaurants and bars all count toward the two-point bonus.

Not for errands or other essential purchases
The ThankYou Preferred card doesn’t offer bonuses on any other types of everyday purchases, such as groceries or gas, making it a poor choice for cardholders who would prefer to use just one card. If you would rather streamline the cards in your wallet, you’re better off with a simpler flat rate card, such as the Citi Double Cash card. With the Double Cash card, you’ll get 2 percent cash back on every purchase as long as you repay your balance in full.

Modest sign-up bonus
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card’s sign-up bonus is also relatively modest compared to its competitors so don’t expect to stockpile a whole lot of points right away. Cardholders are awarded just 15,000 bonus points – roughly worth about $165 – after they spend $1,000 in the card’s first three months. Many competitors, by contrast, are currently offering sign-up bonuses worth $200 or more.  On the plus side, the ThankYou card’s spending threshold is more accessible than most, allowing cardholders to collect a bonus with just over $333 in monthly spending in the card’s first three months.

Consumer-friendly redemption
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card also wins points for its consumer-friendly redemption policy. Points never expire and you can earn an unlimited number of bonus points – a big draw for heavy entertainment and restaurant spenders. You can redeem your points through Amazon.com or use your points to buy concert tickets through Live Nation. You can also transfer your points to JetBlue airlines. However, the ThankYou card doesn’t partner with any other airline or hotel loyalty programs.

Rising APR
One of the biggest downsides to the ThankYou Preferred card is its relatively high APR for cardholders with less than stellar credit. Citi recently increased the APR on the ThankYou Preferred card by half a percentage point and then increased it again after the Federal Reserve hiked rates by a quarter of a percent. Cardholders with excellent credit are now offered a minimum APR of 14.49 percent while cardholders with lower scores could get stuck with an APR as high as 24.49 percent. If you plan to use this card for all or most of your purchases and can’t afford to repay your balance in full each month, you may be better off with a lower rate card.

Why get it?:

  • You spend a lot on dining and entertainment and want to get more value from your spending.
  • You use other cards for everyday purchases, such as groceries, and are looking for an entertainment and dining-friendly supplement.
  • You can afford to repay your balance in full each month, or you have excellent credit and so qualify for the card’s lowest available interest rate.

How to use it:

  • Help grow your rewards savings by using your card for all your dining and entertainment purchases.
  • Spend at least $333.34 a month for the first three months in order to collect the 15,000-point sign-up bonus.
  • Repay your card in full each month in order to avoid the ThankYou card’s hefty APR.
  • Travel is the best redemption option. Though the options for merchandise are plentiful, rewards tend to be worth less than 1 cent per point, while travel rewards can be worth more than 1 cent per point.

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information. 

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.

See Full Card Details