Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card review

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card review

Published: June 2, 2020
Published: June 2, 2020
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
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0 rating
0 / 5
Introductory Offer: 0.0
Net Value: 0.0
Features: 0.0

In a Nutshell:

The Citi ThankYou Preferred card offers a fairly long 15-month introductory period on balance transfers, plus a pretty good points-based rewards program once your balance is paid off. This offer is no longer available.

0% Introductory Period
15 months

Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR

Regular APR
15.49-25.49%* (variable)

Annual Fee

Other Notable Features: Personal concierge service, ticket presales, purchase protection, extended warranty, customizable due dates, Private Pass

Rewards Rating:
0 rating
0 rating
0 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.0
Rewards Flexibility: 0.0
Features: 0.0

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, and it doesn’t offer any kind of sign-up bonus. This offer is no longer available. 

Rewards Rate

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

Sign-up Bonus

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee

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

15.49%-25.49%* (variable)


  • 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 and Live Nation


  • 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, purchase protection, extended warranty, customizable due dates, Private Pass



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 up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase — 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay your bill on time.

No sign-up bonus

The Citi ThankYou Preferred card doesn’t offer any kind of bonus to new cardholders, which seriously detracts from its value compared to similar travel rewards cards.

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 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 15.49 percent (variable) while cardholders with lower scores could get stuck with an APR as high as 25.49 percent (variable). 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 the Citi ThankYou Preferred card?

  • 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 the Citi ThankYou Preferred card:

  • Help grow your rewards savings by using your card for all your dining and entertainment purchases.
  • 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.
  • For additional advice, check out our complete guide to transferring a balance to your Citi card.

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