Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a no-fee rewards card and a good choice for someone who enjoys a night on the town. The card is part of the ThankYou Rewards family, and the points are easy to accumulate and redeem.
You’ll earn bonus points for dining and entertainment, which makes it a good option for city dwellers who like to go out and earn rewards on those purchases. Unfortunately, a major drawback of the Citi ThankYou Preferred card is that the points aren’t particularly flexible and cannot be transferred to any of Citi’s travel partners, except JetBlue.
You can redeem points earned with this card for gift cards or to purchase travel through the ThankYou program at a ratio of one cent per point. The card sometimes offers a sign-up bonus. If there isn’t currently a welcome offer, it may be worth waiting for one.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card offers and the value of the Citi ThankYou® points you earn.
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card doesn’t currently have a sign-up bonus, though it has periodically offered one in the past. The points can be redeemed for merchant gift cards, electronics and other rewards available through the ThankYou Rewards portal, or for travel through the ThankYou Travel Center.
Additionally, Citibank cardholders have access to Citi Private Pass, an entertainment access program that offers members special access to concert tickets, sporting events, restaurants and other entertainment. Although anyone can view the Private Pass offers online, only those with a Citi-issued credit card can purchase tickets and access some offers.
Although ThankYou points earned with the Citi Preferred card cannot be transferred to all of Citi’s travel partners, they can be transferred to the JetBlue TrueBlue frequent flyer program at a ratio of 1,000 TY points to 500 TrueBlue points. As you can see, the conversion rate isn’t favorable, but there might be cases where a transfer will work for you.
What You Get
- 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment
ThankYou Points do not expire as long as the card remains open and the account is in good standing. However, closing the card will make all the points vanish. To prevent points from expiring, cardholders can redeem them for a gift card or combine the points with another ThankYou card, such as the ThankYou Premier. However, those points have a lifetime of 60 days before expiring, so make sure you use them before the window closes. It is also possible to share your ThankYou points with a family member or a friend with an active account, but keep in mind that they will expire in 90 days after the date of receipt.
What is the value of the ThankYou® Points?
ThankYou points earned with the Preferred card have a somewhat fixed value. If 15,000 points are worth $150 when redeemed for gift cards and travel, it means their value comes to a flat one cent per point. As mentioned before, ThankYou points earned with this particular credit card cannot be transferred to travel partners, except for JetBlue at a less-than-favorable ratio. So their value cannot be inflated by purchasing airfare with miles. However, earning points in bonus categories can make it worthwhile for someone who prefers not to pay annual fees on credit cards.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles or points. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile or point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket by the number of miles or points the award flight costs. That amount is multiplied by the number of miles or points earned per dollar spent on everyday purchases to account for cards that earn more than one mile per dollar spent.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Citi ThankYou Points
The best way to redeem ThankYou points earned with the Citi ThankYou Preferred card is by purchasing gift cards at certain stores for one cent per point. However, not all conversions are 1-to- 1, so it’s best to shop around and make sure you get the best value before redeeming.
Additionally, redeeming points for travel through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center can make for some interesting redemptions, especially on low-cost tickets. Oftentimes, domestic airlines require 25,000 miles for a round-trip flight within the United States. However, a $155 fare will cost 15,500 ThankYou points through the portal, and it will earn redeemable and elite qualifying miles for the traveler. Redeeming ThankYou points can make sense in cases like this.
New York–Los AngelesEconomy class
Miles price37,900points+$0 fee
Honolulu–Los AngelesEconomy class
Miles price55,700points+$0 fee
Los Angeles–AustinEconomy class
Miles price25,500points+$0 fee
Los Angeles–HavanaEconomy class
Miles price54,800points+$0 fee
Los Angeles–LondonEconomy class
Miles price87,000points+$0 fee
Miles price132,900points+$0 fee
Orlando–Las VegasBusiness class
Miles price89,600points+$0 fee
Miles price55,800points+$0 fee
Miles price52,100points+$0 fee
New York–MadridBusiness class
Miles price254,300points+$0 fee
New York–Tel AvivBusiness class
Miles price334,900points+$0 fee
Houston–Punta CanaBusiness class
Miles price106,800points+$0 fee
Other ways you can redeem points
It is possible to redeem ThankYou points as cash back in the form of credits applied to your statement, but the points are worth only 0.5 cents each. When it comes to getting the biggest bang for your point, statement credits are not the best redemption and should be avoided.
Gift Cards101 partners101 part.
ThankYou points can be redeemed for merchant gift cards from more than 100 popular retailers in the ThankYou program at a rate of one cent per point.
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card makes it simple to accumulate points for someone who fancies a dinner and a movie. Cardholders earn two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. There’s no cap on the number of points you can earn, and thanks to the card’s generous description of bonus categories, you’ll be earning points in no time.
Your Monthly Charges
Rewards You Will Earn Annually24,000points$240in dollar value
- Car Rental
- All Other Purchases
Besides nice restaurants, dining includes fast food, cafes, lounges, bars and coffee shops. Entertainment includes live performances, such as Broadway shows or concerts; movie theaters; amusement parks; museums, aquariums and zoos; tickets to sporting events; and art galleries and museums.
Foreign Transaction Fee
You’ll pay a 3% fee for each transaction not in U.S. dollars.
Citi Private Pass
Get special access to tickets to many concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more, including presale and VIP packages.
Specially-trained staff members are ready to help you with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and everyday needs.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card does not have an annual fee, which means that earning rewards and redeeming them for free stuff costs absolutely nothing. It is easy to keep the card open year after year and increase the average history of your accounts, which improves your credit score, without paying anything.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $35
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card is a no-fee card. You do not have to earn a certain amount of rewards in order to cover the cost since it’s free. It’s still good to know roughly how much you’ll be earning, though. We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a great no-fee option for an urbanite who enjoys good food and entertainment. Below are the top five benefits of having this card in your wallet.
- Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points on all purchases in the dining and entertainment categories. Before you know it, you’ll have a stash of points after a few nights out on the town.
- No Annual Fees: Earning rewards is fast, easy and costs nothing. They say that nothing in this world is free, except cheese in a mouse trap… and, apparently, ThankYou points.
- 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 12 months: Although I do not recommend opening a new credit card while carrying debt, it’s nice to have the option to consolidate balances and pay them off within a year with no interest.
- Points Don’t Expire: There’s no limit to the number of points you can earn, and points don’t expire as long as the card is open. No annual fees make holding on to this card a no-brainer.
- Free Cardholder Perks: Get insurance for rental cars, roadside assistance, Citi Price Rewind, extended warranties, purchase protections and more just for being a card member.
Should You Get the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card?
If you’re looking for a credit card that has no annual fee and earns bonus points in multiple categories, then the Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a good option. It’s also a great card for someone who wants to start earning rewards but is intimidated by complicated redemption options and point transfers.
Applying for this card costs nothing and you won’t pay a dime to keep it year after year. There’s absolutely no risk for the cardholder. Earning points means rewards at no cost.
The downside of this card is that ThankYou points you earn do not transfer to all of Citi’s travel partners. JetBlue is the only transfer partner, but even then, the points do not transfer at a ratio of 1-to- 1. However, getting a fixed redemption of one cent per point through the Citi Travel Center has its own value as well. It eliminates the need to hunt for award availability and makes it easy to book revenue airfare with points.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
Citi periodically offers a sign-up bonus with this card. Most recently, the bonus was set at 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in three months. That’s worth $150 in gift cards or travel purchased through the ThankYou Rewards travel portal. While not the biggest bonus, it may be worth waiting for if you’re thinking about applying for this card.
Citibank allows you to earn multiple bonuses for the same cards, but the issuer implements a 24 month cooling period for opened or closed accounts. For example, if you opened a Citi ThankYou Preferred card, received the bonus and closed it a year later, you cannot qualify for another welcome offer for 24 months after closing the card. If you received the bonus but did not close the account, it’s possible to qualify for another bonus on the same card 24 months after opening the original account.
Additionally, the 24-month rule includes a whole family of cards, which means all ThankYou cards fall under the same rule. Bonus ThankYou points will not be posted for those card members who opened or closed a ThankYou Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier Card or Citi Prestige® Card in the last 24 months.
Depending on the card issuer and the card network, pesky foreign transaction fees can vary between one and three percent per transaction. Unfortunately, the Citi ThankYou Preferred card charges an additional three percent of each purchase transaction made outside of the United States, which makes this card less-than- perfect for those who travel overseas. Foreign transaction fees might not be a big deal for someone who doesn’t travel internationally, but if you do, whether for business or for personal reasons, this card might not be the best option for you.
Say you have applied for the Citi ThankYou Preferred card, earned a bunch of points and now want to take advantage of point transfers to travel partners. It’s possible to request an upgrade and change your card. Converting a card doesn’t result in a new credit inquiry, and your existing credit limit should transfer over to the new account. Plus, you get to extend the account’s age, which affects your credit score positively.
However, changing to a new card will deem you ineligible for the sign-up bonus because you are not considered a new cardholder. On the other hand, if you applied for the Citi Preferred in the last 24 months, you wouldn’t be eligible for a sign-up bonus with the Premier anyway.
Compare ThankYou® Cards
Other Citi ThankYou® cards
Citibank offers a few other rewards credit cards in its ThankYou Rewards lineup: Citi Prestige, Citi ThankYou Preferred card for College Students and Citi ThankYou Premier. The cards are in the same ThankYou family, but they offer different benefits.
|Citi Prestige® Card||Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students||Citi ThankYou® Premier Card|
|40,000 points||0 points||2,500 points||0 points|
|$450||$0||$0||$0 first year, then $95|
APR On Purchases
|16.74% to 24.74% Variable±||14.49% to 24.49% Variable±||15.49% to 25.49% Variable±||15.49% to 24.49% Variable±|
Second Year Value
The Citi Prestige card is a premium travel card that offers the most benefits, yet charges an annual fee of $450 . The card is designed with a frequent traveler in mind. It offers 40,000 transferrable ThankYou points as a sign-up bonus, a $0 air travel credit, no foreign transaction fees, access to airport lounges and a 4th Night Free. For someone who travels often, the benefits can easily outweigh the high annual fee.
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card for College Students is similar to the regular ThankYou Preferred card, offering the same bonus categories, but it comes with a smaller sign-up bonus of just 2,500 points after spending $500. The card charges no annual fees and is great for college students looking to build their credit.
The Citi ThankYou Premier card is a mid-grade rewards credit card. It earns three points per dollar spent on travel (including car rentals, gas and parking), two points on dining and entertainment, and one point per dollar for all other purchases. The card charges an annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year), and the points can be transferred to all of Citi’s transfer partners. It’s a great card for a semi-frequent traveler familiar with theThankYou transfer program.
Compare Citi ThankYou Preferred Card to Other Cards
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a great no-fee rewards card for customers who spend mostly on dining and entertainment, but there are other card options out there. All the cards below earn travel rewards and offer alternative redemption opportunities.
The Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express is a hotel rewards credit card. Starpoints earned with this card can be redeemed toward hotel rooms at Starwood and Marriott properties, as well as for flights when transferred to about 30 airline partners. The SPG Amex card earns the most flexible currency on the market and is perfect for someone who likes that level of redemption options.
The Amex EveryDay card earns flexible Membership Rewards points and charges no annual fee. The card earns double points at U.S. supermarkets (capped at $6,000 per year) and one point per dollar on everything else. Additionally, making at least 20 transactions in a billing period earns 20 percent bonus points for the month. The EveryDay card is a solid choice for someone who grocery shops frequently and makes at least 20 transactions per month.
The Discover it Miles card is a no annual fee card that earns 1 miles per dollar for all purchases. There’s no need to keep track of bonus categories. Additionally, Discover matches all miles earned in the first year of card membership and deposits them into your account. Essentially, you earn triple points on everything for the first year. The miles can be redeemed for statement credits toward any travel purchase, including hotels, airfare and rental cars. This is a good card for someone who prefers easy earning and redeeming.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Excellent credit score
Pay with pointsYes
Flights TypeDomestic and International
AllianceStar Alliance, SkyTeam, OneWorld
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Citi ThankYou Preferred card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with the MasterCard.
- Ongoing APR:
- 14.49% to 24.49% Variable±
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- 0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of first transfer when transfers are completed within 4 months from date of account opening
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 23 days
- Intro APR:
- 0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening
- Purchase Protection:
- Covers you for repairs or a refund if purchases made with your Citi card are damaged or stolen within 120 (90 days for New York residents).
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- Extends the manufacturer’s warranty so you can feel more confident when you make purchases with your Citi card.
- Return Protection:
- If you try to return an item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, Citi may refund you the purchase price.
- Citi Price Rewind:
- Searches for a lower price on the registered items you pay for with your Citi card at hundreds of online merchants. If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.24% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
Citi provides its card members with a level of security that offers a peace of mind. The Citi Prestige card comes with a variety of features that help protect you against fraudulent charges and identity theft.
- Account Alerts:
- Set up alerts to get notified when a large transaction posts to your account, there is an unauthorized withdrawal, or if your bill is due.
- Banking on the Go:
- Track your account with Citi’s mobile app.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Credit Score Monitoring and Reports:
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries made on your history.
Most Citi cards, including the Prestige, are compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay — mobile wallet services that provide a quick and easy way to make payments at participating merchants. Purchase protection, such as damage and theft, applies every time you tap and pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
Master Card Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Citi provides cardholders with secondary coverage against rental car theft or accidents. The coverage becomes primary outside of the U.S. even if you have an existing insurance policy.
- Baggage Delay Insurance:
- Traveling card members whose baggage is delayed by six hour or more can get reimbursed for essentials, such as toiletries and clothing. Cardholders can get up to $100 a day for three days, as long as the trip was paid for with the ThankYou Preferred card or ThankYou points.
- Lost Baggage Protection:
- Traveling card members whose baggage is lost or damaged can get up to $3,000 per passenger. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary as long as the trip was paid for with the ThankYou Preferred card or ThankYou points.
- Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service:
- Call 866-918- 4670 when you need 24/7 roadside assistance sent to your vehicle’s location in any of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Service includes towing, winching, jump starts, flat-tire changes, lockout service or delivery of up to two gallons of gasoline.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- The benefit covers unexpected events, bodily injuries and loss of limbs or life when using a common carrier to travel. To be covered, card members must purchase the entire fare with their ThankYou Preferred card or ThankYou points. The plan pays up to $500,000 in compensation for loss of a limb, sight, speech, hearing or life.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance:
- Emergencies happen. Citi will cover the cardholder when it comes to emergency travel arrangements, transfers of cash from a family member, friend or business account, visa and immunizations information and monitoring of global threats.
- Extended Warranty:
- The benefit extends the terms of the manufacturer's warranty for 24 more months. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item. To be eligible for claim payment, the account must be in good standing on the card that maintains the original transaction.
- Damage & Theft Purchase Protection:
- The benefit protects eligible purchases made with your card if items are lost, stolen or damaged within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents). To be eligible for claim payment, the account must be in good standing on the card that maintains the original transaction. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.