Don’t Ruin Your Chances for Big Bonuses Later by Signing-Up for This Card!

Don’t Ruin Your Chances for Big Bonuses Later by Signing-Up for This Card!

Million Mile SecretsDon’t Ruin Your Chances for Big Bonuses Later by Signing-Up for This Card!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

Lots of folks in our hobby collect Citi ThankYou points because when you have cards like the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier, you can transfer them to partners like Singapore Airlines for Big Travel.  Or book paid travel through the Citi ThankYou travel portal with no blackout dates!

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card also earns Citi ThankYou points, but you can NOT transfer them to travel partners (except JetBlue) unless you have one of the cards mentioned above (or the no longer offered Citi Chairman card).

It currently has NO sign-up bonus.  And opening a Citi ThankYou Preferred card will prevent you from earning the sign-up bonus on the more valuable Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier for at least 24 months.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card Review 2017
Stop and Think Before You Apply for This Card, Because You’ll Knock Yourself Out of the Running for Better Citi ThankYou Sign-Up Bonuses for at Least 2 Years

I’ll share why most folks should give the Citi ThankYou Preferred a skip!

Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card Review 2017

Link:   Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

While the sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou Preferred card has been as high as 30,000 or 40,000 Citi ThankYou points in the past, the card currently has NO sign-up bonus.  But it doesn’t have an annual fee, either.

You’ll also get:

  • 2X Citi ThankYou points on dining and entertainment
  • 1X Citi ThankYou points on all other purchases
Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card Review 2017
My Doppelganger Could Earn 2X Citi ThankYou Points on Entertainment With His Citi ThankYou Preferred Card! But I Don’t Recommend It

And the card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, so it’s NOT good for using outside the US.

Why Applying for This Card Isn’t a Good Idea for Most

You can’t earn the sign-up bonus for any Citi credit card if you’ve either opened or closed a card of the same “brand” in the past 24 months.  Meaning, for example, if you’ve opened or closed a Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier card in the past 24 months, you would NOT be eligible for the Citi ThankYou Preferred sign-up bonus (when it has one).

But the reverse is also true.  If you opened a Citi ThankYou Preferred card now, you’d have to wait at least 24 months before you’d be able to earn the sign-up bonus on the much more valuable Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier card!

What Are the Citi ThankYou Points You Earn Worth?

You can NOT transfer Citi ThankYou points earned from the Citi ThankYou Preferred card directly to Citi ThankYou airline and hotel partners, except JetBlue.  But the transfer ratio is only 2:1, compared to the 5:4 ratio you’ll get if you have the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier.

Note:  If you also have the Citi ThankYou PremierCiti Prestige, or Citi Chairman (no longer available) cards, you CAN combine points earned from the Citi ThankYou Preferred with one of those accounts, and then transfer them to travel partners.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card Review 2017
You Can Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Airline Partners Like Etihad. But ONLY If You Have the ThankYou Premier, Prestige, or Chairman Card!

With the Citi ThankYou Preferred, your Citi ThankYou Points are worth 1 cent each toward gift cards or paid travel.  And even less if you redeem them for merchandise or at retailers like Amazon.

Is the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card Good for Beginners?

No!  If you’re eligible to apply for a Citi ThankYou points earning card, the Citi ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige are MUCH better options.  Because both of these cards offer big sign-up bonuses and many more perks compared to the Citi ThankYou Preferred.

For example, you can earn 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after meeting minimum spending requirements on the Citi ThankYou Premier card.  That’s worth $625 in travel with no blackout dates when you book through the Citi Travel Center.  Or possibly more if you transfer them to to airline and hotel partners!

And the card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year!  So you can try it for free for ~11 months.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card Review 2017
The Citi ThankYou Premier Is a Much Better Deal With a 50,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus (Worth $625 in Travel) and an Annual Fee That’s Waived the First Year

Or take a look at the Citi Prestige with its limited-time 75,000 Citi ThankYou point sign-up bonus, that’s worth over $900 in airfare.  If you know you’ll use the card’s perks, the higher annual fee might be worth it!

Plus, if you’re new to miles & points, I do NOT recommend getting the Citi ThankYou Preferred card.  Because this card will impact your Chase 5/24 status.  And I always recommend getting any Chase cards you want first!

In fact, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite card for beginners, because it earns flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  And there are other no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards with decent sign-up bonuses, like the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards.

These cards both offer a sign-up bonus of 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($150) after you meet minimum spending requirements.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card Review 2017
Keeping Cards With No Annual Fee Will Improve Your Length of Credit History, a Factor in Determining Your Credit Score

Million Mile Secrets team member Scott has the Citi ThankYou Preferred card because Citi sent him an email offer to earn ThankYou points for switching one of his other Citi cards to this one.  He doesn’t use it much, but he keeps it open because it has no annual fee.  And that helps improve his credit score and builds a good relationship with Citi.

Bottom Line

For most folks, opening a Citi ThankYou Preferred card isn’t a good choice.  Because the card currently has NO sign-up bonus, even though it’s been as high as 40,000 Citi ThankYou points in the past.

And because of Citi’s tighter application rules, applying for other, more valuable, Citi ThankYou points earning cards first makes more sense.  Like the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier.  And I do NOT recommend getting this card if you’re new to miles & points.

That said, it could be worth considering as a downgrade option if you’re considering canceling one of the cards mentioned above.

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Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 25,000 Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Planning a road trip? Rent your car, fill up your tank, book your hotel, and pay for it with your American Express® Card.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

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Got the Preferred card last year when there was a 10K points bonus. I have all 3 of the cards, but will be cancelling one of the them when the AF comes up next year.