These cards both offer a sign-up bonus of 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($150) after you meet minimum spending requirements.
Don’t Ruin Your Chances for Big Bonuses Later by Signing-Up for This Card!
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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.
I’ll share why most folks should give the Citi ThankYou Preferred a skip!
Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card Review 2017
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
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 Premier, Citi 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.
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.
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 Chase Freedom Unlimited cards.
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.
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.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)