Review of The Citi ThankYou Preferred and ThankYou Premier Credit Cards

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Oct 05, 2015 | Updated Sep 19, 2016

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Citi offers two versions of their popular ThankYou line of credit cards: the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card and the upgraded Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.

These are both rewards cards, offering points for dining and entertainment purchases, but the Premier card is more useful with its valuable gas category. You’ll end up paying an annual fee for that, however.

Both cards offer a nice signup point bonus, but only the Preferred starts with a 0% intro APR.

One of these cards might be the right one for you – read on to see how they compare in the nitty gritty details.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card –

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24%-23.24% based upon your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.*
  • 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou Point on other purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points
  • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • No annual fee*

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 13.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening - redeemable for $500 in gift cards, $625 for airfare, or other great rewards.
  • Earn 3X ThankYou Points on Travel including Gas, 2X ThankYou Points on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1X ThankYou Points on Other Purchases
  • ThankYou® Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through thankyou.com, as compared to gift cards
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited ThankYou Points
  • Annual Fee: $95 (fee waived for the first 12 months)

The Rewards

Citi ThankYou Preferred

The Preferred version of this card provides just a couple of points per purchase in the best category:

  • 2 ThankYou points per dollar on dining and on entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar for all other purchases

The dining category includes bars, fast food, lounges, and most merchants that sell food and drink for immediate consumption (as opposed to grocery stores).

The “entertainment” category is useful if you love going to the movies, and you’ll also earn points at video rental stores, amusement parks, live shows, sports, record stores, and more.

ThankYou points don’t expire, and you can earn an unlimited number of them.

With this card you’ll be able to redeem points for statement credits or gift cards.

Citi ThankYou Premier

The upgraded version has an additional 3X reward category that most people definitely want to see on a credit card:

  • 3 ThankYou points per dollar on gas
  • 2 ThankYou points per dollar on dining and on entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar for all other purchases

The details for the Preferred card above also apply here, but there are some additional benefits you’ll get with this card only.

Premier cardholders are able to access the ThankYou® Travel Center program to earn a 25% point bonus when redeeming points for travel expenses, and the Points Transfer program lets you transfer your rewards to a number of frequent flyer programs.

Frequent Flyer Programs
Hilton HHonors™ Worldwide (Hotel Program) Asia™ Miles EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Etihad Guest Flying Blue
Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer Malaysia Airlines Enrich Qantas Frequent Flyer Qatar Airways Privilege Club Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Virgin America Elevate® Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

The Verdict

Obviously the Premier version of the card wins here, with its 3 points for gas and better redemption options. It’s a much more useful card for traveling.

If you use either of these cards, be sure to check your terms to learn all the types of merchants where you can earn points in the “entertainment” category.

Without the points for gas it’s hard to see why the Preferred would be a good choice over other credit cards. The Citi® Double Cash Card, for example, offers a set 2% cash back on every purchase you make along with an even longer 0% intro APR.

So, consider the Premier if you like the full set of features of that card, or keep looking at other rewards credit cards.

The Benefits

These cards have nearly identical extra benefits. The Premier version has just one extra travel benefit, which you’ll find at the end of the list.

ThankYou Preferred and Premier

Account Benefits:

Additional Cards: You can add authorized users to your account and give them their own cards to use.

Choose Your Own Due Date: You can pick a date in the beginning, middle, or end of the month to pay your bill.

Entertainment Benefits:

Personal Concierge Service: A 24/7 personal assistant. You can call for food and travel recommendations, to find particular services near you, or to purchase hard-to-find gifts.

Citi® Private Pass®: Provides exclusive access to pre-sale tickets to a variety of events, including concerts, sports, dining, theater, and more.

Shopping Benefits:

Purchase Protection: Provides reimbursement if your eligible purchases are damaged or stolen, up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year.

Citi® Price Rewind: If you find an item you bought being advertised for a lesser price within 60 days, you can be refunded up to $300 per item and $1,200 per year.

Extended Warranty: Adds up to a year on a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less, and provides coverage up to $10,000 per year.

Zero Liability Protection: You won’t be held responsible for fraudulent or unauthorized charges.

Chip-and-Signature EMV Technology: These cards are EMV-enabled for better security (also required for use in many foreign countries).

Travel Benefits:

Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance: Provides up to $250,000 in compensation if you or your family suffers a tragic accident while traveling.

Worldwide Car Rental Insurance: Provides coverage against damage and theft for rented cars as long as you decline the rental company’s own insurance, up to $50,000.

Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance: If your trip is cancelled or interrupted for eligible reasons, you may be reimbursed for any non-refundable expenses.

ThankYou Premier Only

Travel Benefit:

Lost Baggage Protection: Covers your baggage against theft, damage, and accidental loss when traveling by common carrier. Up to $3,000 per person, per trip ($2,000 for residents of New York).

The Verdict

The extra benefits provided by these cards are almost identical, with the Premier card featuring just one extra travel benefit.

Some of these could wind up being valuable, like the concierge line for help finding almost anything. Others, like the shopping and travel protections, are less likely to come in handy but could be useful if you remember to use them.

ThankYou Preferred ThankYou Premier

Account:

  • Additional cards
  • Choose your due date

 

Entertainment:

  • Personal Concierge
  • Citi Private Pass

 

Shopping:

  • Purchase Protection
  • Citi Price Rewind
  • Extended Warranty
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Chip-and-Signature EMV Technology

 

Travel:

  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection

Account:

  • Additional cards
  • Choose your due date

 

Entertainment:

  • Personal Concierge
  • Citi Private Pass

 

Shopping:

  • Purchase Protection
  • Citi Price Rewind
  • Extended Warranty
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Chip-and-Signature EMV Technology

 

Travel:

  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
  • Lost Baggage Protection

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
ThankYou Preferred Card $0 0% for 15 months 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable 25.49% *Variable 3%
ThankYou Premier $95 (waived the first year) None 13.99% - 22.99% (Variable) 13.99% - 22.99% (Variable) 25.24% (Variable) 0%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
ThankYou Preferred Card Up to 29.99% *Variable Up to $35 Up to $35
ThankYou Premier Up to 29.99% (Variable) Up to $35 Up to $35

The Verdict

There are a few important differences in the costs and fees of these cards.

You’ll have to pay an annual fee of $95 for the Premier card, though it’s waived the first year.

Even though you’ll be paying an annual fee, you won’t get a 0% introductory rate with the Premier card. The Preferred card offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.

Take note that the Preferred card has a foreign transaction fee of 3%, while the Premier is free to use in other countries.

Both cards have a high penalty APR that could be applied if you make a late or returned payment, so be sure to always pay on time. The penalty APR would also eliminate your 0% intro interest rate with the Preferred card.

The Bottom Line

The ThankYou Preferred doesn’t offer much in the way of rewards, but it also has no annual fee.

The Premier version is much more useful with its 3X points for gas, but it has the $95 annual fee after the first year. So check your average spending, and make sure the points you earn with the card will offset the fee (avoid paying interest to make this easier).

There are other reward cards out there that have most of these benefits, without the annual fee.

Another card by Citi, the Double Cash Card, provides 2% cash back for every purchase you make, a 15-month 0% intro rate, and it has no annual fee.

Or, if you’re interested in rotating 5% cash back categories, check out the rewards offered by the Discover it card.

Want to learn more or apply for these cards? Just click the name below.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card –

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24%-23.24% based upon your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.*
  • 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou Point on other purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points
  • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • No annual fee*

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 13.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening - redeemable for $500 in gift cards, $625 for airfare, or other great rewards.
  • Earn 3X ThankYou Points on Travel including Gas, 2X ThankYou Points on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1X ThankYou Points on Other Purchases
  • ThankYou® Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through thankyou.com, as compared to gift cards
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited ThankYou Points
  • Annual Fee: $95 (fee waived for the first 12 months)
Not the right cards for you? To check out our picks for the best reward credit cards, see the Best Cash Back Reward Credit Cards – 2016.

Was this review helpful to you? Go ahead and share it with a friend! And if you use one of these cards, click here to leave your own  review of the ThankYou Preferred card, or click here to leave a review of the ThankYou Premier card, we’d love to hear from you!

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