Review of the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Mar 30, 2016 | Updated Mar 13, 2018

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The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students is designed for young people who are new to the world of credit. If you’re currently enrolled in college you can apply for this reward card.

As long as you use it responsibly this card will help you build credit, adding a positive account to your credit report.

You’ll get 2 points per dollar at restaurants and on entertainment, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. There are quite a few other benefits that are pretty nice, and no annual fee to worry about.

Insider Tip: If you’re brand-new to credit and aren’t quite sure how it all works, check out our Student Credit Cards section to learn what you need to know.

Is this card right to help you build credit and earn rewards? Keep reading to find out.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
Apply Now

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

For People with
No Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.99%, 18.99%, or 23.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
  • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment.
  • 1 ThankYou® Point on other purchases.
  • Earn unlimited ThankYou Points with this card, and they never expire
  • 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

The Rewards

  • 2x points per dollar on Dining and Entertainment purchases.
    • Dining includes restaurants, fast food, take-out, bars, and other locations that sell food or drink for immediate consumption.
    • Entertainment includes sports, music, live performances, movie theaters and rental stores, and cultural events and locations.
  • 1x point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Earn unlimited points that won’t expire.

The Benefits


  • 24/7 Concierge Service

    A personal assistant to help with almost any non-emergency tasks, like restaurant reservations and finding hard-to-find items.

  • Citi PrivatePass®

    Special access to thousands of events and experiences, including presale access to sports and complimentary dining.


  • Fraud Protection

    You are not held responsible for unauthorized transactions on your card.


  • Extended Warranty

    Eligible warranties of 5 years or less can be extended by up to an additional year; up to $10,000 of coverage per year.

  • Price Rewind

    Registered purchases are automatically tracked for 60, and you can request reimbursement if a lower price is found; up to $300 per item, $1200 per year.

  • Purchase Protection

    Purchases are covered for 120 days against theft or damage; up to $1,000 per item, up to $50,000 per year.


  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance

    If a trip is disrupted for an eligible reason, provides reimbursement up to $1,500 per year for non-refundable costs.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    Get reimbursed up to $250,000 if you or a family member gets in an accident while traveling.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined; up to $50,000.

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 0% for 7 months 13.99%, 18.99%, or 23.99% (Variable) 25.24% (Variable) 3%
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Up to 29.99% (Variable) Up to $35 Up to $35

The Bottom Line: 4 out of 5 Stars

The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students is a good option if you’re a young student looking to build credit with a rewards card.

Take a look at the reward categories – do you spend a lot of money at places like those? If so, you could be getting a little bit of it back.

The other benefits are pretty valuable, especially the concierge service which can help you out in all sorts of situations. The shopping and travel protections can come in handy too, so if something goes wrong with a card purchase remember that you can access them.

There are no annual fees to worry about, but you’ll probably get a high APR if you’re new to the world of credit. You’ll have seven months at 0% interest, but remember to always pay your minimum payments at the very least. And, if you pay off your entire bill every month, you won’t have to worry about interest at all.

Insider Tip: Confused about using and paying off credit cards? Check out our guide, How Paying A Credit Card Works.

We gave this card 4 out of 5 Stars because it gives college students a way to build their credit and earn rewards at no annual fee. The wide assortment of extra benefits isn’t usually found on cards for people without much credit, setting this card apart. And, Citi generally provides good customer service, an important feature for financial tools like credit cards.

If you use the ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students, how do you like it? Leave your own review of the card, we’d love to hear from you!

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