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Neither one has an annual fee, they feature 0% introductory APR’s, and they offer nice points and bonuses for typical purchases. But those points are awarded for completely different kinds of purchases.
Should you be using one or both of these cards? Keep reading to find out!
For People with
- Annual Fee: $0
- Interest Rate: 14.49%–24.49% Variable
Quick Card Facts
- $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
- 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined grocery/gas purchases each quarter
- No annual fee
- No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
- 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 14.49%—24.49% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers.
- Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
- If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75%. Click "Apply Now" to learn more about Preferred Rewards.
- Now with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
For People with
- 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*
BankAmericard Cash Rewards
This card provides:
- 3% cash back on purchases of gas
- 2% cash back on purchases of groceries and at wholesale clubs
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- $100 sign-up bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days (online applicants only)
- 10% cash back bonus if you redeem your rewards into a Bank of America checking or savings account (up to 75% bonus for accounts with very large balances)
Your 3% and 2% rewards are limited to the first $2,500 in purchases every quarter. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on gas and groceries.
These rewards are pretty straightforward. If you use this card, it’s easy to remember that this is your go-to option for gas and groceries. You’ll also get 2% back at wholesale clubs, a recent addition to this card, making it more useful at these valuable retailers.
Citi ThankYou Preferred
With this card, you’ll get:
- 2 points per dollar on dining and on entertainment
- 1 point per dollar for all other purchases
- 20,000-point signup bonus for spending $1,500 in the first 3 months
The dining category includes fast food, bars, lounges, and generally anywhere that prepares food and drink for immediate consumption (as opposed to grocery stores).
The “entertainment” category is quite broad, and includes movie theaters, video rental stores, amusement parks, live shows, sports, record stores, and more.
For the average person, who buys gas and groceries frequently, the BankAmericard would seem to offer the better rewards system. However, the ThankYou Preferred card’s points for dining and entertainment will go a long way if you go out to eat often and attend a lot of activities.
If both of these descriptions fit you, this might be a situation where having both cards could be ideal.
The BankAmericard’s bonus deal is a bit more valuable than the ThankYou Preferred’s, in a sense. The first offers $100 for spending $500, while the second offers $200 for spending $1,500. When you compare these numbers, you can see that the BankAmericard gives back 50% more than the ThankYou Preferred card, and the bonus is easier to get. But, if you’re going to be spending $1,500 anyway, the $200 back will obviously be better for you.
Don’t forget: you’ll also get a 10% bonus when you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America account, making this a great deal if you have one. The $100 cash back bonus also receives this 10% boost.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Get alerts about account information on your phone.
Pay your credit card bill online, transfer funds, check available credit and more.
Send a text and get important account information.
Link a Bank of America account with your card to prevent declined purchases and returned checks.
Visa Platinum or Visa Signature Benefits
Check your Guide to Benefits to learn the details of your specific benefits. Read more about Visa Platinum or Visa Signature benefits.
Citi ThankYou Preferred
Personal Concierge Service
Access to a personal assistant whenever you’d like, for help in a variety of non-emergency situations.
Access to exclusive events and experiences.
Extended Warranty Protection
Eligible warranties of 5 years or less can be extended by up to an additional year; up to $10,000 per year.
If you made a purchase in the U.S. that you find advertised at a cheaper price within 60 days, you can get reimbursed the difference; up to $300 per item, $1200 per year.
Purchases are covered for 120 days against theft or damage, up to $1,000 per item; up to $50,000 per year.
Travel and Emergency Assistance
Provides help with emergencies, including legal and medical referrals.
Travel Accident Insurance
Get reimbursed up to $250,000 if you or a family member gets in an accident while traveling.
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.
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 ThankYou Preferred card has a number of useful shopping and traveling benefits, while the BankAmericard may come with none (check your Guide to Benefits to find out).
Here, the picture is clear: the ThankYou Preferred comes with a wider variety of extra benefits, making it more useful in the kinds of situations described above. If you’re planning on traveling with one of these cards the ThankYou Preferred would be a good choice, thanks to the travel protections, the Private Pass benefit, and rewards for dining and entertainment.
The Personal Concierge service can also be a great asset, helping with travel reservations and providing info about the places you go, like where to eat and find fun things to do.
Insider Tip: Learn more about the benefits offered by both cards:
Here’s an overview of the benefits offered by each card:
|BankAmericard Cash Rewards||ThankYou Preferred|
The Costs & Fees
|Card||Annual Fee||Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers||Regular APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers||Cash Advance APR||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Bank of America Cash Rewards||$0||0% for 12 months||14.49%–24.49% Variable||17.49%–26.49% Variable||3%|
|ThankYou Preferred Card||$0||0% for 15 months||13.24% - 23.24% *Variable||25.49% *Variable||3%|
|Card||Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|Bank of America Cash Rewards||Up to 29.99% Variable||Up to $38||Up to $27|
|ThankYou Preferred Card||Up to 29.99% *Variable||Up to $35||Up to $35|
As you can see, these cards are almost the exact same when it comes to their costs and fees. The main features are no annual fees, and long introductory APR’s. This makes it easier to pick between them, because you don’t need to worry about comparing them in this important category.
The only real difference to note is that the ThankYou Preferred offers a slightly longer intro APR period, 15 months compared to 12 for the BankAmericard. This isn’t a very big difference, however, and shouldn’t have a big effect on your decision.
The Bottom Line
Do you buy a lot of typical purchases like gas and groceries, or do you go out to eat and see shows all the time? The interest rates are the same between the cards, so the decision will come down to the rewards and benefits. If you can’t decide between the two, you can consider applying for both cards (it won’t hurt your credit to have multiple credit cards, and can actually be a good thing).
When it comes to customer service, both of these issuers are ranked pretty well.
I’m currently a BankAmericard Cash Rewards cardmember, so I’ll relate a quick story about my experience with it. Shortly after being accepted for the card, I received a call from their customer service. They wanted to know if I had any questions about my new card, or about the way credit cards work in general. I did have a few questions I had been wondering about, in fact, and they answered me patiently and with more expertise than other credit card customer service representatives I’ve spoken to. I was very happy with the call. (I also have a bank account with Bank of America).
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