The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card vs the Citi® Simplicity® Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Versus

Aug 14, 2014 | Updated Sep 19, 2016

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Check out these two great cards issued by Citi: the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card and the Citi Simplicity® Card.

These cards are designed for different purposes. The ThankYou Preferred is a rewards card, offering 2X points on certain purchases. The Simplicity is basic, with no rewards, but it has very good terms.

One of these cards might be right for you, or maybe even both. Keep reading to find out more!

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 Simplicity® Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99% - 22.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No late fees - Ever
  • No penalty rate - Ever
  • No annual fee - Ever
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.

The Rewards

ThankYou Preferred

  • 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).

And the entertainment category includes movies, on-demand online video streaming services (like Netflix), video rental stores, record stores, live shows, sports, amusement parks, and tourist attractions.

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. You can redeem online, or by calling 1-800-THANKYOU (1-800-842-6596).

Simplicity

The Simplicity card offers no rewards for making purchases; check out the other sections for why you might want this card.

The Verdict

Here, the picture is very simple: if you’re looking for rewards, the ThankYou Preferred card is obviously the way to go. You’ll be rewarded the most on entertainment and dining purchases, but you’ll also get 1X point per dollar on everything else.

The Benefits

Both of these cards offer a nice set of additional benefits from Citi, but there are several differences to be aware of.

ThankYou Preferred

Perks

  • Personal Concierge Service

    Access to a personal assistant whenever you’d like, for help in a variety of non-emergency situations.

  • Citi® PrivatePass®

    Access to exclusive events and experiences.

Shopping

  • 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.

  • Price Protection

    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.

  • Purchase Protection

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

Travel

  • 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.

Simplicity

Shopping

  • 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.

  • Price Protection

    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.

Travel

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance

    Provides help with emergencies, including legal and medical referrals.

  • 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 Verdict

The ThankYou Preferred card provides more benefits than the Simplicity card, most notably in the Perks section with the Citi Private Pass and personal concierge service.

The differences between these cards are plain to see: the ThankYou Preferred is relatively loaded, designed to make shopping and traveling much more enjoyable and less expensive. The Simplicity card provides solid benefits but is designed for the most basic shopping and traveling. The Simplicity card is living up to its name.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the benefits offered by each card:

ThankYou Preferred Simplicity

Perks

  • Citi Private Pass
  • Personal Concierge Service

Account

  • Choose Your Payment Due Date
  • Fast Customer Service
  • Choose Your Payment Due Date

Security

  • Identity Theft Protection
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Identity Theft Protection
  •  Zero Liability Protection

Shopping

  • Price Rewind
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Price Rewind
  • Extended Warranty Protection

Travel

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Intro Purchase APR Regular Purchase APR Intro Balance Transfer APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
ThankYou Preferred Card $0 0% for 15 months 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable 0% for 12 months 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable 25.49% *Variable
Simplicity $0 0% for 21 months 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable) 0% for 21 months  12.99% - 22.99% (Variable) 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
Card Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
ThankYou Preferred Card  3%; Min:$5 5%; Min:$10 3%
Simplicity  3%; Min:$5 5%; Min:$10 3%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
ThankYou Preferred Card Up to 29.99% *Variable Up to $35 Up to $35
Simplicity None None Up to $35

The Verdict

Neither card has an annual fee, so they should both be quite cheap to use as long as you avoid interest charges.

The Simplicity comes out on top in this category, with better rates and a more forgiving policy: no fees for late payments. Its introductory period lasts 6 months longer too.

Another big difference is the lack of a penalty APR for the Simplicity card. This means that if you forget to make a payment, you won’t be charged a fee and you won’t be punished with a severe interest rate, which in some cases can last indefinitely. You shouldn’t be planning on paying off your credit cards late, of course, but this will cover you if you make a mistake.

Take note that if you use one of these cards for a balance transferyou may lose the 0% APR for purchases.

The Bottom Line

The Citi ThankYou Preferred and Citi Simplicity credit cards are both good offers, but they’re designed for different purposes.

The ThankYou Preferred will provide rewards (2X points for dining and entertainment) while the Simplicity won’t. You’ll also get some better benefits with the ThankYou Preferred, particularly the personal concierge and the entertainment discounts through Citi Private Pass. So if you want to earn a bit back with every purchase and have access to benefits like those, the Simplicity won’t be for you.

The Simplicity card doesn’t have those exciting features, but it does win in the costs and fees category. Its got a very long intro rate, and you’ll never be penalized with late fees or a penalty APR. That can give you great peace of mind. So if you’re looking for a basic card with great terms, this is definitely one to consider.

You can also consider using both credit cards. Just use the ThankYou Preferred for dining and entertainment, and the Simplicity for anything else: big purchases, balance transfers, or the random things we all end up buying.

Insider Tip: Worried about having too many credit cards? Far from being a bad thing, having several credit cards can actually be a good thing for your credit scores.

Apply for the Citi ThankYou Preferred or Simplicity

Want to apply for or learn more about one of these cards? Just click the card’s 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 Simplicity® Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99% - 22.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No late fees - Ever
  • No penalty rate - Ever
  • No annual fee - Ever
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.

If you use one of these credit cards, how do you like it? Leave your own review of the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card or the Citi Simplicity Card, we’d love to hear from you!

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