Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – Bonus Point Offer
By Peter Andrew
Editor's Note: This offer is no longer available.
When I was in my early 20s, I once wrote to my bank manager: "Don't buy the champagne yet," I advised, "but it looks as if I'll be relocating, and will have to move my account." He replied, saying that I could keep my account where it was, and added: "As for the champagne, we thought we'd wait till you got into credit." Yes, I was a financial disaster, largely because micromanaging money paperwork was just so boring. I'm better now only as a result of online banking and card services that make it easy to keep track of balances.
Still, one thing remains certain: I'd never be able to make the most of those credit cards that offer bonus rewards on categories of spending that change each quarter. You have to remember to check what spending categories are current and upcoming so you can schedule purchases accordingly. You have to remember to register each quarter to qualify. You have to note spending caps on categories. I know there are people out there who are willing and able to invest that sort of time and effort -- and I admire them -- but I'm not one of them.
If you're not either, then you might want to check out the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card – Bonus Point Offer, which is currently offering 20,000 bonus ThankYou points a sign-up bonus worth $200 in gift cards or other great rewards after you make $1,500 in purchases on the card during the first three months of account opening.
Not among the best credit card reward programs -- but effortless
That's because this plastic's rewards require almost no input from you. You buy things, points accumulate automatically (and never expire) and every once in a while you redeem them. Here are the details:
- If you choose to trade your points for gift cards, you currently stand to get back 1 percent, or $10 for every $1,000 you spend on purchases.
- You can get 2x ThankYou Points on purchases for dining and entertainment
- 1 ThankYou Point on other purchase
None of that's likely to put you at risk of a dangerous adrenaline surge. But at least you get your rewards without having to jump through hoops.
Terms they are a-changing
If you've been trawling the Internet for information on the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – Bonus Point Offer (and there's no reason you should, now you've discovered MoneyBlueBook.com), you may have noticed all sorts of out-of-date information. That's because Citi seems to have adopted an Etch A Sketch approach to this product's development, and can't resist regularly shaking things up. So here -- at least until the next card marketer gets her tremoring hand on it -- are a few more highlights: currently there is an 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. After the introductory period, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99% based upon your creditworthiness. If you transfer any balances note there is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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As always, check terms and conditions before relying on coverage offered by credit cards -- or insurers, come to think of it.
Should you apply?
Let's be clear: There are more generous credit card rewards programs out there. But they mostly require you to pay attention and actively manage your account. If you, like me, lack the time and inclination to do that, this isn't a bad deal. And should you consider applying, in many other respects, especially that sign-up bonus, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – Bonus Point Offer is excellent.
Peter Andrew has over 25 years of experience writing about marketing, advertising and management. He regularly covers consumer credit card topics for IndexCreditCards.com and other personal finance publications including Fox Business, TheStreet and MSN Money. He also writes frequently about mortgages and auto loans. Peter has spent extended periods living overseas, in the UK, France and Africa. He lives with his partner of 20+ years, and wastes too much of his time on cryptic crosswords.