We’ve talked about how you can fly for free before, and one way to do it is by wisely using your trusty travel rewards card. So let’s check out the Citi ThankYou Premier Credit Card this time around. Is it a card that carries more than the basics? From what I’ve seen, the Citi ThankYou Premier Card is pretty generous about providing you with bonus points, points for purchases as well as miles, and additional benefits, but as with other travel cards, it comes with a bit of a cost (annual fee) that is waived for the first year. You’d like to weigh those benefits against the cost, of course.
So let’s start with the good stuff.
Citi ThankYou Premier Card Review
By using this card, you can earn 30,000 bonus points if you make $2,000 in purchases in your first 3 months (courtesy of the Citibank ThankYou rewards program). That would be enough points to redeem for $300 in gift cards. You can redeem this amount for travel rewards if you prefer. Now stay with the program over the years because you can earn annual anniversary bonuses. This bonus can be as high as 5% of your ThankYou Points after your fourth year. You’ll also get additional chances to earn up to 400 more bonus points when you sign up for Paperless Statements and Account Online.
Earning regular points is a simple matter of making purchases with your Citi ThankYou Premier Card. You’ll typically earn a point for each dollar. Booking airfare can earn you points too, with select categories earning you 1.2 points per dollar. These categories include purchases made at supermarkets and drugstores, gas stations, commuter transportation and parking merchants.
When it’s time to redeem your points, you have different options: pick from gift cards, merchandise, charitable donations, or you can go for good old-fashioned cash. You can make your choices at ThankYou.com or call the program’s special number.
Your ThankYou Points don’t have a cap and won’t expire so there’s no pressure to use up the points. I usually save them up for bigger rewards.
Citi ThankYou Premier’s Additional Benefits
The scope of this card’s benefits goes beyond the points. For example, there’s the complimentary domestic companion ticket you can use each year. And when you book air travel with the program’s partner, you get a welcome 15% off.
The travel rewards card comes with a number of other benefits such as travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, lost luggage coverage and protection in case your trip’s cancelled or interrupted. If you find yourself having any kind of trouble on the road, then call on Emergency Assistance Services. During more tranquil times, there’s a concierge service ready to address your needs. For special events, you can take a look at Citi Private Pass.
Don’t forget that you’re covered by a selection of consumer services with this card. These include retail purchase protection, price protection, and extended warranty services. As usual, with Citi, you aren’t liable for unauthorized charges.
No Annual Fee the 1st Year & No Foreign Transaction Fees
With the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, you don’t have a pre-set spending limit. You’ll have an APR of 13.99% to 22.99% variable for purchases. Your exact rate depends on your creditworthiness. For cash advances, the APR is 25.24% variable.
The penalty rate can go much higher though, if you’re late with payments or your payment’s returned. Your annual fee is normally $125 for the primary user, but that’s waived for your first year. You can have cards for additional users at a cost of $50 a year each, and this fee is waived for the first year as well.
Regarding transaction fees, it’s interesting to note that you won’t face foreign transaction fees with this card — savings on such fees can be substantial if you travel a great deal throughout the year. This doesn’t seem to be typical of most credit cards, would you agree? In addition, you’ll pay 5% of the transaction amount for cash advances or a minimum of $10. For balance transfers, you’ll be charged either $5 or 3% of the transaction amount, whichever number is higher.
There are a lot of cards out there that give you points for rewards. However, the Citi ThankYou Premier Card makes sure to offer you multiple ways to earn bonus points. It’s also easy to appreciate the lack of an annual fee for the first year, the annual complimentary domestic companion ticket, and the selection of ways to spend the rewards points. If you’re seeking more than a ho-hum rewards card, then I think that you can put this one on your list as a contender.
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