There was a time not too long ago where a bonus like the one Citi has just launched would be accompanied by similar ones from other issuers. However in the last six months; not a single credit card issuer has come forward with an up-front bonus of this magnitude, thus making the 50,000 bonus ThankYou points the Citi ThankYou Premier Card is offering the best of 2013.
For new cardholders of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, 20,000 ThankYou points are earned after $2,000 is spent in the first three months. Then, another 30,000 ThankYou points can be added on during the first three months of the second year when $3,000 is spent. The full bonus cannot be realized until year two; but 50,000 ThankYou points can be redeemed for a variety of items including $500 in gift cards and $625 in airfare. Citi is big on delayed gratification … helps keep Citi cards in your wallet; rather than cancelled right after the bonus is realized.
Update: The point multiplier categories mentioned below are only valid through 4/18/15.
In addition to the big bonus up-front, the Citi ThankYou Premier Card is also very strong on the rewards side. (Categories multipliers mentioned below are valid through 4/18/15) ThankYou points can be earned in the following tiers: three ThankYou points for every $1 spent on Dining and Entertainment, two ThankYou points for every $1 spent on Airfare and Hotel and one ThankYou point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Like it’s best competitor the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card does not charge a foreign transaction fee. This allows you to use your card freely overseas without coming home to a litany of fees for switching currencies. Also, the $125 annual fee is waived for all first year cardholders. However, keep in mind that to realize the full bonus, you need to hold this card for at least one turn of the annual fee. That is a detraction when considering to sign up; however if you take advantage of triple ThankYou points throughout the year, the annual fee should be paid for and then some.
One last benefit unlike years past, Citi ThankYou points can now be used to redeem partial amounts of airfare. Say you only have 10,000 ThankYou points available and need a $500 plane ticket. You can use those points for $125 in airfare, reducing your ticket cost to $375. All in all, the Citi ThankYou Premier Card is a great high end credit card option for anyone looking for a nice up front bonus, and a good long term credit card for nights out and travel.