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Since last week, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening. On top of that, the card’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first 12 months. Prior to that the sign-up bonus was 30,000 points upon completing minimum spend, so this is a big improvement.
This card doesn’t get all that much coverage nowadays, given that it’s a competitor to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is probably the most popular mid-range credit card out there. However, I’d say that the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers a better return on spend, as it offers 3x points on travel and gas, plus 2x points on dining and entertainment.
One complaint that many have about ThankYou points is that their transfer partners aren’t quite as useful as Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards, which is a valid criticism that I’d largely agree with. I actually still quite value their partnership with Air France FlyingBlue, Etihad Guest, Singapore KrisFlyer, etc., but I do think the points are worth marginally less than those issued by their competitors.
Anyway, if you’re someone who has avoided ThankYou points because you’re not sure what you’d do with them, I think it’s worth posting about how redeeming them as cash towards a ticket isn’t a bad option either.
At a minimum, ThankYou points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents towards the cost of airfare through Citi’s travel portal. When you book through Citi’s website your ticket is still typically eligible for mileage accrual, upgrades, etc.
Put another way, the 50,000 point sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is worth a minimum of $625 of airfare, which I consider to be an excellent sign-up bonus.
So even if you’re not someone who otherwise wants to get too invested in yet another transferable points currency, a sign-up bonus of $625 worth of airfare is excellent, and then you earn the equivalent of 3.75 cents of airfare for every dollar spent on travel and gas, and 2.5 cents of airfare for every dollar spent on dining and entertainment.