Reposting this information since the offer was recently increased to 60k points. If you’ve applied for Citi Thank You Premier card when the bonus was 50k points, make sure to contact Citi and ask for match.
As I’ve mentioned many times, flexible points are my favorite type of currency in the miles and points hobby. That’s why I recently chose to forego the increased bonus on Delta cards in favor of Amex Everyday. I’ve just met minimum spending requirements on that card, so it was time to apply for another offer. It’s a perpetual cycle with me.
Anyway, this time the decision was relatively simple. I went ahead and applied for Citi Thank You Premier card in both mine and my husband’s names. We canceled our Citi Prestige cards 24 months ago, which meant we were finally eligible for the bonus (see related post). Both applications were instantly approved. Yes, that’s right, we will have to spend $8k in three months in order to collect the sign-up bonuses. Don’t worry, I’m a big gal and know what I’m doing.
I anticipate more then the usual amount in spending during upcoming summer months. For one, my home and car insurance policies renew in June ($2,500 total). I usually make the payment in full in order to lock in a discount. Also, as of now, you can still use Visa cards for car payments on Plastiq ( my referral link ), which will knock off another $1,350 in spending. Of course, there is the usual spending on groceries, gas, braces etc. Last, but not least, we are planning on going to South Pacific in a couple of months, and that ain’t cheap.
Sure, Plastiq might fold tomorrow and my trip may fall through. In that case, I will prepay the power bill, buy Walmart gift cards and resort to other tricks outlined in this post. One thing I don’t plan on doing is manufactured spending, but that’s my personal choice.
Either way, I felt confident enough to pull the trigger on both cards at the same time. The reason? In this environment you just never know when the bank may institute new restrictions which will preclude someone like me from getting approved. We had an advance warning on Chase cards and 5/24 rule, but there is no guarantee it will happen again. Plus, with Citi all bets are off, always.
If I feel somewhat confident that I can meet the minimum spending on the card, I go for it. In no way am I saying that you should do the same thing. Every family is different, and $8k requirement is nothing to sneeze at. But I’m pretty excited, and if all goes well, we’ll be going on a Bahamas cruise with kids next year, courtesy of Citi. See my post Increased Citi Thank You Premier Offer: and Excellent Option to Cover your Family’s First Cruise (and More)
Our Carnival cruise in 2013
The beauty of flexible points is that you are not locked into just one option. So if I don’t end up using the points on a cruise, I will probably transfer them to Avianca in order to redeem the miles on my parents’ tickets from Belarus to USA. Those costs 60k miles roundtrip in economy, with no fuel surcharges. This would allow me to preserve much more valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
I would never buy Avianca miles speculatively, but there is no question that the program is an excellent option (for now) when it comes to Star Alliance redemptions. Just take a chill pill before you start redeeming miles online and get a shot of tranquilizer if you have to call their support center in Colombia.
Citi Thank You Premier card (see more details on the offer here) does pay us commission if you apply through this site. Obviously, I must think it’s a good deal since I applied for it myself. I can’t think of a better endorsement, can you? That said, there may be better options for your situation, especially if you are NOT subject to 5/24 restriction.
Citi Thank You Premier vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
There is no question that Ultimate Rewards program is much stronger than Citi Thank You program. The former partners with United, Southwest and Hyatt. In addition, you can combine the points earned from Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Citi Thank You is IMO the weakest flexible program out there. But not for everyone! In fact, I think Citi Thank You Premier card is a decent “keeper” card for some people. Let me describe that imaginary person:
1) You like to keep things relatively simple and use only one card for all spending. You don’t care about maximizing 5% categories, pulling points etc.
2) You spend a good bit on entertainment, dining, travel and gas. Citi Thank You Premier earns 3 points per dollar on travel and gas stations, and 2 points on entertainment and dining. Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points on travel and dining, and 1 point on everything else.
3) You like to fly Jet Blue and United (domestically). UR program doesn’t partner with Jet Blue. While it does partner with United, you will pay 10,000 miles one-way at the lowest level on short routes. This is where we circle back to Avianca, which partners with Citi. Avianca recently changed its award chart, and now certain routes within USA cost only 7,500 miles one-way.
The logic for the pricing is a bit weird at times, and not all award seats show up, but the routes that cost 7,500 miles do exist. And with some patience, you can get some great deals.
A huge plus is the fact that there are no close-in booking fees. See this experience on Frequent Miler blog. Bottom line: Avianca may be your best bet if you frequently redeem points on domestic United award flights.
4) You like to occasionally book revenue flights. You get the same uplift on your Citi Thank You points as you do on your UR points with Chase Sapphire Preferred (25%). So, each point will give you 1.25 cents towards airfare.
5) You don’t want to pay more than $95 in annual fees for your premium card. You like to have travel insurance built-in, but don’t care about primary car rental insurance (offered by Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve).
As always, it comes down to what features and transfer partners matter to you most. While most folks will pick CSP when given a choice, I do think they should at least look into Citi Thank You Premier.
Not surpsingly, I won’t be renewing our two cards next year. Then again, I wouldn’t renew Chase Sapphire Preferred either. Neither one is the right fit for my particular situation. And I’m convinced that most low-spenders will come out ahead by sticking to no-fee credit cards in their everyday spending
But I can say with absolute certainty that getting 60,000 Citi Thank You points in exchange for spending $4,000 (without going into debt) is a very good deal. Anyone who tells you otherwise must have stumbled across some amazing money-making scheme that comes with no risks and lets you earn 1,000% return on your investment. If so, I want in!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.