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Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card Review – Travel, Dine and Entertain a lot?

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The Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card has been gaining popularity for the past three years. It offers a 0% APR for the first 12 months, no annual fee and a 20,000-point bonus for signing up (see conditions below). You’ll need a 660 or better credit score to be accepted. Users earn 2X points for entertainment and restaurant purchases and 1X points on all other purchases. Additional rewards points can be earned by shopping at more than 600 online merchants via Citi’s Bonus Center web portal. Your points never expire and there’s no cap to how many you can earn. It’s a solid option for those who want to earn rewards points for spending. However, it’s not such a star performer for those who want cash back.

You see, ThankYou rewards points convert to cash back at a rate of just about ½ of one penny per point. If used perfectly, they can be worth as much as a full penny per. A good note here is that, unlike rewards like miles or points from airfare and hotel rentals, ThankYou points can always be cashed in for a set monetary value. In order to maximize your cash back value, focus on redemption options like mortgage repayment, student loan repayment, specific gift cards and purchasing airline flights.

Concerning the 20,000 points you receive for signing up, there are a couple things to understand. You only receive your 20,000 points after you make at least $1500 in purchases. And this $1500 has to be spent within the first three months after receiving your card. Now, IF you maximize the value of your points earned, then they can be worth as much as $200 in gift cards. In reality, depending on exactly how you redeem your bonus points, they will be worth more like $100. So think about this when considering signing up.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the APR stipulations for the Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card:

  • 12-month promotional 0% APR on all balance transfers and retail purchases;
  • Subsequent APR between 12.99% and 22.99%, based on your credit score;
  • 25.24% APR on cash advances;
  • 29.99% APR on penalty charges;

As far as fees go for the Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card, there is no annual fee. This in itself is rare for a quality card with a rewards program of any kind. You will be charged either $5 or 3% (whichever is more) for balance transfers. If you incur any late fee charges, they can be up to $35 per. If you want a cash advance, the fee is the greater of $10 and 5% of the amount advanced. The fee for a returned payment is also up to $35. Finally, foreign transaction fees are always 3% of the transaction amount.

Other Citibank ThankYou Preferred Card benefits and advantages:

Like a lot of cards, the Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card has a warranty extension benefit. So many people fail to take advantage of these programs and that’s a shame. In a nutshell, the extended warranty benefit increases standard warranty coverage on eligible purchases with US warranties. This is especially attractive for electronic items.

Trip Cancellation Coverage allots up to $1500 in reimbursement funding to you if an eligible trip you have planned is canceled. Of course, you must have already paid for this trip using your Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card.

The Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card also come standard with Concierge service, free of any charges. That means you can have restaurant reservations made, have customized travel itineraries developed, receive insightful gift advice, get directions and more. This helpful service is available to you 24/7 for cardholders.

If you lose your luggage, have it stolen or even damaged, then you’re covered for up to $3000. In New York, the coverage limit drops to $2000. This applies to any luggage that you have checked for travel via common carriers like airlines, Greyhound, Amtrak, etc.

Travel Accident Insurance is provided for all cardholders who are ticketed passengers on common carriers. This coverage is automatic and covers accidental death or dismemberment. Of course, you will have had to purchase your tickets using the Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card. Note that there are numerous rules that apply to this coverage. So to get specific coverage details, you should contact Citibank.

When you rent a car with your Citibank ThankYou Preferred card, you will receive automatic secondary coverage. That means the coverage is initiated only after your primary auto insurance pays out maximally. If you do not have any primary auto insurance coverage, then this benefit kicks in as the primary. Note that, as with most cards, this coverage applies mainly to theft losses and collision damages. Vandalism and damages caused by inclimate weather are not generally covered. Read the fine print!

If eligible purchases made with your Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card are damaged in fire, stolen from you or even accidentally broken (within the first 90 days after purchase), then you are covered for up to $1000 per incident. There is a maximum number of incidences and an allotment cap per year.

You also get price protection on eligible purchases. This means that if you make a purchase with your card, and then see the same item advertised for a lesser price within 60 days, you will be refunded the difference in prices, up to $250. This benefit is almost unheard of in rewards program-based credit cards. It’s a truly stand-out feature associated with this card.

Overall, the Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa Card is a good contender for those who don’t care so much about the cash back value of the points they accumulate. It’s a much stronger option for those that travel, dine and entertain a lot. The rates are competitive and there are a couple rare features that make this card stand above much of its competition. Consider the Citibank ThankYou Preferred Visa card is you’re looking for a quality rewards card from a well-established and trusted company.

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