Citi ThankYou 50,000 Points Premier Card. Our Preferred EveryDay Card.

Promotion: Citi offers 50,000 ThankYou sign-up bonus points for new Premier Card and Prestige Card members, after spending only $3,000 in the first 3 months.  Isa applied one early May, and I applied Citi ThankYou Premier Card early June, together earning 100,000 ThankYou Points.

Why not apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred card with 45,000 sign-up bonus points

This is our first Citi ThankYou cards. We want to experience Citi ThankYou card offering for 1-year without upfront cost.  The Citi benefits are:
  1. Citi ThankYou points can be transferred to anyone, so Isa and I can combine our ThankYou points to redeem flight tickets.  
  2. Most importantly, Citi ThankYou Premier offers 3x for travel (flight, hotel, gasoline) and 2x for dining expenses, which is better than Chase Sapphire Preferred 2x offerings.  We plan to use this card for everyday use.  
  3. The card also charges no foreign transaction fee.  As I intend to keep my Citi ThankYou Premier card, I also added an authorized card for my sister who has been living and working aboard.  At least whenever she visits US, she has a nice credit card to use without carrying lots of cash for local expenses.  My sister travels for business frequently these days.  If she likes the Citi Premier card experience, I may opt for Citi Prestige card in the future.
  4. American Express partnership with Costco will also end sometime in March or April of 2016.  I plan to pay my Costco expenses using my Citi Premier Visa card.

Citi ThankYou Premier or Prestige Card, which card is best for me?

Our preference about Citi offerings is Citi ThankYou Premier Card over its sibling Citi Prestige Card, because
  1. First year annual fee $95 is waived, compared to the $475 Prestige card fee
  2. We likely will not need the extra benefits offered by the Prestige card (fourth-night free, Global-Entry program fee, AAdvantage and Priority Pass Select Lounge Access) for the next 12 months.  
  3. if we like or need more ThankYou points to redeem flight tickets, we can still apply for Citi Prestige card, because 18-months waiting period is separate for Citi Premier and Prestige cards.

Why not applying for AMEX Premier Gold card with 50,000 sign-up bonus points

  • Citi ThankYou Premier Card has almost the same offering as the AMEX Premier Gold Card, except AMEX also offers $100 airline fee reimbursement.  
  • As American Express stops backdating new AMEX card accounts with oldest AMEX card date, it loses a critical incentive to apply for American Express card.  
  • Visa card is also more widely accepted for payments than American Express card, for example, to pay most public utility companies, State Farm insurance company and future Costco Warehouse starting in 2016.  
  • Most importantly of all, Citi card is still churn-able, though there is a waiting period of 18-months at least (say 24 months).  Citi may change the policy anytime. So take advantage of Citi credit card now.

Why applying for Citi ThankYou Premier Card now

Citi has been offering 50,000 sign-up bonus points ONLY after paying the first year annual fee and the higher spending requirement $5,000.  Now is a great time to sign-up and try out the TY card offering.  Every May-June-July period is the time to pay automobile and home insurance, so meeting the $3,000 spending requirement in the first 3 months this time is simple for us.

 Applied online, immediately approved.

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