How to Qualify for Citi Thank You Premier Card Retention Bonus

Isa and I each applied for the Citi Thank you Premier Card with 50,000 sign-up bonus points about 10 months ago.  Since the beginning, we plan to use the cards often so to be able to ask to waive the annual $95 membership fee later.  With 3X for flight, hotel and gas, and 2X for dining for each $1 spent, and support transferring points to Singapore Airline KrisFlyer program, Citi Thank You Premier card is an attractive card to stock up Thank You points.  Isa travels outside of US about five times a year.  She can use Citi Thank You Premier Card, which does not charge foreign transaction fee.

Citi does not offer 50,000 sign-up bonus points as I am writing now.  So this post is for those who already have Citi Thank You or Citi Thank You Premier card.

Offers from Citi

Isa called last week, attempting to waive the annual $95 membership fee.  Indeed, she received a retention offer:
  • spend $200 in the next 2 months to receive $95 statement credit
  • and, if she spends $500 per month on the card, she will receive 500 Thank You Points for the next 16 months, total 8000 Thank You points for $8000 spent.
Early this week, she receives an offer to add an authorized user for 5000 points.  But we are practicing 5/24 rules. Adding an authorized user will draw a credit pull on Isa' profile, equivalent as applying for one credit card.  so she will not add an authorized user.

I also receive an offer from Citi for 10,000 bonus points if spending $3000 for the next 90 days.  Isa does not receive this offer however.

Also 5X bonus category offer,

How to receive Citi Thank You Premier Card Retention Bonus?

My observation is the following:
  • Spend at least $1000 per month.  Grocery, eat-out, gasoline, utility bills, auto insurance easily add to more than $1500 per month.
  • Use the card often.  Credit card company charges higher % fee from merchants when the amount charged is small.  The more small charges you charge, the more valuable as as credit card customer you are.
  • Call Citi customer support 1-800-842-6596 on the 11th month of your card, and give a good reason.  We have been seriously considering applying for Chase Sapphire Preferred for the 50,000 sign-up bonus UR points.  Isa mentioned CSP card sign-up bonus attractiveness, asked about any available retention bonus for good credit card customer.  After a couple minutes, the Citi customer representative offered to waive the $95 membership fee after $200 spend.

Why are Citi Thank You Points attractive?

Both Citi Thank You points and Chase Ultimate Reward points can be transferred to KrisFlyer program.  I used 120K ThankYou Points, worth about $1200 statement credit, to redeem two one-way Business Class flights for them.  Love to see smiles on their faces; they are humble couple.

If annual membership fee is waived, Citi Thank You Premier card becomes a fee-free card.  We set a conservative target to earn 30k Thank You points each year on each card without any manufacturing spend and intentionally to spend more money.  One key is to use my Citi Thank You Premier card to pay for my parents' flight ticket expenses and any large expenses.  They would reimburse me back.  They don't want to deal with credit card hassles.  My mom said, "the flat bed was so comfortable that she slept for 8 hours straight without enjoying all the amenities of the business seat experience".

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