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Citi ThankYou Premier Card
Old 06-21-2018, 11:42 AM   #1
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Citi ThankYou Premier Card

For those who seek out good "travel rewards" credit cards, what do you think of the Citi ThankYou Premier Card? It offers 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months and has a $95 annual fee waived for the first 12 months. The points can be transferred to various airline miles programs, but what drew my attention is that those 50,000 points can be used to book $625 in travel on any airline through Citi's ThankYou Travel Center.

The way I figure it, it would cost me $80 to get this $625 in value, since I'd have to use the Citi TYP card for the next few months in order to spend the required $4,000, instead of my usual Citi DoubleCash card that gives me 2% cash back on all purchases. And from what I've read about the ThankYou Travel Center, flights tend to be a bit more expensive than what you could book through other sites like Kayak or Google Flights. So I figure that $625 might actually be more like $500, in which case I'm really only netting about $420 in value.

I'm strongly considering signing up for this card, though, since I think getting (for example) a free round-trip flight from Atlanta to Honolulu—or maybe two round-trips from ATL to NYC—is pretty tempting. The only downside I can see (other than the hassle of signing up, making sure to spend the $4,000 minimum, and then cancelling the card within 12 months) is having to use the TYTC website to book a few flights. I've read a few articles and forum posts that indicate the TYTC website can be somewhat user-unfriendly and doesn't give as many flight options as other sites.

Thoughts?

https://citicards.citi.com/usc/LPACA...nal/index.html
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:03 PM   #2
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I would research how many actual seats are available on various flights using these miles. That seems to be a limitation of many airline reward point systems. You build up the points, but have trouble actually using them on the dates you want.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:35 AM   #3
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So no one here actually has this card or has used the Citi ThankYou website to book airline travel? I know this card and the ThankYou program have been around for at least 5 years, so kind of surprised by the lack of feedback or opinions. But I guess that could say something about the actual value of it.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:57 AM   #4
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So no one here actually has this card or has used the Citi ThankYou website to book airline travel? I know this card and the ThankYou program have been around for at least 5 years, so kind of surprised by the lack of feedback or opinions. But I guess that could say something about the actual value of it.
Sorry OP if the fishing is lousy on this. I use the Chase Sapphire Reseerve and it's sister Chase Marriott to accumulate rewards. Signed up for both when they were doing double sign-up bonus. CSR has a high annual fee, but I get it back (and then some) from the card perks.

But, since what you're planning will cost you nothing but time, why not try it?
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:04 AM   #5
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Yes, sounds like the travel credits that you get are certainly to be worth more than the $80 that you forgo by notusing your DoubleBack Cash card for $4,000 of purchases.
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:51 AM   #6
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But, since what you're planning will cost you nothing but time, why not try it?
Yes... I suppose I have to decide if the time and inconvenience of using an unknown, potentially frustrating travel-booking website is worth the ~ $450-500 in value I'd be getting.

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Yes, sounds like the travel credits that you get are certainly to be worth more than the $80 that you forgo by notusing your DoubleBack Cash card for $4,000 of purchases.
That's how I see it, looking at it in a purely financial way. I guess I was hoping for feedback or opinions on the intangibles, i.e., whether roughly $450 in actual value is worth the hassle of using the Citi travel website to book airline tickets, etc.

How do you folks tend to think about these kinds of things? How do you decide whether or not, e.g., a credit card that nets you $500 in actual value is "worth it"? To me, it seems like very little effort to sign up for and use the credit card for 3 months, and even if the Citi travel booking site is a pain to use, I'd certainly be able to a get one or two free round-trip flights out of the deal. The catch might be that it turns out to be difficult (or impossible) to get the exact airline, route, fare class, or seat(s) that I'd prefer. Would that be a deal-breaker for you folks? Just trying to calibrate my ideas and perceptions of "value" in these situations, honestly.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:05 AM   #7
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I used to churn credit cards and still will if it's easy. I like cash not miles. Everyone takes cash. I don't like to jump hoops to make minimum spend to get made up currency. if you have the time, sure why not. Takes plenty of automating, planning and tracking to do this well. Halofire used to buy stock at zero pct into on credit cards by taking a fee free cash advance, making mom payments and then paying it off and pocketing divs/apprec. This is not for the faint of heart bc if that stock drops you are in trouble potentially and I personally would not do this. I did money market accounts If you're interested in sexy credit cards, checkout the Barclays uber for cash signup bonus, high cashback on restaurants/hotels/airline tix and a refund on a flat amount of streaming svcs.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:09 AM   #8
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I would research how many actual seats are available on various flights using these miles. That seems to be a limitation of many airline reward point systems. You build up the points, but have trouble actually using them on the dates you want.
If you book far enough in advance, it's easy to get seats, but harder to get seats with great times of departure.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:11 AM   #9
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OP - do it.
Even if you don't use the website for the travel, you can cash out the points in other ways like gift cards worth a lot more than the $80 you will miss from using your other card.

You are also short changing the value as it will be: 50,000 points + 4,000 points from spending (if 1%)
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:06 PM   #10
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Wow, am I the first to chime in that I have this card? And also the Double Cash Back card.

I haven't had trouble using the site to book flights. It's not miles, it's their points, and the prices have always seemed similar to what I find on an airline's site. beI tend to use the airline site first to find the flights I want then go to the Citi site to book it. I don't think there's any such thing as blackout dates or fewer seats, because as far as the airline knows, you are paying cash but booking through an agent.

They also make it easy to fill in the rest of what you need with cash if you don't have enough points. And the 3x points aren't just pure travel--they are taxis and Ubers and subways, etc.

DH and I traveled and ate out a lot, so that's why we got the card. I'm not sure it's truly beneficial for me anymore, but I do still use it for all travel and dining purchases, and the double cash back card for everything else.

I've had it for a while and so can't speak to the introductory offer.

But I'm a pretty laid back user of such things, so if there's something people try to squeeze out of such cards that normal people are unaware of, that would be me.

I'm about to use it to make a ridiculously expensive rental car reservation slightly less expensive.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:55 PM   #11
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I don't have experience with this specific card, but have experience with similar cards. As cbo111 said, a bunch of points sounds like a great deal, but the devil is in the details.

The hassle factor flying with points is pretty high. Usually, the flights available for points are the unpopular flights (redeyes, long connections, etc.).

I eventually gave up and now just use the Chase Sapphire card. The points can be used for travel, merchandise, even to pay off charges on the card.

I would recommend checking some of the blogs that focus on different cards and whether the effort is worth the benefits. See, for instance:

-- The Points Guy

-- Million Mile Secrets
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:08 PM   #12
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I don't have experience with this specific card, but have experience with similar cards. As cbo111 said, a bunch of points sounds like a great deal, but the devil is in the details.

The hassle factor flying with points is pretty high. Usually, the flights available for points are the unpopular flights (redeyes, long connections, etc.).

I eventually gave up and now just use the Chase Sapphire card. The points can be used for travel, merchandise, even to pay off charges on the card.

I would recommend checking some of the blogs that focus on different cards and whether the effort is worth the benefits. See, for instance:

-- The Points Guy

-- Million Mile Secrets

For the record, the card OP is asking about works almost exactly like the Chase Sapphire card.
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:02 AM   #13
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I am too lazy to churn credit cards for these kinds of benefits. I use the Elan 2% cash back card for everything except Amazon and Target purchases. We just recently got the Amazon and Target cards when we realized we could save 5% on all purchases there (we are Prime members, and we shop at Target a fair bit). We don’t mind doing that, but there is no way we are going to rotate different cards to get an extra % or two on gas or groceries or whatever, or get new cards and cancel old ones for signup bonuses. Maybe we are missing out, but the benefits would have to be really significant for me to spend time on this. YMMV - I’m sure some enjoy maximizing their benefits and making a game out of it.
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