This morning I received an email from Citibank regarding a 5% cash back promotion for my Citi ThankYou Preferred Card. The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card is one of four Citibank cards I carry but one I never use. This account can be traced back to my very first credit card when I was in college in the early 1990s. Over the years this account has been a basic credit card, a card offering rebates on Ford vehicles and a card offering rebates for any brand of car. Citi converted my account to the Citi ThankYou Preferred several years ago when the Citi Driver's Edge Card was discontinued. (Those were my days of points and mile cards infancy!) Given that long history, I keep this no annual fee card open to bolster my credit score.
Though this card carries no annual fee, it earns Citi ThankYou Points for dining and entertainment at a rate identical to the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier cards I carry - 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent. While it lacks the additional perks and bonuses of its annual fee cousins, 2x is a good bonus multiplier for a free card. While these points cannot be transferred to Citi ThankYou travel partners without holding either the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier card, I am covered there. I can combine these points with those from my other cards to convert to airline miles or hotel points.
5% cash back promotion
The promotion I received today is very straightforward: earn 5% cash back, as a statement credit, for purchases made from the time of registration until March 31, 2016. The credit is capped at $25. Nothing in the terms and conditions suggest that this is in lieu of ThankYou Points. Given a value of 1.6 cents per ThankYou Point, with normal points accrual and the cash back promotion, that's a return of 6.6% on most spending and 8.2% for dining and entertainment spending! Try finding a savings account that provides that kind of return! I don't generally use my Citi cards except for entertainment purchases. I prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred for dining. However, I plan to shift my dining spend to the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card until I hit $500 spending in order to earn the maximum statement credit.
I am not clear if this is a targeted offer. Since the terms do include language that the offer is only valid on the account noted in the email and, since i never use this card, this could well be targeted. However, if it is targeted to me, it could be targeted to others. Be sure to check your email or even call Citibank to see if you can qualify for the same promotion.
Have you received an offer for this promotion? If so, let us know in the comments below.