A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I am earning 5 points per dollar at drugstores, grocery stores and gas stations with the Citi ThankYou Preferred card for the first 12 months. I applied and was instantly approved for this card in my recent round of credit card applications. Recently, Frequent Miler (where I found the link; thanks FrequentMiler!) announced the link to be dead. Well, I have good news! The offer is still available… you just have to go to the bank to get it.
For many families and individuals, gas, groceries and drugstore purchases add up to a ton of spending so the bonus itself is incredibly valuable. Here are some examples of expenses where I can now earn a bonus with my Citi ThankYou card.
- Regular grocery shopping (probably about $100 a week for typical families)
- Gas stations ($50 a week for typical families?)
- Household supplies such as paper towels, cleaning supplies, shampoo, etc. I know I spend quite a bit ordering at drugstore.com every month!
- Buying gift cards to other merchants at supermarkets, gas stations and drugstores (Amazon gift cards, Sears, Marshall’s, Macys, Sephora, to name a few) and then using them at the merchant.
- Buying Visa/MasterCard/Amex gift cards to give others as gifts instead of money. These are as good as cash at many locations.
- Buying Vanilla Reloads at drugstores, loading them onto the American Express Bluebird and then paying your bills with it such as mortgages, utility or tuition bills. These expenses don’t generally earn points, but this is a way to use your credit card to pay them. This detailed in my post: The Bluebird and Vanilla Reload s: Earn Miles Paying Bills. I would caution not to do this very much as it can be considered abusing the perks by the banks and accounts have been shut down as a result.
These everyday purchases can add up to many ThankYou points usable for airfare very quickly:
- For every $1000 you spend, you earn 5,000 Citi ThankYou Rewards points.
- If you spend $5,000 a month (I know that’s high, but some people do have lots of these expenses) will earn 25,000 ThankYou points every month valued at up to $250 a month towards travel and airfare.
- If you also have the Citi ThankYou Premier card, you can link the two accounts and the points become worth 1.33 cents each towards airfare through the Citi ThankYou Rewards Travel Center. (Meaning spending $5,000 a month on a combination of groceries, gas, a few merchant gift cards can earn close to $300 a month towards airfare.)
Important!!! At Citibank, the offers I found were not advertised anywhere in plain sight nor did the bank tellers know about them. I specifically talked to the bank account manager and asked for the current Citi ThankYou Rewards credit card offers. There are no pamphlets or brochures. They should have an internal list of offers or be able to print one out for you in an account manager’s office. I emphasize this because people are reporting going into the branch and looking for advertisements. It’s not quite that easy or we’d all have known about this a long time ago. ;)
Citi ThankYou Card Offer at the Bank Branch
The Citi ThankYou Preferred offer I applied for offered 6,000 ThankYou points after spending $300 plus 5 points per dollar for purchases at drugstores, supermarkets and gas stations for the first 12 months. However, since my post publication, the link to that offer has been removed.
The best available offer I can find on the internet right now for the Citi ThankYou Preferred card is for 15,000 points after spending $1,000 within 3 months. Although this 15,000 point deal was available when I applied, I chose to forgo the additional 9,000 points for the chance to earn 25,000 points every month with the drugstore 5 point bonus. This card has no annual fee.
It turns out that there’s an even better offer than the one I got and those that didn’t get in on my offer don’t even have to make the choice between 9,000 additional points or 5 points per dollar with drugstore, supermarket and gas stations category bonus. At my Citibank local bank branch, I found the following offer and the account manager even printed it out for me!
- 15,000 bonus ThankYou points after you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months
- 5 ThankYou points for every $1 spent at drugstores, supermarkets and gas stations for 12 months
- The card has no annual fee. Ever.
As you can see, it does say Citi ThankYou card rather than Citi ThankYou Preferred card. I actually called the Citibank application department to check on this and they told me that these are the same ThankYou points earned by both cards. They are redeemable through the Citi ThankYou Rewards Travel Center and can also be linked to the Citi ThankYou Premier account. Being able to link the Premier account makes sense as, of course, any Citi card can be linked to it. As far as redemption options without a Premier account, I cannot verify 100% as I do not have this card so please do youw own research and share if you learn otherwise.
One encouraging piece of information is that on the Citibank ThankYou Card information page, they do not differentiate between the Citi ThankYou and Citi ThankYoou Preferred card. It actually links to the same application for the Preferred card.
I spoke to two different phone reps and they said the only difference between the two cards (Citi ThankYou Card vs. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card) is the offer… which of course makes sense why the “wrong” offer for the Citi Thank You Preferred card was pulled online.
I confirmed at the bank that a Citibank bank account is not required to be eligible for this offer. I also don’t know whether it is available only in certain states or certain branches. If you are interested in this card, I strongly recommend heading to your local Citibank branch, checking whether they have it and applying in person.
As I mentioned earlier, there are also other ways to take advantage of the 5x at drugstores. FrequentMiler does have some excellent resources on available gift cards at drugstores, gas stations and supermarkets, among other places.
- The local Citibank branch has an offer for the Citi ThankYou card offering 15,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,000 in 3 months and 5 points per dollar at drugstores, supermarkets and gas stations for the first 12 months.
- To the best of my knowledge, this offer is not available anywhere online and the link I knew about was shut down last week.
- ThankYou points can be redeemed for airfare at 1 cent each or 1.33 cents each for those that also have the Citi ThankYou Premier card.