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We’ve already seen Chase offering targeted cardholders spending bonuses on select cards and it looks like Citi is following suit with its own set of targeted offers. The offer I’ve received was targeted to my Citi Prestige card (which is a little ironic) but I’ve seen similar offers targeted to other Citi ThankYou cards too.
My Citi ThankYou Bonus Offer
- Activation required (via a link in an email I was sent)
- Activate by 15 February 2020
- Earn 5 ThankYou Points per dollar at:
- Grocery Stores
- Gas Stations
- Mass Transit & Commuter Transportation Vendors
- Promotion runs through 31 March 2020
- Bonus points capped at 2,500
Full terms and conditions have been reproduced at the end of this post
The first thing I should point out is that it would appear that I was targeted for this promotion towards the beginning of this month but I never received the email from Citi.
The first I heard of this promotion was when I got a ‘reminder email’ from Citi late yesterday so if you haven’t had anything from Citi to let you know you’ve been targeted, it may be worth checking your junk mail folders and possibly even calling Citi to see if its CSRs can help.
As fas as the offer itself goes, I think it’s pretty good. Actually, it’s very good.
Yes, it’s a little disappointing that the bonus is limited to just 2,500 points but these are points that should be very easy to earn so it would probably be a bit churlish to complain about this too much.
Crucially, the bonus multipliers on offer here are so good that it’s unlikely that any other card in a customer’s portfolio would be able to match them (let alone beat them) and this means that by using a targeted Citi card in this promotion it’s unlikely that many people would be giving up a better return on their spending elsewhere.
Here’s what I mean:
While popular cards like the Amex Gold Card and the Amex EveryDay Preferred card offer good bonuses for spending at US supermarkets (up to 4 points/dollar and 4.5 points per dollar respectively) they can’t match the 5 points/dollar that on offering in this promotion.
Likewise, you find that cards like the Chase Ink Business Cash (2% cashback or 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar if you have a Sapphire card), the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (3% cashback) and the Amex EveryDay Preferred card (up to 3 points/dollar) all offer good bonuses for gas station spending, but none of them comes close to matching the 5 points/dollar on offer in this promotion.
The story is much the same with Drugstores (where most mainstream credit cards will generally do no better than 2 points/dollar or 2% cashback) and with Mass Transit spending (where earnings are generally no better than 3 points/dollar when you use cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card or the American Express Green card).
With 5 points/dollar on offer across all these categories, this is a promotion that genuinely offers good value.
If you’re anything like me you’ll probably want to work out the minimum amount of spending you need to put on your targeted card to max out the bonus on offer…and this is where you need to be a little careful.
It could be tempting to say that with a maximum of 2,500 bonus points on offer at an earning rate of 5 points/dollar a cardholder would need to spend $500 to max out the bonus…but that would be incorrect.
The terms and conditions specifically state that “Bonus points awarded with this offer are subject to a maximum of 2,500 additional points” so the 1 points per dollar that a Citi card would ordinarily earn in these spending categories shouldn’t be included in the math.
To earn the maximum bonus on offer a cardholder would need to spend $625 (2,500 ÷ 4)
I’ve been waiting for my annual travel credit to hit my Citi Prestige account before I close the card account down (the credit should appear any day now) but now I’ll be keeping the card open a few days longer to make sure I pick up these very easy to earn 2,500 points.
As Citi spending promotions go this is a pretty good one.
Full Terms & Conditions:
This offer starts upon enrollment and will end on 03/31/2020. Earnings associated with this program will equal 4 bonus ThankYou® Point(s) per $1 spent on eligible purchases and may overlap with other special offers in which you are currently enrolled. Bonus points awarded with this offer are subject to a maximum of 2,500 additional points.
This offer excludes purchases made at discount stores.
Grocery Stores, including supermarkets, are classified as merchants that provide a complete line of food merchandise for home consumption. This offer includes convenience stores which are classified as merchants who sell a limited variety of food items. Gas Stations are classified as merchants that primarily sell vehicle fuel for consumer use. Drugstores are classified as merchants that sell prescription and proprietary drugs and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines. Mass Transit & Commuter Transportation Vendors are classified as merchants that provide mass passenger transportation including railways and buses, bridge and tunnel fees and temporary parking, but does not include the purchase of Amtrak tickets.
Merchants are assigned a merchant category code (”MCC”), which is determined in accordance with Visa/Mastercard/American Express procedures based on the kinds of products and services the merchants primarily sell. We don’t control the assignment of these codes and are not responsible for the codes used by merchants. When you use your card to make a purchase, we’re provided an MCC for that purchase. We group similar merchant codes into categories for purposes of making rewards offers. Sometimes you may expect a purchase to fit within a rewards category, but if the code assigned to the merchant wasn’t grouped into that category, your purchase will not qualify for additional rewards. Please also note – purchases made through mobile/wireless technology may not earn additional rewards depending on how the technology is set up to process the purchase. We reserve the exclusive right to determine which purchases qualify for additional rewards. All purchases must be made during the promotional period.
Balance transfers, cash advances, checks that access your Card Account, items returned for credit, unauthorized charges, interest and account fees, traveler’s checks, foreign currency purchases, money orders, wire transfers (and similar cash-like transactions), lottery tickets, gaming chips (and similar betting transactions), Citi Flex Loans and the creation of Citi Flex Pays, are not purchases.
ThankYou Points earned will be posted to the primary cardmember’s account in 1-2 billing cycles.
In order to qualify for this offer, the account must be open and current at all times. If your account is closed for any reason, including if you convert to another card product, you may no longer be eligible for this offer.
You may receive more than one communication regarding this bonus offer with a reply-by-date mentioned within; however, if you have already enrolled in this offer, no further action is required. This promotional offer is non-transferable and applies to the account ending in the last 4 digits referenced in this offer.