New Twist in My Citi Thank You Premier Card Dilemma

I wrote not too long ago how I tried to convert this card to Citi Thank You Preferred and unfortunately, failed. Well, I decided to think about it some more before deciding what to do with the points. Then, few days ago, I got my new shiny Citi Thank You Premier MasterCard. It came in a fancy package  which got me all excited… until I saw the actual thing.

They put the stripe in the front just like on their Prestige card!!! What, what, what is Citi thinking? And they were bragging about it, idiots. Every person I come in contact with has no clue how to use Prestige, and my husband is about to veto The Hobby permanently because of it. If you have Citi Prestige, you know what I’m talking about. OK, rant is over, let’s get to the point.

So, emboldened by my latest success with Aviator card, I started thinking that maybe I should call Citi and ask for  retention offer. And so I did. Well, I got an offer, drum roll, please: Spend $3,000 in 3 months, and get $95 to offset the annual fee. Hmm.. I asked the rep if there was anything less strenuous, and she said that was the best Citi could do for me. I went ahead and accepted because I really didn’t want to call back and listen to another Citi employee praising this card, stupid backwards stripe design and all.

After I hung up, I started thinking if I should go for this offer. We are woking on several cards at the moment, including $500 monthly spending on Aviator.  That $3,000  can be used for another lucrative sign-up bonus. Not to mention, the sooner I cancel Premier card, the sooner I can restart the clock on being able to qualify for its sign-up bonus again. Citi goes by the date of closure, and under current rules, you have to wait 18 months.

On the other hand, having Premier card open gives me access to getting 1.25 cents on each Citi Thank You point redeemable on travel: things like cruises, hotels and car rentals. And incidentally, we will probably need to reserve a vehicle sometime next year. Also, my credit score can  use a break from yet another card.

I honestly don’t know what to do. One thing I found out was that the annual fee will be charged on November 6th, so this gives me some time to decide. I may still try to convert it to Citi Thank You Preferred, though it doesn’t appear to be possible. At this point, I’m seriously thinking about redeeming the stash for Walmart gift card just so I don’t have to drive myself crazy anymore. As I’ve said before, we need groceries, but we don’t need a trip to Hawaii.

5 thoughts on “New Twist in My Citi Thank You Premier Card Dilemma

  1. $3,000 to avoid $95 is a bad deal, unless some to all of the below are true for your family:

    1. Opportunity Cost A: You place more/just as much value on TYP as you do on the UR/MR/Arrival Points you are giving up earning on that 3k. Given Freedom 5X at Amazon next quarter, you should probably be setting aside at least $1500 next quarter for 1 Freedoom, or your $3k if you both have a Freedom. $3,000 on two freedoms=$150 in cold hard cash, or more when transferred.
    2. Opportunity Cost B: You aren’t giving up meeting spend requirements on sign up bonuses to complete this spend since sign up spend is 10x-15X).
    3. Credit Pull Strategy: You are taking a hiatus from hard credit pulls.
    4. TYP Specific Plans: You have a specific TYP redemption and travel related plan in mind.
    5. Relationship/Credit File Management: You want to maintain a good relationship with Citi, or this is one of the cards worth keeping for consistency’s sake on your credit file.
    6. Incremental value: You recognize the incremental value of you spending that $3,000 isn’t just the $95 saved. It’s that, plus the ability to use your TYP stash at maximum value.

    It’s a good problem to have.


  2. Cheapblackdad, those are all good points. I don’t think spending $3,000 just to get $95 is a good option for my family at this time.The juice just doesn’t seem worth the squeeze. Of course, there are many factors to consider. Citi currently prorates annual fees, so technically, you can collect $95, then get most of the fee back. Even Citi rep mentioned it. As far as credit pulls go, I guess I’m waiting for the banks to tell me I’ve had too many. If I get denied for several cards, there is my answer. Of course, I try not to be a hog, and probably get less cards than most. We generally try to go 50/50 on apps between me and my husband. Obviously, he isn’t an active participant. I just give him the card and tell him to use it.
    He actually has a Premier card that is due to renew in December. I think I might go ahead and let the annual fee kick in, then use the points in February as planned. After that, I’ll cancel the card and will get most of the fee back. I won’t even try to call retention, my husband won’t even consider it. I think this might be the best plan. Of course, it means redeeming Citi points from my account in the meantime. Honestly, though, I looked at my balances, and we have enough miles and points for 3 years’ worth of vacations. Do I really need anything beyond that? I don’t think so. It’s time to focus on cash and Walmart gift cards (almost as good as cash).


    • I was going to make a 7th point, but got distracted, but you reminded me: Where are you on the I need points/miles vs. I need cash spectrum.

      If you have 3 years worth of vacations in the stockpile, why not prioritize cash, ESPECIALLY, if you can get this bonus again in 18 months, which, by the way, is halfway through your current stash.


      • Cheapblackdad, that’s pretty much my thought too. I guess what worries me is how this hobby will look in a few years. Chase is currently sending a very strong message to churners to back off. That bank is on the ball and knows what’s going on. I think we can expect stricter rules. Of course, there is Amex with its one card/per lifetime rule.
        Still, I hate hoarding more than anything. One of the reasons I wanted to stockpile miles is to possibly bring my sister’s family here to US. But Citi isn’t great for that. Both Singapore and Air France levy huge fuel surcharges from Europe.


  3. Pingback: Redeeming Citi Thank You Points for Walmart Gift Cards, and Shifting Focus to Cash Back | Miles For Family

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