Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students Review
Are you looking for a good first credit card as a college student? One of the best student credit cards available is the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students from Citi, a Credit Cards House advertiser. The card comes with a number of features designed to be attractive to college students.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
Most student credit cards don’t offer the same level of rewards as those offered to more established consumers. However, a student credit card can be useful for building up your credit profile, as long as you are careful to pay off the balance to avoid high interest charges. It also makes sense to “upgrade” to a non-student card when you can.
The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students allows you to earn 2 ThankYou® points for each dollar spent on restaurant dining and entertainment. All other purchases result in 1 point per dollar. There is also a signing bonus of 2,500 ThankYou® points when you spend $500 within the first three months of openning the account. This is worth $25 when redeemed for rewards like gift cards or electronics at thankyou.com. The card also offers a 0% APR on purchases for the first seven months (then a variable APR of 16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable) applies).
- Double the ThankYou® points for each dollar spent on purchases of dining and entertainment
- Points never expire, and there are no earnings caps
- ThankYou® points can be redeemed for rewards, gift cards, travel, cash, and more
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- No annual fee
- APR: 0% APR for the first seven months, after that, 16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable)
The biggest benefit to the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is the fact that the main categories that offer double points are categories often used by college students. The eating out portion includes takeout and fast food. You also receive double points when you go to the movies or attend concerts.
Another advantage to this credit card is the signing bonus, which offers 2,500 points after spending $500 in the first three months. There aren’t many student rewards credit cards that offer signing bonuses. It’s not a huge signing bonus, but it’s a little better than average for student credit cards. You also don’t have to worry about expiring points.
Finally, the flexibility of the rewards redemption is also unusual among student cards. You can use your points to buy gift cards, travel experiences, cash back, and other items. You can even use your points to pay down your mortgage, donate to charity, or make student loan payments. Plus, there is no annual fee, which means college students have one less expense to worry about.
As with most things in life, there are drawbacks to the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students. One of the biggest disadvantages is the fact that there is a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you plan to travel abroad, this card will cost you.
The tiered rewards can also be a drawback if you don’t eat out very much or attend a lot of entertainment venues. There are other student credit cards that offer flat cash back rewards that can be more effective, since they provide a better overall cash back earning on all your purchases.
Finally, even though you can get full-value on gift cards when you redeem your points, you might need to amass 10,000 points in some cases. This can take some time if you don’t use your Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students for all your purchases.
The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is ideal for students who eat out a lot and attend concerts and movies. The signing bonus can also be attractive, especially since there aren’t a lot of other student credit cards with signing bonuses. You can also benefit from the 0% APR introductory period if you are making a big purchase or outfitting your dorm for the school year.
If you don’t spend a lot on dining and entertainment, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students won’t be as useful to you. On top of that, the 3% foreign transaction fee can make it difficult to get the most out of the card. If you know you will travel overseas, consider one of the other student credit cards.
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.