Conflicting reports: Does the Citi Forward Give 5x Points on Amazon?
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Retraction: After hearing reports that the Citi Forward® Card no longer gave 5x points on Amazon.com, NerdWallet contacted their customer services representatives to find out more. While we heard from multiple CSRs that Amazon no longer counts, our readers have told us that they still receive 5x points. We’ll continue to investigate and try out different cases. We strive to provide the best content for our readers, but we jumped the gun on this one, and we sincerely apologize to our readers.
We would like to hear if people still receive the 5x points a) on Amazon book purchases, b) on non-bookstore purchases from the Amazon.com marketplace and c) from other sellers than Amazon, but purchased through their storefont.
Here’s what we’ve heard from customer service:
- Representatives 1-3: Amazon.com purchases do not count as bookstores, unless they are actually books.
- Representative 4 (contacted today): They do count as bookstores.
- Representative 5 (contacted today): Amazon earns 6 ThankYou Points per $1.
There was no change in our affiliate relationship with Citibank either way – this was a slip up that should not have happened. Thanks to our readers for keeping us on track, and we apologize.
The Citi Forward® Card gives 5 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on movies, music, restaurants and bookstores. We’ve heard that ThankYou Points are again difficult to redeem, requiring you to accumulate 10,000 points before you can redeem at full value for gift cards. To redeem fewer points, you either have to redeem for student loan/mortgage payments or charity, or take a hit in redemption value. Another reason we’re not so hot on the card – its signup bonus is unimpressive: 10,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $650 in purchases & paperless statement sign-up in the first 3 months.
Cards that give 3%+ on Amazon.com
Citi Forward® Card: The feature of our article, it counts Amazon purchases as a bookstore (again, we’ve heard conflicting reports) and also earns 5 ThankYou Points to the dollar on music, movies and dining out (this last includes fast food and most bars). ThankYou points vary in value depending on how you redeem: the best way is to cash in for a mortgage/student loan payment or to one of Citi’s featured charities, which gets you the full 1 cent per point with just 2,500 points. If you want to redeem for a gift card, you must wait till you’ve got 10,000 before you get the full value.
Amazon Credit Card: Of course. It earns 3% at Amazon and 2% on gas, restaurants and drugstores. The card pays out in Amazon points, which can be redeemed at checkout, or as cash back or a statement credit. We’re not fond of the Amazon Credit Card, as we believe that you can find better gas or dining rewards elsewhere, and you can certainly do better than the signup bonus: an Amazon.com Gift Card will be instantly loaded into your Amazon.com account upon the approval of your credit card application.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express gives unlimited 3% at gas stations and department stores, and 6% on up to $6k spent at grocery stores. We’ve heard conflicting reports about Amazon.com counting as a department store for the 3% rewards, but you can, with a little legwork, get 6% back at the online retailer. Just pick up an Amazon.com gift card at the checkout line of many supermarkets, including Safeway and Raley’s, and earn that full 6% cash back. Not too shabby. It does have a $75 annual fee, but the killer rewards are worth it, not to mention the signup bonus: Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit. Take that, Citi Forward® Card.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Same card, same principle. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has the same rewards structure as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but has an annual fee of $0 and earns unlimited 2% on gas and department stores, and 3% on up to $6k spent on groceries (read: Amazon gift card). The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express comes with a smaller signup bonus than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, clocking in at $100. When deciding between the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, weigh your grocery, clothing and gas spending against the $75 fee. Spend $50 in groceries weekly, and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the better option.