Citi Forward: Bonus Rewards at Restaurants and … Bookstores?

This now-defunct credit card had its eye on urbanites, paying 5 points per dollar on dining, entertainment and Amazon.
Paul Soucy
By Paul Soucy 

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No longer on the market, the Citi Forward® Card had one of the more unusual bonus rewards structures offered on a credit card from a major issuer:

  • 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants, including bars and fast food.

  • 5 ThankYou points per dollar on music and movies.

  • 5 ThankYou points per dollar at bookstores.

  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar on all other purchases.

Restaurants have long been a standard bonus category on credit cards — see our rundown of the best dining rewards cards for examples — and music and movies fall into the "entertainment" category, which isn't as common as restaurants but isn't exactly unheard-of (see our best entertainment rewards cards). But the bookstores category might make you do a double-take. It makes more sense when you know that Amazon, which famously started life as a bookstore, qualified for the 5-points-per-dollar bookstore rate. It wasn't a nightlife-and-bookstores card, then, as much as a powerhouse online shopping card that was also good for dinner and a movie.

Either way, you can't get the card anymore. Citi stopped offering it back in the 2010s.

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The Citi Forward® Card had no annual fee and offered a small sign-up bonus with wonderfully specific eligibility requirements: "10,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $650 in purchases & paperless statement sign-up in the first 3 months." There was also a seven-month 0% introductory APR period on prurchases.

The successor to the Citi Forward® Card was the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, which offered pared-back bonus rewards on dining and entertainment (only 2 points per dollar) and nothing extra for bookstores/Amazon. That card, too, is off the market and has been replaced with the Citi Rewards+® Card.

Looking to replicate the bonus categories on the Citi Forward® Card? Check out:

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