BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSCITI THANKYOU PREFERRED FOR STUDENTS REVIEW: TAKE IT OUT ON THE TOWN

Citi ThankYou Preferred for Students Review: Take It Out on the Town

(NO LONGER AVAILABLE) Get 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment and 1 point per dollar on everything else, plus a 0% intro APR and even a modest sign-up bonus.
Paul Soucy Author AvatarErin El Issa Author Avatar
Mar 9, 2018 3:04 p.m. PST
Edited by
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
SOME CARD INFO MAY BE OUTDATED
This page includes information about the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students, currently unavailable on NerdWallet. The information about the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the card issuer.

The Bottom Line

3.8

NerdWallet rating

If you often eat out or go to movies or concerts, you’ll benefit from this card’s rewards program. But be aware that the way you redeem the points dictates how much they’re worth.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students Image
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1 point per Dollar
Points
Intro Offer
2,500
Points
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 7 months
Regular APR
16.49%-26.49% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students Image
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1 point per Dollar
Points
Intro Offer
2,500
Points
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 7 months
Regular APR
16.49%-26.49% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Rewards rate

    1 point per Dollar

  • Bonus offer

    Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (This offer is no longer available on our site)

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR on Purchases for 7 months

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 16.49%-26.49% Variable APR

    Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable

    Cash Advance APR: 27.24%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    4% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 7 months on purchases from date of account opening; after that the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49% based upon your creditworthiness*
  • Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 2,500 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $25 in gift cards, electronics and other great rewards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No annual fee*

Pros and Cons

Pros

No annual fee

Cons

None

Detailed Review

» This card is no longer available

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is no longer accepting applications. See our best college student credit cards for other options. Below is our review from when this card was still available.

• • •

If you’re a college student looking for your first credit card, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students isn't a bad place to start. It offers rewards on dining (yes, takeout counts) and entertainment, has a $0 annual fee, and offers some pretty good perks.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students: Basics

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (This offer is no longer available on our site).

Rewards:

  • 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment.

  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Points are worth 0.3 to 1 cent apiece, depending on how you redeem, according to NerdWallet valuations.

Interest rate: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 7 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49%-26.49% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fee: 3%.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
REGULAR APR
18.24%-27.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
REGULAR APR
18.24%-27.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
REGULAR APR
28.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
Get more smart money moves — straight to your inboxBecome a NerdWallet member, and we'll send you tailored articles we think you'll love.

Benefits and Perks

Bonus rewards for going out

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students offers 2X rewards on dining and entertainment:

  • The dining category doesn't just apply to meals in sit-down restaurants and fast-food joints, but also to restaurant takeout, cafes, bars and cocktail lounges.

  • "Entertainment" includes live entertainment (concerts, theater and sporting events), movie theaters, amusement parks (including zoos, aquariums, circuses and carnivals), tourist attractions (including museums and art galleries), record stores, video rental stores and on-demand internet streaming media.

Going out is a big part of many people's college experience, and it's nice to have a card that provides extra rewards for it.

0% intro APR offer

College life can include a few big-ticket purchases here and there — textbooks aren't cheap, and who doesn't want a nice, sturdy couch? The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students includes an introductory 0% interest period, something relatively rare on student cards.

Sign-up bonus

This card offers a bonus to new cardholders to get them in the habit of using the card: Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (This offer is no longer available on our site). It's not a huge bonus — the value of 2,500 points tops out at about $25 — but still, it's better than what many student cards offer (which is no bonus at all).

Drawbacks and Considerations

Weak redemption value for cash rewards

ThankYou points are worth only half a cent apiece when redeemed for cash back. So if you redeem for cash, your rewards rate on dining and entertainment is 1%, and on everything else it's a paltry 0.5%. There are much better options for cash back.

The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers the same rewards as Discover's regular cash-back cards. It pays 5% cash back in rotating categories that you opt into online (on up to $1,500 in spending each quarter), and 1% back on everything else. Discover offers new cardholders a unique bonus: "INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match." The annual fee is $0.

Foreign transaction fee

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students charges a 3% fee on all purchases made outside the U.S, which can really add up over the course of a semester abroad. The Discover it® Student Cash Back doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee.

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

About the authors

NerdWallet Pixel