Citi has announced some upcoming changes to the Citi ThankYou Preferred card. This comes on the heels of (in my opinion) exciting changes to the Citi Premier card that came in just the other day (and caused me to finally dump my Prestige card and at least feel a little less sad about it). These changes on the Preferred card aren’t what I’d classify as exciting, but they probably don’t do much harm, either.
New Citi ThankYou Preferred bonus categories: add 2x cable & popular streaming, subtract some entertainment starting August 23, 2020
Citi has sent out an email to Citi ThankYou Preferred cardholders advising them of changes. Starting on August 23rd, 2020, the card will earn:
- 2x cable & popular streaming services (including both video & music streaming)
- 2x live entertainment (including concerts, sporting events, live theater, and more)
- 1x everywhere else
The key change here is the addition of 2x cable & streaming, though that’s probably a relatively minor change for most folks. Surely those are categories where people regularly spend money, but the amount of spend on streaming services likely won’t create a terrible useful number of points. Assuming you have cable TV & Internet access bundled, that could probably add up to a couple thousand points per year, though there are a number of other cards that bonus this category.
The key loss is some forms of entertainment. Citi had a famously broad definition of the “entertainment” category. For example, purchases at wineries have often coded as entertainment. Moving forward, the terms state that you’ll earn 2x “on live entertainment, including concerts, live sporting events, live theatrical productions and orchestras”. On the flip side, here are some examples of entertainment that will now code at 1x (I believe many of these previously triggered the entertainment bonus category.
You will not earn 2X points for purchases made at charitable organizations that provide live entertainment, sporting camps, sports complexes where you participate in the sport, public and private golf courses, country clubs (including membership fees), bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums or art galleries.
The ThankYou Preferred card hasn’t been available for new applicants for a few years now, but since it has no annual fee, it is a useful downgrade option if you are looking to alight yourself of a Citi Prestige or Citi Premier annual fee and want to keep your ThankYou points alive. If you don’t have a Rewards+ card yet, you’d likely want to downgrade to that card (for the 10% annual rebate on redeemed ThankYou points up to 10K points back). If you already have the Rewards+, you might downgrade to this card. Citi has been known to offer decent retention bonuses on the Preferred now and then, so it’s worth downgrading rather than canceling even if you don’t have ThankYou points to keep alive.