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Now that summer is in full swing, kids are out of school and enjoying the glorious freedom of summer vacation. However, most of us aren’t so lucky and will continue to grind through the work week right on through summer.
While people are usually well aware of the massive amount of time they spend at work, we rarely pay attention to the amount of time and resources it takes to get to and from work. When you think about it, our daily commute is a huge part of our lives that rarely receives any consideration. In fact, a recent study, the Citi ThankYou Premier Commuter Index, revealed that the average American's spends 45 minutes and $10 per day on their commute; that amounts to a significant $2,600 and 200 hours per year!
With all the time and money we spend on getting to and from work, it’s important to consider credit card offers that will help us maximize the dollars we spend. Let’s take a look at why the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card could be one of the best credit cards out there to help save you money on your daily commute.
Bonus Rewards for Gas Purchases
According to the survey, 79% of Americans reported that the majority of their commuting expenses went to gas. Back in April, Citi made some excellent improvements to the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, and one of the biggest changes was adding more rewards for gas purchases. Cardholders can earn 3 ThankYou points on all travel expenses, including gas purchases. If you find yourself in the 79% that spends a lot on gas, you should know that 3 points per dollar is the highest rate for any credit card with unlimited gas rewards!
But if you’re in a big city where it’s more economical to use public transportation, you’ll still earn 3x ThankYou points on all your subway tickets, bus fares, taxis, toll roads, and more. Cardholders of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card could earn an extra $100 per year (depending on how you redeem your ThankYou points) from gas purchases alone.
Another credit card that earns similar rewards on gas purchases is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This card earns 3% cash back for purchases at US gas stations. There are also cards that earn 5% cash back on gas purchases, like Discover it - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer and Chase Freedom®. These cards have rotating categories that change each quarter so you won’t earn 5% on gas purchases all year long. *Terms and limitations apply.
Earn Rewards for Commute
The Citi survey also shed some light on how commuters spend their time as they travel to and from the workplace. In a world of never ending to-do lists, 76% of those surveyed said they viewed their commute as a time to relax, and many of them said it was the only “me time” they get during the day.
Of those who like to relax during their commute, 85% do so by listening to music. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new music. I love buying new albums and songs, and my daily commute gives me a chance to listen to them from start to finish.
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card also offers 2x ThankYou points on dining and entertainment. This means that for every song or album you purchase to enjoy on your ride to work, you can earn 2x ThankYou points along the way. Furthermore, many people enjoy grabbing breakfast on the go as they head to work, so they can also earn 2 ThankYou points for all dining purchases!
Expert Tip: Whether its iTunes, Google Play, or another vendor, be sure to set the default payment on your mobile media platform to a rewards earning credit card like the Citi ThankYou® Premier. I didn’t realize until fairly recently that my iTunes account was linked to my checking account, thus bypassing valuable points I could be earning with every music purchase.
Best Option for Your Commute?
The Bank Americard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card rivals the Citi ThankYou Premier when it comes to gas purchases by earning 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations for the first $2,500 in combined gas, grocery, and wholesale club purchases each quarter, and earn just 1% cash back on your dining and entertainment. Another great thing about this card is that it has no annual fee, whereas the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has a $95 annual fee after the first year. The Citi ThankYou® Premier has no cap for rewards earning, and you can easily get more than 1 cent apiece for your ThankYou points, giving it the leg up on the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card. So in my book, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is worth the annual fee and easily beats the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Card for the daily commute.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card is a very popular travel rewards card that offers 2 miles on every purchase with no reward limits, and no specified spending categories. Your miles are worth one cent when you redeem for travel and the annual fee of $59 is slightly lower than the Citi ThankYou Premier . The Capital One® Venture® Card might be a better choice if you don’t spend a lot on gas, dining out, and entertainment; however, earning 3x ThankYou points on travel is a game changer that gives the ThankYou Premier a slight advantage. This card offers a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening, equal to $400 in travel.
The Bottom Line
If you’re paying your bills off in full each month, it’s definitely a smart move to have a credit card that rewards you for your everyday spending. The recent Citi ThankYou® Premier Commuter Index survey has revealed some interesting insights into how Americans spend their time and money during their daily commute. If you’re looking for a credit card to maximize the money you spend getting to and from work, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is the way to go.
* Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. 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 the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.