Home » Credit Card Reviews » Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students Review

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students Review

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This article was last updated Aug 15, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Some of the offers and/or promotions listed below may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available.

Who the card is best for

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is a good $0 annual fee card for college students who frequently spend on dining and entertainment. Not only do you receive a rewards program tailored to those purchases, but a great added benefit with Citi® Private Pass® — offering special access to thousands of events each year.

Since you earn a high rate on dining and entertainment purchases, students who don’t spend in those categories will earn a low rewards rate and may be better off with other student cards. Also, students who don’t have good credit should look for other cards that accept fair and limited credit since you may find it hard to qualify.

Where this card stands out in its category

This card has a great money-saving feature with Citi® Price Rewind. With this feature, you register eligible items on Citi® Price Rewind, and for the 60 days from initial purchase date, Citi will search hundreds of online merchants to see if there is a lower price available. If a lower price is found you may receive the difference. Citi® Price Rewind has already paid out over $12 million to cardholders between January and September 2017, and you can become a part of the savings with this card.

Where this card falls short in its category

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students has a foreign transaction fee of 3%. Students that travel outside the U.S. during breaks or study abroad will incur the fee on each purchase. You can find other student cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees like those by Discover.

Additional card benefits

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students offers several additional card benefits:

  • Citi® Price Rewind: This feature has the potential to save you a lot of money. With Citi® Price Rewind, simply register an item you’ve purchased with your card and Citi will search for a lower price for 60 days from the initial purchase date. If a lower price is found, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found.
  • Citi® Private Pass®: Receive special access to entertainment events ranging from concerts to dining experiences, sporting events, and more.
  • Citi® Concierge: Representatives are available to answer questions you may have regarding travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and everyday needs.

How to use it most effectively

To gain the most value from the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students, be sure to use it for all purchases at restaurants and on entertainment since you earn the most points for those transactions. Also, be sure to meet the requirements of the signup bonus: Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Register eligible new purchases with Citi® Price Rewind, and if a lower price is found within 60 days you can potentially receive a credit for the difference. This is a good way to retroactively receive a discount for a product.

Rewards breakdown

With the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students cardholders can Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment and Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases. ThankYou® Points can be redeemed for statement credit, cash rewards, gift cards, travel, merchandise and more. The value of points varies based on redemption option and you receive the most value when redeeming for travel or gift cards.

There is a signup bonus where you can earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Compare it with the Discover it® Student chrome

Both the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students and the Discover it® Student chrome offer different value for students and the best option depends on how you plan to use the card. Both cards are comparable in restaurant rewards, but if you’re a student who often goes to concerts and other entertainment events, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is a better choice. Meanwhile, if you’re a commuter student the Discover it® Student chrome provides more value.

  • 0% for 6 Months*

  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

  • 15.24% - 24.24% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 15.24% - 24.24%.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Student chrome

More Info

Looking at additional card perks, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is a standout with the unique Citi® Price Rewind feature that can reimburse you money as well as Citi® Private Pass®. The Discover it® Student chrome lacks additional card benefits that are in line with what Citi offers.

Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students Discover it® Student chrome
Annual Fee $0 $0
Purchase Intro Rate 0% for 7 months on Purchases* 0% for 6 Months
Balance Transfer Intro Rate N/A 10.99% for 6 Months
Balance Transfer Fee 4% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. 3%
Regular Purchase APR 16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable) 15.24% - 24.24% Variable
Rewards Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment and Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Sign Up Bonus Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.
Foreign Transaction Fee 3% None

Bottom Line

College students who spend on dining and entertainment will benefit the most from the rewards and additional perks offered by the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students.


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  • 26.96% (Variable)

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