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For at least a week now, the rumor has been that the sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou Premier card would be changing on Thursday, January 28th. The current sign-up bonus of 50,000 points (worth $625 on travel or transferable to select hotel and airline partners) after you spend $3,000 in the first three months has been the same for most of the last 9 months. Prior to that, the bonus was much more complicated requiring a certain amount of spending in the first and second year or card membership to trigger the full 50,000 point bonus.
Historical Sign-Up Bonus for the Citi ThankYou Premier Card
Sometimes we have no warning that a credit card sign-up bonus is changing, and sometimes (like now) we have warning a change is coming, but either the details of what exactly is to change are not known in advance, or they are not allowed to be disclosed. Full disclosure, I have no idea what is changing on this card, but let’s at least look at some historical info on the bonus with this and similar cards.
With a brief exception over last summer when a 60,000 point offer was available with $3,500 in spending, the sign-up bonus for the Citi ThankYou Premier has been at the same level ever since the benefits on the card were revamped last April to include things like 3x points on travel and a lower annual fee than before. It makes sense that they upped the offer at the time to help get even more spotlight on the improved benefits structure.
One of the card’s big competitors, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a similar sign-up bonus of 50,000 points, but with a slightly higher spending requirement of $4,000 in three months to trigger the bonus. The CSP also offers an additional 5,000 points if you add an authorized user who makes a purchase during that time.
What Will Happen to the Citi ThankYou Premier Sign-Up Bonus
If I had to guess what would happen with the Citi ThankYou Premier bonus (and it truly is just a guess), I would guess that either the 50,000 point number isn’t exactly changing, but rather either the amount of spending required to trigger the bonus is increasing, or it is going back to a multi-tiered approach to trigger the full bonus. Or it is also possible the bonus could be going down to closer to 40,000 points to be in line with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s previous level. I would personally be surprised if the bonus changed by more than that.
While it is possible, I have a hard time envisioning the bonus really improving on Thursday since it is already very good. However, if it does improve, I would quickly ask Citi for a match to the better offer if you recently applied. Some have been successful with that request in the past, though it is not as easy to get a match for a better offer from Citi as it typically is from Chase within the first 90 days of opening an account.
I may apply for the card myself before Thursday if I get time since I just don’t see the bonus improving at this time. However, if I don’t get around to it I am not going to stress, and you probably shouldn’t either since these things ebb and flow. One other thing to keep in mind before deciding whether to apply is whether you should potentially apply for a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred first since Chase is pretty strict about the number of new accounts you can have in the previous 24 months when getting some of their products. If you don’t already have the CSP or similar I would prioritize getting that, and then work on cards like the Citi ThankYou Premier.
Are you applying before Thursday? What do you think will happen with the sign-up bonus after that date?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.