5X ThankYou offer returns… sort of

There used to be a wonderful sign up offer for the no fee Citi ThankYou Preferred card: earn 5 points per dollar at grocery stores, drug stores, and gas stations for 12 months.  At that time, Vanilla Reload cards were still purchasable via credit card at CVS; PayPal had not yet closed my accounts for loading My Cash cards; and Vanilla Visa gift cards were still readily usable at Walmart.  In other words, it was incredibly easy to spend almost any amount of money one cared to at drug stores. 

CitiTYP_big

My 12 months at 5X have long since expired, but I’m still enjoying using the hundreds of thousands of points I earned.  Thanks to my Citi Prestige card, each point can be used towards airfare on AA or US Airways at 1.6 cents per point, or on other airlines for 1.33 cents per point.  Or, points can be transferred to loyalty program partners such as Singapore Airlines, Air France, and more.

The return of 5X

Thanks to a tip from Julian, who writes the “Bet You Didn’t Know” series for this blog, I called Citibank and asked to cancel my ThankYou Preferred account.  I didn’t really want to cancel the card, but these are the magic words to get transferred to a retention specialist.  The retention specialist’s job is to convince you to keep your card.  To help with that, they are armed with a list of offers that you qualify for.

I asked the specialist to describe each of my qualified offers.  Here were my options:

3X to 4X for 6 months

Offer terms: Earn two extra points per dollar for 6 months, 35K point limit

Since the Preferred card always earns 2X for dining and entertainment, and 1X everywhere else, this offer changes the card into one that earns 4X for dining & entertainment, and 3X everywhere else for 6 months.  That’s pretty good!  Since you can only earn 35,000 points with this promotion, you would max out the promotion at $17,500 spend

5X at drugstores, grocery stores, and more for 3 months

Offer terms: Earn four extra points per dollar at drugstores, grocery stores, gas stations, commuter transportation, and parking for 3 months, 35K point limit

This offer increases the card’s total earnings to 5 points per dollar within the listed categories.

Similar to the previous offer, this one is capped at 35K bonus points, so you would max out this promotion with just $8,750 spend.

Spend $3,000 in 6 months, get 10,000 bonus points

This one is self explanatory.

I chose door #2: 5X at drugstores, grocery stores, etc.

This option will be easy to max out quickly.  With my four REDbird cards (mine, my wife’s, my sister’s, and my niece’s), I can theoretically max out this promotion in a single day by visiting a Target that’s coded as a grocery store.  By spending $8,750 I’ll earn the base 8,750 ThankYou points plus the 35,000 bonus points for a grand total of 43,750 points.  That’s worth $700 towards American Airlines and US Airways flights!

YMMV (Your mileage may vary)

If you have a ThankYou Preferred card its worth calling to see if you qualify for any retention offers like those I listed above.  I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same offers, but there’s a good chance that there will be at least one offer worth accepting.

See also: Doctor of Credit: Retention Bonus Rules & Tips For Each Card Issuer – Get More Than One Bonus Each Year

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

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44 Comments on "5X ThankYou offer returns… sort of"

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Sergey
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When I read Julian’s post last week (where he shared a hint about what you can get from retention department for Preferred card), I called them. I got the same offer for my Preferred card – extra 4 pts at supermarkets/drugstores/gas/transportation with cap of 35K TYP. My wife got different offer – extra 2pts on EVERYTHING for 6 months, NO CAP. I also decided to explore my 6-month old Prestige card – I got the same offer as for my Preferred card (extra 4pts), but the cap is 50K TYP.

One word of caution with Target – even Target is coded as “grocery” by Citi, Target (and Walmart) excluded from this bonus category – at least it was during 5pts “time” 2 years ago. So, you may earn only 1pts there.

Tim
Guest

You could always buy VGCs from Kroger.

Smay
Guest

Of course – but why pay the extra $10 bucks or so per thousand and add the extra steps of buying and liquidating when redcard is one stop shopping 🙂

Chase
Guest

Wonder if you could do the same for your TY Premier card? Last time I asked I was only offered statement credit ($125) for $500 purchases in 2 months.

Chief
Guest

If you use Citi Prestige to buy AA tickets with TYPs at 1.6 cents per point, does it count as paid tickets with American so you earn AA miles on those flights? If so that would effectively give you more value than 1.6 cpp.

Smay
Guest

Yes you definitely do earn miles! Its a very nice added perk.

David
Guest

I’m going to call Citi later to see if my Pref card will have any good retention bonuses. If I get the same options FM got, I’ll probably take the 10K bonus points for 3K spend. I already have the AMEX Old Blue for 5% on those categories, which I don’t think is that inferior to 5x TY pts. Also, I also remember that Targets didn’t get 5x a couple years ago when I had the TY Pref.

Nwc
Guest

I so wanted door number 2, but was only offered 1 and 3. Similar to Sergey above, I was told there was no limit on the amount I could spend (i.e. unlimited 2 extra points for the next 6 months).

Smay
Guest

I got the 5x card when you were working on million mile madness and listed that card as part of your initial strategy. I earned a ton of points with that card thanks to you! This is a great tip – I just called Citi and got it for my card. The same rep checked for my wife and it only had the 2x points offer so I didn’t take it or close the card hoping it will be there next month. it today. I also have the Premier card so i’ll check that one as well. I have several redcards but Sergey has me concerned. The Freedom 5x category excludes the 5x and it indeed doesn’t work at Target even though its Visa coded as a grocery.Any data points on that would be appreciated. I will check it and let you know results if you haven’t heard yet.

Christian
Guest

I love the comparisons of retention offers. I don’t have the card myself, but this makes it more compelling to look at for next round. Can anyone answer if much spending was done recently, or if these offers were just for Citi not to lose a customer?

smay
Guest

I haven’t spent in a long time and they gave me the offer.

Eric
Guest

I know my question may be irrelevant there but would really appreciate it if anyone can share your input. Can you load redbird with UFB Direct debit card?

techoin
Guest

thanks a lot ! I was able to get this offer added to my prestige card for max of 50K bonus points. I have plenty of flights points still on my prestige and if those gets matched up with bonus then this will turn out to be great offer

Domenick Cama
Guest

FrequentMiler – Re: Red Bird. How can you load someone else’s Red Card at Target? They have asked me on occasion to show ID, specifically, my license. Even without the added ID check, you are not the same gender of some of the cards you are using. How have you been able to just breeze through this process?

Smay
Guest

They only want ID to match your credit card. The card you are loading can be for anyone, a family member or whatever. If you are using a credit card with a different name thats another story. Now sometimes I lose track of which card i’m holding and swipe a different card than the one i’ve showed the cashier – but that’s by mistake of course.

Andy
Guest

Do you lose your accrued TYPs if you actually cancel the Preferred?

sam
Guest

This was great! I got all 3 offers and, like you, chose the extra 4x on gas drugs and groceries. The question now is, how often do these offers appear? 😀

Daniel
Guest

I wish they had these offers for the premier card. As someone who spends 20-30k per month on entertainment on my premier card, I called to have the annual fee waived a couple of days ago and they agreed to waive it once I spent $4500 within 3 months. I called back again once I found out about the changes coming in April. I was thinking about upgrading the card to the prestige card but I wanted the annual fee waived and they didn’t want to budge. They offered to lower my interest rate but that’s pretty useless to me since I pay off the card every month.

I also have the preferred card. I guess I’ll see what I can get out of them today.

Daniel
Guest

They offered me option 2 and 3 and I went with the 5X. Thanks!

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[…] Frequent Miler wrote about retention offers being given by Citi on their ThankYou Preferred card. (Worth reading for his analysis.) Last year many people were able […]

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[…] post on retention bonuses). People have been receiving some very generous retention offers, Frequent Miler & Miles To Memories both wrote about the offers they received and their experiences. I’d […]

Matt
Guest

Thank you for thank you tips! You just resurrected a useless card.

Justin
Guest

Hi Greg.

I called in and got an extra 2X on everything for 6 months.

Would you say this is better than 5X on drugstores groceries etc?. I don’t think so right? I feel like I should wait it out and call again

Justin
Guest

I thought this over. There’s no cap so it’s definitely better. Haha 😛

Max
Guest

I wonder what those 43,750 TY points might be worth if transferred to Air France. Perhaps there are even better uses via Flying Blue than by going through the TY-affiliated travel agency. Any ideas?

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[…] reminder, I had previously asked Citi for a retention offer for my ThankYou Preferred card and was given a very nice opportunity to earn 5 points per dollar at drugstores, grocery stores, and more fo… (up to $8750 spend).  In the comments to that post, a number of readers reported receiving […]

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[…] Back in January I wrote about my wife’s amazing retention offer for her ThankYou Preferred card. For keeping the card, Citi offered her 2 extra points per dollar on all spend with the card for the next 6 months with no cap. (Many others received valuable offers as well. You can see some good examples in the comments of this Frequent Miler post.) […]

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[…] a couple of previous posts, I described Citi retention offers I had received.  See: “5X ThankYou offer returns… sort of” and “How one call led to a points bonanza and rethought plans”.  The interesting […]

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[…] can be churned for multiple sign up bonuses, and there have been reports of some good retention offers to increase the value of retaining the […]

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[…] 5X ThankYou offer returns… sort of – Generous retention offers on the Citi ThankYou Preferred have brought back the ability to earn 5x on the card. […]