No!!! Citi devalues Forward card.

The surprise isn’t that this happened.  The surprise it that it took so long.  The no annual fee Citi Forward card has been on top of my wallet for years.  Why?  5X Citi ThankYou points for restaurants, music, movies, and books (including all Amazon.com spend).  That’s why.

A few years ago Citi stopped offering the card to new account holders, but they kept the earning rate intact for existing members.  I then jokingly suggested that people seek out dating partners who have Forward cards because they were so valuable.

Now, as I’ve long feared, the letter arrived.  As of June 4th, 2016, the 5X benefit drops to 2X.  Boo!

Citi Forward 5X to 2X letter

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.

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Feeo
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Feeo

🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

Marty Dee
Guest
Marty Dee

my favorite benifit . I think it was 5x up to 75k . That would be a lot of food. Sad indeed.

Ian
Guest
Ian

This makes me reconsider everything now. May stop using TYP altogether since they haven’t been great for me anyway.

Brad meyer
Guest
Brad meyer

Grr…guess this card will be going right back into my safe with unused cards.

Josh
Guest
Josh

Boooooooooooooooooooo.

I suppose now I have start paying attention to the relentless posts about rotating restaurant category bonuses.

And now I can’t scoff at the blogers toot-tooting about how great Sapphire is for dining. Wait, yes I can.

On a positive note, the Forward does still get decent retention offers. I just got 15k points for $4500 in spend over 6 months. That bumps it back up to 5.3% at restaurants.

Steve
Guest
Steve

oh crap. Another one bites the dust.

Nick
Guest
Nick

That’s a shame. Like you, i knew it was coming, but it’s still painful. Since they were partners with Hyatt, and I do a lot of eating out both by being single and by traveling a lot, it was a valuable card even though it was my only TYP card. I could cash out with Hyatt $100 gift certs and then use them to pay towards business stays in NY/SF, so easy redemption of $200/pop as it accrued.

Chase Freedom is 5% on $1500 for 3Q16, so that will help a little, and then I’ll be back to a 2% cash back card.

Geewhiz
Guest
Geewhiz

Haven’t received my own letter yet. It’s unfortunate, but as long as the US Bank Cash+ is around, that’s worth transitioning these particular categories of spend for quarters not covered by Forward, Discover, Dividend Platinum Select cards. Wouldn’t be 5x points, but 5% off still okay.

Chucks
Guest
Chucks

With the Prestige, this was an easy 8% on Amazon and Restaurants.

RIP sweet prince.

Max
Guest
Max

I also noticed on the above letter that Citi will start expiring CC-earned TY points. That’s another unwelcome development. 🙁

Robert
Guest
Robert

TYP earned from the Forward card (and I think all no-AF cards) have always had a 5 years expiration.

Max
Guest
Max

Oops, I misread — never mind! 😀

John H
Guest

The way these programs are going it looks like we will be back earning miles the old fashion way with butts in a seat.

Sam K.
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Sam K.

NOoooOOooo….I remember when I had an entry level Capital One credit card, but it gave me 5x on groceries and drugstores. This was before I even knew about the points game, but then I stumbled upon it, and started using it at CVS for those magical beans. I could only use it for gift cards, but I got so much value out of it. After only 8 months, but after a couple thousand $ of gift cards they converted it down to 2x which was then worthless with better cc options.

trackback

[…] No!!! Citi devalues Forward card. […]

Mike
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Mike

Citi shut me down last month. This makes it sting a whole lot less. As far as I was concerned, the only thing TYP were valuable for were buying AA tickets since you were essentially getting 8% cash back on Amazon, restaurants and entertainment when you used this card combined with the Prestige. I’ll take UR and MR over TYP any day of the week otherwise. I do wish I had managed to move the ~30k in TYP I had over to Singapore before the hammer dropped though. Oh well.

Eric
Guest
Eric

When the hammer dropped on you, Citi didn’t even allow you to transfer your TYP to your transfer partners?

Mike
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Mike

They closed my account on a Saturday morning. I didn’t realize it until late that night when I went to use my Forward card and called them up when it was declined. I logged in to my account and the TYP were all still there. I was out at a bar with friends and didn’t tell like setting up any transfer partners right then and figured I’d do it the next day. Logged in the following afternoon and everything was gone from my TY account. I didn’t want to call them up and fight with them and risk causing an issue with the $1300 refund check I had coming from an overpriced ticket I had bought with TYP.

Nathan Drake
Guest
Nathan Drake

Why did they shut you down?

Helmholtz
Guest
Helmholtz

It might seem like bad news… but we shouldn’t forget the positive side! Namely, the schadenfreude folks without this card finally get to enjoy.

Yumeng
Guest
Yumeng

OMG T_T Now I don’t know which card to use in restaurants anymore…

trackback

[…] Frequent Miler Citi have sent mail outs to existing cardholders letting them know that on June 4th, 2016 this card […]

Amol
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Amol

I was just dreaming about getting a dinner at the French Laundry or Per Se and thought “at least it’ll be a lot of thank you points” … Looks like I’ll have to go before June ! 😛 it was a good 8-year run for me with this.

trackback

[…] Finally, that Forward card is renamed Backward. […]

trackback

[…] Citibank is eliminating 5x points earning for restaurants, music, movies and books from legacy Forwa…. Cards will earn double points in those categories effective June 4. […]

Dee
Guest
Dee

Just got my letter today. It’s been a long time coming, I used this card the most and now I feel lost. Does anyone know what’s a good alternative card would be?

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

There are several options. You can use Freedom/Discover when they have restuarants. Other options include the AARP Visa from Chase which is always 3% on restaurants. If you have the Amex SimplyCash that has a restaurant option. Of course, depending on how you value TYP (like if you have a Prestige) 2x TYP may still be worth more than 3%. US Bank Cash + has 5% on Fast Food regularly. I personally value UR more than TYP, so I’ll most likely switch to Chase Sapphire Preferred for eating out. Amex PRG gets 2x on dining as well.

Smitty
Guest
Smitty

Sobbing in corner… you will be missed, my precious.

AS
Guest
AS

Got a letter from Ken?

Write back and express your feelings about Citi changing your benefits and let them know you will stop using any citi cards.

Citibank (South Dakota), N.A.
Office of the President
P.O. Box 6000
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-6000

trackback

[…] customers who now earn 5X on dining will want their Discover It in their wallet, since that card will begin earning 2X on dining on June […]

trackback

[…] ThankYou points per dollar on restaurants, music, movies, and books.  As of June 4th 2016, though, the bonus will go down to 2X points per dollar in those categories.  I had previously used my Forward card as my single go-to card for restaurants, Amazon.com […]

Bill Herman
Guest
Bill Herman

Hello All — When I heard of this, I wrote a hand-written letter Mr. Stork and CC’d all of Citi’s top brass. I expected at least a semi-personal follow up but insead received a form letter denial in the mail today. I guess I expected too much…

As a Hail Mary, I’ve started a Change.org petition at the following URL:
https://www.change.org/p/ken-stork-reinstate-citi-forward-benefits-for-your-most-loyal-fans

Realize chances are exceedingly slim, but please take the time to sign it and share it with friends and family.

On a related note, I’ve been trying to track down the email addresses for the following execs to add to the petition — if you know them, please share:

Ken Stork
Vice President, Citibank
Citibank Customer Service

Leslie Gillin
CMO Global Consumer Bank, Citibank

Jud Linville
CEO Citi Cards

John C. Gerspach
CFO Citigroup

Michael Corbat
CEO Citigroup

trackback

[…] June 4th was approaching quickly.  That’s the day that my Citi Forward card was scheduled to turn into a pumpkin.  Starting June 4th, the card will earn only 2X points for restaurants, music, movies, and books inste…. […]