More (Negative) Changes To Citi ThankYou and Premier Cards?

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Citi ThankYou Preferred card has expired. View the current offer here

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card has expired. View the current offer here.

Offer expired: November 4, 2013

Last month, I wrote about some of the Changes To Citi ThankYou Preferred such as 2X Earning on Dining and Entertainment as well as how they are no longer offering an anniversary bonus. According to this Flyertalk post, Citi is also making some more changes (some good, some bad) that also impact the ThankYou Premier card and standard ThankYou cards. These changes go into effect for applications starting July 28th, 2013 and existing cardholders will see these changes from October 20th, 2013. I’ve emailed my contacts at Citi for official confirmation, but my gut says these changes are probably real based on the recent ThankYou Preferred announcement.

Potential Changes to the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card are:

Earning: Instead of earning 1 ThankYou points per $1 on all purchase, the card will now earn 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent on dining purchases and entertainment including movies, museums, amusement parks and sporting events and 1 point per $1 on everything else.

Discontinued Anniversary Bonus: The 1-3% anniversary bonus (the percentage depends on how long you have had the card) on all the points you accrue during your cardmember year (the percentage is based on how many years you’ve had each card) will be discontinued after your next anniversary.

Other Bonuses: The 100-point bonuses for enrolling in Account Online and Paperless Statements will be discontinued after July 27 (so enroll now if you haven’t already!).

Changes to the Citi ThankYou Premier Card include:

Earning: Earn 3 ThankYou points per $1 on restaurants and 2 ThankYou points per $1 on travel. No more 20% bonus on everyday spend purchases.

Reduced Airfare Redemptions: Points will be worth 1.25 cents when redeeming airfare vs. the current 1.33 cents a point.

Discontinued Anniversary Bonus: The 1-3% anniversary bonus (the percentage depends on how long you have had the card) on all the points you accrue during your cardmember year (the percentage is based on how many years you’ve had each card) will be discontinued after your next anniversary.

Discontinued Companion Airfare

Discontinued Flight Points: No more flight points (where you’d earn a bank of additional points based on how far you flew and how much you spent on the card).

Other Bonuses: 400 points for enrolling in paperless statements.

No more fees for authorized users: Currently $50, waived the first year.

Potential Changes to Citi ThankYou Card include:

Earn 2 ThankYou points per $1 on restaurants and 200 bonus points for enrolling in Paperless Statements. Also, this card no longer features an anniversary bonus.

Some may like these changes based on how they spend and redeem points, but overall I see them as a devaluation to the ThankYou program. If you’re in the market for a fixed value credit card here are my top three picks, based on sign-up bonus and earning/redeeming ratios:

Top Fixed Value Cards:
1. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World MasterCard40,000 bonus miles after you $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening. $89 annual fee, waived the first year. Earn: 2x points on all purchases. Redeem: Each point is worth 1 cent towards travel and after each redemption you get 10% of your points back, essentially making this card a 2.2% card when redeeming for travel. For my full review, click here.
2. US Bank FlexPerks Visa Signature: Earn 17,500 points when you spend $2,500 within 90 days with a $49 annual fee, waived the first year. Earn: 2x points for every $1 spent on gas, grocery or airline purchases – whichever you spend most on each monthly billing cycle – and on most cell phone expenses, 3x points on charitable donations. Redeem: Points are worth between 1.33 and 2 cents a piece when redeemed for airfare. For my full review, click here.
3. Capital One Venture: 20,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months with a $59 annual fee, waived the first year. Earn: 2x points on all purchases. Redeem: 1 cent per point towards travel expenses. For my full review, click here.

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