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Citi Pulls the Sign-Up Bonus for ThankYou Premier

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Earlier this year, Citi’s ThankYou Premier Card offered a 50,000-point sign-up bonus. This week, the bonus dropped to zero. ThankYou Premier still offers the same suite of perks, including 3x points on travel (including airfare, hotels, taxis, gas and many other expenses), but if you were planning to get this card to take advantage of the 40,000 bonus points it had been offering, this isn’t great news. (Note that while you may see the 40k offer initially, it isn’t available when you click through to apply.)

While the ThankYou Premier card doesn’t currently offer a sign-up bonus, it’ll hopefully return sometime soon. In the meantime, however, there’s a fantastic alternative to consider: Citi Prestige.

Citi's ThankYou Premier card no longer offers a sign-up bonus.
Citi’s ThankYou Premier card no longer offers a sign-up bonus.

The Citi Prestige card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 40,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. The card comes along with a hefty $450 annual fee, but the card easily pays for itself many times over — if you travel relatively often, you can recoup that cost in a few weeks or less.

For example, I signed up for my Prestige card a bit less than a year ago, so I’ve only paid the fee one time. During that period, I’ve received $500 in free United tickets ($250 in 2015 and $250 this year), tens of thousands of bonus points (worth 1.6 cents each according to TPG’s valuation), and many thousands of dollars in statement credits as part of the card’s phenomenal 4th Night Free program.

I got the fourth night free at Amanpulo, saving me $1,490 on a single hotel stay.

That’s not to mention the airport lounge perks (including access for the cardholder plus two guests to Priority Pass lounge around the world), three free rounds of golf each year and travel/purchase protection benefits (which are even expected to improve next month).

I have both the ThankYou Premier Card and Citi Prestige, but there’s no question that I get far more value out of Citi’s premium version, despite the high annual fee. As for the ThankYou points you’ll earn, those can be redeemed for 1.6 cents apiece toward travel on American Airlines, making the 40,000-point bonus easily worth $640 — and you can get even more value when transferring points to partners.

How much value do you get out of Citi Prestige?

Citi Prestige® Card

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  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year, and receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre √®
  • 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge.
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
  • Points are redeemable for a $532 flight on any airline or $400 in gift cards.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 15.49%* (Variable) $450 0% Excellent Credit