A few months ago, I found out about the Citi ThankYou Preferred credit card thanks to Mr. Money Mustache’s credit card referral page. At the time, the bonus offer was for 25,000 points – which you could redeem for $250 in gift cards – after you spent $2000 on the card within four months of opening the account. Since we normally spend at least $1000 every month on our credit card, I knew we’d be able to meet that requirement without much effort by simply switching cards for a couple months. (the bonus has now dropped to 15,000 points, which is good for $150 in gift cards – still an awesome deal!)
Our normal card is our Fidelity AmEx, which we highly recommend. It gives us 2% on all of our purchases, and the money is directly deposited into a Fidelity IRA that my husband opened when we got the card. We use our Costco AmEx for gasoline (and our rare trips to restaurants) because it pays 3% cash back on gas and dining. Everything else normally goes on the Fidelity card, but for the past couple months we’ve put our purchases on the Citi ThankYou card instead.
And sure enough, our most recent statement had a points total of over 27,000. I cashed in 25,000 points for $250 worth of Home Depot gift cards, and we’ll be putting those to very good use as we continue on our basement finishing project. The cards arrived last week, and everything has been very smooth and easy with the Citi card.
We’ve had a Wells Fargo Visa for almost a decade now, and we kept it even after we got the AmEx so that we’d have a backup card for the places that don’t take AmEx. We ditched all of our other Wells Fargo accounts a few years ago, but kept that card. It has a $19 annual fee (yes, I know we probably shouldn’t have signed up for it in the first place – we were ten years younger then and not as wise!), but we always justified the fee because it was relatively small and we got back a lot more in rewards than we paid for the fee. I had noticed that the rewards had gotten stingier lately (3250 points required now for a $25 gift card, as opposed to the 2500 points it used to be), and we don’t use the card enough now for the rewards to justify the annual fee. Now that we have the Citi ThankYou card, that can be our backup card for places that don’t take AmEx. The rewards are better, and the card has no annual fee. Although I know our credit score will take a hit when we close a card we’ve had for ten years, we’re going to go ahead and cancel the Wells Fargo Visa. We both have open cards (not in use, but open for the purpose of our credit scores) that we’ve had since the 90s, and everything our credit history is very good. So the ding we get from closing the WF card is probably not too big a deal. Plus, we have no plans to use our credit anytime in the near future.
I was going to sign up to refer my readers to the Citi ThankYou card and get a referral fee for doing so. But I got denied by the company that signs up affiliates for programs like that (obviously I don’t have the coolest blog on the block – thanks for reading anyway!) So I’m just telling you guys about the card because some of you might want to sign up and get the bonus points. Since I can’t officially refer you, I’m sending you over to Mr. Money Mustache’s referral page instead. His blog is awesome, and he’s committed to donating most of the revenue it earns. So if anyone is deserving of the referral fee, I would say MMM fits the bill.