Citi ThankYou Card

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Midori
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:25 am
Location: TX

Citi ThankYou Card

Postby Midori » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:24 pm

I'd been banking with Citibank for about 7 years, so when I was building up my credit, I figured it was the next place to look after I got my starter card. I didn't want an annual fee, and I ended up choosing the regular Citi ThankYou card.

I used it pretty vigorously during Q2, and racked up lots of ThankYou points. When Q3 started coming around, nothing arrived in my mailbox or my inbox, so I looked online to see what the new bonus categories were... and came up with more nothing. I popped by my bank to see if they had a handy list of bonus categories lying around. They called the card up were told by Customer Service that your categories varied depending on who you were, so I needed to call the number on my card, give them my number, and see what my personal categories were.

They told me:
Q3: 2% online purchases
Q3 and Q4: 2% on Groceries, Gas, Public Transportation, Parking, and Drugstores
up to $2500 in bonus points.

Fast-forward to the beginning of August, one month into Q3, and I get a mailer in that tells me I'm automatically enrolled in:
2% Restaurants
2% Entertainment
1% on Everything Else, including groceries and transportation
and I have the option of enrolling in:
2% Online Purchases, up to $2500 separately

With the Chase Freedom, if, say, you want your 5% bonus points on Lowe's one quarter, you can enroll at any point in the quarter, and it will retroactively give you benefits for your Lowe's purchases of the entire quarter. For the Citi ThankYou, it specifically says that the bonus categories that aren't automatic start when you enroll.

To be fair, the back of the advertisement says, "Earnings... may overlap with other special offers in which you are currently enrolled." I've been using this for all my online purchases this quarter, so I'm hoping the automatic enrollment they told me about back in June is this "overlap" that they might be talking about. I'll give Customer Service a call and see what they say.

But it leaves me feeling pretty mehhh about a card that was already rather mehhh to begin with. The rewards program seems pretty clunky and non-user-friendly. The communication isn't timely. It doesn't even mention whether these are permanent categories, or Quarterly categories.

The flier advertised citi.com/benefitbuilder but, although I get emails from Citi, I haven't set up my online account with them. Perhaps if I tried looking at things on their site, I could find the information I was looking for. I tried signing up while in Chrome... it gave me a DNS error. I retried it in Firefox, and it didn't have a problem. Then, still in Firefox, I tried accessing citi.com/benefitbuilder. It gave me a "this page is temporarily unavailable" error.

Now I'm not just left a little confused, and feeling a little uncharitable towards its rewards program, but also feeling rather hostile towards its online presence.


Midori
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:25 am
Location: TX

Postby Midori » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:07 pm

Got around to calling Citi regarding their no-annual-fee Thank You card.

It turns out that the:
2% Restaurants
2% Entertainment
1% on Everything Else, including groceries and transportation
2% Online Purchases, up to $2500 separately

is a permanent-until-otherwise promotion. So that's interesting. I was already enrolled in the online purchases from earlier in the quarter, like I'd thought.

In addition, the Groceries, Gas, Public Transportation, Parking, and Drugstores up to $2500 in bonus points were 5% categories, not 2% categories. I'm thinking they're semi-permanent categories for the second half of the year, but I don't know if they have one $2500 cap spread over 6 months, or 2 $2500 caps, one for each quarter. I might check back later.

I wish they had this stuff written down.

I tried the website again to see if it was. This time, I could log in, but the information was generic. I tried doing a keyword search for "promotion", but the website told me: "ThankYou® Rewards Maintenance - We're sorry, the ThankYou® Rewards website has encountered unexpected behavior."

So I feel better about the card in some ways. Still unimpressed in others.



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