3x Everywhere – NO Cap!
Yesterday Frequent Miler wrote about retention offers being given by Citi on their ThankYou Preferred card. (Worth reading for his analysis.) Last year many people were able to sign up for the card when it was offering 5x points at gas, grocery & drug stores for the first 12 months.
Our Journey with the ThankYou Preferred
My wife actually signed up for the card in branch awhile back and was verbally told that she was getting the 5x offer. Unfortunately she didn’t read the disclosures which the teller buried under checking account paperwork.
When my wife got home I read the paperwork and found that she was given the normal public sign-up bonus. The teller immediately played dumb and after escalating the matter pretty high within Citi, they decided not to honor the 5x offer.
While my wife should have read the paperwork, we were obviously upset with Citi, but our only other recourse was getting the government involved. Not wanting to jeopardize our relationship with the bank, we decided to drop it, spent the minimum on the card to get the 20,000 ThankYou point bonus and put the card away.
The Card Just Got Valuable
Inspired by Frequent Miler’s post, my wife decided to call up Citi to see what they would offer her to keep the card. She hasn’t used it in over a year and wasn’t expecting much.
The retention agent was trying to scare her into believing that all of her points would be lost (they are in a joint account and could be transferred out), but finally after specifically asking if there was any offers, my wife was presented with two choices.
- Offer 1: 10,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $3,000 in the next six months.
- Offer 2: 2 extra ThankYou points per dollar on all spend for the next six months with NO CAP! This equates to 3x on all spending and 4x on dining and entertainment.
She ultimately chose option #2. To avoid any repeat issues, we also sent a secure message to Citi following the phone call to confirm the terms in writing. The agent made everything clear on the phone, so if the terms don’t match what my wife was told, the recorded call can be listened to.
Frequent Miler also reported a couple of different offers:
- Offer 3: Same as offer 2, but with a cap of 35,000 extra points.
- Offer 4: 5x points per dollar at drugstores, grocery stores, gas stations, commuter transportation, and parking for 3 months with a limit of 35,000 extra points.
With unlimited 3x everywhere and 4x on dining and entertainment, I think my wife’s offer is the best out of the four. While the 5x offer looks good, its low cap is the killer.
In the end, this offer by Citi has had its intended effect. The card has already made its way back into my wife’s wallet!