Citi has had some really decent targeted and non-targeted offers in the past on their various cards. When I received one of those offers in my e-mail last week and saw the headline, I got excited – until I read the details.
Citi’s 5% Back Offer – Not As Good As It Sounds
We received this offer for our cards with the e-mail subject title of Earn 5% Back! That sounds great and is something that has some interest for those of us who like to target category bonuses.
But, here are the details of this offer (on one of our cards):
Use your Citi ThankYou Preferred Card to earn 5% back as statement credit on everything you buy. Earn up to $25 back, including purchases like:
Enroll today to earn up to $25 back through 6/30/2016.
It goes on to exclude dining and entertainment purchases. But, still, 5% back on everything else is pretty great, right?
Except that ugly “up to $25” part. That’s right, you can earn 5% back on everything up to $500 of spending. Not nearly as enticing as the subject and highlights of the e-mail make it sound!
Make sure you check your e-mail to see which categories you got. My wife’s card was for everything while mine was limited to grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores, commuter transportation/merchants.
With a spending bonus like this capped at $25, is it even worth pursuing it? Sure! You can enroll your ThankYou card and buy $500 in gift cards and get the $25 back. If you purchase them at a place where you would not normally get the 5% on a different card, it can be a nice way to still pocket the $25.
But, since many gift cards are available at office supply stores and you can get 5X everyday using your Chase Ink cards (and up to $50,000 in spend per year for the Plus/Bold), you may want to use it for something else.
If you got the e-mail, go ahead and enroll for the offer and see what happens. But, this is not necessarily enough to make me put this card on top of my pile as the cap is pretty limiting for me. It is not enough to halt my regular card practices.
Did you get this offer and what did you buy?